Welders work with a variety of tools to hand-weld, flame-cut, solder and braze metal components such as pipes or plates. Welding tools can also be used to fill holes or seams in fabricated metal products. Some welders work with larger machines, or even robots, to perform these tasks. Many welders acquire a certification such as the one from the American Welding Society. Being certified shows they have achieved a certain level of skill in their trade, since most certifications require welders to demonstrate their abilities. This can often lead to a higher pay scale for welders.
According to the May 2010 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), welders make a mean annual wage of $37,920, or $18.23 an hour. The annual pay scale ranges from $24,490 for the lowest 10 percent to $55,240 for the highest 10 percent, with the median 50th percentile earning $35,920 a year. Certified welders are more likely to earn the better salaries, as they have demonstrated a certain level of competency by earning their certification.