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How Much Do TIG Welders Make? 2021 Salary Statistics

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TIG welder at work

Do you want to become a TIG welder? Are you curious about how much you can make if you become one? Don’t worry. We have everything you need to know about a TIG welder’s salary.

TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding is one of the hottest topics in welding education today. It has become the most popular method of welding non-ferrous metals like aluminum, magnesium, and titanium alloys.

With the rise in popularity, many TIG welders can make up to $40 per hour. In this article, we’ll give you a detailed breakdown of a TIG welder’s salary.


What is TIG Welding?

TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding is a task that requires both skill and experience. Before you can even talk about how much TIG welders’ earnings are, you must know what TIG welding is.

TIG is used for joining metals that are too delicate for oxygen or arc welding. The process used in TIG welding allows this to happen by protecting the base metal during the initial contact phase of the weld.

Once you’ve made this contact, the arc is created and controlled with a foot pedal. It allows precision and accuracy on delicate bonded surfaces such as those found in aerospace and jewelry work.

close up TIG welding

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Average TIG Welder Salary

It’s crucial to determine the average salary of a TIG welder. It helps you determine what you can expect to make in your career. Also, you’ll know whether or not this career path is the right choice for you.

Hourly TIG Welder Earning

It takes about 90 seconds for a TIG welder to weld a 2-inch piece of aluminum. Also, it takes about 40 minutes to weld a 1-inch piece of steel. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), when TIG welders work for an hour, they make an average of $16.48.

How Much Does a TIG Welder Make in a Day?

A TIG welder works for about eight hours a day and makes $130.

How Much Do TIG Welders Make in a Week?

The average workweek for welders is 40 hours, with two days off. The average welder makes about $650 a week.

How Much Does a TIG Welder Make in a Month?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, TIG welders earn a median salary of $3,228 per month.

Annual Salary for TIG Welders

TIG welders’ salaries vary a lot. They can make an average of $38,736 a year. But, this can go up to $75,000 a year.

A TIG welder’s salary is highest in large companies, such as the construction sector. The salary is lowest in small companies, such as welding shops.

TIG welding

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Top 10 Highest-Paying Cities for TIG Welder Jobs in the US

Every industry has its one-of-a-kind pay rate for employees, and TIG welding is no exception. TIG welders make more in some cities than they do in others.

So, what are the highest-paying cities for TIG welders in the United States? According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the salaries TIG welders make.

CITY AVERAGE SALARY (PER YEAR) AVERAGE SALARY (PER HOUR)
Santa Rosa (California) $46,492 $22.35
Manhattan (New York) $45,621 $21.93
Arlington (Virginia) $44,803 $21.54
Williston (North Dakota) $45,742 $21.99
Sunnyvale (California) $48,069 $23.11
New York City (New York) $43,842 $21.08
Ketchikan (Alaska) $44,362 $21.33
Dickinson (North Dakota) $44,529 $21.41
Cambridge (Massachusetts) $45,058 $21.66
Vacaville (California) $44,191 $21.25

What Factors Affect the Salary of a TIG Welder?

Learning how to become a TIG welder is rewarding. But, how much will you get paid? Well, you need to understand that the salary of a TIG welder depends on different factors. Here, we’ll discuss some of these factors briefly.

Experience

Many employers will look closely at a TIG welder’s level of experience. It’s is a significant factor when determining a TIG welder’s salary. Those with long-standing qualifications are likely to be more adept when performing the job.

A TIG welder with a ten-year experience will earn about 30% more each year than a TIG welder with only five years of experience.

Teaching Apprentice To Use TIG Welding Machine

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Training

Usually, TIG welders need training. Many employers prefer to hire TIG welders who have completed a training program.

In some cases, employers hire TIG welders who have completed a training program. Others prefer to hire welders who have completed on-the-job training.

Specialties

A TIG Welder’s salary also depends on one’s specialization. Specialization helps a Welder gain knowledge in his/her chosen field. It translates to higher wages.

A TIG Welder’s specialization includes fields such as Gas Welding, Metal Fabrication, and Vacuum Welding. You can specialize by either working on a particular type of metal or a field of TIG Welding.

Location

In some areas, welders make more than in others. In some locations, welding education is scarce. So, welders often earn less than welders in other parts of the country.

Demand

If every employer wants to hire you, you will make more money. So, when demand is high, employers are willing to pay TIG welders more.

Demand for welders is determined by:

  • Economic growth (which makes the materials available to be welded)
  • Population growth (which increases the number of cars, houses, and machinery that need welding).

Employer

Like most jobs, an employer influences the salary of a TIG Welder. Some employers pay better than others. Usually, a TIG welder’s pay is negotiable. So, try to bargain for a higher salary.

Compared to industrial workers, TIG welders also have good benefits. Some employers will also provide housing.

TIG welding with full gear

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How to Become a TIG Welder

1. Training and Education

Some welding schools only require a high school or GED, while others need an associate degree. In either case, most welding schools offer programs that include theory and hands-on skills.

The theory part of TIG welding includes math, physics, and chemistry. The hands-on skills include welding, cutting, and brazing. Most welding schools also offer training programs. They comprise basic electricity, mechanics, and computer-aided design.

2. Technical Skills

A TIG welder doesn’t have to master anything more complicated than how to hold a welding torch. But, welding requires a special kind of know-how-more like programming than carpentry.

A TIG welder’s job is to join two pieces of metal together. You join them in a way that their atomic structure is preserved. To do this, a TIG welder has to know which welding arc to use where and how to tack weld. Besides, you should know what metal to use where. Also, be conversant with how to stir the metal to make it melt.

3. Measurement Skill

TIG welders spend a lot of time measuring. When welding, you have to measure things accurately. You need to know how thick the metal is and how deep the holes are. Also, you need to know how far from the arc they are. TIG welders use measuring tools such as gauges, calipers, indicators, micrometers, rulers, and trades.

4. Problem-Solving Skill

TIG welders start in an entry-level position. To become a TIG welder, you need problem-solving skills. TIG welding requires cleverness to deal with unexpected problems and unusual materials.

5. Pre-Employment Tests

Pre-employment tests show employers that you have the basic skills they need for the job. It’s a test done before a job offer is extended and is usually done by the company doing the hiring.

TIG welding close up

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Do TIG Welders Make Good Money?

Yes, TIG welders are paid pretty well. They earn more than workers in many other professions.

You can train in less than one year to become a certified TIG welder if you have a high school degree or a GED. Certificate holders with more than two years of experience can earn between $14 and $20 per hour.

Here are the four highest-paying fields for TIG welders.

  • Transportation – $48,488
  • Technology – $43,929
  • Automotive – $48,795
  • Manufacturing – $43,953

Conclusion

What does the future of TIG welding look like? That’s a question many welders are asking themselves. After all, there are plenty of jobs to go around. But, only skilled workers will be needed to fill these TIG welding positions.

More companies are developing products that require welding on-site. It increases the demand for highly-skilled TIG welders. If you are considering learning how to TIG weld, then it’s crucial to know the average salary. This way, you’ll know what to expect as you get into this industry.

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Cameron Dekker
 

Cameron grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a once-proud steel town on the Lehigh River, where he got a taste of TIG welding in his high school shop class. He holds certificates for Certified WeldingEducator (CWE) and Certified Resistance Welding Technician (CRWT) from the American Welding Institute. His interests include scuba diving, sculpture, and kayaking.