Welder Salary – 5 Suprising States That Pay The Most

Last Updated on Nov 19, 2022

Welder salary does vary depending on the type of job, location, how many hours per week, and if they are salary or hourly. Welding has shown that not only is it a highly technical skill, it’s one that pays well during difficult times, and is relatively stable.

A welder who is trained on the most recent technologies will typically command a higher hourly or salary pay vs someone who is trained in older techniques and technologies. A welder who can work in a variety of environments such as outdoor areas, indoor areas, and scaffolding will also command a higher pay than someone who can only work in one type of environment.

Welding Salary National Average

The United States Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics worked together in 2016, and identified that the average welder salary was just under $40,000. Keep in mind, this is just the average – so that means there are people who are paid significantly higher as well.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted research in 2016 to identify that the average welder salary was just under $40,000 USD

Highest Welding Salary States

As you can see in the table below, according to CareersWiki.com, the highest paid states for welders for both hourly and annual wage are Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Delaware.

State Hourly Mean Wage
Alaska $34.57
Hawaii $28.42
Wyoming $25.47
North Dakota $24.19
Delaware $22.99
State Annual Main Wage
Alaska $71,910
Hawaii $59,120
Wyoming $52,980
North Dakota $50,310
Delaware $47,820


Welding Salary By State

Welding pay varies by state as we’ve mentioned above. Below you’ll find a list of the median and top 10% hourly pay by state.

State Welders Median Hourly Pay Top 10% Hourly Pay
Alaska $33.97 $43.83
Hawaii $31.10 $39.75
North Dakota $20.68 $39.05
West Virginia $18.21 $37.88
Wyoming $22.18 $35.23
Nevada $17.73 $34.38
New Mexico $19.10 $33.99
Maryland $20.51 $33.55
California $18.54 $31.56
Delaware $21.74 $31.32
District of Columbia (DC) $26.81 $31.30
New Jersey $19.82 $31.28
Washington $20.55 $30.69
Massachusetts $21.48 $30.57
Colorado $18.44 $29.91
Connecticut $19.19 $29.55
Texas $17.29 $29.25
Louisiana $20.17 $28.45
New York $17.91 $28.29
Montana $16.23 $27.93
Maine $22.18 $27.88
New Hampshire $19.83 $27.56
Utah $17.25 $27.36
Rhode Island $20.27 $27.33
Arizona $17.92 $27.30
Virginia $18.86 $27.22
Mississippi $18.63 $26.98
Oklahoma $17.29 $26.93
Indiana $16.59 $26.73
Minnesota $18.64 $26.69
Pennsylvania $18.06 $26.22
North Carolina $17.65 $26.03
Florida $16.88 $25.87
Michigan $16.56 $25.84
Oregon $18.94 $25.47
Wisconsin $18.16 $25.35
Alabama $17.11 $25.19
Illinois $17.15 $25.14
Kentucky $16.98 $24.49
Ohio $16.99 $24.42
South Carolina $16.74 $24.14
Idaho $16.12 $23.86
Missouri $16.67 $23.77
Kansas $16.10 $23.55
Georgia $16.25 $23.40
Tennessee $16.69 $22.75
Vermont $16.63 $22.57
Nebraska $16.51 $22.56
Arkansas $16.28 $22.42
Iowa $16.62 $22.10
South Dakota $15.33 $19.54
National Average $17.81 $27.20

Welding Salaries By Specialty

Below you’ll find welding salary data for a variety of specialties. As we mentioned above, location is just one of the pay determining factors, another being the specialties and skills that you have. Keep in mind also, some companies provide benefits including suppling equipment like welding screens.

Employment for welders is expected to continue to increase through 2022.

General Welder Salary
Salary $26k – $63k
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Underwater Welding Salary
Salary $25k – $80k
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Pipe Welder Salary
Salary $35k – $105k
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TIG Welder Salary
Salary $28k – $ 63k
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Certified Welding Salary
Salary $44k – $68k
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Union Welder Salary
Salary $40k – $51k
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Offshore Rig Welder Salary
Salary $42k- $66k
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MIG Welder Salary
Salary $24k – $51k
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Aerospace Welding Salary
Salary $53k
Source Source

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, welding job is among the fastest-growing industries in America. From 2019 to 2029, the job outlook of welders is about 3% faster than the average growth.

When it comes to the paycheck, welders are also minting an annual salary of $44,190 on average. This is the median welder salary in the year 2020, which means that there are welders on either side – some earning less and some earning a lot more.

However, a welder’s salary depends on several factors. This includes the location, experience of the welder, and the type of welding, among others.

As a welder in the U.S., how much can you expect to earn? Find out this answer and everything else you need to know about this tradesman job.

Factors that determine welders’ salary in the U.S.

Before we delve into the specifics of how much a welder makes in America, it is critical to see what factors play a role. That being said, here are the salary determiners of welders in the U.S.


Irrespective of the industry, location is among the primary determinant for paychecks. When it comes to welders, the states of Hawaii and Alaska are among the highest paying location. The hourly welders’ wages in these states are $46.27 and $45.65 per hour, respectively, according to EMSI data. In terms of cities, welder salary California and welder salary Texas are among the most competitive.

On the other hand, states that pay the lowest welders’ salaries include Idaho and Georgia. Here, the median welders are $17.47 and $17.33, respectively, which is a big difference from the high-paying states. When it comes to cities, welder salary NC is among the low paying areas.

Years of experience

Like other jobs, welders who have many years of experience will naturally earn more than beginners. This is regardless of where the welder works. Naturally, an entry-level welder will make a lot less than a welding inspector salary with years of experience under his belt.

A welder with less than a year of working experience can expect an average hourly salary of about $16.24, even in high-paying states. On the other hand, a veteran welder earns up to $20.74 per hour in states that pay the lowest. This is according to data on indeed.com.

Place of work

Along the lines of job location, the company you work for as a welder also plays a major role in the paycheck. According to indeed.com, companies that pay the highest welder salary in the U.S. include Bechtel and Faurecia. Welders in these two companies can make as much as $46.55 and $44.19 per hour of work, which is an impressive figure.

At the other end are the lower-paying companies such as Siemens AG and Caldwell Tanks. Inc. The hourly pay for a welder in these companies is $22.36 and $22.64, which is still above the national average, but the difference is evident.

Type of welding job and job responsibility

Another important factor that determines an American welder’s salary is the type of welding job and its responsibilities. A tig welder salary carries a different figure than a pipe welder salary and vice versa. Similarly, an underwater welder salary can be a lot more different from a pipeline welder salary and so on.

How much can you make as a welder in the U.S.?

Now that we know the determining factors of welders’ salaries, let’s break down the specifics of the paycheck.

Average welders salary according to years of experience

Entry-level welders

Welders who have recently taken up welding positions are in the entry-level category. These amateur tradesmen typically have working experience of one to two years. Most entry-level welders have a GED or a diploma in welding certification. So their average salary is about $7.25 to $19.24 per hour.

Some entry-level welders may possess an associate degree or an apprenticeship program. In this case, they can expect higher hourly pay than someone with a diploma in welding.

Mid-level welders

Welders in the U.S. having experience between six to ten years fall under this category. These tradesmen typically have an apprenticeship and extensive training in addition to a certification.

Furthermore, mid-level welders also perform advanced and varied number of jobs that may not suit an entry-level welder. So, these welders can command $17.90 to $30.74 per hour, depending on the nature of the work.

Experienced and highly experienced welders

Welders who have more than ten years of work experience to their credit are in this category. Many of them undertake high-risk welding jobs that require extensive knowledge, use of advanced tools and skills. In turn, they command a higher salary than those in the entry-level or mid-level category.

Veteran welders earn anywhere from $20.74 to $$46.55 per hour. This figure, however, will also fluctuate depending on the nature of the welding job.

Average welders salary according to the type of work.

Note: The salary figures below represent a national average. So the final paycheck will be a lot more different as it depends on a number of variables mentioned earlier.

Welder helper/fitter

The average national salary of welder helpers and fitters is $13.53 per hour. Tradesmen in this category assist senior welders in minor welding, transporting, and cleaning.

Tig welder

The national average Tig welder salary in the U.S. is $19.88 per hour.

Mig welder

In the U.S., the average salary of a Mig welder is $17.24 per hour. Mig welders work in high-risk areas such as metal construction projects and factories.

Metal fabricator

Welders who engage in fabricating work in the cutting, shaping, and designing of metal components. This category of welders earn up to $17.76 per hour on a national average.

Pipe welder

Welders in this category install structural units and interpret blueprints. As such, they earn more than a welder or a fitter. The national average pipe welder salary is $24.50 per hour. A pipeline welder salary is typically higher than a welder that works in a factory or a similar area.

Underwater welder

Welders who work with underwater structures take home some of the highest paychecks. Among the highest underwater welder salary is a record $83,730 in a year. Commercial welders with a diving license can earn more than $300,000 annually with other benefits.  However, this figure pertains to the top 10 underwater welders.

On average, an underwater welder salary is $24.96. However, this figure depends on other factors, including experience, certification, and duration of the work, among others.

Certified welding inspector salary

Certified welding inspector salary is also very handsome. On average, they can earn $57,800 annually. On the higher side, welding inspectors earn up to $66,376 in a year.

So the hourly welding inspector salary is around $35 per hour. However, certified welding inspectors who travel for work can make as much as $75 per hour.

What benefits is part of a welder’s salary?

Similar to other tradesmen on the job, welders earn a good number of benefits. The type of benefits and how much you get will depend on a number of factors. This includes whether you work for a company or a private contractor, among others. In addition, if you work as a private contractor welder, then the paycheck and the benefits will look a lot more different.

Having said that, here are the most common benefits that are part of the welders’ salary in most states:

  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Parental leave
  • Life insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • 401 (k)
  • Paid time off
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Disability insurance
  • Relocation assistance
  • Professional development assistance
  • Employee assistance program

What does the future look like for welders?

According to the American Welding Society, the welding industry is set to employ up to 2,2500 welders by 2026. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the welding industry will witness steady growth in the coming years. This is a fantastic opportunity for those looking to break into the welding industry.

The requirements for becoming a welder in the U.S. are also relatively minimal. If you have a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification, you can easily start as an entry-level welder. Of course, moderate on-the-job training is still necessary for every would-be welder. In comparison to other construction jobs, the average welders’ salary, even at the entry-level, is a decent figure.

As you gradually get into the rhythm of welding, you can undergo training, certifications, and apprenticeship. This will not only further your position in the welding industry but bring in heftier paychecks.

Wrapping up.

A welder salary varies greatly depending on various factors such as location and level of experience. Nevertheless, welding is one of the highest paying tradesmen jobs in the U.S. Of course, some states pay higher than others.

Currently, the states of California, Ohio and Texas have the highest number of welders in the country. Not surprisingly, these states also pay the best welder salary. However, there is a steady demand for welders due to the growing needs in construction. So it is only right to expect that welders’ salaries will increase in the coming years.