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9 Best Companies Looking for Welding Subcontractors: Ranked & Reviewed (2024)

Welders are in high demand in almost every industry because of their skills, but only a few know how and where to sell their skills as contract welders.

If this sounds like you, then you’re in the right place.

This article outlines everything you need to know about the best companies looking for welding subcontractors.

After reading, you should be armed with all the necessary information to succeed as a contract welder.

Best Companies Looking for Welding Subcontractors at a Glance

Here’s an overview of our top picks below. You’ll find more information about each of them further down.

  1. Manufacturing Companies: Our Pick
  2. Construction Companies: Runner-up
  3. Aerospace Companies: Also Great
  4. Petrochemical Companies: Highest Paying Industry
  5. Shipbuilding Companies: Highly Technical Industry
  6. Underwater Welding: Best for Divers
  7. Automotive Companies: Most Technologically-Advanced Industry
  8. Green Energy Companies: Economically-Friendly Industry
  9. Agriculture Companies: Largest Industry

An Overview of Being Welding Subcontractors

A welding subcontractor has a significant role in different industries. This section explains more about this job and what makes it so essential.

What Is a Welding Subcontractor Job?

A welding subcontractor job allows you to work independently as a welding contractor.

Some of your duties include:

  • Handling scheduling, advertising, and other business-related activities
  • Working on a project from start to finish, including planning the project, placing the pipe, and fixing every issue while working
  • Getting supplies and labor
  • Providing your materials, testing your work, and managing tools and equipment
  • Collaborating with your clients to understand their needs and follow every safety requirement and industry regulation

Why Are Welding Subcontractors Jobs Important?

Welding subcontractors are important in almost every industry because they handle large welding projects for different companies.

This makes it easier for organizations with lower capacity to get more jobs.

Besides that, welding subcontractors play a major role in industries for the following reasons:

  • They reduce the risk and cost of hiring staff for projects.
  • Welding subcontractors have a wealth of experience in their field, which makes them the perfect solution for every welding issue.
  • By outsourcing to contract welders, companies can focus on other important aspects of the project.

Do I Need a Welding Subcontractor Job?

A welding subcontractor job is a good idea for several reasons. For one, you get to work at your convenience.

Plus, several companies are looking for welders that can work with them for a short period.

As a contract welder, you can work wherever your services are required, including a construction or manufacturing company.

Other benefits of working as a contract welder are:

  • You get to work independently.
  • You’ll be in high demand.
  • Room for improvement and growth.
  • Several work opportunities are available.

The Best Welding Subcontractor Jobs at a Glance

Here’s a brief description of some of the best companies looking for welding subcontractors.

What Is the Best Company Looking to Work for?

The manufacturing company is the best company to work for as a welding subcontractor.

This high-demand industry offers good pay and career advancement opportunities for welding subcontractors. It’s a great way to jumpstart your career in this field.

What Is the Highest Paying Industry to Work for?

The petrochemical industry offers the highest-paying jobs to welding subcontractors.

The oil and gas industry is flourishing, which explains why its employees get higher pay than most industries.

Welding subcontractors can earn an average annual salary of $60,905-$80,167 here.

Underwater/rig welders in this industry get even higher salaries because of the nature of their jobs.

Features to Look for in Welding Subcontractor Jobs

Before choosing to work as a subcontractor in any company, you must ensure they have some boxes ticked.

These are some of the features you should look for in the right company.

1. Company Values

Job success begins when your values align with that of the company.

While researching possible businesses to work with, you should compare your values with the employer’s vision, business model, and core values.

If they don’t match, you’re better off searching someplace else.

2. Working Hours

Every business has its working hours, and this is one thing you need to confirm before signing up with the industry.

Check out their work hours and how they handle extra work time. You should also confirm how they handle holidays and weekends and whether you must attend work.

3. Job Location

Would you like to work in a more localized area or not? How much commute time are you willing to sacrifice for your job? Do you mind the cost of commuting to and from work?

These are questions you need to answer before working somewhere.

You should consider the distance of your workplace and how it affects you and everything that concerns you, like your family, fuel, parking costs, etc.

4. Salary

You should work in an organization that offers adequate compensation for subcontractors. Before applying for a job, research the income range of workers in your field.

This will give you an idea of how much to expect and help you to negotiate your salary better. Your field has high-paying jobs, so you shouldn’t sell yourself short.

5. Growth Opportunities

Growth is essential in everything you do, and in terms of your career, it opens up more opportunities for career advancement.

As you search for a job, look for one that’ll help you to acquire other skills.

Some of the skills that’ll boost your career include communication, customer service, project management, etc.

Target companies that’ll give you a chance to hone some of these skills.

Best Companies Looking for Welding Subcontractors: Our Top 3 Options [Ranked & Reviewed]

The best part about being a welding subcontractor is that you can work in several industries and companies.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the companies you can check out for some of the best welding jobs.

1. Manufacturing Companies: Our Pick

The manufacturing industry is an umbrella term that covers everything that has to do with production.

This includes railroads, mining machinery, car factories, airplane manufacturing, etc.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the manufacturing company employs the highest number of welders, so there’s a high chance that you’ll be able to find a spot in this industry.

Although the manufacturing industry is evolving and more companies are starting to use robots in their production process, your services are still required to handle the welding aspect of the job.

Key Features of Manufacturing Companies

These are some of the features you should look out for before working for any manufacturing company:

  • Job stability: Manufacturing is a major game player in every economy, which means welding subcontractors working in this industry has more job stability than in other industries.
  • Fair compensation: There’s no point working for a company if you won’t get the right compensation for your work. A good manufacturing company has great wage and compensation policies for contract welders, leading to higher employee job satisfaction.
  • Encourages creativity: The manufacturing industry encourages workers to try out different things. This will push you to think out of the box and boost your creative prowess, even as a welder.
  • Innovation: Although the manufacturing industry focuses on using heavy machinery and big production sites, innovation can help streamline production and make the project more data-driven. This will make you more efficient as you work.
  • Solving tangible needs: The manufacturing industry produces tangible goods and items for society. Working here as a welding subcontractor makes you a part of something impactful.

Pros of Manufacturing Companies

These are some of the benefits of working in the manufacturing industry:

  • Good pay and benefits: It doesn’t matter whether you’re a contract welder; the manufacturing industry will offer you good pay for your services. You can make a good living as a subcontractor in the manufacturing industry.
  • A high-demand industry: The manufacturing industry is constantly looking for workers. This means it’ll be easier to get a job in this sector.
  • Opportunities for advancement: If you plan to advance your welding career, then the manufacturing industry is for you. Companies in this industry open people to opportunities they may not find elsewhere.

Cons of Manufacturing Companies

As great as manufacturing companies are, these are some of the reasons you may need to think twice before working for any company in this industry:

  • Safety issues: Working in the manufacturing industry exposes workers to heavy equipment and machinery, noise pollution, and sometimes chemicals that can compromise your safety. You have to ensure you have the proper protective gear to stay safe.
  • Long working hours: Working in the manufacturing industry means you’ve signed up for long working hours. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an independent contractor or a full-time employee. These extended hours of working can lead to burnout.
  • High competition: Even though there are several job opportunities in the manufacturing industry, other contract welders are trying to work there. This high competition can be a disadvantage, especially if you don’t have sufficient qualifications like your competitors.

Manufacturing Companies Income

According to ZipRecruiter, welders in the production or manufacturing industry earn an average of $46,807 per year, although this usually depends on skill level, years of experience, location, etc.

Final Verdict: Should You Choose Manufacturing Companies?

The manufacturing industry offers several benefits for welders that you can’t afford to miss.

As long as you can follow safety rules, you shouldn’t have issues working in a manufacturing business.

Note that this industry is highly competitive, so you may have to work extra hard to secure a spot.

2. Construction Companies: Runner-up

The construction industry is another option you should consider for contract jobs.

Here, your services are as highly required as in the manufacturing industry because welding is pivotal to the success of every commercial and residential construction project.

Over 50% of the world’s steel production is utilized for construction purposes, making welding a high-demand work in this industry.

Based on your skill level, you can be hired to join steel trusses, beams, footers, columns, etc.

You also have a higher chance of getting employed if you’re a structural welder who can read blueprints and install every necessary material to build bridges, buildings, and other structures.

Key Features of Construction Companies

Here are some top features of an ideal construction company:

  • Safety measures: Due to the nature of their job, construction companies prioritize safety a lot. This helps welding subcontractors feel more comfortable while working.
  • Adaptability: While planning for a project, top construction companies understand that nothing is set in stone, and anything can happen at the last minute. They’re always ready to adapt to changes and eventualities when they happen.
  • Technological advancement: There are several roles that technology plays in construction companies, including tracking employees or equipment, improving safety, surveying land and job sites, etc. This improves overall efficiency and makes the company attractive to work for.
  • Low turnover rate: The best construction companies usually have a low turnover rate. This is a sign that they provide the best experience for their employees. While a subcontractor isn’t a full employee of an industry, working with a business with a low turnover rate means you’ll get the best experience in the place.
  • Experience and a diverse portfolio: While focusing on a particular niche is good, a successful construction business has a wide range of experience and a diverse portfolio. Working for this company will expose you to different opportunities and help increase your expertise.

Pros of Construction Companies

Here are some of the reasons the construction industry is another place to work as a contract welder:

  • Helps you stay fit: Working in a construction company involves a lot of moving around, which is an excellent way to keep healthy.
  • You’ll never be bored: The construction industry allows you to work with several people and face new challenges. One day, you’re working as a contract welder on a school building; the next, you’re working on a residential building. Working on new projects will keep you entertained.
  • It allows you to explore: A job might require you to travel. This allows you to explore different areas, especially if you don’t travel often.

Cons of Construction Companies

These are some of the disadvantages of working in a construction company:

  • Hard labor: Construction work is hard work—it doesn’t matter what job you perform on-site. You’ll be moving and using heavy machinery, which may wear you out quickly. If you’re not big on physical labor, you should avoid working in this industry.
  • Dangerous work settings: Construction is one of the most challenging jobs out there. You’ll be exposed to weather conditions and other safety issues that can harm you. Consider the risks before signing up as a subcontractor in any construction company.
  • Age factor: Due to the nature of the job, older people have a lower chance of being allowed to work in the construction industry.

Construction Companies Income

ZipRecruiter places the average salary of a construction welder in the U.S. at $44,508 per year.

This amount usually depends on the experience level and skill level, among other factors.

Final Verdict: Should You Choose Construction Companies?

The construction industry is an exciting workplace, as several projects can keep you engaged.

Still, confirm that you’re fit enough to handle the stress and physical labor that comes with working in this industry.

3. Aerospace Companies: Also Great

The aerospace industry also needs welders to produce air- and spacecraft like airplanes, helicopters, satellites, rockets, etc. Your work here can be classified into three categories:

  • Manufacturing new aircraft
  • Fixing them
  • Overhauling items like engines to replace faulty parts

As a welding subcontractor in an aerospace company, you must focus on quality, precision, and detail.

Some of the unique skills you’ll need are Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW).

Key Features of Aerospace Companies

Look for these features before working for an aerospace company:

  • A strong management team: Strong management will help an aerospace company overcome the challenges of development and expansion. They’ll also ensure that every team member works together and communicate effectively. You need this environment to thrive as a welding subcontractor in this field.
  • Steady funding: An aerospace company can’t survive without adequate and stable funding. Aerospace companies usually know how to source funds and connect with potential investors. Steady funding means you won’t have issues getting your pay.
  • Innovative technology: Technology is at the core of every aerospace company, but innovative technology takes the business one step further. Every top aircraft business works with the latest innovations and uses modern engineering software in its production, increasing efficiency in the process.
  • Market awareness: The best aerospace business need to understand the market and learn about their potential client’s needs and demands. This will help them respond to these needs, leading to increased sales. Increased sales mean more work for subcontractors.
  • Networking opportunities: Aerospace companies are keen on networking because it opens up new markets and gives them access to more resources. You can leverage this to build your client base.

Pros of Aerospace Companies

Here are some of the benefits you get to enjoy as a worker in the aerospace industry:

  • Benefits and standard of living: Aerospace companies usually give their employees discounts on goods and services. They might also provide free accommodation, bonuses, and flights for you and your relatives.
  • Career advancement: The aerospace industry is constantly changing and evolving, sometimes based on improvements in client assistance, natural supportability, and security. This means you can grow alongside the business and advance in your career.
  • Flexible schedule: Businesses in the aerospace industry work with shifts, so you can choose your schedule based on convenience. This gives you enough time to pursue other interests or be with your family.

Cons of Aerospace Companies

These are some of the disadvantages of working in the aerospace industry:

  • Stress: Although the industry offers some flexibility in work schedules, your work hours will still involve a lot of activities that may wear you out.
  • Work-life balance: Since you have deadlines, you may need to work several hours a week to meet them. This may force you to work overtime and affect other aspects of your life.
  • Too many risks: The aerospace industry is one industry that handles risks daily. Failure to meet some standards while production is ongoing can lead to severe consequences. This means that a lot lies in you getting things right.

Aerospace Companies Income

According to Salary.com, the average salary of an aerospace welder is $65,573 per year.

Final Verdict: Should You Choose Aerospace Companies?

Aerospace companies offer so much in terms of career advancement and high benefits. If these features sound like your cup of tea, then you should work here.

Note that you’ll be handling many risky jobs and may be unable to create a work-life balance. Consider these before making your decision.

Notable Mentions: Other Welding Subcontractors Jobs to Check Out

If you need more options, here are other industries you can work for as a contract welder.

Petrochemical Companies: Highest-Paying Industry

The petrochemical or oil and gas industry uses welders to build and install oil rigs on land or underwater.

They’re also hired to repair and maintain sites; others can work as collar and pipefitters.

Essentially, you’ll carry out every welding task required of you.

Due to the nature of this job, welding subcontractors may be required to live on-site while construction is ongoing.

Why Is Petrochemical a Great Option?

Petrochemical companies are famous for paying their workers well. Besides that, you’ll enjoy a flexible schedule that lets you take on other side jobs when you aren’t working.

Drawbacks to Petrochemical Companies

Working in a petrochemical company exposes you to chemical inhalation, fires, explosions, and other factory-related accidents. Like other industries, you should adhere to strict safety rules.

Petrochemical Income

An oil and gas welder can earn an average annual salary of $60,905-$80,167. Your actual amount will be based on factors like education and skill level.

Shipbuilding Companies: Highly Technical Industry

Shipbuilding companies require welders’ services for building various kinds of ships, constructing oil platforms, and repairing dry dock ships.

As a shipyard welder, your duties include reading ship schematics, constructing/repairing ship components, and inspecting materials.

Why Is Shipbuilding a Great Option?

Like the manufacturing industry, shipbuilding offers eye-catching pay. Plus, due to the job’s intricacies, on-site training helps you provide the best services for the job.

Drawbacks to Shipbuilding Companies

Shipyards aren’t entirely safe, and working there may mean putting yourself in danger. To be on the safer side, you need to follow a lot of strict safety rules, which may be tiresome.

Shipbuilding work is highly tasking, usually with no fixed timings. This means you have to be available almost all the time.

Shipbuilding Income

Shipbuilding welders usually receive an average hourly rate of $24.08, amounting to $36,964-$54,857 per year.

Underwater Welding: Best for Divers

Contract welders can also be hired to perform underwater welding activities like fitting in rigging, underwater photography, testing and inspecting underwater equipment, etc.

Welders in this category are usually found in the oil and gas industries, as well as shipyard and naval industries.

Besides being a welder, you also need diving certification to qualify for this job.

Why Is Underwater Welding a Great Option?

Underwater welding is excellent for several reasons. For one, it’s more cost-effective than traditional welding and other underwater jobs.

Since this is a highly specialized skill, you’ll earn a salary matching the kind of effort you put into getting the job done.

It’s even better if you already enjoy diving because you’ll be doing that while working.

Drawbacks to Underwater Welding

Many safety issues are associated with working underwater, and you may be affected if you don’t know how to avoid hazards underwater.

You should be careful, especially when working on an electrical item in the water.

Underwater Welding Income

Underwater welders can earn up to $3,736 monthly, and high-earning welders can make about $65,000 annually.

Automotive Companies: Most Technologically-Advanced

You can also choose to work as an independent contractor in the automotive industry.

Although this industry is constantly evolving, with welding robots helping with several welding jobs, your services are still required to monitor this automation.

Automotive companies rely on laser welding for processing sheet metal which is essential in the production of vehicles. You should also be well-versed in MIG and arc welding.

Why Is Automotive a Great Option?

The automotive industry gives you the chance to explore several career opportunities.

You can hone your welding skills here and even learn other valuable skills that’ll prove useful in your career advancement.

Don’t forget that you’ll also be getting some real money in this industry.

Drawbacks to Automotive Companies

You’ll have to deal with a stressful working environment due to the heavy competition surrounding the different automotive companies.

Plus, the system is unpredictable, so you don’t know how long you’ll be allowed to work before you’re laid off. The advent of robots to handle some welding jobs makes this a more pressing issue.

Automotive Income

Automotive welders have an average annual salary of $43,999, with the best welders making as much as $57,108.

Green Energy Companies: Economically-Friendly Industry

The green energy industry has also paved the way for welders, meaning you have more job opportunities.

Nuclear power plants, wind and water turbines, and solar panels all need metalwork, which is where you come in.

This is one industry you should hop on because you’ll be a part of the evolution of energy generation.

Why Is Green Energy a Great Option?

Besides the standard benefits you stand to enjoy, like reasonable compensation and growth potential, the green energy industry allows you to do something for a good cause.

Renewable energy helps to make the environment a better place to live in. Knowing that you’re a part of this project is enough reward.

This is also a new and exciting industry; working here will open you up to possibilities you probably didn’t think of before.

Drawbacks to Green Energy Companies

One of the major drawbacks of working in the green energy sector is that it has geographic restrictions.

For instance, you can’t install a wind turbine without wind, and you’ll need water to establish a hydroelectric pump.

If you’re working in this industry, you may be asked to relocate to work. You should be sure that this is what you want.

Green Energy Income

The green energy sector is another industry that pays well, with the average annual salary balancing at $75,694.

You can also earn as high as $84,706 per year, based on your certifications, level of education, etc.

Agriculture Companies: Largest Industry

As a welder in the agriculture industry, you’re responsible for repairing and modifying agricultural farm equipment.

You’ll also be involved in building customs systems and equipment to increase farming production.

Why Is Agriculture a Great Option?

The agricultural sector is vast—perhaps one of the largest industries. This means several job opportunities are available for you as a welder.

We’ll always need agriculture; as long as we do, you’ll always have a job. This industry offers job security, unlike some sectors.

Drawbacks to Agriculture Companies

There are physical challenges associated with fixing and modifying agricultural machinery. Also, the long working hours under the sun can affect your health.

Agriculture Income

The agriculture industry pays welders up to $59,274 annually.

Other Options Relevant to Contract Welder Jobs

If you aren’t interested in working as a contract welder, here are other similar options that you can explore:

  • Investments That Pay Monthly: If you’re looking for how to earn money seamlessly, have you considered investing? This article will reveal to you different investment options that pay monthly.
  • High-Paying Surveys: This job doesn’t need any technical skills. Find out how you can generate revenues by answering questionnaires.
  • Banks That Pay You to Open an Account: Did you know that some banks pay you to open an account with them? Find out how.

Frequently Asked Questions

In case you have other questions, here are a few and their responses.

How Can I Become a Welder?

To become a welder, you must acquire a welding certificate and work as an apprentice welder after your formal education.

How Do I Know Which Welding Career to Go for?

There are different career paths in welding. To make a better choice, you should research the options available and choose the one that suits you.

Wrapping Up

Contract welding is one of the best contracting jobs you can think of if you know the right place to get a job.

This job opportunity allows you to work at your pace and still earn enough to make a good living.

The manufacturing industry should be at the top of your priority list if you’re looking for a job that offers so many opportunities in terms of career advancement.

If you’re looking for a higher-paying job, you should try the petrochemical industry.

Overall, you can’t go wrong working in any of the industries outlined in this article.

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