Welder Salary

Men represent the vast majority of Welders in the United States. People in this role can earn an average of $16.44 per hour nationwide. The bottom of the pay range sits near $11.81 per hour, and the top verges on $24.92. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the company, though the particular city and years of experience have a (lesser) impact as well. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Welders. Some workers in this field — close to a fourth — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a fair number and dental plans are enjoyed by just over a half.

$27,232 - $75,559
(Median)
$27K
$41K
$76K
MEDIAN: $40,868
10%
50%
90%

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$11.81 - $24.92
(Median)
$12
$16
$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$26K$52K$78K
Salary
$27,232 - $75,559  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,984  
Profit Sharing
$195.74 - $6,500  
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).
)
$25,813 - $61,497  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 386
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
$11.81 - $24.92  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.49 - $1.61  
Overtime
$16.38 - $36.36  
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 - $1,984  
   
Profit Sharing
$195.74 - $6,500  
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).
)
$25,813 - $61,497  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,609

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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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Welders often transition into Certified Welding Inspector positions, for which compensation tends to be much higher. On average, Certified Welding Inspectors earn $58K per year. A Welder often moves on to become a Structural Metal Fabricator or a Welding Supervisor.

Welder, Cutter, Solderer, or Brazer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Welder


Many Welders can be found at Caterpillar, Inc., BAE Systems Inc., Wabash National Corporation, Steel Fab Company, and Huntington Ingalls Industries, firms that are at the top of the field. For Welders, comfortable salaries can be found at Caterpillar, Inc.; in fact, average earnings are around $53K, the highest in the area, though the difference in the company's lowest and highest employee paychecks ($29K versus $84K) is great. Other big spenders include General Electric Co (GE), Huntington Ingalls Industries, and Trinity Industries Inc, top-paying firms where Welders see paychecks nearing $49K, $45K, or $43K.

Steel Fab Company, Wabash National Corporation, and BAE Systems Inc. are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($35K, $39K, and $40K respectively).

Popular Skills for Welder


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, facility with Welder, Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), and Fluxed Core Arc Welding (FCAW) are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 23 percent, 9 percent, and 6 percent, respectively. Those educated in Metal Inert Gas Welding tend to be well versed in 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.


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $34K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $39K. Welders claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $42K. As Welders reach more than two decades on the job, compensation remains commensurate with experience; the average pay in this group is $46K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Welders, Houston provides a pay rate that is 25 percent greater than the national average. Welders will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+22 percent), Los Angeles (+22 percent), Dallas (+13 percent), and Seattle (+11 percent). Falling short of the national average by 14 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Cleveland. On the whole, employers pay 3 percent below the median salary for those in this field in Fort Worth and Denver.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Welder Salaries




National Average
$38,000


Skills That Affect Welder Salaries

Welder
up arrow 23%




Robotic Welding
up arrow 5%

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
up arrow 4%

Aluminum Welding
up arrow 4%

Arc Welding
up arrow 4%

Manufacturing Fabrication
up arrow 3%

Welding
up arrow 2%

Plasma Cutting
up arrow 2%

Blueprints
up arrow 1%

Pipe Welding
up arrow 1%

National Average
$38,000

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 678 votes.

Gender

Female
4 %
Male
96 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
16%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 71% dental benefits Dental: 52%
vision benefits Vision: 41% employee benefits None: 27%