Everyone knows that welders are among the highest paid tradesmen. Welders who work hard to develop their skills and knowledge of the craft are able to benefit from high demand, and the ability to bargain for better pay and access to highly sought after positions.
A welder’s pay can vary greatly depending on the state they work in, the company they work for and the skill level they possess.
When choosing which niche to fill in the welding job market it is important to understand the difference between different welding positions. Some types of welding jobs pay much more than others for good reason. Some positions will require a welder to work in harsh or unpleasant conditions.
Many places where demand for welders is high, like Alaska, are known for difficult weather and challenging conditions. Welders are also frequently asked to leave their families for long periods of time at very remote work locations.
In many cases, the jobs can come with significant hazards as well. Remote locations, dangerous environments, and jobs that require the welder to work in an enclosed area generally pay much more than other welding jobs.
Underwater welding jobs are generally the most dangerous for a variety of reasons-and offer pay that few other welding positions could compete with.
As an occupation, welding comes with a great deal of satisfaction. But it is also a highly competitive trade which requires those considering it to weigh their options carefully.
What follows is a description of the highest paying types of welding jobs available. We will discuss the hazards, the benefits, and the pay ranges for each to help you make a more informed decision.
Oil, gas, water and other pipelines provide the lifeblood of our infrastructure. Pipeline welders will always be in high demand as
long as the demand for fuel and other resources is high. Many pipeline welders work on oil rigs and refineries. These facilities
comprise the majority of the oil and gas industry.
Pipeline welders are also needed in the automotive industry, shipbuilding, nuclear energy, aerospace, and fabrication, not to
mention the armed forces. Often times, work areas in hard to reach locations. In addition to learning how to lay down high-quality welds, welders working on pipelines must master the application of their craft while working in difficult positions.
Easily one of the most dangerous jobs a welder can do, underwater welding is also among the most secure and well paid.
Underwater welding comes with special compensation for the added hazards that come with working underwater. In addition to
the obvious dangers, these tradesmen also have to cope with barometric pressure. Despite all this, many underwater welders enjoy the challenge and travel, as well as the surreal working conditions.
Underwater welding comes in two forms, wet welding, and dry welding. Wet welding is done while the welder is submerged, either partially or completely. Specially designed welding rods are used to make this possible. Dry welding or hyperbaric welding means welding in a sealed chamber that is submerged.
The hyperbaric chamber encloses the welder and the material to be welded. It is filled with helium or argon and oxygen to force the water out, allowing the welder to do his work.
Underwater welders are required to undergo an extensive course of training. This education includes diving
comes with a whole range of required skills as a professional welder. Aspiring underwater welders must pass a series of stringent
performance and knowledge tests to earn their underwater certification. Skill sets required include SCUBA diving, top side
welding, and underwater welding.
The average underwater welding salary is $53,990 annually and $25.96 per hour. However, most incomes float around $25,000 – $80,000. Diver welders in the top 10% make $83,730 while the bottom 10% pull in $30,700. And according to payscale.com its $37,453 – $108,667, glassdoor.com $40,635, salaryexpert.com $74,000-$89,000
Welding is a terrific skill set to have and will continue to be in high demand for many years. Welders will be needed to work in difficult to reach places, low volume fabrication, and repair.
Many functions of welders will remain too complex to automate. Machines have been built that can perform many welding tasks, but working in unpredictable environments and making difficult decisions will require a professional human welder for the foreseeable future.
In construction, a welding technician will regularly encounter a variety of metals and various situations which require their specialized expertise.
Contractors and employers will expect the tech to be well-versed in the latest developments and technology within the field and able to apply it.
A welding technician typically works in construction or assembly work. He or she must make critical decisions involving the type of welding techniques, equipment, and processes to be used.
The need for welding technicians will continue to increase, making this career path a secure job opportunity with good pay.
Pay by Experience for a Welding Technician is on an upward trend. An entry-level Welding Technician with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $51 – $62(in thousands) based plus bonuses, overtime pay and tips.
Locations Where Welders are Best Compensated
As we have mentioned, welding jobs requiring extensive travel, work in remote locations, and those involving hazardous conditions almost always offer the best pay for welders.
Arguably the best place to earn the most money as a welder is in the state of Alaska. There, the average pay is $43.83 an hour. Alaska has an oil industry that is thriving and growing rapidly. Enormous communities surround the largest work sites where a welder could settle down for some time if he wished.
The second best location for welders who wish to obtain the highest rates of pay is the island state of Hawaii. The average hourly rate there is $39.75 per hours. The oil drilling industry has an enormous presence there, offering great job security. What’s more, the idyllic location and terrific weather year-round make Hawaii a highly desirable location.
The Mainland States
Finally, we have North Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Nevada- in that order. Demand for the skills of experienced welders in these states is highest without leaving the contiguous United States. Compensation rates will depend on the nature of the job and the company the welder works for.
The advantages include a lower likelihood of having to work far from one’s family and ease of access to the job. Some welders who love to live on the road travel on their own between these states and live satisfying lives.
Welding is an exciting and challenging trade that
requires a lot of dedication from its practitioners. The travel, unique job sites, and good pay makes it a very appealing job for those whose demeanors suit it. If you intend to go into professional welding, keep in mind that it requires a high level of skill and personal fortitude. Successful professional welders are highly respected for their toughness, problem-solving abilities, and resolve. Anyone hoping to make it in this trade must be ready to go above and beyond the demands of the ordinary workplace.
The Hobart line of welders has a well-established reputation among both professional and amateur welders. These welders are regarded as good products offering high quality for the prices – this is evident in just about every Hobart 140 review you can find online.
As the average Hobart welder review will reveal, this product line boasts of American manufacturing pride and good user interface that is technologically up-to-date.
High quality and excellent workmanship are apparent in the Handler 140. This machine happens to be the second smallest flux/Mig piece of equipment in the Hobart lineup, thus making it suitable for homeowners and DIY enthusiasts.
The Handler can run off a standard 110v power source and weighs only 57 pounds and is, therefore, easy to move from place to place if necessary.
The Right Tool for the Job
There are always pros and cons when it comes to buying anything, especially electronic and mechanical equipment. But, when it comes to this model, there are definitely more pros than cons.
If you are looking for quality welding from a heavy-duty machine without the price-tag that usually accompanies that designation, then you have come to the right place, product-wise.
The list of things that you can weld with this machine is almost endless: BBQ pits/devices, trailers, sporting equipment, work machinery, ornamental designs, works of art, etc. This machine isn’t fragile—in fact, it feels like a workhorse type of equipment that will take the punishment, deliver excellent results and, on the next day, be ready for more work.
The Hobart 140 is a nicely compacted MIG/Flux-core welding unit. Its popularity and simplicity is comparable to many other models out there costing more money—yet it delivers a reasonably strong power of 140A.
The unit boasts of a duty cycle of 20%@90 amperes, certainly more than enough for everyday household metal-involving chores and projects.
Using MIT capacity/function, this machine can weld thin materials, including stainless steel, steel, and aluminum; by the same token, the additional flux-core option can be used on thicker stainless steel or steel materials.
This unit can weld items that are only 24-gauge in thinness but also items that are ¼ inch in thickness. The Handler is a good choice for construction, maintenance, home repairs, farm use, rental shops, and auto body work environments.
This machine is relatively lightweight (compared to many professional models), thus making it easy to transport—something not to thumb one’s nose at, especially if you will be using the unit as part of your peripatetic work routines.
It also won’t take up too much space in your work van or truck—and you guys know how important it is not to overload a work truck, considering the price of gas and the fact that you should only take what you absolutely need on each job
Is This Welder for You?
Considering how affordable and cost-effective this machine can be, this is definitely a good investment on your part, considering all that you get for the price. Additionally, your investment, the company says, is fully protected by a hard-to-beat Hobart 5/3/1 super-duper industrial-quality warranty.
This gives you peace of mind knowing that the unit is protected from manufacturing defects or problems for a very reasonable amount of time.
Unless abused or misused, this unit should last you a long time, by all accounts. Should it malfunction, though, you are entitled to free repairing or replacement services!
Units come with built-in wire feeding & rapid releasement drive roll levers
Can weld 24 gauges up to one-quarter inch in steel
Built-in, ready-to-go contactor can ease use; this is a great safety feature that makes wires electrically “cold” while the unit is not in use
4 voltage output, wire feed tracking settings that provide easy and rapid adjustments for different thicknesses and materials
Facile accessibility to polarity change-overs featuring spare-tips-accommodating storage holes
Dual grooves in drive rolls that simplify switching from one wire size to other; 1 smooth groove and 1 knurled groove for 0.30 to .035 inch or 0.8 by 0.9 millimeters wire
A self-reset thermal over-loading capacity and special motor damage protection
Five-position tapped voltage controlling selector that makes it possible for you to fine-tune your arc, thus producing a stable, smooth arc on different thicknesses every single time
All units are equipped with industrially-strong, cast aluminum drive systems and heavy-duty, reliable work clamps
A short circuit protection against current overloads
25 to 140 amps welding ranges
115 VAC input voltage
24 gauge to one quarter inch material thickness
20% of 90 amps duty cycles
10 feet long Mig gun & ground clamp leads make it possible to work without having to drag welders around; because the gun uses standard consumables, picking up tips at local stores is a cinch
Pros & Cons
–It can run on a 110-volt outlet, which is great for beginning welders
–Provides great arc performance with stable and smooth arc on every thickness
—Industrial-quality cast aluminum wire driving systems; a professional piece of equipment boasting a lasting wire feeding performance
–A low weight of only 57 pounds
–Convenient polarity changing-over capacity
–Less welding spatter while providing high-precision arc performance
–Even with low electricity for the whole process, wire feed-out is accurate for every job
–Dual-processing capacity makes it possible to work on a rich variety of thicknesses and materials
–Low operator skills okay for this tool
–Easy & quick equipment set-up time means you can be welding in a jiff, thus saving time/labor investments
–Its 110-volts power usage can also be a minus in some settings
–You may need a cart to carry it around on if the unit is to be moved often
–For MIG welds, you may need an additional gas cylinder, thus an extra expense
–Ideal for many small projects but not necessarily for big jobs
–May not be suitable for use with most generators or out at sites where there is no direct AC power supply
–This unit is best suited for small, independent-operators, not for full-fledged industrial operations
–It can be more expensive than gas-operated units
What Do They Include in the Box?
10 feet or 3 meters cables with clamp
Ready-to-deploy, grip-friendly H100S2-10 gun
4 to 8 inches spools-accommodating spool hub assembly
Built-in dual-gauging regulator & solenoid valve plus gas hose
A sample spool (.030 inch or 0.8 millimeters) flux-cored wire that is self-shielding
Supply of contact tips (.030 inch or 0.8 millimeters)
0.24 inch (0.6 millimeters) & .030/.035-suited Quick Select, state-of-the-art drive roll
The Hobart handler 140 is a versatile, trustworthy, work-horse oriented, and easy-to-use piece of equipment that’s also an excellent value for the price.
It is ideally suited for small-to-moderate scale projects; the Hobart welder 140 will also “handle” itself well, however, for some big projects. Then again, this unit is part of a series of other welders that can handle much bigger jobs, if your operation takes off and it expands.
If you happen to be starting out or you will mainly be using this unit at home, in your private shop or as a backup unit, the Hobart handler 140 is most probably exactly what you need.
A Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welder is a convenient tool that is simple to set up and easy use. When utilizing a MIG welder, the fabrication process takes a few hours to learn. Once the MIG is mastered, both professionals and hobbyists have a skill that will endure for years to come.
Metal fabricators, farmers, professionals, and enthusiasts approach MIG welding with individualized and diverse levels of interest and motivation. However, the benefits are conclusive across the board. MIG welding is easy to master and execute. it is an efficient method of welding that saves both time and money on the job. MIGs produce excellent welds on many different types of metals for jobs both large and small.
MIG welders can be used at both the professional and novice levels. The greatest challenge for the laymen, however, is choosing the right tools for any project. Below is a quick guide to help you find the right MIG for your job. We will discuss the pros and cons as well as highlight the details of the some of the top MIGs in the industry today.
Which MIG welder is best for the money?
Ever wanted to fast-forward the highlights in an ESPN telecast just to know the final score of the game? Then you probably want to know already which product is the best choice out of this review. Well, it is my opinion that you will not find a better MIG welder for its price tag than the Hobart 500559 Handler Wire Welder.
This machine is durable, compact, performs outstandingly and is an excellent value for the money. The Hobart welder meets or exceeds the needs of today’s do-it-yourself hobbyist. Its drive system of cast aluminum and work clamp helps this machine to deliver the excellent performance of professional quality.
With industrial strength, multi-functionality and handy features, the Hobart Handler can handle any number of welding demands. The product comes out of the box practically ready for use with minimal setup necessary.
In MIG welding an electrode or steel wire cylinder is fed from the welder through a liner and out of a contact tip that is in the machine’s gun. The welder uses power to heat up and melt the wire so that it can be used as an adhesive. Inert gas is integrated into the metal liquid to protect the liquid from infusing with any other atmospheric substances. Using the melted electrode, two metal pieces can be joined as they pass through the welding gun. This process is far quicker than the traditional arc methods that required the use of welding rods. The simplicity of the operation allows users at different skill levels to utilize the tool for a wide range of welding jobs.
There are several advantages of using a MIG welder:
Uses on thick plates or light-gauge material
Welds aluminum, carbon and stainless steel
Speeds are significantly higher than stick welding
Reduces the amount of smoke that usually occurs with welding
Shielding gases, A.K.A, inert gases, are utilized during the gas metal arc welding (GMAW) or gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) process. The reason welders use gases is to ensure that oxygen or vapor does permeate the work area. Although the gases inhibit the presence of oxygen, it can also create a poor weld if not used correctly. The key is to choose the right type and amount of gas for the work you are doing. Shielding gas can also be expensive. Before you purchase shielding gas, make sure to do your homework in order to find a type of gas that is both highly-effective, weed-friendly, and cost-effective.
The four most common gasses used for a high-quality weld are:
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
To use MIG welders for Flux Cored Arc Welding (gasless welding), it requires changing the polarity switch near the drive to alternate from a solid wire to flux cored wire. In the case of gasless MIG welder, the flux core wire separates the weld pool from oxygen. A self-shielding tubular flux-cored wire can be utilized to remove oxygen by eliminating the weld pools reliance on atmospheric gas.
There are several benefits to gasless welding. First, the MIG can be used in any position or in any environment since there is protection from the gas built into the MIG. Second, since no gas is needed, then it is a more cost-effective and efficient means of welding. Third, it is perfect for beginners since it requires less skill to operate the machinery. Last, flux cored arc welding produces welds with little to no porosity. It creates a solid mass form throughout the weld.
[thrive_accordion_group title=”Important Specs for MIG Welders”][thrive_accordion title=”Power” no=”1/4″ default=”yes”] One of the first things you want to consider when buying a MIG welder is the output power. For home projects, using thin metals, 100 amps will be sufficient. A rig that has a maximum 140 amps is good to have because you will never know if you will need to weld some things that are thicker. It may cost you a few extra dollars more, but it will be worth it. The minimum power output is another thing to look at when considering a MIG welder. For 18-gauge metal, a welder with a minimum of around 30 amps is just fine. However, if you are going to weld fragile metal that is around 22 gauge or 0.8 mm, then you want to look for a machine with a minimum out of 20-25 amps. [/thrive_accordion][thrive_accordion title=”Feed Speed” no=”2/4″ default=”no”]Probably, just as important as power is the unit’s feed rate. The feed speed has to do with the speed at which the wire gets fed from the machine to the gun. If it is too slow, the wire will disappear the second it comes into contact with the metal – creating an ugly, uneven weld. If the speed is too fast, the cord will reach out from the gun and leave you with a ton of spatter. When there is a continuous arc, the wire is going just fast enough. If there is a separate setting for power and speed, then chances are you will have to play around with scraps first to find the correct setting. The best MIG welder will come with an automatic speed setting that will adjust the rate to the relative power. If you have to make small tweaks, there is usually a manual override available. [/thrive_accordion][thrive_accordion title=”• Wire size and material thickness” no=”3/4″ default=”no”] The use of thin wire like .023 or .030 in. will prevent burning through on light materials. The use of thick wire, such as .045 in., will allow for superior fusion when using more abundant metals. The two most common wire types are ER70S-3 and ER70S-6. The ER70S-3 is perfect for welding purposes of all kinds. Whereas, the ER70S-6 wire is typically for use on dirty and rusty surfaces when more deoxidizers are necessary. The wire size that will be utilized for welding will not determine the type of machine you would want to purchase, but the device will play a part in determining the size and type of wire you will use for welding.[/thrive_accordion][thrive_accordion title=”Portability” no=”4/4″ default=”no”] Performance is most important when choosing a MIG welder, but you want to consider size if you have a limited space and to avoid carrying around a giant machine. Welders can range in size from 40 lbs. to several hundred pounds. It depends on the features and power. The portability needs depend greatly on the kind of welding you will need to accomplish. If you have to move the welder around a great deal, there are carts available that make things a little easier. In the case where the welder will be used for auto body work, the cart is ideal for moving around the car smoothly.[/thrive_accordion][/thrive_accordion_group]
Top MIG welders
Below are some reviews and important information about the most popular brands and models of MIG welders in the industry. These reviews should help you make the choice as to which unit is best for you. Keep in mind that all MIG welders essentially perform the same function. What separates each product is its application and additional manufacturer features and components.
The Hobart 500559 Handler Wire Welder
The Hobart 500559 Handler Wire Welder, also known as the Hobart handler 140, is a MIG welder with high task yield and incredible power. It is compact and portable. It operates on 115V household power and delivers 140 amps output power. The Hobart Handler 140 does not need additional setup and is ideal for steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.
The Hobart Handler has a flux core capacity that makes it capable of working thick gauge steel – even 24-gauge up to ¼ in thick materials. The machine is perfect for DIY repairs, basic metal welding, construction jobs and auto body repairs.
The Handler 140 is built to be durable. It is Hobart’s most popular MIG welder. It is also the industry’s best model for the value. It is extremely versatile. It is perfect for the welder in an auto body, farm projects, and household repairs. With a 5-position tapped voltage control, the welder allows you the ability to select how tuned you want your arc. It has a heavy-duty work clamp and gives an industrial performance.
Easy to use
Covered with 5/3/1 Hobart warranty
Lightweight design and compact for usage and storage
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
The Lincoln Electric can be plugged into a standard 20-amp outlet. Although gas is essential for function, it can work without gas as well. Flux core welding makes use of a hollow wire electrode that gets fed through the gun.
This welder is compact, lightweight, and portable. It has four settings for voltage a speed adjustment that allows to weld from 24-gauge to 1/8” thick metal. It comes with everything you need for MIG welding in the box. It comes with a cable assembly, gun, clamp and work cable, gas regulator, hose, and gas nozzle, solid wire spool, contact tips and hand shield with filtering lens and plate. The only left to do is add the shielding gas.
There is no need to use a cylinder filled with argon or an argon C02 mix, which can be costly. This welder will save you money, and you can weld a quarter of an inch. It requires 120v for input and gives 125 amp out. It is suitable for home and garage welding.
The Forney 299 125FC Flux Core Welder comes with handles and allows for 2 and 10 lb. wire spools. It can be used anywhere. It is packed in torch wrap – making it easy to take off and on. It is perfect as a starter welder. It works without having to use a gas set up.
With the 210 MVP, you can use either the 115V or 230V power input. It does not require additional tools to connect to the power receptacles. It has a multi-voltage plug that makes it easy to connect and use the welder anywhere. Using with an instruction guide is easy. It is perfect for beginners or professionals.
The optional plugin SpoolRunner 100 is great for welding aluminum. It has a built-in wire feeder with adjustable tension.
The 210 MVP MIG Welder has a powerful output to deal with 3/8 in. mild steel and good enough control for 24 gauge. It is easy to connect the optional SpoolRunner spool gun. It can be used for applications of mild or stainless steel. The welder has seven output voltage settings and speed control.
If you are looking a quick and simple spool gun, then the Spoolrunner is your best option. When using the gun, simply plug the lead directly into the feed head. You’ll then attach the trigger lead, and then turn on the spool gun switch, and you’re ready to go. The spool gun can be used for aluminum welds as well as other similar types of metal such as stainless steel.
Comes with an adjustable, spring-loaded tension release
User-friendly drive rolls
Additional parts including plastic carrying case,
extra contact tips, and an additional nozzle
The spool level adjustment is different with the level of the spoon
It is difficult to get into tight spaces due to the non-movable nozzle
Some parts on the spool gun are not replaceable
Lincoln MIG Welder, Handheld, 208/230VAC
The Lincoln MIG welder comes with the regulator, gun, wire spool and other accouterments. The standard gun is replaceable with a Magnum 100SG spool gun. Cast aluminum gives a smooth flow of wire throughout. There are 180 amps to heat almost any job. It is versatile and uses an assortment of wire thickness for light fabrication and maintenance and repair.
Comes with Lincoln Electric Magnum 100SG spool gun kit
Not recommended for heavy-duty jobs
3/32” cullet and body.
You have to purchase a separate cullet and body
if the MIG contains 1/16”, 0/040” or 0.20” electrodes.
LOTOS MIG175 175AMP Mig Welder with FREE Spool Gun
The machine has excellent weld penetration with a wire feed motor system that functions well. It has a 30% duty cycle. It weighs 85 lbs. The aluminum gas supply is dry and oil-free Argon. It can connect to a 200 to 220V wall outlet and can be set up in ten minutes. A spool gun is added to the package at no additional charge.
The Hobart Ironman 230 can be used in a farm or garden and household repair. can be used in a farm or garden and household repair. It operates with 230V input power. The product comes with reversible drive rolls to limit the amount of money spent on replacement parts. The Ironman 230 also comes with controlled infinite wire speed. It has a thermal overload protection that controls and keeps it from overheating.
Needs a 230v or 240v outlet to run on household power supply
Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 Mp K3964-1
The Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 Mp is versatile and has strong sheet-metal construction. It is ideal for most jobs in the home or a small shop. It can be plugged into any conventional power supply. It has dual voltage inputs of 120V or 230V. It has excellent arc action with diamond core technology. It has an easy-turn numeric drive that indicates if there is any tension present in the unit. The Lincoln is ideal for beginners and those who are getting into welding for the first time. The display is easy to operate and simple to set up. The MIG is flexible enough to be used for both TIG and Stick welding.
The wire feed is not steady and may need to be replaced often.
Weighs only 40 lbs.
Cannot handle mass production
Forney 318 190-Amp MIG Welder, 230-volt
The Forney 318 comes with a 10’ welding torch, 15’ power cord, regulator, gas hose, and ground clamp. Its input range is up to 190/230V. It can be used on cast iron, stainless steel, mild steel, and aluminum. The wire feeder is the cast-aluminum drive system. It allows it to last longer and weld heavy-duty materials. It welds metal up to 3/8” and there is a gas hose and flowmeter included with the unit. The product is versatile being able to process MIG and flux-core. Tweco consumables are compatible and it comes with a Euro-connect MIG gun. The spool gun is 20-ft. in length and is ideal for aluminum wire. It has an integrated gas line and gives the user almost unlimited freedom during welding.
The Longevity has a proprietary transformer technology and comes with a thermal overload protection to prevent overheating. It is 140 amp welder. It allows for easy interchange of torching with a spool gun. The machine can handle up to 11 lbs. of the spool. It connects to any 110V wall outlet. There is a power plug installed on the equipment. It has the capacity to weld up to 3/8” of mild steel.
The unit operates on gas or can function using flux-core welding. The Longevity is portable and can be plugged and used anywhere. It is perfect the shop or home.
Weld pattern may be inconsistent on 20-gauge metals
When you go to purchase your MIG welder, you want to know your requirements well. Knowing what to look for will ensure you are making a wise investment. Remember to think about what you will regularly be welding. You want to buy a welder that has enough power for the jobs you need. More power will cost you more, but it is worth it than having to deal with a welder that is underpowered. Also, try to keep in mind how much you are willing to spend beforehand because it can be easy to get carried away with the different features.
In the article above, I have explained the basics of MIG welders. I hope this article has answered any questions you might have had relating to MIG welding. If you like what you have read in this article, take a second and share the post or leave a comment.