Welder earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Welder salary by state

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

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 about the same as related careers in West Virginia. On average, they make less than tool and die makers but more than gem workers.

Career Median Salary
Tool and die maker salary $57K
Industrial designer salary $50K
Mining machine operator salary $55K
Chemical technician salary $53K
Pump operator salary $49K
Welder salary $42K
Molding and casting worker salary $31K
Fork lift operator salary $38K
Precious metal worker salary $38K
Gem worker salary $38K

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)