What It Is Like To Be An Oil Rig Welder And How Much Does An Oil Rig Welder Make?

Have you ever heard about making a $200,000 salary per year without even having a proper university degree? Yes, this is true; an oil rig welders salary can reach as high as $200,000 or more depending upon the type of skill sets they hold. However, oil rig welding is a never-ending industry and prospering every year in America.

Before getting too much fascinated with the oil rig welder’s salary, one should also know that their sacrifice is gigantic. They live far away from their families and home, plus they work hard to earn. Moreover, according to a report, an oil rig welder’s life span can be as long as 15-17 years. To know more about oil rig welders, keep reading this article!

Oil Rig Welder

An oil rig welder is the one who welds the metallic pieces together to construct beams, pipes, vessels, etc., and makes sure their proper usage and maintenance. He is the one responsible for the maintenance of oil rig machinery. You will be surprised to know that an oil rig welder has to go underwater to weld the broken pieces of machinery there as well.

An oil rig welder is supposed to be the backbone of the oil extraction and refinery industry. These oil refineries are built on the surface of the water to extract natural oil and gas. However, an oil rig digs the ocean’s depth to extract the oils, natural gases, and other related natural products. Which later on passes through various refinery processes before hitting the market.

The main job of an oil rig welder is to construct an oil rig’s infrastructure and maintain its efficiency over and under the water as well. Also, he does the welding job on the oil rig island.

How Much Does An Oil Rig Welder Make?

An oil rig welders salary can make up to $20,000 to $100,000 yearly. The figures can rise above $100,000 to $200,000 depending upon the set of skills an oil rig welder possess. Moreover, an additional certification in a welding career can also add numbers to the rig welder’s income. In short, there is no fixed amount for an oil rig welders salary. At the same time, one can claim because this solely depends upon many factors like:


Nothing is complicated to understand here, right? The more incredible the experience in any career, the more outstanding the salary scale will be because the background is the only tool that makes you learn things that you cannot know while sitting in an academic class. Specifically speaking, an oil rig welder is not only supposed to be working on oil rigs, but they can also easily earn experience while working in any welding industry.

They can learn rainbow skills regarding fusing metals and creating pipes, vessels, and other gadgets. Many things can count here as an experience. For instance, the number of machines you are familiar with as a welder and how many procedures you have been using while welding metals throughout your working years.

So, it is advised not to think much about how much does an oil rig welder make? Instead, if you are taking the new step in the welding world, set low salary income in your mind. Plus, buy yourself some experience because an experienced oil rig welder can earn up to six figures salary easily per year.


Good skills lend good money. It is advised to learn some basic skills and when you master them, learn specialized ones. Especially for an oil rig welder, it is not enough to learn how to patch metals together. However, for being a valuable oil rig welder, you should know how to weld underwater as well. You should take precautionary measures as a high-quality technical professional and take full charge while working underwater.

An oil rig machinery is not only a floating piece on the ocean’s surface. It is penetrated to the depth of the sea. One should be well-skilled to weld underwater because it requires high-end precision. Plus, underwater welding equipment can be costly and tricky to handle. Only an experienced and skilled welder can deal with them.

Additionally, the high pressure under the water is worth mentioning because the pressure under which oil rigs welders work is unbearable for humans. One can lose consciousness under the depth because the pressure is too high to handle. Moreover, there is a mixture of gases at the bottom of the ocean that can be poisonous to humans.

Lastly, how much does an oil rig welder make also depends upon his diving skills? The reason must be because for working on oil rig machinery; you should also know deep-sea diving as the fault can occur at any place and any time. Oil rigs often get damaged beneath the water and require a quick fix for which oil rig welder should be well trained.


American welding society known as AWS is responsible for the certification of welders. By certificate, it means that you are educated enough to work in the welding field. However, it is not directly related to oil rig welders salary, but it will tell your employer that you are better at your niche.

The welding world is packed with multiple niches like pipeline welding, cable wending, creating a beam out of metal welding, etc. Finding your place and earning certification in that will differentiate you from other welders. Certification, along with experience, undoubtedly will increase your pay scale.


Finding a job at the location where oil is present is the first step for an oil rig welder. Secondly, if you find the place, try to relocate there because this will save you transport money. Thirdly, many oil rig companies offer their employees much more than just a handsome salary package. They also provide them meals and a place to live.

All in all, employers’ facilities can add value to your position working as an oil rig welder. Plus, if you cannot find a job within your city, many companies offer an offshore job. If you can find one, you can easily make up to $100,000 per annum. Moreover, an offshore company provides other advantages as well, like insurance and health facilities, etc.


You can be hired as an employee to work on the oil rig. In other cases, a contractor can employ you as a rig welder employee, or you can be the contractor yourself. Being an employee might seem less paid than the contractor, but it is also less risky. Employees have many benefits offered by companies like paid vacations, residence, and health insurance.

On the other hand, being a contractor might look fancy, but many underlined factors are attached. They never get any facilities from the company for which they work. Plus, they have to manage their oil rig welding equipment by themselves. In case of any damage to the equipment, they will be the ones facing bankruptcy.

Moreover, contractors have to buy good insurance policies before working with any oil rig company. Otherwise, they won’t be allowed to come near the working site. Contractors are also supposed to take care of their taxes by themselves regarding their equipment. This whole can cost an oil rig contractor nearly a million.

Lifestyle Of An Oil Rig Welder

Being a rig welder is not an easy job. If you are willing to give up your everyday family life, you will be happy as a welder. However, if you have a family, then an oil rig welding job is way too stressful because you have to work more than the average employee. Usually, working hours stretched up to 10 hours and do not forget to add the travelling span.

Conversely, an offshore oil rig job can save your travelling time, but you will be living alone on the ocean’s top. In addition to that, no matter what oil rig welders salary is,as an underwater rig welder, their life will be spent in suffocating rooms on an oil rig because these rigs are built on the ocean’s surface and ever inch cost a lot.

Moreover, the life span of oil rig underwater welders is suspected to be less because oil rig welder repeatedly stays in contact with welding beam and fumes of metal. In terms of exposure to the poisonous gases present at the bottom of the ocean, under-water welding can be more dangerous.

Working Benefits Of Oil Rig Welder

Working as an oil rig welder can be wild for those who are passionate about both welding and earning money. Additionally, working offshore can be very thrilling. You get an opportunity to live and interact with different people. This job doesn’t require any specific degree. You can quickly get yourself hired by earning certifications.

Robots can never replace an oil rig welder, so you will always be in demand. You can earn better with the time you spent on your welding career.

Final Words

Summing up, oil rig welding is an exciting job and requires a lot of commitment. Moreover, an oil rig welders salary is unimaginable because they can earn way more than any degree holder. It is only a matter of time and satisfaction you feel while working as an oil rig welder.