Welders join pieces of metal together through a variety of processes, with the most common being arc welding. Welders are found in many different industries, including construction, energy and manufacturing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the 2013 median pay for welders, cutters, solderers and brazers at $36,720 yearly. Welder salaries vary by the industry and the location, however.
Welder Salaries by Industry
Welders working in the electrical and natural gas industries make relatively high salaries. The BLS notes that welders in electrical power generation earn about $66,550 annually as of May, 2013, with natural gas industry welders earning $62,130. The architectural and structural metals manufacturing industry employs the most welders and as of May 2013 they earn $35,760 annually. According to BLS, welders in the motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing industry earned the lowest 2013 salaries at $34,280 per year.
Welder Salaries by State
Salaries for welders also vary widely by the state, with those in Alaska earning the highest pay, at $68,750 as of 2013. In Wyoming and North Dakota, both booming energy producing states, welder salaries came in at $49,070 and $48,960, respectively. Texas employs the most welders, with 2013 salaries pegged at about $39,590.
Welder Training Requirements
A high school diploma or equivalent is required to become a welder. Welding training ranges from a few weeks of technical school or on-the-job training to several years of technical school paired with OJT. Welder employment is projected to grow by six percent through 2022, a slower than average rate.
2016 Salary Information for Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers
Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers earned a median annual salary of $39,390 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers earned a 25th percentile salary of $32,590, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $49,550, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 404,800 people were employed in the U.S. as welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers.