Why Do Welders Make So Much Money?

Welding is a wide career field that houses numerous different paths that you can venture into. Although people have the perception that the skill is not a “high pay” skill as they see welders as mere iron benders and bonders, the profession can be a wider and high-paying one for you depending on the path you venture into and your professionalism. With this, there’s a sense of confusion that makes one ask “if welders can make a huge amount of money, why do they make so much money? And how do they make that amount of money?”

Welders make a lot of money because of their career path in the field, and their skills. A highly paid welder is one who is very skilled in his career path and has enough experience in that path. Moreso, the amount of money welders make is dependent on how hazardous the career path is. 

There are several welding career paths that pay higher than the rest depending on which one you want to become a professional in. In this article, I’ll discuss specifically why welders make a lot of money, how they do, and the highest paying welding jobs you can venture into.

Why Do Welders Make A Lot Of Money?

Welders make a lot of money because of their chosen career path in the career field, their skill, and experience in the career field. Although the average welder who works down your street probably earns a decent annual salary ranging from $30,000 – $60,000 depending on his experience, the career path can earn him even more if he decides to add some qualifications and certifications, and a change in career paths to his plans.

Although the high-paying career paths might be very hazardous and might require you to travel from home for a long period of time to work, the pay is mouth-watering as it ranges between $150,000 – $300,000 annually.  

To also earn more as a welder, an average worker works a standard 9-5 but a high-paying welder could work more hours. This helps to propel them to the top of the earning charts. For instance, an offshore welder could work for as long as weeks and months, with an average of 12-hours per day, seven days a week. 

Highest Paying Welding Jobs In 2021

Being an average welder earns you a decent annual salary, but there are also very high-paying jobs in the career field. These jobs are dependent on the risk, qualifications, and experience of the welder to be able to earn higher. Here’s a list of the top 7 highest paying welding jobs in 2021:

Highest Paying Welding JobMin. Salary (yearly)Max. Salary (yearly)
Underwater Welding$54,000$300,000
Rig Welding$52,000$207,000
Military Support Welding$60,000$160,000
Nuclear Welding$22,000$143,500
Industrial Pipeline Welding$23,500$133,500
Welding Engineer$51,000$120,000
Certified Welding Inspector$42,000$104,000

Underwater Welding:

Underwater welding gives an option of choosing a particular Niche you’d like to work under. The options include- oil, gas, military, or shipbuilding fields. Being an underwater welder comes with several risks, hence why the pay ranges from $54,000 – $300,000. 

Before being cleared to work as an underwater welder, you are required to go through extensive certification training. You have to be a professional welder on land before you can become an underwater welder.

Rig Welding: 

Rig welding requires enough years of experience and multiple certifications before companies can hire you. Companies are very specific about hiring rig welders because if any mistake arises while the rig welder is at work, it’s going to be cataclysmic, hence they only hire the best professionals. They will go as far as flying rig welders to the worksite on helicopters daily. 

Although it’s more likely that you’ll be living on the rig you’re servicing for some time working 12 hours daily. This could last for weeks or months, depending on the contract signed and how long the project will take.

Military Support Welding:

The military is a vast arena, hence there are tons of welding jobs available, depending on the arm of the military you choose to work with, some jobs are risky while most aren’t.

A military support welder could repair and maintain equipment in the states and also weld pipelines abroad, depending on where you’re assigned to work. Military welders have the chance of earning up to $160,000 annually.

Nuclear Welding:

Nuclear welding involves the performance of a vague variety of tasks that require specific certifications. There are possibilities that you’ll need an underwater welding certification and a commercial diving certification. You’ll also need to have a security clearance to work in or around nuclear materials that you’ll be working on. 

Due to this, Nuclear welders earn between $22,000 – $143,500.

Industrial Pipeline Welding: 

An industrial pipeline is responsible for building and fixing oil and gas pipelines as oil and gas is transported through these extensive interconnected pipelines that cover thousands of miles. Industrial pipeline welders learn between the range of $23,500 – $133,500.

Welding Engineer: 

In this career path, you need to be a lover of knowledge because you have to keep up with the new and greatest welding techniques in the industry. You’re required to have a bachelor’s degree and certifications to get started. A welding engineer can make as high as $120,000 annually.

Certified Welding Inspector:

Certified welding inspectors do not actually do a lot of welding work. The requirement is, you need to understand welding better than any of the welders working in your company as you’ll be responsible for making sure that every welding work done in your company is up to standard. You’ll need to understand welding specifications, safety protocols, and so on.

A welding inspector earns between $42,000 to $104,0000.

Requirements to Earn More as a Welder

To earn more as a welder, the following are things that differentiate an average welder from high paying welders:

  • Qualifications and Certifications 
  • Experience
  • Travel
  • Health Risks/Danger
  • Higher work schedule

These factors are requirements that in some way, determine the salary of a welder, making them earn higher than the average welder. 

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