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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.

About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.

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