If you are considering starting a portable welding business, many welders have reached this crossroads. Welding is a career with many professional growth opportunities across different areas of specialization. But even the highest-paid welders may come to a career point where they want to stretch themselves.
With a wide choice of portable welding equipment with professional-level performance and features, setting up shop as an independent welder is more feasible than ever.
The career outlook for welders, however, is an annual average growth of 3 percent, slightly below that of all occupations. This job statistic should not discourage you. Many contract jobs are available for welders with the right skills and market opportunities.
Welding Experience and Qualifications
Welders start their own business for a variety of reasons. A common motivation is the desire to increase the annual salary. Welders in the United States take home an annual salary in the $40,000 range.
If you have the experience to start your own welding business, ideally, at the very least, you should have the qualifications necessary to work as a senior welder for your current employer.
In positions with high demand for specialized skills, other qualifications may be less important. If you are the on-call person for special jobs such as underwater, robotic arc, or pipe welding, your specialization could command a higher value in the marketplace. Do you market research and verify if you can better monetize those skills as an independent contractor,
In high demand industries and regions such as North Dakota's oil drilling or Alaska's pipelines, welders tend to be paid more. If you also bring a special welding skill to the project, annual pay can top $100,000. These salaries motivate some independent contractors to work as traveling welders, moving from project to project.
If you also have fabrication experience in a manufacturing environment or robotics design experience in the aerospace industry, you could command consultant-level salaries.
An attractive aspect of a portable welding business is the low start-up and operating costs. A used welder could be purchased for a few thousand dollars. Reach out to local welding equipment suppliers for quotes or more information about welders like used Miller XMT 350 CC/CV welders.
The portable welder must be able to operate in any environment. Energy and pipeline projects require rugged equipment that can operate when the power supply is unreliable. Portable welders can provide a wide input voltage range and both single and three-phase operation for larger industrial jobs. A multiprocess welder will meet the needs of changing jobs and specifications.
Whether you want to weld underwater in exotic locations or on construction sites during a building boom, if your skills meet high long-term demand, a portable welding business could be for you.