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Welder Salary

Men account for the majority of Welders in the United States. The overall average income for this group is approximately $16.46 per hour. Pay generally varies between $11.82 per hour and $24.94. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the particular firm, followed by geography and years of experience. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. While roughly one in four report receiving no health benefits, a strong majority do receive medical coverage, and a little more than half have dental, as well. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$27,355 - $77,391
(Median)
$27K
$41K
$77K
MEDIAN: $41,289
10%
50%
90%

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$11.82 - $24.94
(Median)
$12
$16
$25
MEDIAN: $16.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Salary
$27,355 - $77,391  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,003  
Profit Sharing
$192.98 - $5,182  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$25,767 - $61,758  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 412
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$11.82 - $24.94  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.50 - $2.25  
Overtime
$16.45 - $36.48  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,003  
   
Profit Sharing
$192.98 - $5,182  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$25,767 - $61,758  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,854

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Job Description for Welder

Welders work in metal and manufacturing industries. They must be well-trained as their job of fastening different pieces of metal together can be very dangerous. They perform a job in producing just about any metal product a person may see that has joints, hinges, or is a combination of different pieces of metal.

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Welder Tasks

  • Follow blueprints to arrange metal pieces and temporarily fix them into position before welding.
  • Safely set up and operate welding machines and other shop equipment.
  • Cut or join together metal pieces using manual or semi-automatic welding machines.

Common Career Paths for Welder


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Welders who move on to become Certified Welding Inspectors may enjoy significant pay raises, as Certified Welding Inspectors get paid an average of $58K per year. Becoming a Structural Metal Fabricator or a Welding Supervisor is often the next step for a Welder.

Welder, Cutter, Solderer, or Brazer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Welder


Caterpillar, Inc., Wabash National Corporation, BAE Systems Inc., Huntington Ingalls Industries, and Great Dane Trailers LLC are among the top companies that take on many Welders. Although Caterpillar, Inc. leads the field in pay with a median salary of $53K, employees there receive a wide spread of salaries, from $29K on the low end all the way up to $84K at the top. Other employers shelling out big bucks include General Electric Co (GE), Huntington Ingalls Industries, and Trinity Industries Inc, where Welders typically earn around $49K, $44K, or $43K, respectively.

Workers at Steel Fab Company, Wabash National Corporation, and BAE Systems Inc. also face smaller salaries than the rest of the field — average earnings for these employers come to $35K, $36K, and $40K respectively.

Popular Skills for Welder


Welders seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Welder, Robotic Welding, and Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 23 percent, 10 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. Those proficient in Metal Inert Gas Welding are, more often than not, also skilled in Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding, Fluxed Core Arc Welding (FCAW), and Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW).

Pay by Experience Level for Welder

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Welders, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. The average beginner in this position makes around $34K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $39K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Welders make a median salary of $42K. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $47K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Welders in Houston enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 25 percent above the national average. Welders can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Diego (+23 percent), Los Angeles (+22 percent), Dallas (+12 percent), and Seattle (+12 percent). Falling short of the national average by 14 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Cleveland. Workers in Denver and Fort Worth earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (5 percent less and 4 percent less, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Welder Salaries




National Average
$38,000


Skills That Affect Welder Salaries

Welder
up arrow 23%

Robotic Welding
up arrow 10%





Aluminum Welding
up arrow 4%

Arc Welding
up arrow 4%

Welding
up arrow 2%

Manufacturing Fabrication
up arrow 2%

Blueprints
up arrow 2%

Plasma Cutting
up arrow 2%

Pipe Welding
up arrow 1%

National Average
$38,000

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 687 votes.

Gender

Female
4 %
Male
96 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
16%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 71% dental benefits Dental: 52%
vision benefits Vision: 40% employee benefits None: 27%
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