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Ranking the Highest Paying Welding Salaries

Feb 1, 2021 ·
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Being able to meld seemingly indestructible materials together into brand new things is a unique ability. If you're a welder, that's what you do every day.

Welders heat metal pieces, fusing them together to create permanent bonds that form strong objects. Welders work in a variety of industries that are vital to global economies, including:

  • Aerospace
  • Automobile repairs and manufacturing
  • Shipbuilding
  • Bridge building
  • Building manufacturing

If you’ve ever considered a career in welding, or any career path for that matter, one of your first questions most likely has to do with salary. The good news is that in addition to being able to do rewarding work, skilled welders have good earning potential when it comes to their welding salary.

How Much Do Welders Make?

Welders work all over the world in a variety of environments, from factories to construction sites.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2020 median annual salary for welders, cutters, solderers and brazers was $44,190.26 This means half of welders earned more and half earned less. Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience, employer, demand and cost of living in the area.

If you’re wondering how much welders earn, you’ve come to the right place! Check out this list of welder salaries in the United States (median wages reported in May 2020) so you can plan your next career move.

Top 10 Annual Median Salaries for Welders


1. Alaska: $72,940

In Alaska, the largest economic component is the gas and oil industry. Other prominent industries in the state include fishing, timber, mining and agriculture. Welders in Alaska work on machinery and equipment supporting these industries.

2. District of Columbia: $64,870

According to Forbes, the cost of living in Washington, D.C., is 17% above the national average — which may be a reason why welder wages there tend to be higher than most places. Construction is one of the fastest-growing industries in Washington, D.C., particularly home construction. Welders here can work on buildings and parts for buildings, among other construction-related tasks.

3. Hawaii: $63,590

In Hawaii, defense and exports like raw sugar, molasses, and fresh and processed pineapple are dominant economic drivers. Welders here may work on military equipment including planes, tanks and vehicles. They might also work on farm equipment that supports agricultural exports.

4. Wyoming: $57,010

One of Wyoming's main industries is mineral extraction. Welders here may be responsible for working on equipment for this industry. Tourism is the other significant industry in Wyoming, so welders might work on vehicles for state parks and other tourism-related needs.

5. North Dakota: $55,510

North Dakota is one of the better states for welders, thanks to several large industries that drive its economy. These include the energy industry, which benefits from the state’s oil and coal reserves. Other fields North Dakota welders can work in include agriculture and transportation.

A student works on a weld at a UTI lab.

6. Maryland: $54,260

Prominent industries in Maryland include manufacturing, agriculture, aerospace and mining, which all rely on the skills of welders. In this state, welders can find themselves working in all kinds of settings, from manufacturing facilities to repair shops to construction sites.

7. Washington: $53,900

Washington's economy is driven by a variety of industries where welders can work. These include forestry, defense, maritime, aerospace, and agriculture and food manufacturing. Washington is also a leader in clean technology developments, giving welders unique opportunities if they're interested in working with green technology.

8. Delaware: $53,710

The chief industries in Delaware are agriculture, fishing, manufacturing and mining. Welders here work on equipment for farming, mining and manufacturing. They might also repair ships and create parts used in manufacturing.

9. Maine: $53,430

Shipbuilding, health care, mining, manufacturing and agriculture are just some of the industries that are booming in Maine. Welders in this state do anything from welding parts for boats to playing a critical role in making equipment used by health care workers. If you’re looking for variety in the types of work you can do, this may be the place for you.

10. Massachusetts: $52,380

Some of the main industries in Massachusetts are medical and life sciences, manufacturing, and fishing. Welders fuse materials together to create parts and products that support these industries. They might work on ships, in factories or outside in construction.

Ranking All 50 States and the District of Columbia

RankStateAnnual Median Wage
1Alaska$72,940
2District of Columbia$64,870
3Hawaii$63,590
4Wyoming$57,010
5North Dakota$55,510
6Maryland $54,260
7Washington$53,900
8Delaware$53,710
9Maine
$53,430
10Massachusetts$52,380
11Louisiana$52,240
12Rhode Island$50,980
13New Mexico
$50,380
14New Jersey$49,600
15Connecticut $49,420
16Virginia
$48,280
17Colorado$48,090
18Oregon$47,870
19New Hampshire$47,330
20Minnesota$47,010
21Wisconsin$46,530
22California
$45,930
23Nevada$45,590
24Arizona$45,300
25West Virginia$45,290
26Texas$45,250
27Pennsylvania$44,720
28Vermont$44,540
29Montana
$44,490
30New York$44,370
31South Carolina$43,040
32Utah$43,020
33Tennessee$42,920
34Oklahoma
$42,320
35Illinois$42,210
36North Carolina
$42,180
37Nebraska
$42,080
38Mississippi
$41,950
39Missouri
$41,670
40Indiana$41,420
41Ohio$41,410
42Kansas$41,380
43Iowa$41,300
44Kentucky$40,980
45Alabama
$40,800
46Florida$40,340
47Idaho$40,130
48Michigan
$40,080
49South Dakota
$39,810
50Georgia
$38,740
51Arkansas
$38,030


Train to Become a Welder at UTI

If working on welding jobs and in environments like these sounds appealing to you, studying welding at Universal Technical Institute (UTI) can help you jump-start your career.1 To learn more, visit our Welding Technology training program page and request information to get in touch with one of our Admissions Representatives today.

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