How Much Money Does a Welding Inspector Make?
Welding inspectors earn anywhere from $58,000 to $67,000 a year.
Welding inspectors inspect welded joints to look for hidden cracks, flaws or weaknesses and ensure the metal is able to withstand the anticipated stress. Inspectors as a whole typically require at least a high school diploma to work in the field, but employers often give preference to candidates with some background in the industry, as well as those holding an advanced certification. Salaries vary by employer.
In 2012, construction and building instructors earned an average of $55,230 a year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though this figure gives you a general idea of what a welding inspector can expect to make, it reflects the salaries of all inspectors, including electrical, plumbing and public works, so the number is somewhat skewed.
The most recent survey offered by the American Welding Society found that salaries are much greater for welding inspectors, especially those that are certified. Welding inspectors earned an average of $67,222 a year, including overtime. The average hourly rate was $26.73, with inspectors racking up almost 17 hours of overtime a week.Job Geeks offers a similar wage, estimating that half of all certified welding inspectors earned $58,444 a year as of 2013. Welders, on the other hand, earned an average of $38,410 a year, or $18.46 an hour, in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As with any job, location affects salaries, and inspectors are no exception. Inspectors working in the District of Columbia have the highest salary, with an average of $74,700 a year. Those working in California were a close second, earning an average of $73,290 a year, while inspectors in Nevada made almost $71,000 a year. The same, however, can’t be said for inspectors in South Dakota, where the average salary was just $43,850 a year -- the lowest in the nation.
Through 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects inspectors as a whole to experience 18 percent more job opportunities.This is slightly faster than the national average for all U.S. occupations -- an estimated 14 percent. Being a relatively small field, however, the 18 percent growth rate equates to the creation of about 18,400 new jobs. Those who hold a certification should see the best prospects.