Men make up the majority of Welders in the United States, bringing in about $17.26 per hour. The income range spans the entire spectrum between $12.24 per hour and $25.55. Final cash compensation to Welders varies from around $27K to approximately $65K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $5K and $12K, respectively. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer and experience level. While some workers in this profession — slightly less than a third — do not have any health coverage, a strong majority do receive medical benefits and a little more than half have dental insurance. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
Job Description for Welder
A welder fuses materials, such as steel and aluminum, together to create mechanisms or to fix things that are broken. Some jobs require past experience, while others offer on the job training for entry-level welders. Manual dexterity and the ability to use hand and power tools is needed. Attention to detail is also important to make sure that the job is done right. Mathematical skills are important to carry out calculations and measurements, so that the alignment and dimensions of items being welded are done properly. Various welding equipment, will be used, such as stick welders and cutting torches. In some jobs, the ability to use CAD software is essential. It is also often a requirement to be able to read sketches and blueprints. Much of the work is done independently, so it is important to be self-motivated. This job can be physically strenuous, and the work environment can sometimes be loud and uncomfortable.Read More...
Some things that may get welded are automotive parts, pipes, and electronic components. There are various types of welding techniques, and a welder may specialize in one or more types, such as shielded metal arc or gas metal arc. In some jobs, the ability to use an industrial welding robot is a requirement.
A high school diploma may need to be presented as a minimum educational requirement. Some positions require that the welder has completed a program of schooling related to welding.
- Cut or join together metal pieces using manual or semi-automatic welding machines.
- Safely set up and operate welding machines and other shop equipment.
- Follow blueprints to arrange metal pieces and temporarily fix them into position before welding.
Common Career Paths for Welder
Welders who move on to become Certified Welding Inspectors may enjoy significant pay raises, as Certified Welding Inspectors get paid an average of $59K 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
Trinity Inc, General Electric Co (GE), Caterpillar, Inc., Tenneco Inc, and Great Dane Trailers LLC are all popular places to work. Huntington Ingalls Industries leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $48K. Welders will also find cushy salaries at Valmont Industries, Inc. (+$46K), National Oilwell Varco (+$45K), and General Electric Co (GE) (+$45K).
Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Steel Fab Company at $37K, and Great Dane Trailers LLC where $38K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Welders there earn up to $68K.
Popular Skills for Welder
Survey results imply that Welders deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Robotic Welding, Pipe Welding, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, and Tungsten Inert Gas Welding are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 8 percent and 15 percent. Those familiar with Metal Inert Gas Welding also tend to know Fluxed Core Arc Welding (FCAW), Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding, 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.
More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. The average beginner in this position makes around $36K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $41K. Welders claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $43K. 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
Welders will find that New York offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 41 percent. Welders can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+32 percent), San Diego (+19 percent), Houston (+15 percent), and Fort Worth (+14 percent). Indianapolis is the lowest-paying area, 10 percent south of the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Chicago and Atlanta (6 percent less).