Men account for the majority of Welders in the United States. The overall average income for this group is approximately $17.31 per hour. Pay ranges from $12.31 per hour on the low end to $25.59 on the high end. Total incomes of Welders incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $5K from bonuses and close to $10K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $27K and $65K. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the company and experience level. Most Welders like their work and job satisfaction is high. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, just under a third are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by more than half and dental insurance is reported by over one-half. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale 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 go on to become Certified Welding Inspectors may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Certified Welding Inspectors is $59K annually. Becoming a Structural Metal Fabricator or a Welding Supervisor is a common transition from a Welder role.
Welder, Cutter, Solderer, or Brazer Job Listings
Search for more jobs:
Popular Employer Salaries for Welder
Welders fill the offices of leading firms Trinity Inc, Caterpillar, Inc., General Electric Co (GE), Huntington Ingalls Industries, and FreightCar America. Valmont Industries, Inc. leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $52K. Those in search of high salaries should also consider General Dynamics Electric Boat, Huntington Ingalls Industries, and Caterpillar, Inc., top-paying firms where Welders rake in a respectable $51K, $50K, or $45K, respectively.
Great Dane Trailers LLC, BAE Systems Inc. and FreightCar America are three other employers with a reputation for below-average pay, showing salaries around $39K, $40K, and $40K.
Popular Skills for Welder
Welders report using a deep pool of skills on the job. 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 16 percent. Most people who know Metal Inert Gas Welding also 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.
Welders with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $36K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $41K. Welders with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $44K. As Welders reach more than two decades on the job, compensation remains commensurate with experience; the average pay in this group is $48K.
Pay Difference by Location
Surpassing the national average by 38 percent, Welders in Seattle receive some of the highest pay in the country. Welders will also find cushy salaries in New York (+38 percent), San Diego (+17 percent), Houston (+17 percent), and Fort Worth (+16 percent). With compensation 12 percent below the national average, Atlanta is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Employers also pay below the national average in Indianapolis (11 percent lower) and Chicago (8 percent lower).
Related Job Salaries
Key Stats for Welder
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 849 votes.