Men make up the majority of Welders in the United States, bringing in about $17.26 per hour. The income range spans the entire spectrum between $12.24 per hour and $25.55. Final cash compensation to Welders varies from around $27K to approximately $65K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $5K and $12K, respectively. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer and experience level. While some workers in this profession — slightly less than a third — do not have any health coverage, a strong majority do receive medical benefits and a little more than half have dental insurance. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$25,913 - $79,849
(Median)
$26K
$44K
$80K
MEDIAN: $44,314
10%
50%
90%

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$12.24 - $25.55
(Median)
$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
$25,913 - $79,849  
   
Bonus
$242.17 - $5,060  
Profit Sharing
$200.00 - $11,711  
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).
)
$26,722 - $64,876  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 645
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
$12.24 - $25.55  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.07 - $9.20  
Overtime
$17.68 - $38.41  
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
$242.17 - $5,060  
   
Commission
$0.00  
Profit Sharing
$200.00 - $11,711  
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).
)
$26,722 - $64,876  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 6,449
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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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Welders who move on to become Certified Welding Inspectors may enjoy significant pay raises, as Certified Welding Inspectors get paid an average of $59K per year. Becoming a Structural Metal Fabricator or a Welding Supervisor is often the next step for a Welder.

Welder, Cutter, Solderer, or Brazer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Welder


Trinity Inc, General Electric Co (GE), Caterpillar, Inc., Tenneco Inc, and Great Dane Trailers LLC are all popular places to work. Huntington Ingalls Industries leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $48K. Welders will also find cushy salaries at Valmont Industries, Inc. (+$46K), National Oilwell Varco (+$45K), and General Electric Co (GE) (+$45K).

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Steel Fab Company at $37K, and Great Dane Trailers LLC where $38K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Welders there earn up to $68K.

Popular Skills for Welder


Survey results imply that Welders deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. 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 15 percent. Those familiar with Metal Inert Gas Welding also tend to 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.


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. The average beginner in this position makes around $36K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $41K. Welders claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $43K. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $47K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $39,513

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

Welders will find that New York offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 41 percent. Welders can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+32 percent), San Diego (+19 percent), Houston (+15 percent), and Fort Worth (+14 percent). Indianapolis is the lowest-paying area, 10 percent south of the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Chicago and Atlanta (6 percent less).

Welder Reviews

What is it like working as a Welder?

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.

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.

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Experience Affects Welder Salaries




National Average
$40,000


Skills That Affect Welder Salaries

Robotic Welding
up arrow 15%




Fluxed Core Arc Welding (FCAW)
up arrow 4%

Welder
up arrow 4%

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
up arrow 3%

Arc Welding
up arrow 3%

Welding
up arrow 2%

Blueprints
up arrow 2%

Aluminum Welding
up arrow 2%

Manufacturing Fabrication
up arrow 1%

Plasma Cutting
up arrow 1%

Fabrication
0%

National Average
$40,000

Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 788 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 70%
dental benefits
Dental: 53%
medical benefits
Vision: 42%
dental benefits
None: 28%
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