Welder Salary

Men make up the majority of Welders in the United States, bringing in about $16.78 per hour. Compensation ranges between $11.98 per hour and $25.20. Final cash compensation to Welders varies from around $26K to approximately $63K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $3K and $6K, respectively. The particular firm is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience and geography. For the most part, Welders enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Some workers in this field — close to one-fourth — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a strong majority and dental plans are enjoyed 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. Welding Supervisors or Manufacturing Production Supervisors are common next-step roles for Welders moving up in their careers; annual pay for Welding Supervisors is $11K higher on average, and it's $12K higher for Manufacturing Production Supervisors.

Welder, Cutter, Solderer, or Brazer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Welder


Welders fill the offices of leading firms Caterpillar, Inc., Trinity Inc, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Great Dane Trailers LLC, and Wabash National Corporation. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, National Oilwell Varco offers the most; Welders earn $50K on average there. Welders can also look forward to large paychecks at General Electric Co (GE) ($48K), Caterpillar, Inc. ($44K), and Tenneco Inc ($43K).

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Steel Fab Company at $35K, and Trinity Inc where $37K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Welders there earn up to $63K.

Popular Skills for Welder


Survey takers working as Welders report using a large range of professional skills. 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. It is often found that people who know Metal Inert Gas Welding are also skilled 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. The average beginner in this position makes around $35K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $40K. On average, Welders make $42K following one to two decades on the job. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $47K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $38,794

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

For Welders, busy Houston offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 23 percent above the national average. Welders can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like 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. Workers in Chicago and Buffalo earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (6 percent less and 4 percent less, respectively).

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
$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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