Melding Art and Skill: How to Hire a Qualified Welder

Stacy Sare Cohen
Written by Stacy Sare Cohen
Updated December 8, 2021
A woman welder working
Photo: Dusko / Adobe Stock

Don’t put your pedal to the metal—take your time to hire the right welder for your project

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If you’re getting all fired up watching metal artist competitions on TV, and it’s sparked the idea to call a welder for a home project, you may be wondering how to find a qualified local welder. Whether you want a welder to make a garden trellis or need an entry gate repaired, consider these essential tips to hire an expert craftsperson for your welding project.

How to Find a Welder

There are several ways to find local welders. Asking friends and family is a good place to start. You can also search the web and social media for recommendations. 

Don’t forget to check out the reviews. Reviews can help you learn about the pros' work ethic and customer satisfaction with the work performed.

Before Hiring Your Welder

Before hiring a welder, you’ll want to ensure they’re the right pro for your project. From planning your project and vetting their skills and reputation to finding a competitive price, here’s everything you need to know.

Plan Your Welding Project for Accurate Quotes

To get an accurate quote, it’s critical to prepare and plan in advance by providing as much information about your welding project as possible, so they can estimate the time your project will take. 

According to HomeAdvisor, it will cost $300 on average to hire a welder for a home improvement project. Other details and information to consider include:

  • The specific type of item you need welded (staircase, gate, fence, railing, etc.)

  • The type of metal such as aluminum, galvanized or galvalume steel, or copper

  • Any difficult access issues, such as a beam positioned on a ceiling that requires a ladder

  • Interior or exterior location

Check Your Welder’s Qualifications and References

Although not every state requires a license, most do require welders to become certified by the American Welder Society (AWS). You can search their website to make sure a welder’s certification is in good standing.

Ask your welder for a copy of their license or certification card and type the number into your state government website or the AWS certification verification page. The search will return the welder’s name, license or certification number, and the expiration date. 

Other industry-specific welder certifications are given by the American Petroleum Institute and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 

You can also verify a welder’s qualifications through references. Ask your welder for a few names and numbers of former or existing customers. Ask the customers if they were satisfied with the quality of their projects and if their contractor arrived on time

Hiring Your Welder Tips

Welder with torch
Photo: Iryna / Adobe Stock

Once you’ve decided on who you want to hire, you’ll both agree on a project start and end date and talk about specifics, including costs, a payment schedule, and other details for the contract.

Get a Contract and Arrange Payments With Your Welder

Now it’s time to get things in writing. For the contract, you and your welder will agree on a project rate, costs for materials, a down payment (never pay more than 50% upfront), how many payments you’ll make—and when they’re due—and a date for the final payment.

Keep Records of Your Welding Project

Maintaining accurate records is a must for any project. Keep track of the number of hours the pro has worked, and make a note if they’re sticking to the timeline agreed upon in the contract. You’ll also want to collect receipts, so you can write the project off during tax time.

After Your Welder Completes the Job

Once your welder completes your project, and you’re completely satisfied, you’ll issue the final payment. For a job well done, offer to write a stellar review and use you as a reference for new customers.

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