Welder Salary

Men make up the majority of Welders in the United States, bringing in about $16.55 per hour. Earnings generally vary between $11.88 per hour and $24.99. The specific employer is the main element affecting pay for this group — geography and tenure are driving factors as well. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — approximately one in four lack coverage. On the flip side, a strong majority have medical insurance and over one-half receive dental plans. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$27,739 - $78,380
(Median)
$28K
$41K
$78K
MEDIAN: $41,384
10%
50%
90%

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$11.88 - $24.99
(Median)
$12
$17
$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$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$27,739 - $78,380  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,037  
Profit Sharing
$195.07 - $5,135  
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).
)
$25,829 - $61,907  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 453
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
$11.88 - $24.99  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.50 - $2.21  
Overtime
$16.53 - $36.49  
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 - $2,037  
   
Profit Sharing
$195.07 - $5,135  
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).
)
$25,829 - $61,907  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 4,397
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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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Advancing into a Certified Welding Inspector role seems to be a popular career move for Welders, and folks who currently work in the latter position report a notably larger median income of $58K per year. Welders moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as Welding Supervisors or Manufacturing Production Supervisors. The median paychecks in those roles are $10K higher and $12K higher, respectively.

Welder, Cutter, Solderer, or Brazer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Welder


Known for taking on a considerable number of Welders, Caterpillar, Inc., Wabash National Corporation, BAE Systems Inc., Huntington Ingalls Industries, and Great Dane Trailers LLC are leading firms in the industry. For Welders, comfortable salaries can be found at National Oilwell Varco; in fact, median earnings sit around $50K, the highest in the area. Those in search of high salaries should also consider General Electric Co (GE), Caterpillar, Inc., and Huntington Ingalls Industries, top-paying firms where Welders rake in a $49K, $44K, or $44K, respectively.

Trinity Inc, Steel Fab Company, and Wabash National Corporation also rank near the bottom for pay, handing out $34K, $35K, and $36K-paychecks on average.

Popular Skills for Welder


Welders seem to exploit a large range of 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 22 percent, 15 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. Those familiar with Metal Inert Gas Welding also tend to know 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 many Welders, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $35K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $39K. Welders who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $42K. In the end, the overall pattern seems to be that more experience generally corresponds to higher pay; a Welder with more than 20 years of experience can earn $46K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for Welders that is 26 percent greater than the national average, Houston offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Welders can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Diego (+18 percent), Tulsa (+13 percent), Dallas (+12 percent), and Seattle (+11 percent). Atlanta ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 10 percent below the national average. Workers in Chicago and Pittsburgh earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (6 percent less and 3 percent less, respectively).

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Experience Affects Welder Salaries




National Average
$38,000


Skills That Affect Welder Salaries

Welder
up arrow 22%

Robotic Welding
up arrow 15%






Aluminum Welding
up arrow 4%

Arc Welding
up arrow 4%

Manufacturing Fabrication
up arrow 3%

Blueprints
up arrow 3%

Welding
up arrow 2%

Plasma Cutting
up arrow 2%

National Average
$38,000

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 705 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 71% dental benefits Dental: 53%
vision benefits Vision: 41% employee benefits None: 27%
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