Welding Career and Salary

Article Sources


"Welders, Cutters, and Welder Fitters," O-Net Online, 2012, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/51-4121.06

"Welders, Cutter, Solderers, and Brazers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes514121.htm#ind

"Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/welders-cutters-solderers-and-brazers.htm


Wherever you find metal structures -- from pipelines and skyscrapers to automobiles and power plants -- being built, there's a strong possibility welders are at work.

Career snapshot: What welders do

Simply put, welders join two pieces of metal together. But the skills needed for a career in welding are anything but simple. There are over 100 different methods of binding metals, and welding careers are possible in a vast number of industries, from bridge construction to the aerospace industry.

A career in welding takes more than knowing how to light a blowtorch, however. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), those interested in welding careers also need to be able to:

  • Understand blueprints
  • Calculate dimensions
  • Use computer equipment and software
  • Inspect structures or materials to be welded.

Job prospects for welders

Although the rate of job growth for welders is expected to be just 6 percent over the next eight years, which is below average, prospects may be better for workers who are able to move from industry to industry according to job demands. Welders who have stayed current in the latest technology -- either through work but also through vocational education -- are expected to have good job prospects, according to the BLS. The welder career outlook is best for welders who are willing to relocate to where the jobs are located.

Training needed to be a welder

While some high schools offer welding classes, most professional welders learn their skills through vocational-technical institutes, community colleges and private welding schools. Most employers prefer to hire formally trained welders. Welders and welding students can also earn certification from the American Welding Society, making them standout from other welding job candidates, the BLS says.

Welder salaries

Salaries for welders in May 2013 ranged from up to $24,990 for the lowest-paid 10 percent to at least $57,120 for the highest-paid 10 percent nationally. The May 2013 national median annual salary for welders was $36,720, according to the BLS. Mean annual salaries for welders varied by industry in 2013, however, and a few are listed below:

  • Motor vehicle body and trailer-manufacturing: $34,280
  • Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment: $38,800
  • Utilities in the electric power generation and transmission business: $66,550
  • Natural gas distribution industry: $62,130
CareerProjected Number of New JobsProjected Job Growth Rate
Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers14,4003.6
Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Where the high-paying jobs are

There are a wide variety of welding-related jobs, from aluminum welder and welder/fabricator to solderer and brazer. About 41 percent of those starting a career in welding have earned a certificate for special training after high school, and about 40 percent have only earned a high school diploma and learn welding skills on the job or as an apprentice. About 13 percent have had some college but don't have a degree, according to O-Net Online.

Geographically, Alaska had the 2013 highest mean wage in the nation for welders -- $68,750 -- followed by Hawaii at $62,750. The highest concentration jobs is in Wyoming, followed by Louisiana, South Dakota and North Dakota.

Article Sources
Welder Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
Results:  9
Matching School Ads
Degree - Construction Management
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
Automotive Technician (11-Month Diploma Program)
UEI College , Gardena
  • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
  • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
  • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
Aviation Maintenance Technician
  • Designated as a 2017 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • Offers several aviation maintenance programs, including engineering, electronics, helicopter, and avionics technology.
  • Tutoring and advising services are available to students at no additional cost.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
  • 11 campuses across the United States, with locations in California, Virginia, Texas, Indianapolis, Florida, and more.
Show more [+]

    At Universal Technical Institute (UTI), you won’t just train for a career. You’ll train for success. The hands-on training and high-tech skills you’ll get at UTI can put you on the fast track toward a rewarding career as a professional technician. Across the nation, you’ll find UTI-trained technicians working in great jobs with top manufacturers, dealerships and repair shops. 

    • Financial Aid
    Electronic Health Records - Associate of Applied Science
    • Part of the Delta Career Education Corporation.
    • Each campus features a public spa and/or salon where students can gain real-world experience.
    • 17 campuses across the United States, with online options as well.
    • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent colleges and Schools (ACICS), with programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
    • Originally founded in 1916 in Wilmington, North Carolina by Judge Leon Motte.
    Show more [+]
    • Online Courses
    Commercial Truck Driver Program - 310 Clock Hours
    • Features small class sizes and with class options in the day, evening, and weekend.
    • Member of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association and a proud sponsor of HirePatriots.
    • Offers lifetime job placement assistance, and financial aid to those who qualify.
    • Programs are available in commercial truck driving and CDL driving training.
    • Campus is located in Yuma, Arizona.
    Show more [+]
      Electrical Training Program
      • Morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes are available.
      • Offers lifetime career assistance services to graduates, including resume and cover letter assistance, employer networking, and one-on-one employment counseling.
      • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
      • 8 campuses located across California, with 3 additional campuses in New Hampshire and Maine and online options.
      Show more [+]
      • Accredited
      • Financial Aid
      Mayfield College , Cathedral City
      Good for Working Adults
      • A Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business, with an A+ rating.
      • Computer Support Technician program is based on guidelines set by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and Microsoft.
      • Offers free student services, including tutoring, campus internet access, career placement, and a student lounge.
      • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
      • 2 locations in Cathedral City and Twentynine Palms, California.
      Show more [+]
      • Flexible Scheduling
      • Financial Aid
      Good for Working Adults
      • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
      • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
      • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
      • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
      Show more [+]
      • Accredited
      • Flexible Scheduling
      • Financial Aid
      • Transferable Credits