In 2010, there were a total of 314,260 welders employed in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Journeyman welders are those who have completed the necessary training to qualify for gainful employment in the welding field. According to the bureau, the number of jobs in this field is expected to decline slightly in the period from 2008 to 2018. Salaries for journeyman welders depend upon the industry in which the welder works and where the welder works.
The average salary of a journeyman welder was $37,370 per year, as of May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau indicates that the median salary for journeyman welders was $35,450, while the middle 50 percent made between $28,840 and $43,700 per year; the highest-paid journeyman welders brought in salaries of $53,690 or more per year. At the low end of the pay scale were those who made $23,940 per year or less.
The industry in which the welder works also provides an indicator of what he can expect to make. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest number of welders worked in the field of architectural and structural metals manufacturing and made an average salary of $34,000 per year in 2010. The second largest employer of welders was the agriculture, construction and mining machinery manufacturing industry: Welders in this industry earned an average salary of $36,220 per year. The highest-paid welders working in the spectator sport industry, earning an average salary of $64,690 per year.
Where a journeyman welder works also provides an indicator of his expected earnings. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that Texas was the state with the highest level of employed welders in 2001: These welders made an average salary of $37,470 per year. In California, welders made an average salary of $39,290 per year. Wyoming was the top-paying state for welders, with an average salary of $49,490 per year. Salary Expert conducted a survey of welding salaries in 10 major U.S. cities. The average salary in these cities ranged from $29,790 per year in Dallas to $37,241 per year in Houston. Other cities included in the survey included Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Welders in Los Angeles made $33,534, while those in New York and Chicago made $35,813 and $31,996, respectively.
The slight decline in the number of welding jobs during the decade from 2008 to 2018 is expected to occur largely due to increased automation and efficiency in technology, which will eliminate the need for new jobs in the field, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite the lack of job growth, the bureau indicates that jobs will be available. The bureau also indicates that welders can move easily from one industry to another, making it easy to gain employment when some industries experience a decline or lull in manufacturing.