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.

$25,673 - $80,911
$26K
$44K
$81K
MEDIAN: $44,127
10%
50%
90%

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$12.31 - $25.59
$12
$17
$26
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$25,673 - $80,911  
   
Bonus
$241.51 - $5,119  
Profit Sharing
$201.34 - $10,213  
Commission
$0.00  
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).
)
$26,797 - $65,095  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 675
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$12.31 - $25.59  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.07 - $9.10  
Overtime
$17.82 - $38.51  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$241.51 - $5,119  
   
Commission
$0.00  
Profit Sharing
$201.34 - $10,213  
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).
)
$26,797 - $65,095  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 6,714

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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.

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Welder Tasks

  • 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


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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

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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

National Average: $39,697

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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).

Welder Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Welder?

Welder in Amarillo:
"City Machine and Welding."
Pros: City Machine and Welding gives unique and helpful experience to employees. They offer consistent and reliable scheduling and operation. They take safety seriously and have a thorough hiring and review system.
Cons: City Machine and Welding has unique operations and products. This means many employees which enter are not experienced in their particular department area. City Machine hires a competent and learnable employee and pays them a "trainee" rate, since they are merely starting in the industry. However, the company trains the employee and gives them skills and responsibilities worth much more than a trainee's pay. Once the skills and duties have been developed and the employee functions at an experienced level, there is no increase in pay. The company continually adds to the training and value to the employee, yet the employee receives none of that increase in value. The company also neglects to ensure that proper equipment is available to tradesman to properly complete delicate processes (I.e. Proper welding equipment for stainless steel tube GTAW welding). This problem cannot be remedied by experienced tradesman offering solutions or alternatives.

Welder in Trumbull:
Pros: Learning something new everyday. Being kept busy. Offering my knowledge to bring the work environment up to current levels.
Cons: Unknowledgable engineers.

Welder in St. Louis:
"Jack of all trades."
Pros: I get to make my own blueprint to work off of, whatever I can dream up in my head to meet a task I can make. I'm much more than a welder here I do it all from engine rebuilds to carpentry.
Cons: Unfair wages in comparison to other employees and their amount of work they do each day if any at all, and the bosses allow it.

Welder in Spokane:
"Pride."
Pros: Just being able to tell people that I was a Certified Welder at 20 years old was very prideful.
Cons: I have worked as a welder/fitter for over a year. I have learned the business, and the way things are there. I got forklift certified, I am First Aid and CPR certified, as well as a crane operator, over head crane operator, travel life operator and I am able to use basic saws and sawyer tools. I have NOT been hired on yet, they have laid me off before, they have NOT given me any benefits or compensation, and they have moved me around constantly from operator, to welder, to fitter, to sawyer, to laborer and back over again. I have not gotten a raise and they still expect me to work day in and day out. I do not agree with this. I believe I should be able to get hired on, and paid a little better and treated a little better than this since I have put the effort into learning everything there as well as working hard and fast.

Welder in Houston:
"Fairly new."
Pros: I enjoy the aspect where I can get lost in the job. I can zone out of the world and focus on what needs to get done. No distractions, just the weld.
Cons:

Welder in Logan:
"Builds roller coasters."
Pros: I like the people in all the departments, we have company events every month to keep morale high and I enjoy the quality of work we do in the weld shop.
Cons: Low pay is the biggest con for me, everything else is excellent.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Welder

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 849 votes.
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
14%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Welder Salaries




National Average
$40,000


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 849 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 70%
dental benefits
Dental: 52%
vision benefits
Vision: 42%
dental benefits
None: 28%
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