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Worst and Best States for Welding Jobs in 2024

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person welding a tube pipe

As a welder, you may be required to move to another state for a better salary, job opportunities, and benefits. Do some research before making any hasty decisions.

There’s a lot of competition for the best welding jobs. For some people in the welding industry, that means going after whatever is available—even if it’s not in your ideal location.

But some states are better than others when it comes to having enough welding jobs and an excellent career environment.

If you are a welder planning to move, we’ll look at the best, moderate, and worst states for welding jobs. This way, you’ll determine which state is best for you. Keep reading to learn more!

The 5 Best States for Welding Jobs in 2024

1. Maine

skyline in Maine
Image Credit: Leonhard_Niederwimmer, Pixabay


Average Annual Salary: $31,255
Cost of Living: Cheap
Highest-Paying City Annually: Augusta ($49,214)

The top spot goes to Maine because it has the highest concentration of welding jobs. Welders in this state earn a high annual average salary compared to other states in the US.

Also, there’s a high demand for qualified workers in this field. Entry-level welders in the state earn $26,142 annually. It translates to $12.57 per hour.

The welding career here is lucrative with excellent growth potential. There are more welding jobs than welders to fill them in some parts of the state. Maine has a high demand for welders because they are needed in different welding jobs. For example, they need welders in shipbuilding yards, construction sites, and manufacturing facilities.

If you become a professional welder in Maine, it’s easier for you to find a welding job that pays well.

2. Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana
Image Credit: USA-Reiseblogger, Pixabay


Average Annual Salary: $45,262
Cost of Living: Cheap
Highest-Paying City Annually: Slidell ($36,985)

Louisiana is also one of the best states for welding jobs. It’s because there are plenty of opportunities for apprenticeships and full-time employment. The state has many schools that specialize in welding technology.

They offer certification programs at an affordable cost. Furthermore, Louisiana also offers high salaries and benefits. This state is an excellent place to get started in the welding industry.

Additionally, Louisiana has a strong community of skilled welders living in the state. They work on welding jobs in the oil and gas industry. It’s due to the state’s proximity to the leading industry in oil and natural gas production in the US.

Besides, steel welding workers are among the few professions with an average salary higher than the national median wage. Louisiana’s reputation as a great place to do business makes it a go-to area for work in welding.

3. Vermont

Christmas in Vermont
Image Credit: Michelle_Raponi, Pixabay


Average Annual Salary: $49,766
Cost of Living: Cheap
Highest-Paying City Annually: Newport ($41,079)

Although Vermont is a small state, it’s one of the country’s top ten states for welders based on its job availability. It is also an excellent state to live and work in. Agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism are the primary industries in Vermont. So, they need skilled welders.

The state also has high starting salaries for entry-level welding jobs. The average hourly welder salary is $21.35.

Vermont is also home to many companies in the manufacturing and automotive industries. Both fields have high job openings. The state’s industrial sector is also very strong. It can provide job opportunities for welders.

The top three factors contributing to its high ratings on the job market are cost of living, quality of life, and availability of jobs. Although Vermont doesn’t have the highest average salary, it still offers a lower cost of living than many other states. Also, there are many welding jobs in this state.

4. New Hampshire

town in New Hampshire
Image Credit: Dustytoes, Pixabay


Average Annual Salary: $43,641
Cost of Living: Cheaper than the national average
Highest-Paying City Annually: Manchester ($44,431)

New Hampshire might be well known for its maple syrup and pumpkins. But when it comes to career opportunities, the state has much more to offer than sweet treats. New Hampshire’s thriving economy is the envy of many states across the US.

The state’s population is growing, and the unemployment rate is low. So, there will be plenty of welding jobs available.

New Hampshire has several factors in its favor when it comes to welding jobs. The state’s manufacturing sector is large, and manufacturers need welders.

The working population is also aging. So, the retirement of today’s workers will create more openings for younger workers.

The state not only has a high number of welding jobs available, but it also offers excellent pay. The average income for welders in New Hampshire is above $40,000 per year.

The Moderate State for Welding Jobs in 2024

5. Nevada

skyline of Las Vegas, Nevada
Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay


Average Annual Salary: $39,137
Cost of Living: Higher than the national average
Highest-Paying City Annually: Sparks ($42,882)

Nevada has a high average welder salary. It’s an excellent state for welders looking to earn above the national average.

Besides a high income, the state also has a low unemployment rate. The largest employers of welders in Nevada are construction companies and engineering firms.

The top cities for welders are Sparks, Las Vegas, and Reno. But, you may also find employment opportunities in Carson City or Elko.

There are great welding schools here. They offer welding courses to complement the job opportunities. They prepare you for whatever industry you want to work in.

You can work in shipbuilding, construction, mining, aerospace, or manufacturing industries.

The 5 Worst States for Welding Jobs in 2024

6. South Dakota

town in South Dakota
Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay


Average Annual Salary: $37,440
Cost of Living: Cheap
Highest-Paying City Annually: Yankton ($44,942)

If you’re just starting out in the welding industry, it may be challenging to find a job in South Dakota. The state has a low population density. Also, it is among the least urbanized states in the US. It has a low cost of living compared to most states.

Though South Dakota has a booming economy that depends on tourism, real estate, agricultural products, such as beef, corn, wheat, soybeans, and rye, it’s still one of the worst as it ranks as the third-worst state for welders. It’s because it has the fourth-lowest percentage of welding jobs relative to the population in the country.

7. Wyoming

barn in a farm in Wyoming
Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay


Average Annual Salary: $36,884
Cost of Living: Somewhat expensive (1% lower than the national average)
Highest-Paying City Annually: Jackson ($42,494)

Wyoming is one of the worst states for welders in the US. There’s less pay and fewer welding jobs here than in any other state.

However, it has seen an increase in welding jobs over the past few years. But it is still not enough to keep up with demand.

It means that welders looking for work will have to look outside Wyoming if they want to get welding jobs.

The state ranks high in job demand and employer competition. But it falls short when it comes to paying and opportunities for welders.

8. Idaho

town in Idaho
Image Credit: Pinpals, Pixabay


Average Annual Salary: $31,514
Cost of Living: Somewhat expensive
Highest-Paying City Annually: Pocatello ($55,937)

If you are a welder looking to make a living in Idaho, remember that it’s among the most challenging states in the US for welders. The Gem State comes in last in terms of wages and job opportunities compared with the rest of the country.

Idaho also ranked second-to-last for competition and employment concentration. Few welders in a given state mean less competition. Also, it means fewer opportunities.

One reason for this is that there are bigger industries in the state. They employ more people than welding does.

Idaho isn’t known for its manufacturing or car industry. So, there aren’t many big companies employing welders. Instead, most welding jobs go to small businesses or self-employed individuals.

9. Georgia

pathway in Savannah, Georgia
Image Credit: stanbalik, Pixabay


Average Annual Salary: $41,599
Cost of Living: High
Highest-Paying City Annually: Atlanta ($38,785)

There are several reasons why Georgia has one of the lowest employment rates for welders. One reason for this is that there aren’t many large construction companies that need welders.

The best way to get hired as a welder or cutter in Georgia is by working with a large construction company. They have offices all over the United States.

Another reason Georgia has such low employment rates is that there isn’t much demand for tech workers. Georgia has lower than average salaries and higher than the average cost of living.

It makes it a challenging state for a welder to make a living. And with some of the lowest-paying welding jobs around, making ends meet in this state can be difficult.

10. Nebraska

a town in Nebraska
Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay


Average Annual Salary: $36,884
Cost of Living: Cheaper than the national average
Highest-Paying City Annually: Fremont ($38,851)

Nebraska is an excellent state if you love the land and wide-open spaces. But, it isn’t an excellent state for welders looking for a job. It ranks among the worst states for welding jobs.

The residents of Nebraska enjoy some of the most affordable housing and utility costs in the country. But when it comes to finding a job as a welder, the state is one of your worst options.

Nebraska has one of the highest unemployment rates in the US. The state’s economy is agriculture-based. The technology industry is growing. But it’s still far behind those of most other states on this list.

As a result, there aren’t a lot of options for welders seeking employment in Nebraska. Welding jobs in Nebraska are different from other states. It’s because there are no big cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, where you can find many welding opportunities. Besides, most of the towns and villages in Nebraska have fewer people.

Is There a Demand for Welders in the Future?

When you heard that a career in welding was an option, you probably thought of the greasy and grimy jobs that welders used to do. These days, things are more modern and clean. The industry has evolved into a highly technical and profitable field for those who are willing to put in the work.

You may be wondering if there is a demand for welding in the future. The answer is yes! There’s a high demand for cutters, brazers, welders, and solderers. Between 2020 and 2030, the demand for these jobs is projected to grow by 8%.

Every year, more than 49,200 cutters, brazers, welders, and solderers will be employed throughout this period. There will always be a need for those who can join two or more pieces of metal to make them stronger than they were on their own.

The demand for welders is strong now. But, it will only continue to grow as the population increases and technology advances. Besides, there are so many opportunities for employment within this industry. That’s why it’s hard to keep track of them all!


Final Thoughts

Welding is one of the most portable trades out there. You can work in virtually every state. The opportunities are limitless for those willing to put in the time and effort necessary to succeed as a welder.

Ultimately, there are welding jobs out there. You only need to know where to find them. So, use this list as a launching point. But don’t be afraid to look beyond the listed best welding states either.

Your dream welding job could be a lot closer than you think. We hope this guide has answered all your questions about the best and worst states for welding jobs. So, don’t be afraid to choose welding as your career choice!

Featured Image Credit: xvostenko, Pixabay

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.