How Much Does a Welder Make?

Posted February 8, 2023 by in Career

Often instead of enrolling into a four-year college, young adults will opt into certain trades or other jobs that are still vital to the world’s economy. One of the most common trades is welding. Simply put, it was used to build America and continues to shape the country’s architecture, its tools, and its future. 

But are welders rewarded for their contributions to the world? In other words, are they fairly compensated for the clear impact they’ve had on the modern world? Welding Supplies from IOC wrote an article detailing the highest-paying welding jobs in the industry. But your average welder might not make as much as you think. That being said, a salary can be a lot in one area of the country and not much in another. 

We’re going to lay out some of these high-paying welding jobs, as well as reveal the average salary for an average welder in America. You might be surprised to learn what welders in this country earn. 

How Much Does An Average Welder Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers was $47,010 in 2021. While this might not seem like much, there are opportunities to move up and make more depending on your field and the type of welding you’re performing. 

For comparison, the average salary for a college graduate’s first job is around $55,000. Sure, that’s more money, but many college students leave school with massive debt or loans to pay off that often total as much as their new salary. While welders attend certain trade schools or welding training, it doesn’t cost nearly as much as a four-year college education. 

Keep in mind that the welding salary is just the median. It’s possible you could make more or less, depending on your level of education, training, and on-job experience and responsibilities. It also depends on where you live. You’ll likely make less in Mississippi than in San Francisco, but your money will likely go further there even if your salary is significantly less. 

What About the Top-Paying Welding Jobs? 

There are certain welding jobs that make significantly more money than your average welder, but they usually come with much more training, experience, danger, and time put in before you’re able to become one. Some of the highest-paying welding jobs include: 

  • Rig welders
  • Underwater welders 
  • Pipe welders 
  • Nuclear welders 

Generally, these jobs are on a supply-and-demand basis. Many people don’t want them or aren’t qualified to do them. The few are generally rewarded handsomely, but their working conditions can be brutal and often keep them from their families or social lives for a season or extended time. 

Welding can be a very solid career choice, even in the modern world today. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a college education to secure a job that pays well and is fulfilling. Welding is a cool, prideful job that built the world and continues to shape it. 

Welders can move and take jobs that pay more or opt for more advanced training to open their opportunities up more. But depending on how much work you put in, you could make a fine career out of welding. 

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