A certified welder is someone who has gone through a formal training program for joining materials together. These materials are typically metallic, such as steel, aluminum or brass, but can also be plastic or polymer-based.
The greater the experience, the higher the salary. PayScale states that as of September 2010, the median pay for welders with one to four years of experience is $14 per hour and those with five to nine years earn $16.95. Mean wages drop slightly, at $16.52, in the range of 10 to 19 years before rising substantially at 20 or more years to $22.98.
The location of the job affects salary, with welders in Minnesota earning the most at a median of $21.30 an hour, followed by Illinois at $20. In California, welders average $16.80, while those in Texas get $17.12, according to PayScale.
Wages vary by employer, with welders under contract receiving the highest wages at a median of $18 per hour. Certified welders working for state and local governments make $16.50, while those in private companies earn $16.52, PayScale reports.