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How much do welders make?

Whether you're looking for your next move as a welder or you're looking to hire welders for your trade business, then you'll need to know how much welders earn. Keep reading to find out what a welder's salary is.

If sitting at a desk and twiddling your thumbs isn’t your cup of tea, welding could be a great trade for you. You’ll be on your feet, working mostly outdoors, and there’s plenty of scope to combine your skills with another interest.

Whether you want to get into welding, go self-employed, or you’re looking to hire welders for your trade business, this guide’s for you.

How much do welders earn?

An average welder’s salary can range from £11,063 for an apprentice welder, to around £76,702 for the owner of a welding limited company.

Exactly how much you could stand to make as a welder will vary based on many different factors. These include your skill level, your specialities, your location, and how long you’ve been in the profession.

But how much money does the average welder make?

LevelPer hourPer dayPer yearEstimated business costs*Approximate take home pay
Newly qualified£11.50£92£20,194£0£17,226
Sole trader £40.00£320£59,001-£7,375£40,000*
Business owner (Ltd company)£52.00£416£76,702-£13,423£48,802*
*includes estimated business expenses such as vehicle, fuel, tools and insurance. You should always consult an accountant.

How much do welding apprentices make?

Becoming a welder’s apprentice is a fantastic way to gain experience and learn the tricks of the trade while being paid. So, how much do welders make as apprentices?

Well, the typical welding apprentice’s salary is around £11,063 per year, which works out at around £1,092 per month or £6.30 per hour.

While that might not sound like a lot, remember that you’ll be learning on the job. Plus, you’ll gain valuable skills that could stand you in good stead to earn more once you’re qualified.

How much does a first year welder make?

Once your apprenticeship is over, you should have all the skills you need to enter the industry for real. As a newly qualified welder, you’ll typically earn around £20,194 per year.

That comes to around £1,993 per month or £11.50 per hour.

How much do welders make a year?

When you have a little more experience under your belt, you’ll be able to unlock a higher salary to match. So, how much do welders make a year?

Well, that depends on whether you’re an employee or whether you’re self-employed.

  • Employed welder: £34,320 per year (£26,831 take home)
  • Sole trader: £59,001 per year (£40,000* take home)
  • Limited company owner: £76,702 per year (£48,802* take home)

As you can see, self-employed welders have the potential to earn the most. And that’s whether they run their own business as a sole trader or a limited company.

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How much do welders make a month?

If you’re wondering how much money you could make welding per month, you’re in luck.

We’ve broken down the yearly earnings above to get a typical monthly figure:

  • Employed welder: £2,860 per month
  • Sole trader: £6,933 per month
  • Limited company owner: £9,013 per month

How much do welders make a week?

How much welders make a week will depend on several factors, including their location, specialisms, and how many jobs they complete.

However, we’ve worked out the typical weekly earnings for a welder based on the yearly salary above.

  • Employed welder: £660 per week
  • Sole trader: £1,600 per week
  • Limited company owner: £2,080 per week

how much do welders earn

How much money do welders make an hour?

Wondering how much money you could make as a welder per hour? Here’s a general idea.

  • Employed welder: £16.50 per hour
  • Sole trader: £40.00 per hour
  • Limited company owner: £52.00 per hour

How much does a master welder make?

The term ‘master welder’ generally refers to a welder who’s built up a wealth of experience with deep knowledge of the trade.

Welders who fit the bill will usually specialise in a specific area. For instance, they might work in:

  • Shipbuilding
  • Civil engineering
  • Vehicle manufacturing.

Generally, an employed welder who’s this experienced will earn more than the average welder salary of £34,320 per year.

However, they’ll have the most scope to boost their earnings by going self-employed.

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How much money can you make welding?

As you can see, self-employed welders make the most money welding.

How much you could make as a self-employed welder depends on numerous factors, including:

  • Your specialisms
  • Your location
  • Your experience level

However, a major income factor is whether you decide to start your welding business as a sole trader or a limited company.

Can you earn more as a sole trader?

Welders who set themselves up as sole traders could earn a decent £59,001 per year (£40,000* take home).

Welders who start a limited company will have the potential to earn even more, with the average limited company owner making £76,702 per year (£48,802* take home).

But earnings aren’t the only thing you’ll have to consider when choosing between becoming a sole trader or a limited company.

For example, while limited companies come with more admin and expenses, they offer better financial protection than becoming a sole trader. Our dedicated guide will help you compare the two in more detail.

How to boost your welding business profit

Once you’ve gotten your welding business off the ground, it’s time to understand how to boost its earning potential. Here, we’ll share some ideas for how you can increase your welding business profit.

Pinpoint your USP

You’ll be best placed to attract leads and win jobs by identifying what sets you apart from your competitors.

As a welder, you’ll have a lot of scope to specialise. Perhaps you’d like to work as a pipe welder, or you prefer the idea of building and maintaining oil rigs?

Research some other welding companies in your area of speciality to see if you can spot a gap in the market.

Once you’ve settled on your USP, consider what kind of customer will need your services. Will you be looking for work in the commercial sector or among homeowners?

Invest in marketing

As a self-employed welder, you’ll need to keep your diary full. It’s important to invest in marketing on an ongoing basis, even when you have enough leads to keep you busy.

Here are some ideas for marketing your welding business:

  • Print flyers and business cards
  • Advertise in the local newspaper
  • Build a website
  • Use social media
  • Try digital advertising

Our guide to growing your trade business has more ideas and a free download.

Review your prices

As a welding business owner, you’ll be able to set your own rates. However, it’s important to ensure they’re competitive and can easily cover your expenses.

If you find that the money you make from a job isn’t enough to cover your outgoings, the chances are you’re charging too little. You could explore putting your prices up or reviewing the services you offer to focus more on your highest-earning jobs.

Reduce your expenditure

Reducing your expenditure can greatly improve your welding business profit by keeping more of your earnings in your pocket.

Try to avoid taking on debt where you can help it, as credit card bills and loan repayments can quickly eat into your earnings. And be sure to shop around for the best deals on things like tools, vans, insurance and workwear.

As a Checkatrade member, you’ll benefit from exclusive deals with our trade partners. Which brings us to…

Join Checkatrade

We’ve saved the best until last! Joining Checkatrade is a fantastic way to grow your new business.

As the #1 trade directory in the UK, millions of people look for trades like welders on Checkatrade every year. Plus, our famous ‘tick’ is trusted so much that 8 out of 10 people would choose a trade endorsed by Checkatrade compared to one that isn’t*.

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Average welder salary FAQs

How much does underwater welding make?

Underwater welders can earn a lot more than the average welder operating on land. We estimate an underwater welder’s earnings to be around £40.00 – £52.00 per hour. Or £34,320 – £59,001 per year

This is largely because the role is both highly skilled and extremely dangerous.

What is the highest-paid welding job?

Some of the highest-paid welding jobs include rig welders, underwater welders and nuclear welders. These jobs are all highly skilled and will require the most advanced qualifications.

Do welders make good money in the UK?

Welding can make a lot of money in the UK, especially if you go self-employed. Sole traders can earn a take-home salary of around £40,000* per year, while limited company owners receive around £48,802* per year take-home.

How much is a welder paid in the UK?

In the UK, the average employed welder earns around £34,320 per year. However, there’s potential to earn more, especially if you start your own welding business.

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Make sure your business gets seen by homeowners looking for your expertise!

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*Deep Blue Thinking 2021 Trade Perception Survey

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