Suppose you’re pursuing a career in welding. In that case, you probably have some questions to ask, the most prominent one being: “How much do welders make on the pipeline?”
We address that very question in detail in this post, along with a few other burning questions you may have.
Pipeline welding is a high-demand occupation that requires hands-on experience. This explains why pipe welders are needed in many top-leading industries, seeing as they’re viewed as some of the most skilled professionals in their field.
How Much Do Welders Make on the Pipeline?
Pipeline welders are some of the highest-paid field workers. The standard annual salary of a welder on the pipeline in the United States ranges between $35,000 and $83,000 a year, with an expected 3% job growth. That comes to an average of about $25 per hour.
Those with more seniority may receive up to $100,000 a year. This gives you an idea of the many possibilities available for pipe welders. There’s always an opportunity for increased pay based on skill level, years of experience, and location.
As a pipe welder, you get to travel to different parts of the world, meet new people, and develop a unique skill set. It’s a competitive field that offers a great deal of satisfaction. Plus, it comes with many excellent benefits, such as healthcare and a good pension.
Yet, it also has its own set of challenges and dangers. Pipe welders have to work in hard-to-reach locations that are often quite demanding, for starters. Pipe welders may also work in hazardous environments or difficult weather restrictions.
Moreover, job sites are often in remote areas. This forces them to leave their families for months at a time, living out of motels or RVs.
Below are the top five paying cities for pipeline welders and the hourly wages they provide:
- San Mateo, CA: $31.20
- Richmond, CA: $29.17
- Stamford, CT: $28.41
- Bellevue, WA: $28.34
- Brooklyn, NY: $27.98
Pipeline Welders: Job Description
Workers in this field are responsible for gas, oil, and water pipelines. As long as the demand for these resources is high, pipe welders will remain highly sought after.
On any given job, the task of a pipeline welder may include fitting and fusing different types of pipes. They’re also responsible for inspecting, maintaining, and fixing equipment, tools, and operating vehicles.
Other skill sets include effective communication, fast decision-making, and critical thinking. Pipeline welders have to assess the situation in a matter of seconds and find the most effective solution possible.
Pipe welders are needed in a range of industries, such as:
- Oil rigs, refineries, as well as natural gas and water utilities
- Chemical processing
- Nuclear energy
- The armed forces
Pipeline Welders: Education
The first requirement is to have a high school diploma or an equivalent. Then, you have to get a welding school certificate. A standard welding training course takes up to seven months to complete. Another option is to complete an apprenticeship program.
Next, you must become certified with the American Welding Society (AWS). It’s a standardized measure to show that you now meet the industry’s specifications. Finally, pipeline welders need further certifications to show they’re ready to work in the field full-time.
When new pipe welders join any job site, they must start as an assistant to a veteran pipeline welder. Then, once they’ve gotten some hands-on experience, they can start working full-time.
The best part about being a pipeline welder is there’s always room for advancement. The more certifications a worker gets, the better the pay and work position they’ll be able to secure.
This is why pipe welders are always honing their skills and developing their craft. In addition, it provides them with better job positions that are more in demand and extremely sought-after.
Pipeline Welders: Experience Levels
In the past, pipeline welding was a job dominated by men. Yet, women have been advancing in this profession and making good strides in recent years.
Here’s a quick rundown of a pipeline welder’s salary based on their level of experience:
Entry-level pipeline welders can earn around $18 per hour. They have a one-year work experience, sometimes even less.
Entry-level welders have a high school diploma or GED, as well as a welding certificate. They may even have different experiences through an associate degree or apprenticeship program.
When you’ve worked one to four years in the field, you’re considered an early-career welder. After that, you’re what the veterans call an ‘experienced newcomer’. During this stage in your career, your typical hourly wage can be about $21.89.
Mid-career pipeline welders have a range of five to nine years of work experience. They earn an average of $25.34.
While they have several years of experience in the field, they’re not considered to be fully advanced. At the same time, they’re more likely to take on bigger responsibilities than entry-level welders.
The good news is that this extra experience qualifies them for higher pay. They also get some pretty impressive job benefits.
Experienced pipeline welders can earn an hourly wage of $27-$35. In addition, these welders have racked up anywhere from 10 to 19 years of hard-earned experience.
Anyone with more than 19 years of field experience is an advanced pipeline welder. They can earn over $35 per hour.
Both experienced and advanced welders are expected to take on more responsibilities. The years they’ve spent working on various job sites entitles them to a higher salary, as well as more generous benefits.
Video: How Much Do Pipeliners Make
Welders are always in demand because it’s a profession that covers a wide range of fields. Even better, it provides good money and great benefits, no matter your level of expertise. This is why pursuing a future in welding can be a terrific career move.
So, how much do welders make on the pipeline? On average, pipeline welders make about $25 per hour. Entry-level welders will most likely start with a lower salary. Then, their pay increases accordingly as they gain experience and develop their craft.