What Is The Average Salary Of A Welder?

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Working as a welder is one career option that allows you to work with your hands and work outside. Yes, there is the passion part, but good pay often keeps the passion running. Thus the concerns on the average salary of a welder are often arising.

But did you know that depending on your experience and where you work, you could earn up to $100k annually with not more than a school diploma while you do what you love? We would give you a guide on how much to expect from a career as a welder.

Welder Salary In The United States

The national average annual welder salary is about $30,500 and $64,808 or between $17 and $35 hourly. However, as a welder, the opportunities opened to you are limitless, and you can earn more. You could choose to work with a company as an employee that constantly pays for your work per hour, or you could work as an independent contract welder. While working as an employee might pay less than working independently, it offers job security, some cash compensation, and several employee benefits.

Your location could also affect how much you can earn as the average salary varies across states. For instance, in New York, the average hourly wage of $20.75 and an annual average welder salary of $43,166, while welders in North Carolina earn a little above $13 hourly and a yearly salary of $27,477.

Salary Of A Welder In The United States By Level

Welders with more years of experience, expertise, and skill would undoubtedly earn more than beginners or entry-level welders. The duties assigned at each level vary, as do the salary expectations.

Senior-level Welder Earnings Begin At $26 To About $34 Per Hour 

Senior-level welders are very skilled welders with at least 6 years of experience. On average, a senior welder should earn about $29 per hour, bringing the annual payment to $64,240. This range in the salary expectation is also dependent on the level of education of the welder, the certification, and any additional skills they have.

Mid-level Welder Earnings Begin At $15 Per Hour 

A mid-career or mid-career welder has spent between 4 and 6 years in the career and most probably has a welding certificate or a four-year college degree. For this type of welder, the annual wage is about $19 as an hourly wage and a yearly sum of $42,500

Junior-level Welder Earnings Begin At $15 Per Hour 

A junior-level welder or an entry-level welder is new on the block and practically trains on the job while assisting a senior welder. As such, the pay is about $15 as an hourly wage and an annual sum of $30,500

Underwater Vs. Topside Welding; Which Pays More?

Underwater welding requires that the welder dives into the water to carry out its operations. This is usually needed when welding sea vessels or offshore machines. Alternatively, topside welding requires that the materials be welded on the surface before being submerged. Underwater welders are also referred to as diver welders, and a topside welder could sometimes be called a surface welder.

As earlier mentioned, possessing specialized welding skills and the complexity of the task affect how much you would be paid, so welding projects that require diving pay more than topside welding.

Underwater Welder Salary

Jobs in underwater welding are the highest paying welding jobs globally, depending on what specific duty the welder performs. In contrast, the pay range for underwater welders is between $30,700 and $83,730, with the median salary around $53,990; some underwater welders earn more than $300,000 annually. 

The range is seemingly wide because there are many considerations taken into account for each work. For example, the diving experience of the welder can affect how much such would be paid. Other factors that affect the salary of the underwater welder are

  • The experience
  • Education
  • Certification
  • Dive methods
  • The depth at which the work would be done
  • The metal structures to be welded
  • Distance from the shore
  • Underwater welding equipment
  • Overtime

Certifications Are The Key To Earning A High Salary In The Welding Industry

To land high-paying jobs, you have to show how qualified you are for the role. Certifications are the key to earning a high salary in the welding industry as it marks a person out as competent enough for the job. These also prove the professionalism and versatility of a welder while increasing your chances of landing a stable welding job.

If you are passionate about a career in welding, these welding certifications are must-haves;

  • Certified welder
  • Certified welding inspector certification
  • Certified resistance welding technician certification
  • Certified radiographic interpreter certification
  • Certified welding educator certification
  • Certified welding Supervisors certification


Can A Welder Make 100k?

A welder can make $100,000 and well over that depending on where they work, the complexity, and their skill. Prominent examples are welders that work in military support welders, nuclear welders, and welding business owners that can make more than $100,000 annually. To get this, you would have to be on the lookout for the highest-paying welding opportunities as they come.

What Is A Good Salary For Welders?

The median salary annually for welders in the United States is $42,000.

How Much Does A 1st-year Welder Make?

It is not uncommon for most entry-level or 1st-year welders to earn a median wage of $15 per hour and a minimum yearly salary of $30,500, depending on the industry. However, the amount increases with experiences and certification acquired.

What Welder Gets Paid The Most?

The highest-paid welders are welders in complex work areas such as underwater environments. Examples are Rig welders and pipeline welders, who are the highest-paid welders with some earning above $200,000 annually. Because they would be working offshore, and a slight mistake can make or mar the system, companies only hire experienced welders for this role and compensate them well enough.

What Is The Average Welder’s Salary?

The average salary of welders in the US is $17.73 per hour, bringing the average annual salary to about $42,190. Some welders earn more than this amount, and yet others earn less, though.

How Much Would An Experienced Welder Make?

Experienced welders in the top-level welder earnings in the United States get as high as an hourly wage of $30.89 and an annual salary of $64,240.

What Kind Of Welder Gets Paid The Most?

A welder with highly competitive skills, the right experience, and the required certifications would get paid the most. Some companies that involve hazardous workplaces or a certain high level of perfection, such as pipe welders, could also pay a welder more.

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