According to statistics for 2022 by the Bureau of Labor, an average welder earns around $47,000.
The same statistics show that 50% of welders in the US earn above the national average, and the remaining percentage is earning less than an average salary.
With proper education, knowledge, and skill, you can start your own welding business and increase your chances to go above the average profits.
To help you generate more profits as a professional welder, we are listing some of the top profitable small welding business ideas to get you started.
15 Best Small Welding Business Ideas
If you are a welder, the chances are that you will be able to earn more as an independent small business in comparison to working for someone.
When working as a welder in a company, your source of income is pretty limited as it comes down to your monthly paycheck.
Unless you are not doing some work aside and outside your working hours, you won’t be earning more than a fixed paycheck.
However, if you think that it is time to start your own welding business, here are some of the top ideas to help you kickstart your business venture and stand out from your competitors.
1. High-Risk Welding
If you want your welding skills to really pay off, we recommend high-risk welding. High-risk welding involves welding in a potentially hazardous environment.
High-risk welding is usually paid more to the right welder who can perform in challenging conditions.
Welding in confined small spaces, in the proximity of dangerous substances, or at greater heights is considered high-risk and will bring you more profits.
However, you need to make sure that you have the needed skills and experience for such tasks. High-risk welding is not recommended for rookies in the business.
2. Mobile Welding
Mobile welding is a great way to make more profits as a welder.
There are more than several perks of going mobile.
First and foremost, the fact that you can easily get to your customers gives you an upper hand as many clients would appreciate your mobility.
Moreover, you don’t need to invest in a large workshop, which will save you money on your initial investment.
This way you can work on-site as you are only starting your small business.
Once your business grows and develops, you can hire employees and organize more mobile groups to send to customers.
Gradually, you could expand to a workshop and combine mobile welding with off-site work.
3. Ornamental Gates
Many homeowners deem gates to be an essential part of their property. In general, you can find plenty of affordable gates on sales, still, some owners appreciate authenticity.
Here is where a great business could evolve – making and selling custom-made ornamental gates.
If you have the skill and enough experience, you can easily fabricate decorative gates and charge them at higher prices.
Your services don’t have to be focused on ornamental gates only as you can also fabricate regular gates and sell them at lower prices.
This way you can expand your services and attract more clients.
4. Fabricating Heavy Stainless Steel
Fabricating heavy stainless steel is not a rookie job and demands a high level of skill and experience.
However, the skill needed for heavy stainless-steel fabrication is reciprocal to the profits you can make with this welding service.
Stainless steel is strong and durable and can be used on a variety of projects. Welders who offer heavy stainless-steel fabrication are usually on a higher payment margin.
5. Trailer Manufacturing
If you opt for trailer manufacturing, you will soon realize that this is a profitable venture.
Aside from profits, the positive side of this small welding business idea is the diversity of services you can include.
You can manufacture an entire trailer or accept orders for manufacturing trailer bodies and decks.
You can combine different services and offer more options under basic trailer manufacturing.
As you are starting, it might be easier for you, as well as more profitable, to focus on manufacturing trailer parts.
This way, you’ll be more efficient and deliver more parts to different customers.
Once your business expands and grows, you can organize different units of welders to work on different trailer parts, which will make the production faster and more effective.
6. Steel Construction
The construction business is one of the largest sectors in the US and globally, while there is always demand for steel construction fabrication for various projects.
If you focus on fabricating steel construction, you will be able to pick up profitable projects.
Steelwork is always in demand for various construction projects, so once you land a couple of contracts you can establish a profitable system.
One of the challenges that you will need to overcome is finding and budgeting the equipment for transporting and moving heavy steel construction.
However, your efforts will match the profits.
7. Aluminum Welding
If you are looking to start in a specialized field in the welding sector, aluminum welding might be a perfect choice for you.
There is a shortage of aluminum welders, which might be your chance to position your small business and kickstart with a potentially lucrative business idea.
You can focus only on aluminum welding, which should help you specialize and charge more for your services.
One of the options is to fabricate and sell aluminum boats if there is a demand for boats in your area. You can make a substantial profit on welding aluminum boats.
You can also make parts for boats and sell them separately.
8. Vehicle Fixes
The automotive industry holds a prominent share in the welding sector. Welders are often a necessary workforce as their skill is required for welding different auto parts together.
You can kickstart your own business and start fixing vehicles.
You can offer competitive prices and stand out from major car workshops with customized and personalized services.
One of the most lucrative ideas is fixing old-timers – old-timers are usually quite expensive, especially if the vehicle is in prime state and operational.
That means that you need to be skilled and experienced to take over such projects.
The perks of it are that you will be able to charge your services following your skills.
9. Tractor Forks
Welding and fabrication of tractor business is another profitable small welding business idea. This is especially the case if you live in an area where the demand for tractor forks is high.
If you manage to properly market your tractor fork welding services, your workshop location won’t limit the extent and outreach of your business.
You can offer welding services for tractor parts or have custom fabricated tractor forks as one of your prime offers.
You can also fabricate extensions for forks instead of welding them, which should help you specialize in the fabrication of tractor extensions and attachments.
10. Sign Holders
Small business owners usually dictate the demand for sign holders on the local level. This is where you can seize the opportunity for your small business kickstart. You can use some wrought iron to weld and fabricate sign holders. You can offer decorative, as well as ordinary sign holders in different sizes to meet all your clients’ needs.
11. Barbeque Fabrication
Barbeque fabrication can be a lucrative venture, especially if you have more experience in the fabrication of similar products.
You can fabricate, weld, and sell barbeques with all parts included, or you can make custom BBQ parts. BBQ is almost essential in every yard in the US, especially in the spring and summertime.
You can weld and fabricate BBQ grills, barbeque smokers, barbeque frames, or fabricate entire BBQs.
Cover everything a BBQ enthusiast would appreciate, and our business is ready to start.
12. Aluminum Joinery
Aluminum joinery is in high demand across several markets, including for construction and commercial use.
Most new and renovated houses need aluminum joinery, so you can tap into the great potential of these markets.
One of the biggest advantages of starting a small business with aluminum joinery is the fact that this material is easy to work with.
Once your business expands, you can come up with a production system that would help you fabricate aluminum joinery at a faster pace.
13. Welding Shop
If you are a master of all trades when it comes to welding, opening a welding shop with all sorts of specialized services may be a perfect choice for you.
This way, you can show the multitude of your professional skills and gain experience with all sorts of different projects.
Before you decide to open a workshop, you need to decide what type of welding you can and want to do.
Here are some of the top lucrative ideas for opening a welding shop:
- Aluminum welding
- Mobile welding
- Trailer manufacturing
- Underwater welding
- Breakdown welding
- Heavy stainless steel
You can combine more than one type of welding if your skill, experience, and equipment allow it.
That way you will be able to offer more diverse services as your customer base grows.
If you are wondering how to start a lucrative and successful welding business, we have covered some of the basic steps you need to take.
Follow these simple guidelines to learn how you can kickstart your welding shop:
- Decide what type of welding business you want to run based on your skill and experience
- Evaluate the market and create a business plan in accordance with the demand
- Outline a detailed business plan
- Obtain all the necessary permits, certifications, and qualifications
- Find a location to set up your shop
- Take care of the financing – use your savings as an investment or apply for a business loan
- Market your business
- Align your skills and services to your customers’ needs
Starting a welding shop is not an easy venture, or cheap for that matter, so you need to make sure that your financial plan is in line with everything you need.
You can apply for a business loan to finance and kickstart your business.
Business loans usually come with lower rates and a more favorable repayment period.
14. Iron and Steel Supplies
If you are not particularly skilled at welding and you are yet to become an experienced welder, you can still become a part of the sector.
You can get a good chunk of the market by supplying welders with iron and steel. Welders are always in need of iron and steel supplies, so you can easily capitalize on that demand.
Do your research and find out what iron and steel supplies are necessary for welders and in demand across the US.
15. Selling Welding Machines and Equipment
Another supreme idea for starting a small welding business is selling professional machines and equipment.
If you are not yet ready to offer professional welding services, you can start distributing welding shops with everything welders usually need.
You will need to find the necessary equipment and machines you would like to market and sell, then resell them.
Reselling will bring you hefty returns if you find the right distributors.
How Much Can You Make as a Professional Welder?
You can make around $47,000 per year as a professional welder. However, you might be able to earn more with the most demanding welding jobs.
One of the highest-paying welding jobs is rig welding. Rig welders are some of the most popular welding professionals because they have the highest education and qualifications in the sector.
You need to have exquisite skills and vast experience to work as a rig welder.
Starting a small business is not always the easiest task, but if you know where to start and what to do, it gets a little easier.
Hopefully, our list of top 15 small welding business ideas will help you kickstart your new career in the welding sector.