Plumber vs Welder: What’s The Difference?

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Plumber vs Welder: What’s The Difference?

In the world of trades, there are many different career paths to choose from. Two popular options are plumbing and welding. While both trades involve working with your hands and require specialized skills, there are some key differences between the two. In this blog post, we will explore what it means to be a plumber and a welder, the tasks they perform, the salary expectations, and how to become a welder.

What is a welder?

A welder is a skilled tradesperson who joins or fuses metal pieces together using various techniques such as arc welding, gas welding, or spot welding.

Welders work in a variety of industries, including construction, manufacturing, and automotive.

They play a crucial role in creating and repairing metal structures, equipment, and machinery.

What do welders do?

Welders perform a range of tasks depending on their specialization and the industry they work in. Some common duties of welders include:

  • Reading blueprints and technical drawings to understand project requirements.
  • Preparing metal surfaces by cleaning, grinding, or cutting.
  • Setting up and operating welding equipment.
  • Selecting appropriate welding techniques and materials.
  • Welding metal components together using precision and accuracy.
  • Inspecting finished welds for quality and making any necessary repairs.

What’s the difference between a plumber vs welder?

While both plumbers and welders work with their hands and require technical skills, there are several differences between the two trades:

  • Materials: Plumbers primarily work with pipes, fittings, and fixtures made of various materials such as PVC, copper, or steel. On the other hand, welders work with metal, joining and fabricating pieces using welding techniques.
  • Focus: Plumbers focus on the installation, repair, and maintenance of plumbing systems, including water supply, drainage, and gas lines. Welders, on the other hand, are primarily involved in metal fabrication, construction, and repair work.
  • Tools and Techniques: Plumbers use a wide range of tools such as pipe cutters, wrenches, and soldering irons to complete their tasks. Welders, on the other hand, work with welding machines, torches, and various welding techniques to join metal pieces together.
  • Work Environment: Plumbers often work in residential or commercial buildings, while welders can work in various industries such as construction sites, manufacturing plants, or automotive shops. This means that the work environment for welders may vary more compared to plumbers.

Plumber vs Welder Salary: Who earns more?

When it comes to salary, both plumbers and welders earn around $60,000 per year. However, welders can earn much more at the high end of the range thanks to specialization. For example, underwater welders can earn well into the six figures due to the specialty and risk of the job.

How to Become a Welder:

If you are considering a career as a welder, here are the steps you can take to pursue this path:


While a college degree is not always required, completing a welding program at a vocational school or community college can provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge. These programs typically last from a few months to two years.


Consider joining a welding apprenticeship program, where you can gain hands-on experience while working under the guidance of experienced welders. Apprenticeships usually last from two to four years and combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction.


Obtaining certifications can enhance your job prospects and earning potential. The American Welding Society (AWS) offers various certifications based on different welding processes and positions. These certifications demonstrate your proficiency and expertise in the field.

Experience and Specialization

As you gain experience, you may choose to specialize in a specific type of welding, such as underwater welding, aerospace welding, or structural welding. Specialization can open up new opportunities and potentially lead to higher salaries.

Interested in a career as a welder?

In summary, while both plumbers and welders are skilled tradespeople who work with their hands, there are notable differences between the two. While there are many similarities, welders ultimately have different skills and duties from plumbers. Check out our welding jobs here to see if this line of work is right for you.

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Casey Loeber

Casey Loeber is the founder of His mission is to share the best information online about plumbing jobs and help plumbers lead fulfilling careers.

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