Oil and gas companies are attracting welders from other industries because of the higher salaries they offer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average welder ranges between $13.20 and $19.61 per hour.
But welders who work offshore on an oil rig may start out as high as $60,000 annually, earning $100,000 or more after a few years. The American Welding Society reports that experienced underwater welders may earn $100,000 to $200,000 per year.
Many companies provide benefits including health insurance and paid vacation. Actual salaries are determined by employer demand, geographic location, whether the drilling rig is land-based or offshore, education level, certifications, and experience. Welders are typically employed directly by the drilling company or as an employee of an independent oilfield service company.