How Much Do Welders Make? [Across All States]

You know that there is a heavy demand for welders in the job market. As a profession, welding looks very challenging and exciting to you. But to decide on welding as your profession, you need to know more about it. Above all, you have to know how much welders make to assess if that is enough for you or not.

The average salary of welders in the USA is $19.03 per hour. However, it can be much more, depending on your expertise. Some other factors decide the exact salary of a welder. They are the location of the job, your expertise, the certificates you have got, and exactly what kind of welding you will be doing.

In this article, I have discussed the salary of a welder at different levels of expertise and position. Here you will get the average salary for a welder in all 50 states of the US. I have elaborated on the factors that play a role in determining the salary of a welder. Besides, you will also know how a welder should bargain to increase his salary.

How Much Can You Earn by Welding?

As you already know, the average salary for welders in the USA is $19.03 per hour. However, there are a few factors that determine the exact salary of a welder. Geographic location is one of the prime considerations. And, here’s a list of a few more-


Welders have a significant impact on the salaries of the state and the city they live in. The highest paying state for a welder is Hawaii. The average wage for welding in the state is $30.91 per hour. On the other hand, a welder makes only $16.31 per hour in Georgia on average.

Welders get the highest average salary in San Diego, California. On average, the welders of the city earn $25.76 per hour. The second-highest-salaried welders live in Pascagoula, MS. On average, they get $22.00 per hour. Some other high-paying cities for welders are Jacksonville, FL, Tulsa, OK, Houston, TX, and Phoenix, AZ.

Level Of Experience

Another major factor in the salary range of a welder is his experience in the field. At the entry level of the profession, a welder gets $7.25 on average. The salary increases with his years of experience.

After welding for two years, the average salary increases to $17.9 per hour. If the welder has had welding experience for more than ten years, he gets $21.74 per hour on average.

Type Of Welding

There are different types of welding, and each one of them requires a different set of skills. The salary varies depending on the type of welding and the designation of the welder. The highest-paying welding job in the USA is that of a pipe welder. On average, they earn $24.5 per hour.

Structural welders are in the second position to earn more, which is $20.55 per hour on average. Fitters, welders, and fabricators, respectively, earn $19.25, $17.9, and $17.76. The lowest-paying welding jobs in the USA are for welder-helpers and MIG welders. Welders in these two categories receive $13.53 and 16.24 per hour, respectively.


Another factor in determining the salary of a welder is the professional certification he has earned by taking particular tests. Some of the tests require the welder to have formal training.

In many cases, the salary of a welder can increase by up to 40% if he achieves any recognized certification. A well-recognized certification is OSHA 10. The welder has to attend a 10-hour training program to get this certificate. It teaches basic safety and health precautions. The Non-Destructive Test- NDT 2 is another well-recognized certification for welders.


Different sectors of work have different types of challenges and health-related risks. That is why welding in various sectors can have different salaries for welders. If a welder has the expertise to work in the oil and gas sector, he may get 29.17% more payment than an average welder.

Auto body repair welders also receive a higher salary than the average. In the USA, they get 23.47% more. If a welder can work in the robot programming sector, he will earn 9.52% more than other welders.

Average Salaries Of Welders In Different States

Different states in the US have various payment structures for their welders. The demand for welding, general economic status, and the availability of welders are the factors that create the difference in salaries. The following table shows the average wage per hour for welders in all the states of the USA.

State Average Salary Highest-Paying Cities
Alabama$17.22Huntsville, Theodore, Pelham
Alaska$27.36Delta Junction, Anchorage, Fairbanks
Arizona$19.9Chandler, Tucson, Phoenix
Arkansas$16.79Pine Bluff, Springdale, Russellville
California$20.5Chula Vista, Bakersfield, San Diego
Colorado$21.45Loveland, Wellington, Fort Collins
Connecticut$20.58Groton, East Hartford, Newington
Delaware$21.94Newark, Wilmington, New Castle
Florida$18.77Jacksonville, Pensacola, Orlando
Georgia$16.31Atlanta, Rome, Jefferson
Hawaii$30.91Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, Kapolei
Idaho$18.02Lewiston, Idaho Falls, Pocatello
Illinois$18.54Decatur, Chicago, Peoria
Indiana$18.87Bristol, Goshen, Middlebury
Iowa$18.1Manchester, Sioux City, Cedar Rapids
Kansas$18.03Hesston, Lenexa, Shawnee
Kentucky$18.17Elizabethtown, Shepherdsville, Louisville
Louisiana$21.95Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Shreveport
Maine$21.06Bath, Portland, Gorham
Maryland$21.09Hanover, Beltsville, Baltimore
Massachusetts$29.42Boston, Woburn, Ayer
Michigan$17.91Detroit, Brighton, Warren
Minnesota$20.85Saint Paul, Hutchinson, New Brighton
Mississippi$17.64Tupelo, Pascagoula, Horn Lake
Missouri$17.95O’Fallon, Springfield, Saint Joseph
Montana$20.15Billings, Helena, Kalispell
Nebraska$18.38Lindsay, Hastings, Omaha
Nevada$19.95Sparks, Reno, Las Vegas
New Hampshire$19.51Manchester, Nashua, Londonderry
New Jersey$22.19Burlington, Trenton, Paterson
New Mexico$20.45Carlsbad, Santa Fe, Albuquerque
New York$19.3Brooklyn, New York, Tonawanda
North Carolina$17.49Charlotte, Kernersville, Raleigh
North Dakota$20.85Beulah, Underwood, Williston
Ohio$17.93Cincinnati, Wooster, Columbus
Oklahoma$20.73Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Broken Arrow
Oregon$20.11Salem, Portland, Albany
Pennsylvania$18.88Philadelphia, Greencastle, Pittsburgh
Rhode Island$20.85Providence, North Kingstown
South Carolina$18.8Sumter, Charleston, Aiken
South Dakota$18.96Yankton, Sioux Falls, Watertown
Tennessee$18.16Clarksville, Chattanooga, Knoxville
Texas$19.38Corpus Christi, Odessa, Midland
Utah$17.94Salt Lake City, West Valley City, Orem
Vermont$20.18Essex Junction
Virginia$19.53Newport NewsNorfolkPortsmouth
Washington$21.27Bremerton, Vancouver, Seattle
West Virginia$16.99Morgantown, Washington
Wisconsin$19.86Waukesha, Milwaukee, Hartford
Wyoming$24.59Casper, Gillette

Salary Of Welders Based On Experience

Like almost all types of jobs, the salary of a welder increases with experience. Here I have elaborated on different ranges of payments for welders depending on their duration of service life.

Entry Level

When a welder starts his first job after completing his training and apprenticeship, he gets a modest salary. In the USA, the average salary for an entry-level welder is $7.25 per hour.

A professional welder needs a high school diploma or a GED certificate to join a firm as a professional welder. Besides, he may also need some other professional certificates relevant to welding.

Mid Level

After working as a professional welder for some years, a welder is considered a mid-level worker in his career. The average mid-level salary of a welder is $17.9 per hour.

At this level, the welder earns quite an efficiency in his job and understands what the employer wants from him. The pressure of responsibility at this level is higher than at the entry-level.


When a welder has worked in his profession for more than ten years, employers treat him as an experienced worker. In the USA, their average salary is $35.45 per hour.

An experienced welder can contribute to the overall welding plan of a construction site. He is capable of accomplishing the most sophisticated ornamental welding too. Moreover, he can efficiently lead a welding team for a critical project.

Some High-Paying Welding Jobs

There are different positions in the welding profession. The skills and responsibilities vary for each of the designations. The salaries of different welding positions also vary.

Pipe Welder

Of all the welding jobs, pipe welders earn the most. In the USA, the average salary for a pipe welder is $24.50 per hour. It is so because of the higher skill level of a pipe welder. Welding long and round pipes in a multi-storied establishment can be very tricky.

The prime duties of a pipe welder include assembling and repairing different types of pipes. In addition, pipe welders need expertise in installing and maintaining structural units.

On top of that, a pipe welder possesses a high sensitivity to safety precautions.

Structural Welder

The highest-paid welders in the United States are structural welders.Their average hourly salary is $20.55. Structural welders are responsible for designing and creating large-scale metal frameworks for large buildings and bridges.

Assembling and repairing infrastructural metal beams and columns is also a duty for a structural welder. A structural welder needs to be aware of the building code regulations of the state.


Welders, sometimes called fitters, receive $19.25 per hour as a salary. Most certified professionals start their careers as welders.

A welder needs the expertise to work on all kinds of welding tasks. They also fit and fabricate different types of metal objects. All kinds of metalwork need welders.


A metal fabricator is responsible for creating all kinds of ornamental metal objects. Their average hourly salary is $17.76. They are experts in cutting, shaping, and designing metal sheets.

In most cases, fabricators work in welding shops. However, sometimes they also need to work in fields doing welding.

Fabricators need to be very meticulous about following the instructions of the engineer.

MIG Welder

MIG welders need to have expertise in using gas metal arc welding. In most cases, different outdoor metal projects need MIG welders. The average salary of a MIG welder is $16.24 per hour.

MIG welders can operate portable gas-run welding machines. As a result, they are in high demand in factories and large-scale construction projects.

Helper of the Welder

The role of a welder helper is to facilitate the welding operation smoothly. A welder helper receives $13.53 per hour on average in the USA.

Generally, a helper performs duties like cleaning the welding tools and the welding site, transporting different metal objects, and ensuring the safety of the work environment.

How Should A Welder Negotiate Salary?

Sometimes, the minimum wage structure of the state or the average salary statistics do not help a welder get a befitting salary.

To get paid according to his capabilities, a welder must know how to negotiate his salary with the employer. Here are some tips that may help you if you want to increase your salary as a welder.

Write Down Your Bargaining Points

Before you begin negotiating with your employer, you should thoroughly understand the conditions that will allow you to ask for a higher salary. Know the exact living costs and the average wages for welding jobs in your area.

Use this information in the write-up as a strong argument for a raise. Show the employer that the living costs are high and that your payment is below the average.

Elaborately write down your experience in the welding field so that you can hand it over to the employer as a strong argument for an increment in your salary.

Moreover, you should highlight the welding projects you have successfully led as a professional. It will encourage the employer to give you more responsibility with a higher salary.

Do not forget to highlight your educational background and the specific welding skills you are an expert in. Also, mention the professional certifications you have achieved to prove your potential in the profession.

In the write-up, elaborate on how serious you are about improving your professional skills to the next level.

Memorize Your Talking Points

It does not matter much how nicely you have written your application for a raise in salary. You must be impressive to the employer in your verbal conversation with him. Your body language and eye contact should be as convincing as your words.

The employer may try to divert the course of the discussion. However, you have to keep the focus of your conversation on the point. You need to elaborate on all the bargaining points that favor your demand for a raise in your salary.

Being polite during the bargaining is okay, but you must be firm on your position throughout the discussion. You have to state the urgency of an immediate raise.

In-Person Bargaining

In this world of multiple modes of communication, some people think emails, online chats, and phone calls are enough to ensure proper communication. However, that is not always true.

When you are bargaining for a raise in salary, you should always prefer in-person communication. It also proves how adamant you are about getting the raise in salary.

Experts say, our body language is the most effective means of effective communication. That is why an in-person conversation always creates a better opportunity for a salary raise.

Besides, you will not know how important your salary-raising application is to your employer if it is only an email or written application. Moreover, in-person you will also know the exact reaction of the employer.

Keep Looking for Better Jobs

A proper way to raise your salary is to get a new job that recognizes your expertise better than your current employer.

Even if you do not want to change jobs, you should keep looking for a better job. The point is, you can use the new offer as a bargaining point to raise your salary.

When your employer starts to reevaluate your performance, they will know that some other firm has valued you more than they have. They will start to reevaluate your performance.

In most cases, employers do not want a new employee in their firm since it involves some effort and cost in training the new employee. So, there is a high chance that they will want to keep you in the firm with a higher salary.

Do Not Commit Yourself

When a welder stays in the same welding shop for a long period, the management starts to take him for granted. Some of them may also believe that the welder has no other options for employment outside of the company.

Furthermore, most businesses will try to develop a personal relationship with their employees in order to make them feel at ease in the workplace.

As an employee, you should always try to limit the relationship between you and the management professionally. You should remember that they will not entertain you with a single penny if you are not worthy of the company.

It is always good practice to keep changing jobs with a better salary and responsibility. It ensures that no employer will take you for granted.

Bottom Line

Whether you are obsessed with the welding profession or not, it still matters how much welders make.

Moreover, if the payments of the welding profession are not enough to fulfill your ambition, your passion for the job may come under threat.

Besides, the salary range should also match your lifestyle. If you are already a welding professional, you know that the exact salary always depends on your expertise.

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