If you are new in the welding industry, you might be interested to know how much fortune you can make in the welding industry. And with TIG welding being more popular day by day and a lucrative option for earning a livelihood, you may show some interest in TIG welding too.
But for this first off you need to know how much does a TIG welder makes to finalize your career decision. We talked with professionals including experts and beginners TIG welder, discussed with workshop and construction owners to find the answer to this critical question.
As our discussion found out you may expect to get around $18 to $22 hourly as a beginner and intermediate TIG welder. And as your career advances and also, you become experienced in the welding jobs, it can go up to $35 or even more.
But it will depend on your CV, working location, demand in the welding market, and your reputation in the industry.
So, let’s explore these TIG welding career pathways today.
There’s no denial of the fact that the welding industry has a shortage of experienced and skilled TIG welders. So, the basic rule of the economy also applies in the welding industry.
As there is a shortage of TIG welders, their demand is pretty high in the market. With this little piece of information, you may leap and jump high in the sky. But wait, my welding mate. This is only half of the truth.
Although there’re high demands for welders in the market, it doesn’t mean you will earn Millions of Dollars from it annually. That’s far from the reality.
Yes, we admit that TIG welders with a few years of experience and reputation in the market earn a handsome salary to happily pass their life. But how much do TIG welders earn?
To know this rightly, let’s first check out two factors-
- The American Welding Society fears that by 2022 America will see a shortage of 375,000 welders. And that’s a huge sum by any means.
- In 2018, there're at least 425,000 welding jobs 2018. And a majority of them were for welder starter.
These two pieces of information are enough to clarify the real scenario for the demand for TIG welders. So, how much you expect to earn as a TIG welder with such extreme demands?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that an intermediate welder may earn around $40000 in its beginning stage. But that’s for the starting jobs. The average median salary of a welder is about $42,000 for the US TIG welders.
Since it is a median salary, you should expect that around 40% t0 50% of welders are actually earning less than this amount. Also, around 50% is making more than this amount too. It could go up to $55,000 annually.
So, then how the hype came that a welder may earn up to $150,000 annually?
Well, it was largely part of the report published in The Wall Street Journal. The report was published in 2014 and from there the hype went on to become viral. However, this is not true, for beginners and intermediates especially.
Nonetheless, the annual salary will also depend on where you perform the TIG welding. For instance, if you are an underwater TIG welder, you may even earn $300,000.
The Welder Magazine in 2018 reported that the hourly salary of an intermediate TIG welder was $17. Only 26% of welders earned above it. By 2019, the figure had risen to 29%.
Therefore, you can take this understanding with you-
As a TIG welder, you can expect to earn enough for a decent lifestyle. But TIG welding jobs aren’t ideal for fulfilling luxurious needs. Yet, it is an effective way of earning more than a decent amount to lead a life comfortably.
But you have to take a few things into considerations too.
Location and Demand
The salary of a TIG welder will also depend on where you work and welding demands. Also, the true salary difference between beginner TIG welders and top 10 TIG welders aren’t the same. The following table will help you know the salary difference better.
State and Location
Wages of top 10% welders
As the table shows, Alaska and North Dakota offer a maximum hourly salary for TIG welders. Also, more people earn the median salary which is close to 32% and it is above the national average. It clearly shows that location and demand will play a pretty important factor in how much does a TIG welder makes annually.
Seeing the salary variation you might be willing to travel destinations like Alaska and Hawaii to earn more as a TIG welder. But you must know the full story before you make the final decision. Yes, even with the locations there’s something behind the curtain.
For instance, Alaskan TIG welders earn considerably higher because most of them will actually work in the oil industry. Therefore, they need more expertise and so, expectedly their salary is higher than most other states in the US.
Thus, it brings to us another important factor for TIG welders' earnings.
The Welding Industry:
The welding industry will determine your salary as much as the location and demand will. Thus, you should find out some high-demanding industries where TIG welders are more acceptable and salaried than other industries.
During our Lotos TIG welder review, we further talked with industry experts about the same topic. Some of the industries that we found lucrative for TIG welders include the followings-
- The defense industry in the US is ever-expanding and currently, it needs many skilled TIG welders. You may get these defense-related welding projects at your state or may need to travel to other states as well.
- If you are a bit adventurous and don’t mind diving deep into the water, maritime TIIG welding can bring you a hefty fortune. Locations like the riverbanks of Mississippi, the Great Lakes, or the Gulf of Mexico will give you a good chance for such maritime welding. Also, you may choose to travel close to oceans for such opportunities.
- The oil and gas industry is another sector where you can try your luck as a TIG welder. From pipeline creation to drilling gas rigs in the ocean and remote locations, the industry is full of jobs for welders. Also, it needs extreme expertise and care during any welding chores. Therefore, you can expect a hefty and handsome salary in this industry. Nonetheless, you should expect to move into other states to avail yourself of the opportunities since the oil and gas industry is heavily concentrated in a few states. It includes Ohio, North Dakota, Alaska, and Texas mostly.
- The aerospace and nuclear industry also have a high demand for professional and skilled TIG welders. But it needs the most skilled ones since the job is extremely critical. The benefit of working with nuclear and aerospace companies is that they provide a great work environment for you. On top of it, it has perfect work schedules as well. So, you will also get an improved lifestyle as a TIG welder in these companies.
- The most common sector for TIG or any other welders to kick off their career is perhaps the construction and engineering industry. From building skyscrapers to the stadiums and iconic towers, no construction site is void of welders. However, you will need to travel a lot since the construction workers happen nationwide. So, be prepared to travel if you want to earn a good amount from the construction site TIG welding.
The Best Places For TIG Welders to Work in the US
You have already seen that TIG welding may help you earn a handsome annual salary so you can lead a comfy life. Thus, you might be interested to jump directly into TIG welding jobs.
But what about getting the chance to earn some more money?
Yes, there’re a few US states where you may get more salaries than other locations. To begin with, let’s introduce Massachusetts. It tops the list of most paid TIG welding states with a 5.8% higher salary than other states. So, you may expect to get around $2,452 more than the annual TIG welding salary.
The trend follows the same pattern for Hawaii, Connecticut, and Alaska as well. In Connecticut, you will get a 3.2% higher salary than the annual medium in the US. Also, many construction and engineering companies are hiring professional TIG welders. Thus, you can quickly try the luck in these top states for TIG welders.
When you enter the TG welding, you may want to know how much you can earn. In this regard, this discussion on how much does a TIG welder makes should help you greatly. You should expect to earn around $35000 to $40000 annually as a skilled TIG welder.
But there are a few states where you may travel to earn a bit more up to 4% on an average. Also, industries like oil and gas as well as construction sites will help you in getting more and offer a more secured life as a TIG welder.