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How Much Do Welders Make

In the past, we published an article highlighting the top states where the highest-paid welding professionals earn the most money. What states have the highest wages? What is the average amount welders earn per hour in every state?

The article highlighted an article on the jobs created with USA Today, which used Lightcast data to target areas with middle skills, such as welding, which students can be prepared for by an education at a community college. The article also included the story from The Wall Street Journal about an unemployed 24-year-old Texan who earned $140,000 in 2014 working as a welder after completing his studies at Texas State Technical College.

How Much Do Welders Make?

As more companies increase their activities, demand for welders will grow. The amount of welders they employ depends on various factors, which we’ll discuss in the next section.

Welders are expected to earn an average wage of $41,710. Due to the growing demand for welders in the workforce, welding jobs are likely to have the highest rise compared to other occupations this year. According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) forecasts that there will be a rise of 13% in demand for welders by 2026.

What does the salary of a welder depend on?

Although experienced welders are paid more than novice welders, you shouldn’t make your salary estimates based solely on your previous experience. Here we will outline the various elements determining how much welders are paid.

Oil Rig Welder

Rig welders are among the most highly paid welders, earning around $77,000 annually; however, they are often required to work long hours in challenging environments. Since mistakes in these welding jobs could lead to disaster, only the most skilled welders are selected for these coveted jobs. Candidates must have years of experience and multiple qualifications to be employed because they’ll be welding different offshore oil drilling rigs.

Most rig welders reside at the rig they work on. However, they may also travel between their rigs and back on regular helicopter flights. Whatever the case, their work could last for months, with 12-hour days being the standard.

Underwater Welder

Underwater welding professionals earn around $54,000 annually, but the top 10% can earn more than $85,000. Opting for these welding jobs requires specific training and underwater welding certification. They should become certified as commercial divers. They must also be able to comprehend the barometric pressure and operate the decompression chamber.

Underwater welders typically perform two kinds of welding: dry and dry. Wet welding refers to welding done by submerging within the water during work and utilizing specially designed welding equipment. Dry welding involves working in a closed hyperbaric chamber that is oxygen-filled.

Industrial Pipeline Welder

Industrial pipeline welders employ various welding methods and equipment to set up pipes and maintain them in various conditions. They usually work for long hours and might find the challenging conditions of the weather challenges, ranging from the savage swamps’ oppressive heat to the mind-numbing frigidity of winter in Alaska.

Most industrial pipeline welders make between $44,000 and $83,000 per year, and some earn upwards of $133,500! However, these jobs are challenging and can be risky. It’s not unusual to be welding in strange places or standing in water, and anyone considering these jobs should have expertise, experience, and flexibility.

Welding Inspector

Welding inspectors oversee the welding work of welders to ensure that the work is of high quality and in compliance. The AWS offers inspector, associate inspector, and senior inspector certificates.

The salary of a certified welding inspector on averaged over $67,500 in a single year.

Welding Engineer

Welding engineers are skilled in the practical applications of welding, and they understand the welding process and the science behind it. To be a welder engineer, you should further your education to earn the degree of a bachelor’s in welding manufacturing, engineering, or some other related.

The salaries of welding engineers reported by averaged $77,344 per year.

Some Jobs Pay More Than Others

Are you skilled in welding and open to travel? You could make more money than the man working in the fab shop 10 miles away from his home.

Mazzulla explained that of the 2,500 job opportunities available at Hobart Institute graduates from 400 different employers, some job boards advertised the hourly rate of $40 and hourly rate of $85. Pipeline work is the norm, and welding school graduates must be willing to work wherever needed.

Salary for Independent Contractors

Many of the most highly-paid welding professionals are contractors. They buy their tools, and a truck loaded with their equipment and traverse the country in search of the highest-paying jobs, often on industrial pipelines.

Contract welding workers earn up to $75 per hour or more in primary infrastructure projects. But, a substantial portion of the payment must be used to cover the overhead expenses, which include:

  • Your transport
  • Tools
  • Protective equipment
  • Local and state taxes

Do Welders Make Good Money?

According to PayScale, welding professionals make a median wage of approximately $48,000 annually, which is $22.17 per hour. Welders on construction sites earn approximately $54,000 annually, which is $24.97 for an hour. This is an excellent bargain if you look at other jobs of similar level.


What’s the amount that welders earn? In welding, you could earn anywhere from $29,000 to $117,000 annually and a median annual income of $58,000. The level of education and experience factor into the amount a welder earns. Awe-inspiring skills and experience could make a difference in the money paid.

Welders generally require, at minimum, a High school diploma or GED however, special qualifications and training, like welding safety education, might be required for better pay. The growth in jobs for welders will be high and will result in around 14% more welders required in 2022. If you’re looking to enter welding, you won’t get it wrong, as there are jobs open, and the pay is decent.

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