How Much Do Oil Rig Welders Make in the UK? 2023 Salary Statistics - WaterWelders (2023)

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How Much Do Oil Rig Welders Make in the UK? 2023 Salary Statistics - WaterWelders (1)

If you wish to be an oil rig welder in the UK, or you are already one but don’t know how much salary you should start with, this guide is for you.

Salary is one of many factors you should consider as you search for employment or even before you get onto any career path. So, what is a typical oil rig welding salary? Ideally, this may vary depending on your employer, skills, experience, etc.

In this article, we will look at the average wages for oil rig welders in the UK. We’ll also discuss several duties and responsibilities of an oil rig welder so that as you learn about salary expectations, you can also determine if you are ready for the work involved.

Average Salary of an Oil Rig Welder in the UK

The average salary of an oil rig welder in the UK is £31,320 per year. But this can go higher depending on several factors such as experience and levels.

In an hour, oil rig welders earn £15.06. Besides the salary, they also receive bonuses amounting to £529 annually.

The expertise of the welder plays a role in the amount of salary to be expected. For instance, entry-level oil rig welders earn an average salary of £23,196. They have one to three years of experience in the field.

On the other hand, seasoned or senior-level oil rig welders receive 38,108 GBP annually. Usually, seasoned oil rig welders have more than eight years of experience in oil rig welding.

Oil rig welding is a competitive job market. So, if you have the training and experience, you can earn more than this.

Here’s a table summarizing the annual average salary of oil rig welders in the UK.

The Oil Rig Welder’s Level Average Annual Salary
Entry-Level Oil Rig Welder£23,196
Senior-Level Oil Rig Welder£38,108
Average Oil Rig Welder Salary£31,320
(Video) The dangerous world of underwater welding

Point to note: The average salary, in this case, doesn’t include bonuses and benefits.

Oil Rig Welder Benefits and Bonuses

Many oil companies in the UK offer certain benefits and bonuses to their employees. These bonuses are a reward to employees who work hard during the year. For instance, you can get a bonus when a company you work for hits a milestone in its operations. These bonuses are incentives for workers to give their best during the coming year.

Besides bonuses, there are also health and life insurance, pension plans, and personal accident insurance, among numerous other benefits. These benefits may vary from company to company, but overall oil rig welders are well taken care of.

How Can You Earn More as an Oil Rig Welder in the UK?

It’s possible to boost the welder’s basic salary and earn a little more following the tips below.

Get Your Training Certificate

Professionals make more money compared to learners in the field. You need a welding training certificate to be identified as a professional welder. You can get this training from a welding school.

Join a Union

Joining a union is another way of boosting your salary as an oil rig welder. It’ll help you gain access to many job opportunities in the industry. Also, it’ll improve your chances of getting paid more for your work.

Improve Your Skills

You can also increase your income by improving your skills as an oil rig welder. The more skilled you are, the more money you’ll earn as an oil rig welder in the UK.

The best way to learn is by watching a professional working. You can even ask questions about their techniques if you’re interested in learning more about oil rig welding. It’ll help you understand how everything works and what mistakes to avoid while doing your job.

How Much Do Oil Rig Welders Make in the UK? 2023 Salary Statistics - WaterWelders (3)

Image Credit: noomcpk, Shutterstock

(Video) Roughnecks Working An Oil Rig #Shorts

What Does Oil Rig Welding Entail?

The oil rig welding industry is one of the most demanding industries. This welding takes place mainly in oil rigs, and this pertains maintenance of oil rigs. The field needs extensive training and experience, as well as extensive knowledge of different metals. Excellent communication skills and a high concentration level are a plus.

The work environment for oil rig welders is harsh. Usually, it involves long periods in confined spaces or working at heights. If you can work in these conditions and produce high-quality welds, this job is for you.

The duties and responsibilities of an oil rig welder vary depending on the region, employer, and activities performed.

General oil rig welding duties include:

  • Maintaining equipment such as torches, electrodes, and other tools
  • Making sure that all welding work complies with safety regulations set by the company or agency that owns the oil rig
  • Reading blueprints to determine the type of steel required for each project
  • Cutting steel using a grinder or torch
  • Working with various types of steel products including pipes, valves, and fittings
  • Installing bolts and nuts onto pipes during construction projects
  • Inspecting welds for quality control purposes before and after completion of a project
  • Repairing broken pipes and other equipment on an oil rig
  • Installing new pipeline or equipment on an oil rig
  • Installing new machinery on an offshore drilling platform
How Much Do Oil Rig Welders Make in the UK? 2023 Salary Statistics - WaterWelders (4)

Image Credit: Tawansak, Shutterstock

Types of Oil Rig Welders

There are two primary types of oil rig welders in the UK. They include:

Land-Based Oil Rig Welders

Land-based oil rig welders work on land rather than at sea. Usually, they work with other skilled workers such as pipefitters and plumbers.

Their job is to install piping systems, pumps, and valves to ensure that everything is working well. When they find a problem, they have to fix it immediately.

(Video) Life on an Oil Rig: Behind the Scenes | ExxonMobil

This way, production can continue without interruption. Land-based welders receive a high salary.

Offshore Oil Rig Welders

Offshore oil rig welders work on an offshore platform or ship. They work in high temperatures, humidity, and pressure. It can be dangerous to the health of any worker, and one has to be physically fit and mentally strong. Usually, offshore oil rig welders receive a higher salary than land-based oil rig welders.

How Much Do Oil Rig Welders Make in the UK? 2023 Salary Statistics - WaterWelders (5)

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How Do You Become an Oil Rig Welder in the UK?

If you want to become an oil rig welder, you must first complete a welding course at a vocational school or college.

The duration of this training will vary depending on your chosen career path. Then, you can work with an experienced oil rig welder.

It’ll help you gain experience before becoming a certified oil rig welder. It usually takes around three years to become a qualified oil rig welder in the UK.

What Challenges Do Oil Rig Welders in the UK Face?

Oil rig welding is a specialized field. It has a whole different set of challenges than the average job. Before you determine if a career in oil rig welding is worth it, consider the challenges faced in day-to-day activities. Below are some of the risks involved:

Working Environment

Oil rig welders must be aware of their surroundings at all times. They often work on platforms suspended above water bodies. So, they’re exposed to danger if they don’t take proper precautions.

Dangerous Equipment

One of the biggest challenges that rig welders face is handling dangerous equipment such as blowout preventers. They stop any leaks from occurring in offshore wells.

There have been instances where blowout preventers have failed, causing explosions and fatalities.

Working Long Hours Away from Home

Oil rig welders travel great distances to remote locations, working long hours with little sleep. It can take a toll on both mental and physical health.

(Video) I work on an oil rig in the North Sea that doesn't officially exist

Injuries and Accidents

Accidents can happen at any time. Usually, they result from human error or equipment failure. It can lead to severe injuries, such as cuts, burns, or fractures. It’s crucial to follow safety procedures to reduce the risk of injury or death when working on oil rigs.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, a career in oil rig welding isn’t for those looking for a get-rich-fast scheme. It needs hard work, time, and the ability to handle stress.

But if you’re up to the challenge, several benefits can come along with it. The salary may not be high at first, but as you gain more experience, you can command a higher salary.

As this article has shown, a career in oil rig welding can also be rewarding down the line. The UK is one of the best places you can be if you want to become an oil rig welder.

You may also be interested in:

  • Underwater Welding Salary in the UK
  • How Much Is A Welding Engineer Salary In The UK?
  • 10 Best Welding Helmets in the UK

Featured Image Credit: WORKSITE Ltd., Unsplash

  • Average Salary of an Oil Rig Welder in the UK
  • Oil Rig Welder Benefits and Bonuses
  • How Can You Earn More as an Oil Rig Welder in the UK?
    • Get Your Training Certificate
    • Join a Union
    • Improve Your Skills
  • What Does Oil Rig Welding Entail?
  • Types of Oil Rig Welders
    • Land-Based Oil Rig Welders
    • Offshore Oil Rig Welders
  • How Do You Become an Oil Rig Welder in the UK?
  • What Challenges Do Oil Rig Welders in the UK Face?
    • Working Environment
    • Dangerous Equipment
    • Working Long Hours Away from Home
    • Injuries and Accidents
  • Final Thoughts


How much do oil rig welders make UK? ›

The average salary of an oil rig welder in the UK is £31,320 per year. But this can go higher depending on several factors such as experience and levels. In an hour, oil rig welders earn £15.06. Besides the salary, they also receive bonuses amounting to £529 annually.

How much do underwater welders get paid on oil rigs? ›

In the ocean, you'll earn $40,000 – $100,000 or more each year. Offshore underwater welders spend most of their time on oil rigs or large marine vessels like Navy ships. Their work schedule rarely lets up: It's not uncommon to work 80 or more hours in a single week.

How much do you get paid as a welder UK? ›

The average welder salary in the United Kingdom is £25,355 per year or £13 per hour. Entry level positions start at £22,897 per year while most experienced workers make up to £33,827 per year.

Are welders in demand 2023? ›

Employment of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2021 to 2031, slower than the average for all occupations. Despite limited employment growth, about 47,600 openings for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Is welding money good UK? ›

According to the Office for National Statistics, an average welder's salary at entry level is around £20,000 per year, while a more experienced welder earns up to £34,000. The median or average welder's salary is £27,416 per year.

Do you need a license to weld UK? ›

Welder approval codes are done to BS EN standards in the UK. A welder earns their certification by providing samples of the work that reflects the job they are trying to become coded in. If they pass then they are coded to this qualification.

Is underwater welding good pay? ›

The salaries of Underwater Welders in the US range from $10,237 to $203,999 , with a median salary of $37,028 . The middle 57% of Underwater Welders makes between $37,028 and $92,466, with the top 86% making $203,999.

How long do underwater welders make? ›

At the lower end, underwater welding salaries are between $80,000 and $120,000. The most experienced, most respected underwater welders can make between $200,000 and $300,000 per year. The more they work, the more they grow, and the more they earn for themselves.

Why do underwater welders make so much money? ›

The welding part, though dangerous in itself, is generally less harmful than the diving part. These divers are paid A LOT of money, because of the risk, and the very high value of the equipment they work on.

Do welders in London make good money? ›

The average salary for Welder jobs in London is £30,569. Read on to find out how much Welder jobs in London pay across various industries and compare against other locations in the UK. We have 15 jobs paying higher than the average Welder salary!

What is the best paid trade UK? ›

Which tradespeople earned the most in 2022? Builders had the highest annual turnover among UK tradespeople in 2022 at £115,550, up 12 per cent on 2021 (£101,727). After builders, the top earning trades in terms of turnover earned in 2022 were groundworkers, glaziers, dryliners, and plumbers.

Are welders in high demand UK? ›

Welders are in high demand across many industries and sectors such as maintenance and repairs, construction, or manufacturing. Usually, the average annual welding salary is £30,177.

What age do most welders retire? ›

The median-aged welder may not be retirement age, but a lot of them will be nearing it in the coming years: 44% of the welding workforce was aged 45 or older in 2020, reports the BLS.
How Old Are Most Welders?
Welder Age# of Welders (in thousands)
Welders 65 years and older13
7 more rows
Jul 9, 2021

Is welding a good career in 2023? ›

Welding jobs typically pay well, and you can make even more money as your experience grows. However, they can also be dangerous since you're often working around flammable materials. Discover the 10 highest-paying welding jobs to pursue in 2023.

Which welding is most in demand? ›

Here are five of the top welding jobs:
  • Pipe welder.
  • Aerospace welder.
  • Military support welder.
  • Underwater welder.
  • Certified welding supervisor.
Feb 25, 2020

What country pays best for welders? ›

Welders in European countries like Switzerland and Norway can make as much as US$118,000. This is the higher end.

How long does it take to be a welder UK? ›

The programme will take around 38 months to complete. As with Level 2, individual employers will decide on the amount and type of previous experience, skills or qualifications that you need for their particular welding jobs.

What qualifications do you need to be a welder UK? ›

Entry requirements

You'll usually need: some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship. 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship.

What is a Level 2 welder? ›

Welder II joins, fabricates, and repairs metal and other weldable material by applying appropriate welding techniques. Interprets blueprints, specifications, diagrams or schematics to determine appropriate welding process. Being a Welder II inspects completed welds to determine structural soundness.

What are the British Standards for welding? ›

BS EN 4872 Part 1specifies the requirements for the approval testing of welders in ferritic or austenitic (stainless) steels. BS 4872-1:1982 - Specification for approval testing of welders where a welding procedure is not required.

What is a Level 1 welder? ›

Welder Level 1 . An individual who has no practical experience but has completed a recognized welding program or can demonstrate a solid basic knowledge of welding practices.

How much does an underwater welder make UK? ›

An entry level underwater welder (1-3 years of experience) earns an average salary of £49,766. On the other end, a senior level underwater welder (8+ years of experience) earns an average salary of £87,019.

Is Underwater welding a hard job? ›

Underwater welding requires a great amount of skill, as it is a very physically demanding job with a high degree of technical complexity.

How much do you get paid for underwater welding UK? ›

The average salary of an underwater welder in the UK is £69,911. This translates to £33.61 per hour. What is this? Entry-level underwater welders with one to three years of experience earn £49,501.

Why do underwater welders not live long? ›

We find the biggest risk for underwater welding is the one attributed to commercial diving only. The welder may be exposed to hypothermia, drowning, and decompression sickness. We are not making the profession gloomy but make one aware of the preventable dangers.

Do underwater welders make 300k? ›

Do underwater welders make 300k? The salaries of Underwater Welders in the US range from $10,237 to $203,999 , with a median salary of $37,028 .

How far down do underwater welders go? ›

The depth in underwater welding work can go as low as from 30 to 400 feet of salinity water (FSW). Underwater welding works often are carried out for the repair of underwater pipelines below drilling platforms, on some portion of the rigs, or the platform structure itself.

What qualifications do you need to be an underwater welder UK? ›

Underwater welders complete an intensive commercial diving course to obtain the HSE Professional SCUBA qualification, the minimum qualification required for commercial diving. You can undertake professional diving skills courses at specialist centres around the country.

Does welding get you rich? ›

A career in welding gives you the chance to work with your hands, be outside and travel – all with great income potential. With the right welding job, you can make $100,000 or more a year and enjoy what you do.

Are sharks attracted to underwater welding? ›

Underwater welders need strong lights to see the structures they are working on at great depths under the water. These lights attract plankton which in turn attract fish and their predators. Underwater welders need to be wary of deep-sea predators like eels, sharks, and other marine wildlife that could attack them.

What type of welders make 100k a year? ›

Another example is an industrial shutdown welder that travels to different factories that are temporarily shut down for facility repairs and upgrades. Because these types of jobs require specialized skills and can be potentially risky, contract welders can earn well over $100,000 in a year.

What is the highest paid rig welder? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $137,500 and as low as $11,000, the majority of RIG Welder salaries currently range between $48,000 (25th percentile) to $114,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $134,000 annually across the United States.

Can welders make 200k a year? ›

Yes, a welder can make $200k.

While the median salary of a welder is $42,000 a year or $17 an hour, there is one welding job that pays $200k a year. A rig welder is a key player in the oil industry.

Where do rig welders get paid the most? ›

The five states where Rig Welder jobs get higher salaries in the United States are: Alaska, California, District of Columbia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Compared with the average salary of a Rig Welder in the United States, the state of Alaska with the highest job income for this job.

What type of welders make 6 figures? ›

Rig welders are some of the highest-paid welders, averaging about $77,000 per year, but they often work long hours under challenging conditions. Since mistakes in these types of welding jobs could spell disaster, only the very best welders are considered for these sought after positions.

Can welders make $100 an hour? ›

Depending on the job they undertake, they can make up to $120 per hour if it's difficult to complete. Some jobs may require the welder to be at sea for 30 days. Education requirements: A high school diploma and GED is required, along with two to five years of experience with welding on land.

How much does a welder make in NYC? ›

The average Union Welder in New York City, NY makes $72,556, 5% above the national average Union Welder salary of $69,190. This pay is 15% lower than the combined average salaries of other metros San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA and Atlanta, GA.

What is the salary of oil rig welder monthly? ›

How much does an Oil Rig Welder make? As of Feb 20, 2023, the average annual pay for an Oil Rig Welder in the United States is $75,955 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $36.52 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,460/week or $6,329/month.

What type of welding is most in demand? ›

Pipe welders will always be in high demand as long as the demand for fuel and other resources is high. Many pipe welders work on oil rigs and refineries. These facilities comprise the majority of the oil and gas industry.

What trade makes the most money? ›

The Highest-Paid Trade Jobs
  • Construction Managers. ...
  • Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers. ...
  • Radiation Therapists. ...
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologists. ...
  • Dental Hygienists. ...
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians. ...
  • Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians. ...
  • Boilermakers.

What is the highest paying welding job in the US? ›

The highest paying welder jobs are in industrial construction. Pipe welders, tube welders, rig welders, underwater welders and combo welders are the highest paid of all welding jobs. The type of welding is important and so is the industry. The top welder salary can be over $200,000 per year in industrial construction.

Can you make a living as a welder? ›

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average welder's salary is $42,000 dollars per year. BLS stats mean 50% of welders in the United States earned more than that figure and 50% earn less. In surveys by the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, most entry level welders earn a starting pay near $17 per hour.

Can welders make 300k a year? ›

Some commercial divers' underwater welding salaries can hit up to $300,000+ annually. Why the large pay range? Most underwater welders receive pay by the hour or project.

How long do oil rig workers stay on the rig? ›

An average oil rig worker can work shifts exceeding 8 hours for 7 to 14 days in a row. As they deal with the heavy machinery and equipment used on a rig, crews can experience the dangers of fatigue.

What state is the best to be a welder? ›

Maine has the highest concentration of welding careers. Welders in this state receive a high annual average income compared to other nations in the US. Also, there is a great demand for skilled workers in this area. Entry-level welders in the state receive $26,142 yearly.

How do welders increase their salary? ›

According to PayScale, these are the top six skills that will give your welding salary the biggest boost!
  1. Heavy equipment repair. Average pay for a welder with heavy equipment repair skills: $20.29/hour. ...
  2. Precision measurement. ...
  3. Pipe welding. ...
  4. Team leadership. ...
  5. Robotics. ...
  6. Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW)
Aug 18, 2021


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