Welder Salary

Very much a male-dominated career in the United States, Welders earn an average of $16.54 per hour. Earnings sit near $11.87 per hour on the lower side but can approach $24.99 on the higher side. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the specific employer, followed by the particular city and years of experience. Work is enjoyable for Welders, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, nearly one-fourth are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by a fair number and dental insurance is reported by over one-half.

$27,679 - $78,504
(Median)
$28K
$41K
$79K
MEDIAN: $41,249
10%
50%
90%

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$11.87 - $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
$27,679 - $78,504  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,026  
Profit Sharing
$194.71 - $5,144  
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).
)
$25,825 - $61,806  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 449
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
$11.87 - $24.99  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.50 - $2.21  
Overtime
$16.52 - $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 - $2,026  
   
Profit Sharing
$194.71 - $5,144  
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).
)
$25,825 - $61,806  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 4,323
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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. It is quite typical for Welders to transition into roles as Welding Supervisors or Manufacturing Production Supervisors, where reported median earnings are $10K and $12K higher per year.

Welder, Cutter, Solderer, or Brazer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Welder


Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Welders include Caterpillar, Inc., Wabash National Corporation, BAE Systems Inc., Huntington Ingalls Industries, and Great Dane Trailers LLC. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, National Oilwell Varco offers the most; Welders earn $50K on average there. Other leaders in compensation levels are General Electric Co (GE) at $49K, Caterpillar, Inc. at $44K, and Huntington Ingalls Industries, where Welders annually earn $44K.

Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Trinity Inc ($34K), Steel Fab Company ($35K), and Wabash National Corporation ($36K).

Popular Skills for Welder


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set 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. The majority of those who know Metal Inert Gas Welding also 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.


Welders with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $35K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $39K. Welders bring in $42K after working for 10 to 20 years. Old hands boasting more than twenty years of relevant experience report pay that is more or less commensurate with that extensive experience; average earnings for this group come out to approximately $46K.

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 will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+21 percent), Tulsa (+13 percent), Seattle (+11 percent), and Los Angeles (+11 percent). In Cleveland, salaries are 14 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Employers also pay below the national average in Atlanta (8 percent lower) and Chicago (7 percent lower).

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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%






Arc Welding
up arrow 4%

Blueprints
up arrow 4%

Manufacturing Fabrication
up arrow 3%

Aluminum Welding
up arrow 3%

Plasma Cutting
up arrow 3%

Welding
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 703 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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