How Much Does a Welder Make a Year: Top 4 Industries for Welding

how much does a welder make a year

There is one question anyone interested in venturing into welding would like to ask: how much does a welder make a year?

However, there is no clear-cut way to answer this question. This is because different factors affect welder wages like every other profession.

Profession Welder – a Demanding Job

Welding as a profession is quite cyclical.

When huge volumes of construction projects are underway during the summer and spring periods, many welders experience a boom.

However, during winter, there is often a lull. However, the good news is that the demand for welding never goes out of fashion. So if you are thinking of venturing into welding, rest assured that you will find work to do.

Top 4 Industries for Welding

Before we decide the wages of Welders across the US, let us first review the key industries that demand many welding services.

There are four major industries where welders find much work, but the pay is never the same.

Manufacturing leads the way, with 61% welders involved in this Industry. Construction absorbs about 11% of the workforce while wholesale and services industries employ the remaining.

Deciding on the Industry to work in will determine how much you earn annually to a greater degree.

1. Manufacturing

While it is almost impossible to know just how many welders are employed in the manufacturing industry, what we do know is that it employs more than half of welding professionals in the US.

Although there are many jobs across different sub-sectors, the main ones you will find in their thousands are structural and architectural manufacturing, agricultural manufacturing, and mining.

Motor vehicle production employs a lot of welders too, and all the welders in this Industry are majorly certified specialists who can handle high-tech welding equipment.

2. Construction

The construction industry is the second largest employer of welders in the US, and it is not hard to see why.

Roads, bridges, and high-rise buildings require a lot of metal structure, and who better cut them to size and piece them together? Welders, of course.

We also find them providing their services in areas where dams and utility plants are being constructed.

3. Services Sector

The services sector is quite extensive. They provide maintenance services like plumbing, where metal pipes have to be pieced together. They also work as paid employees or freelance welders and provide their services where and when needed.

4. Wholesale

In recent years, many welders have found increased wholesale industry opportunities. Wholesale and manufacturing companies that produce and market welding tools recommend welders to buyers who will help them fix the equipment or service them.

If you prefer to work as a freelance welder, this is one Industry where you will find work.

The Global Shipping Industry

On a global scale, the shipping industry employs millions of welders worldwide. From ship construction to repairs, there is much work available for welders. Even shipping companies hire welders to construct or repair shipping containers for cargo transport.

Factors that influence welder wages:

  • Industry fortunes
  • Education
  • Professional certification
  • Years of experience
  • The Industry you are employed in
  • Additional skills
  • Machine handling

How Much Does a Welder Make Per Year?

So how much does a welder make a year? We look no further than records for this year, 2021. As of July 28, 2021, the average salary of a welder ranged between $37,796 and $48,719.

However, this data is not conclusive because it does not capture the whole year. To get a proper perspective, however, let us look at data for last year.

But note that even the data for 2020 should only be taken at face value because of the pandemic that affected most Industries last year, chief among them being the construction, manufacturing, and services industry.

Based on last year’s data, the top 6 states with the highest-earning welders are:

  1. Alaska
  2. Hawaii
  3. Massachusetts
  4. New Mexico
  5. West Virginia
  6. Wyoming

The states where welders earned the least income are:

  1. Georgia
  2. Idaho
  3. Iowa
  4. Kentucky
  5. Nebraska
  6. South Dakota

So based on last year’s statistics, if you worked in Alaska, Hawaii, and the other three states, you most likely would have earned more money than your counterparts from other parts of the country.

But, if you live in Georgia, Nebraska, and the other four states, you may have earned the lowest income in 2020 on average.

When you want to base your interpretation of the data on the standard of living, New Mexico wins it.

This is because the cost of living in New Mexico is very low, with welders making an average of $45 per hour. If adjusted for living costs, this drops to $44.19.

So on average, welders had better living standards in New Mexico than in any other state in the Union. If you want to get the complete data for welder wages per state, you can get a complete table for 2020 here.

Average Salary for Welders in the US

Welding is a great profession that can help you live a comfortable life. Although it will not make you rich overnight, however, with prudent financial management and a strong work ethic, you can live a comfortable and fulfilled life.

The average annual income of welders in the US is $40,000.

When you evaluate the data based on the industries that employ welders, the annual income range falls between $30,000/$60,000.

The per-hour income is $21.37 on average but could be lower or higher depending on your location and Industry.

If you are starting, expect to earn between $14/$18 an hour, but as you gain more experience, you can work your way up to earn more income.

Video: Become a Welder in 2021? Salary, Jobs, Education


As many states in the Union open up for business, many job openings will open up. States to look out for include Texas, California, and Florida.

So, in conclusion, to answer how much does a welder earn?

That will depend on his level of experience, certification, level of education, the Industry he is employed in, and location.

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