How much do welders make?

USACE Europe District/flickr.com
USACE Europe District/flickr.com

Generally welders make more than average Canadians, but slightly less than other skilled-trade workers. What welders get paid depends on where they work, what experience they have, and who their employers are.

General wages

The median hourly wage—meaning half of the people in this group earned less than this amount and half earned more—for welders (and related machine operators) was $21.00, which is on par with the hourly median wage for all other occupations. The average hourly wage for welders was $22.80.

Like in other professions, pay increases with experience. New journeyperson-level welders can make between $40,000 and $51,000 per year, while salaries for experienced welders range from $50,000 to $67,000. Welders often have opportunities to work overtime, which can also increase their yearly take-home amount.

Things to consider:

  • Apprentice welders only make a percentage of their employer’s standard wage. Pay tends to increase with each work period, but new welders still don’t make much during their first few years of training. The national average hourly wage for junior welding apprentices is $12-$18, and annual salaries range from $25,000 to $37,000 a year.
  • Pay varies depending on geographical location. Currently, the highest hourly average wages are earned in Edmonton, Alberta at $28,97, and the lowest are earned in Prince Edward Island at $18.12.
  • The availability of welding jobs is extremely sensitive to economic and business conditions. The decline of manufacturing in Canada, where most welders have been traditionally employed, has decreased the number of jobs—even though many welders are about to retire. The most reliable and well-paying opportunities are in construction and maintenance and repair services.
Published on April 16, 2012
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