Welding offers an excellent career path. It offers high pay, flexibility, and the chance to develop your skills over time, all without requiring a college degree.
Here are five reasons a career in welding might be the right fit for you:
The average salary for a welder varies significantly based on the specialty and level of experience. According to PayScale.com, the median salary for a welder comes in at $18.06 an hour, or about $48,000 a year once all bonuses and other compensation are taken into account.
That's well above the real median personal income in the U.S as a whole, a figure that stands at $33,706.
Welders also have the opportunity to earn far more. The range of hourly earnings spans from $13.42 on the very low end to just over $26 on the high end. Annual compensation tops off in the $85,000 range.
Opportunity to Grow Over Time
As you'd expect, the pay for a welder accelerates as your career develops. This makes it an ideal job for the long haul. More than just a way to make ends meet, expanding your welding skills allows you to build a long-term career.
Let's look at the PayScale stats in more depth. The overall median salary for a welder sits at $18.06. But change the search criteria to look for experienced positions, and the median salary jumps to $19.96, or a total of about $53,600 per year.
Ability to Specialize
If you become a welder, there's no reason to get bored. You can continuously expand your skills. The term "welding" really refers to a collection of jobs using similar skills, rather than a single profession. There are lots of different twists on the general idea: MIG, TIG, Stick, and Plasma Arc welding, to name a few. You can even specialize in underwater welding.
You'll also get a boost in pay for various specialties. According to the PayScale stats, the median salary for an experienced welder with Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding skills comes in at $20.59 and can earn almost $30 an hour on the top end of the spectrum.
Chance for Adventure
Some people like the stability of staying in one place. They want to buy a home, raise a family, and put down roots in a community. Other people have more wanderlust. They want to use their job skills as a way to travel and acquire new experiences.
Welding gives you that option. The specialty is in demand throughout the country, but you can also travel to get the most out of your skillset.
Salaries show significant differences based on geography. According to statistics compiled by Indeed.com, New England presents a good place to earn a living as a welder, with Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, all offering salaries well above the national average.
Get bored there, and you can move out West. California, Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana, and New Mexico all sit among the national leaders in welder salaries. If you want a real adventure (while simultaneously looking to maximize your pay), you might want to trek up to Alaska. Indeed's stats suggest a 54% premium there compared to the national average.
Become Your Own Boss
The same factors that allow you to move around with your welding skills makes it a perfect outlet for an entrepreneurial impulse. If you want, you can take a job with a company, becoming a regular employee. However, welding also presents the perfect opportunity to run your own small business.
In this structure, you become a contractor for others. You can become part of large jobs, organized by sizable construction firms. Or you can seek out smaller gigs on your own. The profession offers the flexibility to organize your time in whatever way suits you best.
Contact Qualified Staffing today to learn more.
Are you looking for your next welding gig? Qualified Staffing can help. As a top-ranked staffing firm, they can find the perfect placement for your skill level and experience.