I'm thinking seriously about entering a trade school for welding. My question is this: When I leave school and get ready to find a job as a welder, I'm wondering what salary range I can expect.

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it all depends on the type of welding youll be doing. production mig its up to you how much you make. hourly mig anywhere from $8 per hour to $14 depending, but most mig jobs will be on the lower end of that range. working construction with major companies isnt to bad. ive made as little as $14.80 an hour (to start) welding at campbell soup for daniels and as much as $18 an hour welding for be&k at the champion paper mill (plus $45 a day relocation). during "shut downs" you work at least 7/12's for as long as you can stand it. ive known many guys who work 6 months and then take 6 months off. shipyards like newport news pay _very_ well if you can tolerate shipyard work (newport news is damn cold in the winter, and damn hot in the summer). ive known tiggers to make $40+ an hour but theyre in the top 1% of tiggers. if you have the ability to pull it off (financially speaking) you can never make as much working for anybody else as you can for yourself. $5k will get you started if you arent afraid of hustling (as in working your ass off).

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Nathan W. Collier

Check out

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I'm interested in hearing if people think this thing is accurate! It is for me for my old computing support job.


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my wife made nearly double what it said she should be make, and she had a slow year this year.

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Nathan W. Collier

That is a difficult question. It will depend on you geographical location, your level of experience and your certifications. Don't expect big dollars initially. You have to put in four or five years before you will have enough of a skill bank to start making the bigger dollars. I hate to gripe about it but when I mean four or five years I mean that you also have learned to regularly make an eighty hour paycheck. It is amazing how many welders just can't seem to make it to work on a regular basis. If you are not at work you are not learning and you are no use to your employer. Also it makes it difficult to spring to a better job if your work reputation is poor. I am in Western Canada and I am always amazed at how shop gossip goes around about the top notch guys and the losers. When you are enrolled make sure you make contact with any upgraders who come into the school to requalify or upgrade their tickets. They can give you good leads on job prospects and shops to stay clear of. If you still want a hard dollar answer you might try employment statistics with the help of your local public library. Librarians are always willing to lead to you to the information. Randy

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Randy Zimmerman

It's just like anything else. It depends on if you are any good at it or not. A lot of people want to be welders, but can't take the lifestyle that goes along with it. Pay the dues. Put in the years to learn the craft. Work with others. Work under adverse conditions, both workplace and weather. Work long hours.

There is no simple answer to your question except to say somewhere between $8 and $98 per hour depending on your specialty, local conditions, whether a worker or self employed, the market, etc, etc, etc. Starting wage might be as low as $10 per hour.

You will go as far as your talent and determination take you.


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- "SteveB" - spluttered in news:ATHTb.28688$P17.13000@fed1read03:


Even US$98 an hour may not be a high as one could expect.

I'm being considered for an interesting opportunity. It will be mobile work, involve travel, probably weather, and other variables. Not underwater though! All of these things exist in my current self-employment.

I thrive on problems.

I may need to pick up some more equipment to make the job a little easier. (Who doesn't need more stuff)

But if I get it, it should be well-paying. Very well paying.

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Greg M

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