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Welders work in constructing and repairing metal parts. They can use a variety of techniques and equipment for a wide range of environments. However, the type of welding you specialize in can affect how much you make. So the rate of pay and available opportunities widely vary in the industry. So if you don’t want to be stuck in a dirty shop with small pay, consider specializing in one of these highest paying welding jobs.
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As of 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pipe welders earn a median average salary of $58,998. So this is one of the most lucrative specializations in the industry.
Pipe welders are responsible for installing and repairing metallic pipes. They can work in manufacturing, construction, shipbuilding and other fields of the industry.
Pipe welders can expect to work long hours under various conditions and sometimes very tough conditions. Most pipes are set up in fixed positions, so the welder has to contort his body to all sorts of awkward positions. This makes pipe welding difficult and sometimes even dangerous.
Industrial pipe welders earn even more than the median average salary when working overseas for large companies. For example, oil and green companies are growing fast, and with them grow the paychecks.
To become a pipe welder, you’re required to complete a welding training program, be it MIG, TIG or stick welding, and follow it up with on-the-job training.
Underwater welding carries is even more demanding and carries a lot of risks. As you have to submerge underwater, welding in such conditions is much more complex. To become an underwater welder, you need to be in top condition and must go through a lot of training. First, you have to become an expert welder on land and complete a proper training program. After obtaining certification and experience, you can apply for a diving course and then get your commercial diving certification.
If you’ll specialize in this field, you’ll be able to work in a variety of industries, such as oil, gas and shipbuilding. As your workplace will be located on the ocean floor, you must have a love for the water. Median average salary of commercial divers is $57,474 (according to statistics of 2017). However, depending on the company and location you’ll be working in, it can be as high as $200,000.
Military Support Welders
If you don’t mind taking risks, another high paying welding job is a military support welder. Your job would entail repairing and maintaining military ships, buildings and equipment. You may work in faraway places or at a base close to your home. Depending on the location, your job might be more or less risky. For example, you could work in an area that is a target of violence, so for the risks, the job will offer higher compensation.
Welders can work in different branches of the military. You could work in the army, repairing vehicles and equipment or helping to build and repair infrastructure. Other branches include the air force, marines, navy and national guard. As per estimates of 2017, you can make about $25-$30 an hour.
Aerospace welding requires a lot of skill and this equals to a lucrative pay. It might not be as high as in the above-mentioned specializations, but it’s still very good.
Aerospace welders can expect to work on airplanes, space shuttles and other aerospace equipment and technology.
Certified Welding Supervisor
Certified welding inspector jobs are highly sought out positions in the industry. In addition to skilled welding, they have more responsibilities, such as management and safety.
Certified welding inspectors are responsible for overseeing other welders, performing safety checks of their welds, making sure that there are no defects, and ensure that the projects stay on schedule and meet the budget. They make sure that the welders complete their projects according to safety and quality standards.
To become a welding supervisor, you first need to obtain significant welding experience (at least 5 years). You must also possess great leadership abilities and obtain professional certification.