Welding Jobs: Average Salary and Highest-Paying Positions

Highest Paid Welding JobAs a basic welder, the pay is pretty decent, but it’s not the most lucrative of careers. With an annual salary ranging from $30,000 – $60,000 depending on experience, it’s a career that will afford you a decent life, but you won’t be stacking away the savings or buying a second home on this salary. Of course, not everyone has aspirations of getting rich. But if you already have the skills and you possess a desire to maximize your earning potential, there are several welding jobs that can earn you six-figure salaries. To get to the top of the pay scale for welding, it will require specialization and years of experience, but you can achieve your dreams of a high-paying welding job with any of the following 11 choices.

Highest-paying welding jobs
  1. Welder helper. National average salary: $13.53 per hour. …
  2. MIG welder. National average salary: $16.24 per hour. …
  3. Fabricator/welder. National average salary: $17.76 per hour. …
  4. Welder. National average salary: $17.90 per hour. …
  5. Welder/fitter. …
  6. Structural welder. …
  7. Pipe welder.

5 Top Paying Welding Career’s

What is an average welding job salary?

As with most jobs, the more experienced you are, the higher your salary will be. Though the average salary for a welder in the United States is $17.90, this encompasses all welders surveyed, regardless of their experience level. Heres a look at what you can expect to be paid as it pertains to your experience level:

Entry-level welder

Mid-career welder

Experienced welder

What does a welder do?

A welder is responsible for fusing two pieces of metal together using intense heat. They do so using equipment that cuts or joins metal together, smooths metal surfaces or fills holes as needed. They weld various pieces of metal on bridges, pipelines, ships and other things of the sort. Since their job is labor-intensive, not only do welders need to be physically fit, but they should also enjoy working with their hands, have great vision and have experience in shop mechanics.

Highest-paying welding jobs

Your salary as a welder is highly dependent on not only your location but also the type of welder you are. Here are some of the highest-paying welding jobs:

Primary duties: Welder helpers are tasked with various duties including operating welding machinery, cleaning equipment and transporting materials as needed. At their core, they assist welders by maintaining their equipment and keeping a clean environment for them to work in.

Primary duties: MIG welders use gas metal arc welding to join different pieces of metal. In other words, they use an electric arc welder as well as inert gas in their various metal projects. They are often found working in factories and construction fields. MIG Welders should be physically fit and be prepared to work in dangerous conditions.

Primary duties: Fabricator/welders are tasked with various projects pertaining to the cutting, designing and shaping of metal. They work on projects of all sizes, either from creation or in their repairs. Theyre also tasked with reading blueprints, maintaining and inspecting equipment and the overall fabrication of metal structures and projects.

Primary duties: Welders are responsible for putting together metal with various machinery that uses intense heat. Theyre also tasked with monitoring the welding process, maintaining all equipment, interpreting blueprints and smoothing metal surfaces that have been welded together.

Primary duties: Welders/fitters are responsible for laying out, fitting and fabricating various metal pieces in the construction or assembly of various structural forms. They can work with everything from pressure vessels to bridges and tanks. As with all welding positions, welder/fitters should be physically fit.

Primary duties: Structural welders are tasked with designing and creating the metal framework for various structures including bridges and skyscrapers. Theyre responsible for repairing and assembling metal components such as beams and columns, as well. As with all welders, structural welders should pay close attention to detail and be in good shape.

Primary duties: Pipe welders assemble and repair pipes using welding equipment. Theyre also responsible for maintaining and installing structural units. Since whats inside a pipe has the potential to be dangerous, pipe welders need to take the necessary precautions. They should also be good problem solvers and be able to adequately interpret a blueprint


What is the highest-paid welding job?

Rig Welder

Rig welders are about the highest-paid welders in the world. They work long and difficult hours and they have the most advanced educations and qualifications. If they make a mistake, it’s going to be cataclysmic, so companies only hire the best of the best for these positions.

Where are the highest-paid welding jobs?

Because these types of jobs require specialized skills and can be potentially risky, contract welders can earn well over $100,000 in a year.

Can a welder make 100k?

Here are five of the top welding jobs:
  • Pipe welder.
  • Aerospace welder.
  • Military support welder.
  • Underwater welder.
  • Certified welding supervisor.

What are the top 5 welding jobs?

Here are five of the top welding jobs:
  • Pipe welder.
  • Aerospace welder.
  • Military support welder.
  • Underwater welder.
  • Certified welding supervisor.

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