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How much do welders get paid per year?

In the 2010-2011 edition of its occupational guide, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that welding remains America's most-used method of connecting pipes and other metal pieces.

Thanks to high job growth rates in this industry, the bureau reports that it offers favourable conditions for those looking for a job. If you're interested in applying for a welding position, knowing the average welder's typical annual salary can help you determine whether it's the right fit for you and your financial lifestyle.

Welder salaries: national average

The men and women who piece together metals in U.S. welding shops earn an average annual salary of £23,800. This can increase and decrease depending on the individual shop, the welder's experience and other factors. For example, a welder in the 10th percentile -- out of an average group of 100, 90 would earn more than this -- brings in just £15,200 a year. On the flip side, a welder in the 90th percentile can net an annual average of £34,000.

Welder Salaries: averages by the largest employers

When dividing welders into industries, architectural and structural firms make up the largest employer group.

When working for such employers, the typical welder gets £21,600. Agricultural machinery manufacturers rank second and industrial machine repair shops rank third. Welders in such employment earn a respective £23,100 and £23,300 -- almost right on par with the national average.

Welder salaries: averages by highest-paying employers

If you're a welder, it could be a wise move to switch employers and work in the spectator sports industry. Such employers pay their welders the highest average per year: £40,100. That's nearly double the national average for welding wages. In second place, you'll find natural gas companies, ringing in at £36,200. Finally, paper and pulp mills place third, and such welders can expect an average of £35,500.

Welder Salaries: States

Move to Wyoming and you could make a lot of welder friends; the state is home to America's highest concentration of welders. Welders in Wyoming earn an average of £30,300. Louisiana comes second, and pays £26,500, while Oklahoma places third and pays £22,600. If you're categorising states by average salaries, head north to an Alaskan welding shop where average wages ring in at £40,000.

On the opposite side of the temperature spectrum, Hawaiian welders earn an average of £33,900. Finally, the District of Columbia trails Hawaii closely at £33,700.