Best Places for Welders to Work. Hint: Pennsylvania and Ohio Make the Cut!

If you are working towards earning your welding certificate, you may be wondering which states have the most opportunity for Certified Welders. In 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Statistics reported there were 397,900 welders, cutters, solderers and brazers working successful jobs across the United States. And with innovation and technology found at every corner, it took some digging to figure out which of the Nifty Fifty present the best job opportunities for welders. This month, PMI presents a list of the top five states for welding jobs. You’ll be happy to know; two of the five states might be our own backyards!
Everything is bigger in Texas, or so the saying goes. Texas is the second largest state in the U.S. and has a bountiful economy thanks to its roots in agriculture, manufacturing, automotive, petroleum oil and ship building. The average welder in the U.S. earns about $39,390, but in Texas, the median pay is $43,580. Go big or go home!
California is runner up in our list of “Best Places for Welders to Work”. Over 27,000 welders were employed by the State of California in 2015. One of the largest need for welders, cutters, solderers and brazers is due to the state’s vast water shortage. California’s water infrastructure is aging at a rapid speed, yet the state yields the most residents, 38,332,521 to be exact (2013 Census). Let’s not forget the 840 miles of coast lined with personal yachts, commercial fishing fleets, trade and cargo ships. With solar power and agriculture rounding out the economy, it might be time to take a trip out West.
If there is one thing synonymous with Pennsylvania, it’s steel. And while the steel industry began its decline decades ago, the robust Pennsylvania economy hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. Pennsylvania is comprised of a rural landscape, with metropolitan areas like Erie, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia just miles in each direction. It requires the support of some of the heaviest machinery, the most of any other state, and is largely depended upon for fabricated metal products. With an economy comprised of farming, food production, petroleum oil, urban development, and global advances in medical technology, there is no shortage of welding opportunist in this third-ranked state. Here’s the tough question. Eagles or Steelers?
Simply put, the State of Louisiana is jam packed with welding opportunities. With areas like the Port of Louisiana serving as the largest Western Hemisphere shipping port, the industries in bulk cargo ships and commercial fishing charters are booming. Not to mention the machinery needed to farm sugarcane, rice and soybean or the cotton picking machines keeping our favorite fabrics at the top of the U.S.’s textile food chain. The film industry has grown substantially in the Deep South, putting Louisiana on the map for film production. If these aren’t good enough reasons to check out Louisiana for a welding career, at least go for the music!
The fifth contender on our list is a state the borders one of the Great Lakes and Midwest, Northeast and Southern regions of the United States. You guessed it, Ohio. Its economy is comprised of manufacturing, finance, bioscience, fabricated metals, plastics, household appliances and more. With over 16,000 welders working in Ohio, you may want to focus your job search on the Buckeye State.

At PMI, we not only provide you with a solid education in welding, we can help guide you to where you want to go. If you’re located in the Ohio or Pennsylvania area and interested in obtaining your Electric Arc Welding certification, call our Meadville, PA facility at 814-333-2415 and schedule a visit with us today!