Welder earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Welder salary by state

State Name Average Salary
Texas $41,379
California $35,724
Ohio $32,000

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 oil and gas rotary drill operators but more than riggers.

Career Median Salary
Oil and gas rotary drill operator salary $45K
Sheet metal worker salary $57K
Chemical technician salary $49K
Tool and die maker salary $48K
Pump operator salary $42K
Welder salary $39K
Metal worker salary $44K
Machinist salary $38K
Electronic equipment assembler salary $37K
Rigger salary $27K

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)