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How Much Do Welders Make in California? 2024 Salary Statistics

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person welding pipes

Are you looking to become a welder in California? If so, you may want to know how much a welder makes in California. Do not fret! We have compiled everything you want to know.

Welding is an important job role in various industries such as shipbuilding, construction, automotive, and farming. Welders are responsible for the overall integrity of a project as they work to assemble it through a series of distinct steps.

Those who want to pursue a career as a welder in have many options available including apprenticeships, training programs, and courses through community colleges. The average income varies depending on the state.

 In this guide, we will look at how much a welder makes in California. Let us jump right in.

Average Welder Salary in California

Welding is one of the most popular jobs in many industries, and the demand for welders in California continues to grow each day. The average annual salary for a welder in California is $42,760.

Hourly Welder Wages in California

The average hourly wage for a welder in California is $21.50. This may range from $10 to $30 per hour, depending on the job and location. If you are a welder, the first thing you need to know is how much it pays.

However, as your skills grow, you can expect to earn higher wages.

man welding stainless metal
Image Credit: Syd Mills, Unsplash

Daily Average Wages

A welder can make $40 to $500 per day in California depending on their skill level. The average pay is around $80, but experienced welders can make much more. It shows you how in-demand welding is in this state.

Since California is an expensive state, the living and working costs can exceed the cost of living in other states.

The salary may vary depending on the company/employer. Those working for companies that specialize in heavy industrial work earn more. You cannot compare to welders working for companies specializing in light industrial work, such as farming or retail.

Weekly Welder Salary

The average salary for a welder in California is about $750 a week.

Welding is a physically demanding job that can be stressful. Because of this, most welders find work where they can earn a decent wage and some employers even offer higher salaries for more experienced workers.

How Much Does a Welder Make in a Month in California?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average welder in California makes about $4,500 a month. The average wages do not include benefits or overtime, but it is a good starting point.

man doing stick welding
Image Credit: N_Sakarin, Shutterstock

How Much Do Welders Make in a Year in California Annually?

Most welders are self-employed working on a contract basis. However, if you are looking to be employed in California, it is good to be equipped with your expected annual income

A welder may work for several different clients during the year, but each work contract usually lasts only a few months. One can make from $35,000 to $65,000 a year depending on the amount of welding equipment and the machinery used. This figure also relies on the number of projects completed.

Some welders work for hourly wages while others receive regular salaries from their companies.

Average Welder Earnings in California by Seniority

Top-Level Welder

Seniority is crucial when it comes to being hired as a welder. One way to be hired is to work with an established company that employs many welders.

It does not only give you more experience, but it is also a way for the company to get new workers. The average income for top-level welders in California is $68,590 per year or $26.67 per hour. The top 25% earn between $70,000 and $75,000 per year.

Senior-Level Welder

The average wage for a senior-level welder in California is $55,480 a year or $26.67 an hour. This wage includes all benefits, such as healthcare, retirement, and more. A senior-level welder works 40 hours per week for six months or longer.

This salary may vary depending on the city and the type of company you work for.

Mid-Level Welder

In California, mid-level welders are paid an average annual wage of $42,760 per year or $20.56 in an hour. It includes wages received from direct employment and self-employment.

A mid-level welder can expect to earn more per year if working for a company directly. But, these are only averages, and your earnings will depend on the amount of experience you have, the type of work you do, and where you reside.

Junior-Level Welder

The average annual income of a junior-level welder is $34,360 per year or $16.52 in an hour. Besides the salary, many welders receive bonuses and payments of benefits. The salary depends on experience and training.

Bonuses and benefits are determined based on seniority. Seniority is how long it takes someone to become proficient in a particular job or field.

Senior-level welders make more per hour than junior-level ones because they usually need less training than junior-level workers.

Starting Level Welder

The average starting wage for welders in California is $28,510 per year or $13.71 per hour according to the California Employment Development Department.

However, this wage varies by region. The South and Northeast have significantly higher wages due to more demand for skilled labor in the area. For example, in Los Angeles, the starting wage for a first-year welder is $32,000 per year. In San Francisco, the first-year salary is $30,000 per year.

welders at work
Image Credit: Pixabay

Average Welder’s Salary by Years of Experience in California

There’s a growing demand for welders with experience ranging from 0 to 20 years in California. Experienced welders have the necessary skills to perform the work, as they understand what is involved in the various types of welding jobs available in the industry.

However, not all welders are the same. Each type of welder has a different personality, skill level, and style of work. The table below summarizes the average welder’s salary in California according to years of experience.

0 to 2 years $15,400
2 to 5 years $20,600
5 to 10 years $30,400
10 to 15 years $37100
15 to 20 years $40,400
20 years and above $43,800

Average Welder’s Salary by Education in California

The average welder’s salary in California depends on several factors. The level of education a person has, the type of work they do, and their skill level all influence how much they make.

The number of years that an individual has worked in welding also factors in. This educational breakdown will help you determine the average welder’s salary in California.

High School $17,600
Certificate or Diploma $27,600
Bachelor’s Degree $46,300
self employed welder
Image Credit: Syd Mills, Unsplash

Average Welder’s Salary Comparison in California by City

California is one of the states with the highest average welder’s salary because of the high concentration of manufacturing industries.

According to the California Workforce Development Agency (CWD), there are over 100,000 welders working in the state.

The average welder’s salary in California by the city is shown below. The wages include benefits, such as health insurance, unemployment benefits, and retirement contributions. It also includes overtime.

Fremont $45,245 $21.75
Hayward $42,596 $20.48
Vallejo $42,232 $20.30
San Francisco $47,212 $22.70
Oakland $43,509 $20.92
Sunnyvale $42,391 $20.38
San Jose $44,002 $21.15
Santa Cruz $41,721 $20.06
Concord $42,203 $20.29
Santa Barbara $41,374 $19.89

Final Thoughts

California’s economy is booming. There are many opportunities for experienced welders due to an increased demand for construction services. Welders can make $50,000 or more a year depending on the type of work and company they work for.

If you do some research before you get started, you should be able to find several companies that offer welding services in your area. In addition, you may consider collaborating with a local service provider. It can give you more opportunities to work with an expert and improve your skills as a welder.

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.