In 2021, the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics published that welder’s average annual wage is $47,010. These wages vary with location, how skillful and expert you are in your field, and which type of welder you are. Welding is a vast field to select as a career. A lot of career paths lead you to become a welder. The path you choose to become a welder depends upon your skill and how much money you want to make on that path. This article will also lead you to find the career path of the welder if you have not entered this field and even if you are interested to know that whether welders make good money or not, in which country welders are highly paid, what are different most highly paid welding jobs.
Welding is much more than simply joining two metal pieces together. It is a practicable profession where one can work in a wide range of settings. Welders carry out a variety of tasks. Some of them work underwater to build ships and maintain oil equipment. Pipelines that carry oil and gas for thousands of miles also need welding work. So, some welders work on those pipelines. Some other welders are known as aerospace welders and robotics welders. Aerospace welders work on rockets and aircraft and robotics work on robots. There are many careers and welding jobs other than these which you can choose.
1. Types of Welders
The first factor on which your wage depends is what type of welder you are and in which welding career you are. Pay rate is directly related to the risk factor involved in the job. Let’s make a list of highest-paid welding jobs in ascending manner.
The highest paying welding job is underwater welders. Welders need to be water lovers as their employment is on the ocean floor. There are various options under this category also. Welders can work in oil drilling, maintaining Pipelines, building ships, shipbuilding, and ensuring that there is no leak in projects that are submerged.
This is the most dangerous welding field because you don’t have to perform your duty but also work on your body to make it strong enough to work in these conditions. Welders need to be in excellent physical shape, as well as get top training and certification, due to the conditions underwater welders deal with. So, first, they need to be a master welder on land. Secondly, they need to get a certificate in scuba diving. A scuba diving certificate needs specific no. Of dives.
After these training and certifications, welders are ready to start their careers as underwater welders. The average annual salary for underwater welders in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was $92,290.
Industrial Pipe Welders
Industrial pipe welders are the second highest paid welders in the industry. A wide range of pipes like gas, chemical, oil, and power generators are handled by industrial pipe welders. Periodic maintenance is required for these pipes to keep their functions smooth and to avoid any inconvenience.
Oil corporations and “Green” businesses are expanding at the fastest rate. So, industrial pipeline welders are highly demanded in near future. This is another riskiest field in the welding industry. Welders need to go into any environment to provide services. The environment can be the hottest or coldest.
Your body needs to be flexible regarding bearing different environments as well as different awkward postures. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021, pipeline welders for crude oil made an average salary of $87,900, while those for natural gas made an average salary of $80,560.
Certified Welding Inspector
Construction-related welding work is mostly done by Certified welding inspectors. So, CWI has a wider range of options to select where they want to work and what company they want to select to pursue their career. Their duties are to maintain standards in the construction industry, make sure that specific guidelines are followed, check the welding material quality, inspect the welding calibrations, and inspect the equipment used in construction like cables, machines, and regulators.
Most of these responsibilities are quality control and safety oriented. Welders must have 5 years’ experience to achieve this certified welding inspector’s level. This is an extremely sensitive job. Because if someone gets injured due to any fault in the project, CWI will be responsible for that. Certified welding inspectors’ pay rate shows the importance of their position and career. According to PayScale statistics 2021, certified welding inspectors are usually paid $70,459 annually.
The fourth most highly paid welders are structural welders. Designing and building the metal skeleton for diverse structures, such as bridges and skyscrapers, is the responsibility of structural welders. They are also in charge of fixing and putting together metal parts like beams and columns. They need to be detail-oriented and should pay special attention to the minors involved in their structures.
These welders also need to have their bodies in the best of physical conditions. As per the Indeed Job search, structural welders need to be experts in stick and flux welding. They must have at least a high school diploma to start their career. According to indeed, their average yearly base salary in the U.S is $56,341.
2. Experience Level
The second major factor that affects the wage rate is experience level and how skillful the welder is. Like with most careers, your income will increase as you gain experience. According to indeed, the average welder’s pay in the United States is $17.90, this figure applies to all welders who were surveyed, regardless of their degree of expertise. Here are three experience levels at what you can expect to be paid by employers.
According to Indeed, entry-level welders are paid at least 7.25 per hour. At this level, the welder must need to have a general education diploma to start his career, otherwise at least a high school diploma. Secondly, they need to earn a welding certificate. For this, they need to attend a 6-18 months welding program. The third and most important step is to find a position where they can work as an apprentice. This will help them to learn the job. Pass an American Welding School exam to have a full welding certificate.
Welders can make an average hourly wage of $17.90 in their mid-careers as per Indeed search. They are experienced welders who have been working in the field for a while. Despite not being labeled advanced, they have more experience than entry-level welders and are therefore better qualified. Their increased experience is what entitles them to a greater wage. Welders who are midway through their careers are also more inclined to assume greater responsibility than new hires.
Welders with experience can earn up to $35.45 per hour as per Indeed search. A skilled welder needs both academic understanding and practical expertise in using welding tools and performing various welding tasks. In this field, a skilled welder is regarded as advanced. As a result, you receive greater compensation in line with your level of expertise. The more experience you have, as with most occupations, the more responsibility you’ll be given.
The third and last factor that affects the wage rate is location. Investigate this factor like which states are paying high and where the welders are highly demanded can change the pay rate ultimately. For instance, Texas is the best place for welders to get highly paid jobs as it is a hub of oil and petroleum. So, industrial pipeline welders can pursue their careers in Texas.
According to Emsi Alaska is the most highly paid state for welders where all welders are in demand. The average hourly pay rate in this state is $31.04. After Alaska, New Mexico and Wyoming are the most closed highly paid states. Hawaii and North Dakota were also included in highly paid states but lately, they fall into lower categories. But another important factor is the cost of living in those states. How much do welders need to spend their earnings on the cost of living? There is a possibility that a state which is highly paid for welders but at the same time, it is expensive for them to live in. All of these statistics will show you different outcomes.
To make yourself a highly paid welder, you need to focus on some other important factors as well. Keep yourself involved in different pieces of training that can make you more expert and advanced in your field. Different pieces of training will help you to use different techniques in your field. As an expert, you will start with smart work rather than hard work. The more successfully you complete your job, the more chances you will find to excel in the field. So, make sure you never compromise on the quality and safety of the project. Follow the guidelines, local rules, and regulations of that state. Welders need to use their equipment properly and in a protective manner. Both are the most important factors to perform excellently. Last but not the least, try to discover different states. This will help you make yourself an all-rounder welder.