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Ranking the Highest Paying Median Annual 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 skilled welders have 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 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for welders, cutters, solderers and brazers in the United States was $47,540 in May 2022.26 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 by the BLS in May 2021) so you can plan your next career move.

Top 10 Annual Median Salaries for Welders

1. Alaska: $75,940

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: $65,810

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: $63,120

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: $60,800

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: $59,770

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. Rhode Island: $57,420

With its stunning coastlines and economy built around water, welders are needed in the shipbuilding, pipelines, manufacturing and industrial maintenance industries of Rhode Island ( Beyond that, with miles of beaches and a variety of urban and small and rural towns, Rhode Island could be a great place to live.

7. Washington: $55,300

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. Connecticut, Massachusetts & New Jersey: $49,480

Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey all tied for the eighth-highest median annual salary for welders in 2021. Here’s some info about each state:

  • Connecticut: This state has named advanced manufacturing, bioscience and green technology among its top five industries. As a result, welding is an important aspect of top industries, which could be why Connecticut is a top-10 paying state for welders.
  • Massachusetts: Some of state’s main industries are medical and life sciences, manufacturing, and fishing. Welders fuse materials together to create parts and products that support these industries.
  • New Jersey: Famous for its beautiful beaches and great food, the Garden State can be a great place to live and work with its above average median salary for welders. Beyond that, New Jersey runs off manufacturing and transportation — both industries that will have equipment in need of welders.

9. Virginia: $49,200

Virginia is bordered by both the East Coast and the South, and its culture is a reflection of both. Virginia was the first colony established in 1607, but you also can easily find shrimp and grits at local restaurants. Its economy relies on technology, service and agriculture, and fishing, all things that require tools and machines welders help manufacture. It was also ranked as the fifth-best state to live in for 2022, according USA Today.

10. Louisiana: $48,750

Cajun and Creole cuisine, Mardi Gras celebrations, and jazz music are just some things to enjoy in Louisiana. Not just diverse culturally, the state exports mostly oils and produces one quarter of the country’s gas — both things that require welders for their tools and machinery.

Ranking All 50 States and the District of Columbia

RankStateAnnual Median Wage
1 AK $75,940
2 DC $65,810
3 HI $63,120
4 WY $60,800
5 ND $59,770
6 RI $57,420
7 WA $55,300
8 CT $49,480
 MA $49,480

NJ $49,480
9 VA $49,200
10LA $48,750
11NH $48,620
12NM $48,600
13CA $48,590
14MD $48,340
15DE $48,210
16NY $48,140
17ME $47,940

WI $47,940
18MN $47,840
 OR $47,840
19NV $47,830
20 TX $47,820
21CO $47,740
22PA $47,130
23AZ $46,970
24UT $46,910

VT $46,910
25IA $46,640

ID $46,640

IN $46,640

MT $46,640

NE $46,640
26NC $46,450
27MS $46,420

OK $46,420
28AL $46,320
29 WV $46,240
30 KS $45,600
31 OH $45,010
32 TN $44,830
33 IL $44,590
34 MO $44,280
35 FL $44,260
36 KY $43,440
37 SD $39,300
38 MI $38,870
39 SC $38,860
40 GA $38,520
41 AR $37,760

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.

UTI Campuses That Offer Welding Training

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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit

26) UTI’s Welding Technology Training Program prepares graduates for entry-level positions using the provided training, primarily as welders. Estimated annual salary shown above is for Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers as published in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2022 Occupational Employment and Wages. Entry-level salaries are lower for UTI graduates. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on economic factors, personal credentials, work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer, and their compensation programs. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as a welding technician, such as inspector and quality control. Salary information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: The average annual entry-level salary range for persons employed as Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers (51-4121) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is $36,160 to $50,810 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2020 data Salary information for North Carolina: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the hourly median wage for skilled welders in North Carolina is $22.69 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2022 Occupational Employment and Wages, Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers). The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish entry-level salary data. However, the 25th and 10th percentile of hourly earnings in North Carolina are $18.91 and $17.16, respectively.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


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