Welder earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Welder salary by state

State Name Average Salary
Alaska $66,810
Alabama $35,821
Arkansas $35,345
Arizona $33,808
California $42,760
Colorado $46,520
Connecticut $50,698
District of Columbia $60,010
Delaware $51,470
Florida $37,830
Georgia $36,050
Guam $37,270
Hawaii $56,914
Iowa $37,281
Idaho $31,514
Illinois $36,802
Indiana $38,272
Kansas $41,918
Kentucky $35,668
Louisiana $51,020
Massachusetts $49,950
Maryland $47,970
Maine $48,220
Michigan $37,450
Minnesota $44,040
Missouri $37,790
Mississippi $43,050
Montana $40,070
North Carolina $39,610
North Dakota $46,950
Nebraska $40,570
New Hampshire $46,400
New Jersey $44,660
New Mexico $46,530
Nevada $45,010
New York $44,190
Ohio $39,390
Oklahoma $41,470
Oregon $44,310
Pennsylvania $37,721
Puerto Rico $22,650
Rhode Island $48,830
South Carolina $40,840
South Dakota $37,440
Tennessee $39,220
Texas $43,400
Utah $40,950
Virginia $46,280
Virgin Islands $53,290
Vermont $40,820
Washington $49,770
Wisconsin $42,530
West Virginia $41,520
Wyoming $57,120

How much does a Welder earn?

Welders who keep up to date on the latest technology are in high demand with employers. The American Welding Society provides certification for welders, which can also improve employment prospects. It is interesting to note that welding skills are highly transferable, so a welder can move from one area or one employer to another in pursuit of a better salary or a more suitable place of employment. Two of the highest paying employers are electrical and gas utilities, at $61,110 and $59,620 respectively. Most employers are in the construction and manufacturing sectors, where pay averages between $35,000 and $37,000.

Welders in the same state can take home vastly different paycheques depending on their particular skill set. Industry booms often account for large wage discrepancies. For example, the recent boom in domestic energy production has increased the demand for welders to build, maintain and repair rigs or pipelines in states like Texas and North Dakota. In North Dakota, welders in the top earning bracket make about $39 per hour, yet the median wage hovers around $21 per hour.

The following list, compiled by Economic Modeling Services International, shows the ten U.S. states that offer the highest wages for welders (2014):

Alaska - $33.97 Median / $43.83 Top 10%
Hawaii - $31.10 Median / $39.75 Top 10%
North Dakota - $20.68 Median / $39.05 Top 10%
West Virginia - $18.21 Median / $37.88 Top 10%
Wyoming - $22.18 Median / $35.23 Top 10%
Nevada - $17.73 Median / $34.38 Top 10%
New Mexico - $19.10 Median / $33.99 Top 10%
Maryland - $20.51 Median / $33.55 Top 10%
California - $18.54 Median / $31.56 Top 10%
Delaware - $21.74 Median / $31.32 Top 10%

How do welder salaries compare to similar careers?

Welders earn 6% less than similar careers in Georgia. On average, they make less than pump operators but more than fork lift operators.

Career Median Salary
Pump operator salary $40K
Machinist salary $40K
Faller salary $45K
Logging worker salary $45K
Water treatment plant operator salary $37K
Welder salary $36K
Log grader salary $35K
Drill press operator salary $36K
Quarry rock splitter salary $35K
Fork lift operator salary $34K

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)