How much does a welder cost?
The average national cost for a welder is $150-$250. Many factors impact the price, such as the welder's hourly rate, materials, and the type of welding project you need help with. The total cost generally covers materials, equipment, and labor.
As a homeowner, you might hire a welder or metalworker to build a custom fence or gate, build decorative interior metalwork, or add safety features to your house, like window bars. Welders can also help with pipes and restoration work and have experience with a range of metal types, like aluminum, wrought iron, stainless steel, carbon steel, and galvanized steel.
Before you look for the right welder for your project, get an estimate on the price of your welding job with this guide.
What's in this cost guide?
In addition to a welder's wage (they typically charge hourly), the total cost of your welding project will also depend on any additional materials your contractor needs to buy, as well as the type of metal they're working with.
A welder will need flux (gas), wire, grinding wheels, sanding stones, and UV and high-heat resistant paint, for welding. Most professionals already have the necessary equipment for any welder job, but all of these contribute to a shop's overhead. It will be reflected in the price you pay.
Here's a breakdown of material costs from a Thumbtack pro and welder in Frisco, Texas:
- Sanding paper: $64 per week ($16 for a 25 pack and 100 pieces used per week)
- 30-pound roll of wire: $40 every one and a half to two weeks
- Three bottles of flux/gas: $120–$150 every one and a half to two weeks
The type of metal used for a project also affects the final cost. According to the Texas-based welder mentioned above, steel is the most affordable. Aluminum and stainless steel cost 1.5-2x more than standard steel.
Additionally, every time the cost of steel fluctuates, the overall cost of welding does as well. For example, the Texas-based welder typically charges $44–$50 for one 25-foot stick of 2x6 14-gauge steel. However, that price has fluctuated as high as $125 per stick during a recession and, as a result, he had to charge more.
Like any home improvement project, small jobs, such as fixing a post on a fence, will cost less than more intensive projects. Some welders charge an average minimum of $60 for any welding work no matter how small the job. Others base their rates on how much they need to weld.
Here are a few example prices for small jobs from the Texas-based welding company:
- Tack welds on a patio chair: $25–$30
- Larger (but still minimal) repair job to weld metal furniture: $35–$100
This particular welding company includes paint touchups in their prices, which is not generally a service included in welding work.
Minor repairs such as cracks or broken parts can often be done either at the client's location or in the welding shop.
Mobile welders who must bring equipment to a client's home often charge a travel fee or minimum service fee to cover their extra time, transportation expenses, and salary. Customers can save money by bringing smaller items, such as chairs, to the welding shop.
The national average hourly rate for welding services ranges from $65–$125, often with a minimum service fee to cover overhead and transportation. Most welding shops charge an hourly rate for services, particularly if they're doing straightforward jobs or pipeline work.
However, some professionals charge by the square foot. For example, the Texas-based welder charges $125 per square foot for front entry doors made out of steel.
Type of welding project
The type of welding project also impacts the overall price. For larger projects, as a welder will give you an estimate upfront based on the specifics of the job, type of metal to be used, wages, and other considerations.
Here are a few example prices for common interior welding jobs:
- Baby gate for top of stairs: $550–$750 for one full day of cutting, one full day of welding and construction, one to one and a half full days of grinding and painting, and a few hours of installation.
- Room temperature wine cellar gates: $1,200–$1,800, depends on how much scroll work or vines and grapes are requested—grape clusters are $10–$15 each.
- Chilled room wine cellar gate: $2,200–$2,800, including wages for three people for five to seven full days of grinding, painting, finishing, cutting, design or CAD work, welding, ordering materials, and other tasks.
Pipe repair is another common reason to hire a welding specialist. Pipe repairs cost an average of $120-$160, nationwide.
There are several different types of welding methods your welder may use:
- Stick welding, or shielded metal arc welding, melts two separate metals together by applying extreme heat at the seam, which bond together after they cool down.
- Metal inert gas (MIG) welding, or gas metal arc welding, uses a tool to feed a wire over an electrical arc (vs. heat) to melt wire onto a base metal. Once cool, they fuse together.
- Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding. Similar to MIG, TIG or gas tungsten arc welding, also uses an electrical arc. However, the welder must hold and manually feed the stick instead of using a tool.
- Gas welding: Metal is heated to a melting point using a mix of flammable gas and oxygen.
- Forge welding: Forging metal is an ancient art that involves heating two pieces of metal until they are molten, then hammering them together.
Tips for hiring a welder
When looking for a welder to help with your project, be sure to:
- Ask for a free estimate. Before your contractor welds anything, ask for an estimate on how much your project will cost. Also ask how much they charge per hour and how the total breaks down in materials vs. labor.
- Provide photos and details when asking for an estimate. Give your contractor as much detail as you can on your project. Where in your home will it be located? Do you have photos of other similar projects? How many decorative elements or embellishments do you want?
- Check their skills and experiences. Ideally, you would hire someone who has experience with the specific type of welding you need help with. For example, if you need to repair a pipe, look for a pipe welder who has experience with this. Reviews from previous customers can also give you an idea of their experience and skills.
- Check their certifications. Make sure you hire a certified welder to complete your job.
Whether you want to build a decorative, wrought-iron fence around your property, or you need a pipe specialist to weld together a leak and make sure your plumbing is back in working order, a welder can help. Find a welder near you, along with reviews, on Thumbtack.