Welder Salary

Welders in the United States are largely men, earning an average of $16.78 per hour. Pay generally varies between $11.98 per hour and $25.20. Overall cash earnings for Welders stretch from $26K on the lower end to $63K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $3K from bonuses and $6K from profit sharing. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the specific employer, followed by career duration and geographic location. Most Welders report high levels of job satisfaction. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, close to one-fourth are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by a fair number and dental insurance is reported by a little over a half.

$28,374 - $77,226
(Median)
$28K
$42K
$77K
MEDIAN: $41,948
10%
50%
90%

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$11.98 - $25.20
(Median)
$12
$17
$25
MEDIAN: $16.00
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$26K$52K$78K
Salary
$28,374 - $77,226  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,891  
Profit Sharing
$198.43 - $6,082  
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).
)
$26,150 - $63,301  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 616
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
$11.98 - $25.20  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $7.03  
Overtime
$16.93 - $37.13  
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
$0.00 - $2,891  
   
Commission
$0.00  
Profit Sharing
$198.43 - $6,082  
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).
)
$26,150 - $63,301  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 6,244
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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

  • 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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Many Welders move into a Certified Welding Inspector role, and folks who currently hold that position report a much higher median income of $58K per year. A common career progression for a Welder is to become a Welding Supervisor or a Manufacturing Production Supervisor. Compared to Welders, the first group earns $11K more on average, and the second group earns $12K more.

Welder, Cutter, Solderer, or Brazer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Welder


Caterpillar, Inc., Trinity Inc, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Great Dane Trailers LLC, and Wabash National Corporation are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Welders. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, National Oilwell Varco offers the most; Welders earn $50K on average there. General Electric Co (GE), Caterpillar, Inc., and Tenneco Inc also offer top salaries for Welders. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $48K, $44K, and $43K, respectively.

Other low-paying employers include Steel Fab Company at $35K and Trinity Inc at $37K, though some Welders there earn up to $63K.

Popular Skills for Welder


Welders seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Robotic Welding, Pipe Welding, Welder, and Shielded Metal Arc Welding are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 9 percent and 16 percent. Those educated in Metal Inert Gas Welding tend to be well versed in 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 Welders, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $35K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $40K. Welders claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $42K. After two decades in the workforce, the average Welder generally earns more than ever; median pay for this group is estimated at $47K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $38,794

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

For those looking to make money, Welders in Houston enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 23 percent above the national average. Welders will also find cushy salaries in Minneapolis (+19 percent), San Diego (+18 percent), Portland (+11 percent), and Seattle (+11 percent). Falling short of the national average by 6 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Atlanta. Below-median salaries also turn up in Chicago and Buffalo (6 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).

Welder Reviews

What is it like working as a Welder?

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.

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

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Experience Affects Welder Salaries




National Average
$39,000


Skills That Affect Welder Salaries

Robotic Welding
up arrow 16%


up arrow 9%





Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
up arrow 4%

Blueprints
up arrow 3%

Aluminum Welding
up arrow 3%

Welding
up arrow 2%

Manufacturing Fabrication
up arrow 2%

Plasma Cutting
up arrow 2%

National Average
$39,000

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
up arrow 1%

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding
up arrow 2%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 883 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

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