Become a Welder in 2021?

Become a welder in 2021? The main task of welders is to combine two or more metals to form a structure or base for an object or establishment, so whoever wants to be in this industry should be attentive to details and must know how to assemble parts. This occupation doesn't require high educational attainment, so it's easy to enter this field, especially if you have skills.

Let's see if being a welder is right for you:

  1. What is the average salary of a welder?
  2. What is the job market like for welders? Would it be hard for you to get a job?
  3. Would this occupation be compatible with your personality and interests?
  4. What will happen to welders ten years from now?

Let's get started.

Become a Welder in 2021?

Welders deal with small parts, objects, and materials, but their role, especially in construction, is huge. Houses and buildings wouldn't be able to stand strong and still if there were no welders. They aren't among the highest-paid people in the world, but what they do helps society a lot, especially in times of calamities.

1. What is the average salary of a welder?

Welders in the United States earn less than $50,000 every year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, welders in the United States had a base salary of $46,280 in 2020. They were outearned by these occupations:

  • Elevator Mechanics: $86,200
  • Aircraft Mechanics: $69,040
  • Electricians: $61,550
  • Plumbers: $61,100
  • Wind Turbine Techs: $59,340
  • HVAC Techs: $53,410
  • Solar Panel Installers: $48,020
  • Auto Mechanics: $46,760

Welders earned $15,270 less than electricians in 2020.

There has been an upward trend since 2000 when we talk about their base salaries. Welders were paid $29,080 in 2000. That was $17,200 less than in 2020.

Their wage growth was $820 per year from 2000 through 2020 and $885 per year from 2015 through 2020.

And if the trend were to continue, the Bureau of Labor Statistics sees that welders could earn up to $54,470 in 2030.

Here is how the 2020 base salaries break down by percentile.

  • 10th Percentile: $30,270 (starting salary estimate)
  • 25th Percentile: $35,840
  • 50th Percentile: $43,790 (median salary)
  • 75th Percentile: $53,330
  • 90th Percentile: $65,760

There is a $35,490 difference between the 10th Percentile and the 90th Percentile.

The highest-paid welders were in Alaska in 2020. Here's how much welders in these states earned:

  • Alaska: $71,860
  • Hawaii: $65,650
  • District of Columbia: $64,270
  • Wyoming: $59,800
  • North Dakota: $57,320
  • Louisiana: $55,920
  • California: $49,130
  • Texas: $48,070
  • Wisconsin: $47,740
  • Pennsylvania: $46,870
  • Oklahoma: $45,040
  • Ohio: $43,610
  • South Dakota: $40,870

The lowest-paid welders in the United States had a base salary of $39,560 in the same year.

2. What is the job market like for welders? Would it be hard for you to get a job?

There are over 400,000 welders in the United States.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 430,700 welders in the United States in 2020. They were outnumbered by these occupations:

  • Electricians: 656,510
  • Auto Mechanics: 620,110

On the other hand, these were the occupations that outnumbered them:

  • Plumbers: 417,440
  • HVAC Techs: 344,020
  • Aircraft Mechanics: 128,300
  • Elevator Mechanics: 24,730
  • Solar Panel Installers: 11,490
  • Wind Turbine Techs: 5,860

Welders outnumbered plumbers by 13,260 in 2020.

5% of the 430,700 welders are self-employed. That is a lower percentage compared to these occupations:

  • Wind Turbine Techs: 14%
  • Auto Mechanics: 13%
  • Plumbers: 8%
  • HVAC Techs: 7%
  • Solar Panel Installers: 6%

5% of electricians in the United States are also self-employed.

There hasn't been a consistent direction in terms of their job growth. And unfortunately, since 2019, the number of welders has been declining. 

Nonetheless, if the trend were to continue, the Bureau of Labor Statistics sees that the number of welders could increase in the coming years. The number could increase by 12,921 in 2030.

Here's how many welders were found in these states in 2020:

  • Texas: 48,940
  • California: 30,050
  • Pennsylvania: 17,700
  • Ohio: 16,840
  • Wisconsin: 16,280
  • Louisiana: 11,840
  • Oklahoma: 10,420
  • South Dakota: 2,770
  • North Dakota: 2,390
  • Wyoming: 1,910
  • Hawaii: 540
  • Alaska: 530
  • District of Columbia: 130

Now, would it be hard for you to get a job?

I used Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn to find the number of job postings for this occupation. Job postings give us a real-time estimate of the demand for a particular occupation.

On Glassdoor, there are 9,129 job opportunities for welders.

On Indeed, there are 8,155.

On LinkedIn, there are 18,120.

The total number of job postings for welders in the United States is 18,120. Considering that there are 430,700 employed welders, there is 1 job opportunity for every 23.76 individuals.

3. Would this occupation be compatible with your personality and interests?

The Holland Codes or the Holland Occupational Themes (RIASEC) refers to a career and vocational choice theory. After taking a RIASEC assessment, your results show your scores across six different occupational themes: Realistic (R), Investigative (I), Artistic (A), Social (S), Enterprising (E), and Conventional (C).

The Strong Interest Inventory is the gold standard for figuring out your interests, but it is a controlled assessment. It isn't free. You need a certified professional to administer it to you. A free alternative evaluation is available here.

Welders scored high in the Realistic (100) and Conventional (28) themes.

People that score high in the realistic theme tend to describe themselves as reliable, practical, thrifty, persistent, reserved, and self-reliant. They are motivated by building, repairing, and being outdoors.

Moreover, people that score high in the conventional theme describe themselves as practical, organized, conscientious, orderly, and careful. They are often motivated by organizing and managing information.

This means that welders find enjoyment in fixing things and organizing their surroundings. They tend to prefer being alone and doing the job by themselves but they don't have any problem being around people.

4. What will happen to welders ten years from now?

Let's compare the 10-year job outlook of welders to that of other occupations.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, welders are expected to grow by 3% in the next ten years. That's slower than these occupations:

  • Wind Turbine Techs: 61%
  • Solar Panel Installers: 51%
  • Electricians: 8%
  • Elevator Mechanics: 7%
  • Aircraft Mechanics: 5%
  • HVAC Techs: 4%
  • Plumbers: 4%

But that's 7% faster if we compare it to the job growth of auto mechanics. 

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