Welders are industrial professionals who are trained to join metals together by applying the proper amount of heat. Welded metal forms a strong bond that makes it useful in a number of manufacturing and construction industries. Pay rates for welders varies significantly based on their skill level, type of employment and the geographic location of their work site.
The mean income for welders at all skill levels from across the United States was $3,052 per month or $36,630 per year, as of May 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bottom 10 percent of U.S.-based welders earned less than $1,952 per month while the top 10 percent earned monthly wages of more than $4,368. The middle 50 percent of U.S.-based welders earned monthly wages of between $2,358 and $3,535.
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The architectural and structural metals manufacturing industry provided the greatest number of jobs for welders as of May 2009, according to the BLS. Welders who worked in this industry earned mean monthly wages of $2,778. The spectator sports industry offered significantly fewer jobs for welders, but paid the highest monthly wages for the occupation at $5,153.
The part of the country where a welder works significantly impacts his pay rate. Welders who worked in Alaska were the most highly compensated welders of any state with a mean monthly salary of $5,129 as of May 2009, according to the BLS. More welders worked in Texas than in any other state in the country. Texas-based welders earned mean monthly wages of $3,075. Welders who worked in South Dakota earned the lowest mean monthly wages in the country at $2,547.
Training for welders can range from on-the-job training to formal training. Skill level and experience significantly impacts a welder's monthly income. The median monthly income for a skill level I welder who requires supervision was $2,825 as of May 2011, according to the Salary.com website. Skill level II welders who have completed formal training or an apprenticeship program earned a median monthly income of $3,334. Still Level III welders who supervised and lead a team of welders earned a median monthly income of $3,849.