Welding Salary Guide | National Comparisons | How Much Do Welders Make in 2024

By Marcus Ari | Last Upload on February 10, 2023 | Home Welding Salaries Guide 2023

We have spent dozens of hours analyzing welding salaries more in-depth. The rise of structural projects both at a large scale and at home has increased the demand for all types of welders.

Many people don’t realize how vital welders are until they need one. Without welders, our world would be a very different place. They play a vital role in the construction industry, manufacturing industry, and even the automotive industry.

This overview will provide a brief overview of everything you need to know about a welding career and compensation.

Welding Careers | Quick Overview

  • Types of Welding Jobs
  • Pay by Fields
  • Salaries by State

An Introduction to Welding Careers & Salaries

Welding jobs take a lot of precision and skill. They essentially join two pieces of metal together using heat. To do this, the welder has to have a strong understanding of how metals work. This is because some metals are better for welding than others. For example, aluminum is a very popular metal to weld. However, it can be difficult to weld if the welder doesn’t have the proper tools and techniques.

How Much Do Beginner Welders Maker?

Welding Salaries Across AmericaMedian LowMedian High
Seattle, Washington$65,000$81,0000
Los Angeles, California$75,000$120,000
New York City, New York$55,000$97,000
Chicago, Illinois$46,000$72,000
Augusta, Maine$45,000$70,000
Houston, Texas$44,000$72,000
Atlanta, Georgia$65,000$80,000

source: U.S. BLS

Welding Career Fields

Although the essential practice of welding remains similar, there are specialties that welding jobs can include.

Below are some of those examples:

  • Pipe welding
  • Shipyard welding
  • Construction welding
  • Aerospace welding
  • Underwater welding

Welding is a process that has to be learned and perfected. Many schools across the country offer certification in welding. Top paying sectors in welding include nuclear welding, underwater, and automotive. Consider researching a specific sector that you’re passionate about to see what the job outlook and salary are like. However, expect to spend several months of on-the-job training with any welding career path you take.

How Much Do Welders Make?

The welding pay, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), was $22.60 per hour or roughly $47,010 per year in 2021. However, welding salaries are contingent on several factors.

First, entry-level welders make significantly less than those with experience. Secondly, your area of expertise will also factor in how much you make. For instance, the work that rig welders do is considered to be more dangerous. If they make a mistake, they could end up putting themselves and others in danger. As a result, they make a higher hourly wage to account for the risks they take along with the difficult nature of the position.

  • Best Welding Jobs for Beginners- Every day, there are hundreds of searches online for welding jobs with no experience. You can get into this field with basic classes and no formal training. However, you get the necessary skills required during a trade-school program that will often combine your courses with the training to start as a welder. MIG welding tends to be the most straightforward welding for beginners to learn, and they can earn a decent salary as they gain more experience.
  • Welding With Experience- Some of the best-paying welding jobs are available for individuals with industry experience and/or specialty areas. Usually, it does take about 5-7 years of experience in your welding specialization before you see the higher paying salaries. The nature of the work, like traveling, long hours, and the risk of injury, are all reasons employers are willing to pay more.

Another attractive part of this growing field is having the opportunity to explore different welding careers throughout your journey.

For example, did you know that there are more than 100 kinds of welding out there, but the most common is probably ARC or MIG welding?

Seattle has the Highest Demand for Professional Welders out of all the cities in the U.S.

Pictured Right: Welders in Seattle finish a new project south of Pike Place Market in 2018

What Cities In The U.S. Pay Most For Welding?

Let’s look at some popular places across the country where welding jobs are in demand and pay higher.

Best welding jobs in Seattle: Some of the highest-paying welding jobs in Seattle range between $20-$38 an hour, or between $55,000-$71,000 a year.
Alaska: Some of the best welding jobs in Alaska pay more than 43 dollars an hour, or over $80,000 because rig welders are in demand due to the oil industry.

How much do welders make in Los Angeles?

L.A.’s highest-paid welders can more than $75,000 per year, and there is a saturation of high-paying opportunities for growth because of earthquake renovation and prevention projects.

Chicago, IL: Average welding jobs pay about $46,000 a year in Chicago, with the top ten percent earning about 60K.
Baton Rouge, LA: Welders here make more than $30 an hour on average, or over $64,000 per year. Also, there are over 3,000 positions that currently need to be filled.
Houston, TX: We often refer to Texas as the “home of the welders,” and that statement holds true in Texas. There are nearly 18,000 welding jobs available here, and you’ll earn about $5,000 more than the national average.
Augusta, ME: Maine has a very high concentration of jobs available in the welding industry. Augusta welders make around $50,000 a year, but there is substantial opportunity for growth because of all the manufacturing facilities and shipbuilding yards.

FAQs – Welding Careers & Salaries

How long does it take to become a welder? 

It can depend on the level of certification you’re going for. However, most welding schools will take 6-12 months to complete.

Is welding a good career? 

Yes, welding is an excellent career choice. It’s a skilled trade that is in high demand across many industries.

What are the risks of being a welder? 

Some of the risks associated with welding include burns, fires, and explosions. However, these risks can be mitigated by following safety protocols and proper training.

Is welding a dangerous job? 

Welding does take a lot of precision and practice. If you enjoy hands-on work out of an office setting, this career could be right for you.

What’s the job outlook like? 

The job outlook for welders is good, which is expected to grow about eight percent over the next ten years.

Where can I get information about becoming a welder? 

You can research welding programs in your area to start training courses and hands-on experience via technical or trade schools. Check out our guide on the best welding projects for beginners

That’s it thanks for reading!

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Don’t forget to check out the best welding helmets for beginners!

Miller 281000 Digital Elite Black Welding Helmet
Industry Standard Lense Options Amazon

Based in Euclid, Ohio , founded in 1895. Lincoln is is an American multi-national and global manufacturer of welding products, arc welding equipment, welding consumables, plasma and oxy-fuel cutting equipment and robotic welding systems.

ESAB SENTINEL A50 Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
Industry Standard Lense Options Amazon

The ESAB Sentinel A50 when it comes to low amp TIG and modern features. The auto-darkening lense is superior to most helmets in its price range. Not to mention it’s sleek design!