Best Pipeliner Welding Hood
Best Pipeliner Welding Hood

It’s no secret that welding can be a great way to gain steady employment and an excellent salary.

But the rate of pay and the opportunity for advancement varies widely in the industry. The welding you specialize in, where you work, and what kind of company you work for will all affect how much you make.

To land one of the highest-paying welding jobs available, consider what specialties and regions pay the best.

If you’re already trained and certified and looking to land one of the highest-paying welding jobs, you may need to move to a higher-paying region.

But if you’re starting your welding career, you can change your specialization or the region you’re searching to increase your odds of landing a high-paying position.

Once you’ve found the correct position, it’ll be time to find the perfect welding gear. But first, it’s time to see one of those jobs.

To help you start searching for a great welding job, check out this list of the highest-paying welding jobs in the United States and worldwide.

Underwater Welding

If you’re willing to put in the extra work it takes to become a certified underwater welder, you’ll be well on your way to one of the highest-paying welding jobs available.

It’s no wonder that this field pays so well. Underwater welders must not only be skilled at welding. They have to be certified in commercial scuba diving. Then, they have to learn how to combine those two skills simultaneously.

The work takes place under lots of pressure. You’re on a time limit because you can only work for the length of time that an air tank can provide. Hazards such as poor visibility, freezing temperatures, and even slight changes in the weather can affect how long you work on a project.

Using electrical equipment underwater also poses a threat of electrocution. Given the risks, it’s no surprise that this field is among the highest-paying welding jobs available.

Becoming an underwater welder

The training you’ll need to become an underwater welder will likely cost more than other types of welding. But the increased salary will make up for it in the long run.

The high cost of training, the skills required, and the risks that make this one of the highest-paying welding jobs make it a rarest for welders to get certified. If you get the training and experience, you’ll likely have plenty of job opportunities.

You’ll likely be working on oil drilling stations or underwater pipes in the ocean and lakes and rivers. You may even get to travel the world performing jobs.

Military Support Welding

Military support welding might be the right choice if you’re looking for steady employment and don’t mind taking risks.

While you won’t be doing any welding that you wouldn’t do for a private company, this is one of the highest-paying welding jobs because it does carry some risk.

You’ll be working at military bases and camps around the world. Some of these may be in war zones or in areas that are the target of violence.

Military support welders may either be employed by the military or work for private companies with contracts with the military. While contracted work may pay more, being used by the army has other benefits.

If you’re not already a certified welder, you may be able to get trained on the military’s dime while serving. If you’ve already received training, you may be eligible for help paying any education loans you have.

The military also provides other benefits like healthcare, housing, and retirement plans.

There are dozens of welding jobs that the military is in constant need of. Whether repairing equipment, helping to build new structures, or equipping vehicles with military-grade features, welders are in continuous demand.

Military support welding is one of the highest-paying welding jobs because even in times of peace, the military needs welders. Skilled welders are in even greater demand in times of war or hostile areas.

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Industrial Pipe Welding

Industrial pipes are in use in dozens of industries around the world. They carry gas, water, chemicals, and more, through cities and rural areas.

They are also in constant need of repair. Sometimes maintenance is preventative to keep the pipes running correctly. Other times the repair is after a disaster has struck. Damage and deterioration can be detrimental.

In these cases, repairs need to be made quickly to keep the damage and loss of profit from growing. These repairs may involve working in treacherous, high-stress situations.

The constant need for maintenance and repairs and the sheer number of industries that rely on industrial pipes make this one of the highest-paying welding jobs available.

You’ll find steady employment nearly anywhere if you specialize in this field. But if you’re willing to work overseas, you’ll have the chance to work in some of the highest-paying welding jobs on the market.

To enter this field, you’ll need to learn to work fast and efficiently (but safely!). You may be forced to make quick repairs that need sound quality to prevent future damage.

You’ll also be working for companies with a lot on the line. Mistakes can mean a massive loss of profit and possibly even damage a company’s image.

States with Low-Populations or High Industry Demand

It may be as simple as moving to a new state if you’re already a certified welder and wondering how to land one of the highest-paying welding jobs in the industry.

Regardless of the type of welding you do, you may earn more money working in certain parts of the United States.

Many areas with the best welding jobs are those in low-population areas. Companies in these areas struggle to fill job slots, resulting in them raising their wages in an attempt to attract new employees.

Some other high-paying welding positions exist in states or regions with a high demand for welding work. Areas where the oil drilling industry, or other industries that use industrial pipes, are strong often raise their pay rates to compete with other companies looking for skilled workers.

Where do welders make the most money?

Alaska is home to some of the highest-paying welding jobs in the U.S. The top 10 percent of welders in Alaska earn a whopping $43.83 per hour on average.

This is thanks to a combined effect of a low population and a high demand, thanks to oil drilling in the state.

While the oil industry in Hawaii may be smaller than in Alaska, a low population still makes the state home to some of the best-paying welding jobs. The top 10 percent of welders in Hawaii make an average of $39.75 per hour.

The following four states with the highest-paying welding jobs are North Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Nevada.

The top 10 percent of welders in North Dakota make an average of $39.05 an hour. In West Virginia, they make $37.88; in Wyoming, they make $35.23; in Nevada, they make $34.38.

How to Land One of the Highest Paying Welding Jobs

If you want to land one of these high-paying welding jobs, you’ll need to start by getting the proper training and certifications.

First, decide which area of welding you’d like to specialize in. Maybe you want to work in underwater welding. Or perhaps you know you’d like to work on an oil rig, on vehicles, or with the military.

Once you’ve chosen an area to focus on, you’ll need to find a school or training location to help you prepare and get certified.

Then, it’s time to get the right equipment for the job.

Even though an employer will likely supply most of the equipment that you will need on the job, there are a few things you’ll want to get for yourself. You’ll also need equipment to use while training and getting certified.

You may need more equipment if you plan to do contract work.

What to know before you start your search

Before buying equipment, it’s a good idea to do some research. Welding equipment is expensive. Wasting money on equipment that won’t perform well or hold up will cost you more.

To find the right welding equipment for you, start by reading reviews. This can help you narrow down your search and help you feel better about your purchases.

If you’re looking for quality reviews of welding equipment that you can trust, BestWeldingGear can help.

You can read honest reviews of equipment before you buy. If you aren’t sure where to start shopping, you can also check out BestWeldingGear’s top picks to find some great choices.

Q: What are the highest-paying welding jobs?

A: The highest-paying welding jobs include underwater welder, welding inspector, certified welding inspector, pipeline welder, welding engineer, welding supervisor, military support welder, rig welder, certified welding supervisor, and combo welder.

Q: What is the salary range for underwater welders?

A: The salary range for underwater welders can vary, but it is considered one of the highest-paying welding jobs. Underwater welders can earn an average salary of around $100,000 to $200,000 annually, depending on experience and location.

Q: What is the average salary for a welding inspector?

A: The average salary for a welding inspector can vary depending on experience and industry. However, on average, welding inspectors can earn around $60,000 to $80,000 annually.

Q: What qualifications are needed to become a certified welding inspector?

A: To become a certified welding inspector, you will typically need to have a combination of education, training, and experience in welding. Additionally, you may need to pass certification exams offered by organizations such as the American Welding Society (AWS).

Q: What is the demand for pipeline welders in 2023?

A: The demand for pipeline welders will be vital in 2023 and beyond. With the expansion of infrastructure projects, particularly in the oil and gas industry, pipeline welders will continue to be in high demand.

Q: What are the job responsibilities of a welding engineer?

A: Welding engineers are responsible for designing and developing welding techniques, ensuring the integrity and quality of welds, and providing technical support and guidance in welding processes. They may also be involved in research and development of new welding technologies.

Q: What are some other high-paying welding jobs in the aerospace industry?

A: In the aerospace industry, some high-paying welding jobs include aerospace welder, welding technician specializing in aerospace applications, and certified welding inspector for aerospace projects.

Q: What is the average salary for a rig welder?

A: The average salary for a rig welder can vary depending on location, experience, and specific job requirements. On average, rig welders earn around $50,000 to $80,000 annually.

Q: What qualifications are required to become a certified welding supervisor?

A: To become a certified welding supervisor, individuals typically need to have relevant work experience, completion of specific training programs, and certification from organizations such as the American Welding Society (AWS).

Q: What are some of the best welding jobs regarding salary and job satisfaction?

A: Some of the best welding jobs in salary and job satisfaction include underwater welder, welding inspector, pipeline welder, welding engineer, and welding supervisor. These positions often offer competitive salaries and the opportunity to work on challenging projects.