How to Price Welding Jobs: A Strategic & Fair Guide

Since everyone graduated from different welding schools, setting out on different paths afterward isn’t surprising.

Some are lucky to have their alumnus help them out in job-hunting, while others don’t.

Either that, or they don’t exactly like the options presented to them, so they decided to go looking for a job by themselves.

Usually, this leads to them opting for self-employment.

Being self-employed means you’re your own boss, which sounds fantastic!

You get to set up your own appointments, you get all the money.

And that’s where your main problem sprouts up.

So, how would you price your welding jobs properly?

How to Price Welding Jobs?

What to Consume

Welding rods, cylindrical gas tanks, wire spools—those are only a FEW out of all the materials any welder consumes each time they go out for a job.

And since you’re not working at a factory with said materials already presented for you to use, maintaining your inventory will be in your hands.

Which is a daunting task as it is when there’s a lot of stuff you need to weld something.

First off, employers will expect you to know various types of welding, such as shielded metal arc welding, metal inert gas (MIG) welding, and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding.

In all of them, you’ll use electricity to power your welder up. But the process of how to weld your metals will differ.

MIG welding gives you the option to remain gasless or use gas cylinders with the use of spool wires, while TIG welding can settle with voltages alone.

And as mentioned earlier, welding rods (or electrodes) are inevitable in this job, especially in something like shielded metal arc welding and TIG welding, as well. 

Of course, there’s not just one kind of electrode. No, because you have a SELECTION of welding rods to choose from depending on where you’ll use them!

So right off the bat, you got gas, spool wires, and welding sticks. The electricity you can have in your client’s site if they allow it; just pay close attention to what voltage you’ll be using!

That’s not even including what kind of environment your employer wants you to work in!

If it’s an outdoor job on a particularly windy day, you’ll need to have the foresight to reserve a LOT of gases that can shield your welding from the breeze.

Situations like that make a hard life for a portable welder because there’s still a high possibility for emergency cases (like your welder breaking down), so you have to be extremely smart in playing this out. 

But you have to start somewhere, right?

Know Your Worth!

Other than using up your materials, your employers are going to buy you as a welder skilled enough for whatever job they have for you.

So your skills and time are part of the package that is you!

That’s why you should be confident in your abilities, except not TOO confident, you hear me?

Sure, it’s a general rule for most employers that the higher your rate is, the better the quality you can produce. But there’s still a limit to everything.

And depending on how long or how hard the job is, your rate can fluctuate a lot.

Therefore, if you want to have a concrete guide for pricing, you can contact the American Welding Society (AWS) to get the rough estimates.

You can also take a peek at other experienced welders in your area. If you notice they all have the hourly rate of, say, $30 per hour, then it’s up to you if you want to have that same rate or change it up a bit to make you more attractive to potential clients!

One Step Forward

Once you saved up just enough from your portable welding job, you can now set up a workshop somewhere!

Of course, that kind of upgrade won’t come in cheap, so you’ll need to raise your rates higher to do what you need to do to keep your place afloat.

At this point, you’ll add rent into the mix along with the rest of your utilities and systems you got installed to have your time in the workshop comfortable.

Include all of that AND the experience you’ve collected along the way, and you better give yourself a raise because you deserve it!

Final Words

Just like metal, handling money is no joke.

It’s a detailed, tedious task that might have you prefer getting your hands dirty dealing with the nitty-gritty welding, but it’s one task you can’t avoid.

Hopefully, reading this will make pricing easier for you to do because then you’ll be able to plan out your budgeting.

And budgeting everything you need is one of the keys to keeping your business rolling!

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