Tips for Starting a Welding Contractor Business

customers-welding-businessIf you’re an experienced welder who has become frustrated with working for others, maybe it’s time you considered starting your own contracting business.  Owning your own welding contractor business can be rewarding and lucrative; welding is a highly sought after skill and is always in demand.  But with the rewards also come challenges.  As your own boss you will be in charge of all the advertising, scheduling, and all of the other day to day tasks that are necessary for running a successful operation.  Owning your own business will be a rewarding experience, but it will also be a time consuming one as well.  Below we are going to offer you some helpful tips to help make your welding contractor business a success.


  • The first step will be to become a certified welder, if you aren’t one already.  To become certified you will need to register for training with an accredited welding program.  This will provide you with the necessary skills to become a welder.  Once you have received the appropriate training, your next step would be to apply for your welder’s license.  The requirements vary from state to state, but some certification tests require the welder to have some on the job experience.  A welder’s license and exam will typically run between $300 – $400.  To find out what the requirements are in your state, you should contact the licensing board.
  • Once you have accomplished the above you are now ready to set out on your own.  In the beginning you may want to start out as a mobile welder.  This will save you money by not having to pay for a rental space for your business.  This is also a good choice because typically most of your jobs will be done off site and require you to travel to the job instead of having the job come to you.  This is also a good way for you to gain some experience; it will help you know what the going rates are and what you need to charge in order to get business.  After you have done this type of work you may feel ready to open your own business and work out of your shop.
  • The next step in setting up your welding business is to purchase insurance.  You will need to have liability insurance, and if you have employees you will also need to invest in worker’s compensation insurance.  To find the best rate for your needs it is recommended that you contact several insurance agencies for quotes.
  • After you have found a suitable location and have all of the appropriate insurance, you are now ready to begin stocking your welding shop with supplies.  Your first purchases should be for equipment that are must haves.  This includes welding machines, cylinders, exhaust systems, welding safety gear, welding blankets, cables, grinders and other equipment that is essential for welding.  If you’re short on money, in the beginning you may want to consider purchasing used equipment.  This will provide you with the necessary equipment at a lower price than purchasing brand new welding machines.
  • Next you will want to purchase a vehicle that will be used as your primary work vehicle.  Don’t forget to advertise your business on this vehicle.  It’s a great way to get some needed attention and possibly new clients for your business.  You should also start contacting contractors, plumbers and electricians to let them know that you are open and available for any work that they may need.  The better your contact list is, the more business you will gain.

Running your own welding business can be very stressful in the beginning, and even after you’ve been open for a while.  Make sure before you start that this is really something that you want to do.  After your shop has been open for a while you will become more comfortable with the procedures of running a successful welding business.  The opportunity is there if you’re ready to take the chance.

Additional Resources for Starting a Welding Contractor Business:

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9 thoughts on “Tips for Starting a Welding Contractor Business”

  1. Ryan says:

    Just curious from others that have done this, when starting a business to do a few odds and ends jobs with local people (accredited facilities) is it always required the business needs a welding procedure written, and then tested to? Is a welders qualification good enough, or does AWS require you to be certified to a company’s procedure, which is expensive.

    1. Marcus says:

      Any company you go to they want you take a test to show you are capable of welding the material they have some company’s might have copper nickel pipe some might have duplex stainless or carbon that’s why

  2. Blue Fin rentals says:

    This is something nice which people need to read before starting their own welding business or people in welding business….thanks for writing this.

  3. Jerry Vaughan says:

    This information has really helped me out alot. Thank you!

    1. sarvesh says:

      will u plzz text mi on whatsapp no 8452061511 i want help from u about this business

  4. Jason P. Samsa says:

    Thank you for this information. It was extremely educational to me. I’m still full of questions. But my main question is to anyone that is selling used equipment cheap or willing to finance. I’ve been in fabrication for 22 years and think it’s time to do my own thing. I’m just glad I’ve come across this information. It’s so much help . Looking through all these websites and deciding what words to describe what I want is frustrating.

    1. James sexton says:

      i have portable welders,leads,torch hose and gages,torch heads and fittings,chainfalls clamps etc.everything u would need to start a buisness…contact me at or call 563-210-5371

  5. Jalal says:

    I have ever 10 years experience as a pipe welder 4 years experience as a fabricator welder I have AWS certification 6G pipe certification OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 if some one want to merge or some one have a job for me to do please contact me at 347 856 4915 thank you

  6. Nathaniel Anderson says:

    It’s true Welding is the greatest rewarding experience I’ve ever had in my life and it’s a trade that will always give you pride. As all work and industry you come across weak minded people and you have to remember you can’t control stupidity but you can control the puddles of melted metal which is welding. Offshore oil tankers and fab shops get in your blood and you can’t say NO. Good luck and stay proud and safe. Tick Boom. Boilermakers

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