What is a Rig Welder? How Do You Become One? Find Out Here

What is a Rig Welder? How Do You Become One? Find Out Here

A rig welder is a highly-skilled tradesperson who can weld with precision and accuracy even in challenging locations.

This article will cover the basics of what a rig welder does, the tools they use, and the qualifications they need to be successful in the field.

You will also learn about the job outlook for rig welders and the salary range they typically earn. So if you're interested in a career as a rig welder, read on to learn more!

What is a rig welder?

A Rig Welder is a type of welder who specializes in welding large pieces of metal on-site.

They often work in the oil and gas industry, but can be found in other industries as well. They are responsible for setting up rigs, welding pipelines and other large components, and performing maintenance on the equipment.

Rig Welders must have excellent welding skills and be familiar with the latest welding techniques.

Difference between Offshore and Land-Based Oil Rig Welders

Offshore and land-based oil rig welders both use welding techniques to build, repair and maintain oil rigs, but there are some differences in the roles and responsibilities of the two positions.

Offshore welders typically work in harsh conditions on an oil rig, while land-based welders typically have a more controlled environment to work in.

Offshore welders must be able to withstand long hours in potentially hazardous conditions, while land-based welders may have more flexible hours.

Offshore welders also have to be certified in underwater welding techniques and typically have more experience in welding.

Land-based welders may have more experience in other areas such as fabrication and machining.

How to become a rig welder?

To become a rig welder, an individual must possess the necessary welding skills, knowledge, and certifications.

This includes having a high school diploma or equivalent, completing an apprenticeship program or welding certification, and passing required safety tests.

Rig welders must also be comfortable with heights and have the physical strength and stamina to work long hours in a hazardous environment.

Additionally, the ability to read and interpret blueprints, sketches, and diagrams is essential for a successful career in this field.

How much do rig welders get paid?

The average salary for an oil rig welder is $62,314 per year in the United States. This salary is based on a variety of factors, including experience level, geographic location, and type of welding job. The top earners in this field can make upwards of $100,000 per year.

Advantages of Being a Rig Welder

  • High Pay: Rig welders are highly paid professionals, with salaries ranging from $45,000 to $90,000 per year depending on experience and location.
  • Job Security: Welding jobs are in high demand, and rig welders are in a unique position to take advantage of that demand. Rig welders often have multiple job opportunities available to them and can expect long-term employment.
  • Variety of Projects: Rig welders have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and to see their work used in real-world applications. This can be a great source of satisfaction and pride.
  • Flexible Hours: The nature of the job allows for flexible hours and can accommodate the needs of the individual.

Disadvantages of Being a Rig Welder

  • Dangerous Working Conditions: Welding is a very dangerous job and can lead to serious injury and even death. Rig welders must take special precautions to protect themselves from the extreme temperatures and other hazards that come with the job.
  • Physical Strain: Rig welding is a physically demanding job, requiring a lot of standing, lifting, and bending. This can lead to fatigue and other physical ailments.
  • Isolation: Rig welders often work on their own and can often be isolated from other workers.
  • Lack of Advancement: Rig welders often find it difficult to move up the ranks, as there are few opportunities for advancement.


In conclusion, becoming a rig welder is a great career choice for those who have a passion for welding and are looking for a job that pays well and offers job security.

Rig welders must have the welding skills and certifications to be successful, and must be prepared to work in hazardous conditions.

Although the job can be physically demanding, the rewards of working in this field are great. With the right qualifications and experience, a rig welder can expect to enjoy a rewarding career and a competitive salary.

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