In the United States, welders make about $40,970 per year. The mean salary for welders in Canada stands at C$50,141 ($38,148 USD), while welder salary in the United Kingdom runs between £16,000 ($19,975 USD) and £35,000 ($43,668 USD). Welders earn on average AU$52,926 ($40,747 USD) in Australia, while in Switzerland they make CHF71,186 ($71,311 USD) and in Norway NOK438,000 ($52,837 USD).
Welder Salary Influencers
Pay for welders varies by the type of industry, the welders’ skills and country of work. Generally, experience plays a smaller role in shaping salaries of the welder.
Welders work in construction and manufacturing sectors. Those who work under collective bargaining agreements as members of unions typically receive higher pay and benefits than those in non-union shops.
The type of skills or specific industry or work setting can influence the pay for welders. For example, in the United States, welders in the “Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution” sector were highest paid, at $71,570 per year. Those in the “Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing” make $37,850 per year. If you are interested in this field, you can also check out the electrician salary.
Welders in the United States skilled in pipe welding earned 11 percent above average. While those in Canada engaged in “Submerged Arc Welding” earn 42 percent more.
2. Geographical Area
Welder Salary in the US
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that “Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers” earned around $40,970 per year, as of May 2015. While the median salary stands at $38,150, with welders in the 90th percentile making above $60,000.
Welder Salary in Canada
According to PayScale, the median salary for a welder in Canada is C$50,141 per year. Therefore total earnings run from C$33,424 and C$83,956.
Welder Salary in the UK
Welders in the United Kingdom earn between £16,000 and £35,000, reports the National Careers Service.
Welder Salary in Australia
PayScale states that pay for Australian welders averages AU$52,926 per year. So, the total pay ranges from AU$39,998 and AU$74,166.
Welder Salary in Switzerland
According to PayScale, welders in Switzerland earn about CHF71,186 per year.
Welder Salary in Norway
Statistics Norway reports that the median salary for welders in Norway is NOK36,500 per month. Therefore, on an annual basis, welders average NOK438,000 per year.
Generally, accumulated experience does not significantly increase the pay of welders. According to PayScale, starting welders in the United States have a median salary of $36,000 per year. The median rises to $41,000 after five years of experience, $43,000 after ten years and $47,000 beyond 20 years.
The median salary for entry-level welders in Canada is C$43,000. After five years of experience, the median rises to C$56,000, and then C$61,000. Thereafter, median pay generally remains level.
In the United Kingdom, new welders make between £16,000 and £19,000 per year. While those at the “experienced” stage earn from £20,000 to £30,000. For “Highly Experienced” welders, pay reaches £35,000 per year.
For welders in Australia, the median entry-level salary stands at AU$50,000. It rises to AU$55,000 for welders with at least ten years of experience and does not rise thereafter, according to PayScale.
In the United States, welders generally are full-time workers and may often work overtime.
Job Bank Canada reports that approximately 97 percent of welders in Canada logged full-time hours. In Australia, the government’s “Job Outlook” reports that 95.6 percent of “Structural Steel and Welding Workers” worked full-time. As a result, the average work week was 41.5 hours per week.
According to the National Career Service, a work week for welders in the United Kingdom is about 38 hours and ranges between 35 and 40 hours.
Depending on the employer, shifts may last eight to 12 hours at a time. Manufacturing plants often operate 24 hours a day and seven days per week. As a result, evening and weekend work usually is common.
Bonuses & Benefit Packages
PayScale reports that welders in the United States fetch bonuses between $242.17 and $5,060. Bonuses for Canadian welders range between C$98.99 and C$9,744 per year. In Australia, the bonus is AU$2,500, while the bonus for welders in Norway is about NOK200 per month or NOK2,400 per year.
Those welders who belong to unions have their benefits, including retirement, determined by collective bargaining agreements.
Moreover, Australia, Switzerland, and Norway entitle employees to paid annual leave and contributions by their employers to pension funds. Under Switzerland’s three-tier retirement system, mandatory employer contributions and benefits through Old Age and Survivors/Disability Insurance fund 60 percent of retirement. In the third level, employer contributions are voluntary.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of welders in the United States should rise by four percent through 2024. The American Welding Society projects a shortage of 290,000 skilled welders by 2020.
The Canadian Government’s Job Bank projects that, by 2024, Canada will have 30,800 job openings for “Welders and related machine operators” for 30,300 job seekers.
According to the Australian Government’s Job Outlook, the “Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers” sector had 70,600 workers as of November 2015. So, by November 2019, job openings in this sector could number between 25,001 and 50,000.
The need for infrastructure improvements will help shape demand for welders. Job opportunities arise especially where companies or government agencies seek to upgrade or replace aging utility plants; water, sewer and gasoline lines; roads and other facilities or infrastructure. With the essential welding skills being similar across most industries, a downturn in one manufacturing or construction sector does not necessarily lead to lower overall prospects for welders.
In Norway, oil and gas companies have continued to seek welders with experience in drilling and platform work.
In certain countries, there exists a shortage of welders. According to a Le News article from October 27, 2015, “skilled trades” ranked as the hardest positions for employers in Switzerland to fill. The “High-integrity” pipe-welder position that requires at least three years of experience appears on the United Kingdom’s “shortage list” as of January 3, 2017.
The generally strong demand for welders can yield significant job openings. However, with a lack of workers with welding skills, employment likely will not rise significantly and shortages of welders may remain.
Therefore, pPay prospects will likely depend on the welder’s skill, work environment, and type of employer.