Career In Welding: Salary & Jobs

Although the compensation for a basic welder is respectable, it is not the most lucrative profession. With an annual compensation ranging from $30,000 to $60,000 depending on experience, it’s a profession that will enable you to live a comfortable life but not to save money or purchase a second home. Of course, not everyone aspires to be wealthy. But several welding training professions can pay six figures provided you already have the ability and willingness to optimize your income. Welding training will require specialized years of experience to reach the top of the wage scale.

Qualifications and Certifications

Most welders have some kind of certification to attest to their training in the trade. However, welders with the greatest salaries frequently have the most certificates. But they aren’t simply numbers; they typically take the time to learn and obtain the most challenging qualifications, which require a lot of effort, time, and talent.

These can be highly expensive and necessitate enrollment at specialized schools. You’ll probably need to move temporarily if you want to acquire specialized welding training that will make you a lot of money because these schools aren’t available everywhere.

Jobs and Salaries

Rig Welder

Annual Salary: $52,000 – $207,000

The world’s top paid welders are those who work on rigs. They put in long, challenging hours at the highest levels of education and training. Companies only employ the best candidates for these positions since mistakes could have catastrophic consequences.

Before employers even consider you for the position, you must have years of experience and numerous qualifications. On offshore oil rigs at sea, rig welders are frequently required to undertake all kinds of hyperbaric welding course, underwater welding, and welding.

Some rig welders may be transported daily by helicopter to and from their workplace. However, it’s more likely that you’ll spend a lot of time living on the rig you maintain while working 12-hour shifts seven days a week. Although it could run for several weeks or months at a period, this is a significant factor in why rig welders are paid so highly.

Underwater welder

Annual Salary: $38,000 – $147,000

Welders that work underwater have a dangerous job. They have a far more significant percentage of workplace fatalities than most other professions, making it one of the riskiest jobs you might have. That’s a big reason why they get paid so handsomely.

Offshore projects of all shapes and sizes may require the services of underwater welders. They might be engaged in underwater construction, recovering shipwrecks, building or repairing oil rigs and other oil-related buildings, or a variety of other tasks that are unique to them.

To weld underwater, you must hold a wet welding repair D3.6M certification from the American Welding Society. However, you must first obtain your commercial diver certification, which takes 5-7 months of full-time study, before you can even begin your studies for this certification.

During this initial training, you’ll master the fundamentals of the underwater welding program, but you won’t be certified to work for the highest salaries until you obtain your formal AWS certification. To obtain the training and certifications required for this vocation, budget upwards of $20,000+. The investment will be worthwhile once your yearly income is in the six figures.

welding training

Nuclear Welder

Annual Salary: $22,000 – $143,500

Nuclear welders may be required to carry out a wide range of duties requiring numerous credentials. Both a commercial diving certification and an underwater welding certification are likely required. But the most unusual requirement for this position is that you must have FBI clearance!

Simply working with the nuclear materials that a nuclear welder will need to work with requires a security clearance. Additionally, you’ll probably need to pass psychological exams and legal alcohol and drug tests. It’s a demanding way of life that not everyone can handle. You could work on nuclear-powered ships, construct or fix reactor vessels, or operate in shipyards as a nuclear welder.

Industrial Pipeline Welder

Annual Salary: $23,500 – $133,500

Extensive, linked pipeline systems covering thousands of miles are used to deliver gas and oil. A leak might spell tragedy for the business in charge of the pipeline and the area it is in. Building and maintaining these pipelines will fall within your purview as an industrial pipeline welder.

This entails frequent travel to numerous locations, frequently even outside of the country. On the plus side, you’ll experience a variety of locations while working in dynamic settings. But some of them might not be the best places to work.

As occupations, plumbers and electricians have a lot in common. Both perform installations and repairs for both private residences and businesses. Both vocations often ask for some postsecondary training in a trade school in addition to internships with experts in the industry. The pay between an electrician and a plumber is hardly noticeable.


So what is the salary of a welder? As a skilled welder, there are numerous methods to earn outstanding pay. The greater salary you can expect depends on how much risk you’re willing to take.

Similarly, your bank account will appreciate you more the longer you are away from home. Higher talents, more education, and certificates will also increase your pay, but the ideal way to earn the biggest wage is to achieve all of the aforementioned goals.

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