What are the highest paying welder jobs?
Where do I find high paying welder jobs?
If you’re looking for welding jobs in industrial construction, you’ve come to the right place.
Not only are some of the highest paying industrial construction welding jobs found on RoadDog Jobs but there’s a page dedicated only to welding jobs.
Why most websites get welder salaries wrong
Before understanding the types of welder jobs with the highest salary, let’s look at what a welder salary is – and what a welder salary isn’t.
There are a few places most people go to look for welder salary information.
Most of the welder salary information available can be misleading.
First, there’s the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS has a page dedicated to many different types of jobs. Their welder job overview page shows the median welder salary of $47,010 per year or $22.60 per hour.
Another site for learning about welder salaries is from Salary.com. Their welder summary page shows a median welder salary of $43,639.
If you turn to Zippia you’ll get an even dimmer picture of welding salaries. Zippia’s welder summary page shows a median welder salary of $38,612. Even worse, this site puts the 90th percentile of welder salaries at $49,000!
Taking the average of these three sites welder salaries, you’d expect that the average welder in the United States is earning about $43,000 per year. That comes out to $20.71 per hour working straight time (2,080 hours per year).
There’s nothing wrong with making $43,000 per year. Lots of people make a salary in that range.
The problem with these pages is they don’t paint the full picture. Welding salaries can go well above $43,000 per year. There are welders who make $43,000 before Easter.
How can that be? How an all these reputable websites paint such a grim picture of a welder’s salary?
The reason is that welding is a wide-ranging job. Welder a catch-all term for a skill set that can take a person in many different directions.
It’s like saying what is the average salary of a “manager?”
In that case the salary of the manager would depend on many variables such as the industry they work in, the size of the company, the size of the group their managing, the location of the job etc.
The range of welding salaries is the same way.
Welders make a wide range of salaries depending on what type of welding they do, who they weld for, where they weld and how good they are at it.
What are the highest paying welder jobs?
The highest paying welder jobs are in industrial construction. Pipe welders, tube welders, rig welders, underwater welders and combo welders are the highest paid of all welding jobs. The type of welding is important and so is the industry.
The top welder salary can be over $200,000 per year in industrial construction. Making the top welder salary requires a special skill set, hard work and sometimes long hours.
However, not all welder jobs are high paying jobs.
Understanding the difference is important. It will help you start to plan how to get into a welding job that works for you.
Welders in industrial construction are not making $43,000 per year (as the BLS suggests) or even $43,000 per six months. Industrial construction welding jobs can all make well into six figures per year.
As of late summer 2022, the average welder job on RoadDog Jobs is paying $30.03 per hour. That’s just the average. There are welding job paying $50 per hour!
If you’re curious what the $50 per hour welding job was, it was a pipe welder working at the shipyards in Newport News, VA.
The average salary for the industrial welding positions on RoadDog Jobs is 33% higher, on average, than the BLS quoted rates. How does a 33% pay increase sound?
So how do you decide which of these industrial construction welding jobs to pursue? Is it just about the welding salary? Or are there other considerations?
Do the highest paid welding jobs require travel?
Not all, but many of the highest paid welding jobs require travel. The distance of travel can vary depending on where you live. Some jobs – like offshore oil rig jobs – require a few weeks of travel followed by a few weeks off.
There are many ways that industrial construction welders make their money, but most of the highest paying jobs have a combination of good pay rates, good per diem rates and lots of overtime hours.
Geographically, the highest concentration of industrial construction jobs is in the gulf coast region of the United States.
The gulf coast is home to some of the largest industrial facilities in the country. Refineries, power plants, liquified natural gas terminals, shipyards, chemical plants, paper mills, manufacturing facilities, oil fields, pipelines, steel mills, food processing plants, distribution centers, and many more industrial facilities are prevalent around the gulf coast.
In industrial construction the gulf coast is typically referred to as Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi with Alabama and Florida included occasionally.
The center of industrial activity in the United States is around Houston, Texas. However, there are many hubs of activity including Corpus Christi, Texas and Lake Charles, Louisiana.
That doesn’t mean the only jobs are in the gulf coast. Industrial facilities are found in every state. There are concentrations of facilities in some areas, but the opportunity to work just about anywhere exists.
For the #roaddogs that are traveling to the project location the location of the job isn’t as important beyond personal preference. Some people don’t like to work near big cities. Some people don’t want to work up north.
When you travel for work it’s up to you.
What’s life like as a traveling welder?
Life on the road can be sink or swim. Some make it and some don’t.
That’s why the life of a traveling welder is not for everyone. For the right people, however, it’s the only way they’d want to live.
Traveling for work lets you see the country – or the world. You have more options to go to work since you’re not limited by the workload near your house. The pay rates are going to generally be higher. And finally, you’ll also be paid per diem which is tax free money to help pay expenses. For the people who know what they’re doing, they can typically live on less than the per diem amount which increases their pay.
Life on the road is not easy. Time away from friends and family. A life that can be unpredictable in terms of when jobs become available.
The most important part of life as a per diem welding is finding a crew. That means building relationships with people who you can work with in the future.
Early on in a per diem welder’s career, learning and building relationships should be top priorities.
How to get a welding job
You’ve come to the decision that industrial construction is for you. Congrats and good call.
Remember, you can see available welding jobs here.
Now the question becomes how do I start a welding career?
The best place way to start your welding career is by not welding at all.
If your goal is to be a welder, your first goal is building your reputation as a good worker. To do that you need your foot in the door. The best way to get your foot in the door is to take an entry level non-welding position.
The entry level positions to look for are usually called helper, laborer, or mechanic positions.
Once you have the job the key to eventually making a high welder salary is to get a chance at welding. If you know how to weld ahead of time, that’s great. If you don’t you have to be willing to learn.
What is a welder salary in Florida?
From data on RoadDog Jobs, the average welder salary in Florida is $27.20. The minimum welder salary in Florida is $16.00 and the maximum welder salary in Florida is $70.00.
On average, welder jobs in Florida work 52 hours per week which brings the average weekly welder earnings in Florida to $1,577 per week.
Florida ranks as the number 38 state for average weekly welder earnings and number 44 for average welder pay rate.
What is a welder salary in Georgia?
From data on RoadDog Jobs, the average welder salary in Georgia is $31.44. The minimum welder salary in Georgia is $17.00 and the maximum welder salary in Georgia is $90.00.
On average, welder jobs in Georgia work 50.82 hours per week which brings the average weekly welder earnings in Florida to $1,768 per week.
Georgia ranks as the number 29 state for average weekly welder earnings and number 19 for average welder pay rate.
What is a welder salary in California?
From data on RoadDog Jobs, the average welder salary in California is $39.38. The minimum welder salary in California is $20.00 and the maximum welder salary in California is $60.00.
On average, welder jobs in California work 56.35 hours per week which brings the average weekly welder earnings in California to $2,541 per week.
California ranks as the number 3 state for average weekly welder earnings and number 3 for average welder pay rate.
What is a welder salary in Texas?
From data on RoadDog Jobs, the average welder salary in Texas is $31.15. The minimum welder salary in Texas is $15.00 and the maximum welder salary in Texas is $54.00.
On average, welder jobs in Texas work 58.17 hours per week which brings the average weekly welder earnings in Texas to $2,095 per week.
Texas ranks as the number 11 state for average weekly welder earnings and number 22 for average welder pay rate.
Finding a welder job can take time. That’s why it’s important to select the right kind of welding that you want to pursue.
If earning a high welder salary is your goal, then focusing on industrial construction is the way to go. You can follow RoadDog Jobs to see open positions and understand which companies are hiring welders.