Welders are among the most valued members of the modern manufacturing industry. Day in and day out, welders create critical parts and products used in our everyday lives. From kitchen appliances and medical equipment to automobiles, airplanes, buildings, bridges, pipelines, and oil rigs, welders manufacture and maintain all things metal — making welding an essential and exciting career field.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) determined that 418,200 welders worked in the United States in 2020. The profession was projected to increase nationally by eight percent from 2020 to 2030, with roughly 49,200 job openings annually. In Connecticut, the welding occupational outlook from the CT Department of Labor predicted that, every year between 2018 and 2028, about 265 welding jobs would become available in the state. The growing job opportunities indicate that it’s a great time to become a welder.
How Much Do Welders Make?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2021, the average welder earned a little over $23 an hour, equating to approximately $48,290 per year. If you live in Connecticut and want to jumpstart your welding career, the salary potential is even more significant.
In 2019 alone, Connecticut welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers could make a statewide average of $26.02 an hour and $53,998 annually. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Connecticut is among the top 10 paying states for welders in the nation.
Of the entire Nutmeg State, the highest-earning welders worked in Torrington, with an average annual salary of $56,853. The second highest-producing welders were employed in the capital of Hartford, making an average of $54,491 per year. Welders working in the Waterbury region came in third overall, receiving an average annual salary of $53,484.
Entry-Level vs. Experienced Welder Salaries
Various welding careers can provide a fulfilling future in fabrication, and potential salaries depend on your education, experience, employer, and work environment.
Entry-level welders are typically recent graduates of welding programs or workers with minimal training or on-the-job experience. Entry-level welders are commonly trained and supervised by experienced workers until they gain the confidence, knowledge, and know-how to work independently. Consequently, the starting opportunity allows entry-level welders to foster their skills, advance their professional prospects, and further their careers.
Experienced welders have extensive industry understanding and have taken the time to practice the proficiencies of their profession. To keep up with technology, technique, and changing regulations, experienced welders invest in themselves and the industry by acquiring advanced-level certifications and specializations. Experienced welders also uphold their credentials to remain in good standing with regulatory associations.
Whether an entry-level welder or more experienced, the more education and expertise welders obtain, the higher their earning potential. After three to five years of welding familiarity, wages should start to grow substantially. After five to nine years in the career field, a welder’s salary should increase considerably.
For example, Connecticut reports that the statewide hourly wage for entry-level welders is $17.39 per hour. However, as experience is gained, welders can expect to grow that salary, with potential to earn upwards of $30 per hour or more, based on state data.
Welder Salary Potential for Specific Industries
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics listed the national top-paying industries for welders to be:
- Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing: Average annual salary — $77,130
- Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas: Average yearly income — $80,560
- Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil: Average annual salary — $87,900
- Natural Gas Distribution: Average yearly income — $88,940
- Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution: Average annual salary — $92,130
Meanwhile, the Connecticut DOL identified the following four industries as providing the highest rate of pay for welders in the state of Connecticut:
- Manufacturing: Median wage — $24.43/hour
- Other Services: Median wage — $27.59/hour
- Public Administration: Median wage — $32.05/hour
- Construction: Median wage — $37.18/hour
Top-Paying Welding Careers
The American Welding Society stated that the welding careers listed below could earn beyond $100,000 annually, with appropriate experience and training.
- Pipeline Welder — Gas and oil are transported through a series of interconnected buildings, structures, and pipelines all over the country. A gas or oil pipeline leak could be catastrophic — for the environment, the gas or oil customer, and the company controlling the pipeline. Pipeline welders create and maintain gas and oil pipelines.
- Iron Worker — Establishes and dismantles substantial metal frameworks like bridges and stadiums for ornamental, reinforcement, and structural purposes.
- Underwater Welder — Builds, repairs, and salvages oil rigs, shipwrecks, subsea construction, and more. Underwater welder positions also require several additional aquatic certifications.
- Contract Welder — Instead of working for a particular employer, contract welders work as independent contractors, signing agreements with clients to weld certain projects for set periods.
- Welding Inspector — Certified welding inspectors are knowledgeable about the specifications of every welding process performed. They also adhere to compliance and safety policies and standards.
Launch a Successful Welding Career
Welding can be a well-paying profession, and the industry needs innovators like you.
If you live in Connecticut and want to learn how to weld, our flexible welding technology certificate program can be completed in as few as eight months. The program provides hands-on training with state-of-the-art welding technology — including a CNC plasma table and a virtual reality welding simulator. After graduation, you will be well-prepared to pursue your welding certification or entry-level employment. In just a matter of months, you can get into the field and start earning fast.
Call Goodwin University at 800-899-3282 or visit us online to learn more about our welding program.