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Although mass-produced goods and innovations in fabrication technology have rendered many blacksmiths’ duties obsolete, the profession still hangs on, providing custom-designed wrought-iron pieces to clients. In some cases, blacksmiths double as farriers, providing shoeing services to horse owners, although that career field is much different than the role of a traditional blacksmith who concentrates on metalwork.
National Average Salary
Blacksmiths’ salaries vary, depending upon experience, skill level and ability to market custom products. According to the jobs website Simply Hired, the average annual salary for a blacksmith in 2014 was $28,000.
Salaries Around the Country
A blacksmith’s salary varies depending upon the part of the country in which he works. Blacksmiths who work in New York City earned $38,000 in 2014, according to the jobs website Indeed. Blacksmiths in Orlando, Florida, earned $25,000.
Variety of Smithing Courses
Several formal courses educate blacksmiths around the country. Course work varies widely, and may cover everything from fine-art metalsmithing and jewelry skills to use of a modern power hammer and die work. Many blacksmiths still learn their craft in the traditional way, however, and work as apprentices under one trained in the craft until they develop the skills necessary to work independently.
Welders More Common
Fabrication, the use of welding and shaping to construct metal objects rather than forging them through blacksmithing, pays average salaries that are comparable to those of blacksmiths. The average welder's or fabricator’s annual salary in 2014 was $32,000, according to Indeed. Although trained blacksmiths have the opportunity to earn higher salaries than those in a welding shop, fabrication and welding is often a more common industry to which consumers turn for customized metal work.
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