How Affordable Is It For Entrepreneurs To Start a Welding Business in America?

America has a shortage of skilled welders. With the rise in pre-fabricated buildings and the innovations in machines, more skilled welders are needed. Even with the shortage of welders, welding machines have improved a great deal to make precision welding easier. Those willing to learn to weld in America will find the learning curve much less intense with new MIG and TIG welders and plasma cutters, among others.

Entrepreneurs can take advantage of the market gap and start a welding business. The business involves repairs, restoration, building metal-based items, and much more. A welder and fabricator offer services such as flux core welding, plasma cutting, aluminum welding, metal fabrication, and dump truck box repair, among others. In short, you are tasked with fixing most of the things made of metal.  

How Much Will You Spend to Start Your Business?

A basic welding business will cost you at least $5,000. Here, you will only purchase a basic welder and a few tools to do repairs and simple structures for people in your local area. However, if you need to start a large business, buy steel, and perhaps hire a few people, you will need $50,000 upwards.

The cost of starting a business is dependent on the type of business you want to start. Here is a further breakdown of the figures above:

Local Welding Repair Shop

For a simple repair shop, you do not need employees as you can handle most of the work that comes in. For such a shop, you will need:

  • A welder – This might cost you between $2,000 and $3,000. Because you may not have a shop yet, buy a portable welder.
  • Tools – Welding tools come in handy if you are to create stellar welds. Start with a welding helmet to use at home or away. Then get gloves, vise grips, hammer, hand grinder, and wrenches. These tools will cost you about $1,000.
  • You might need a truck or a small shop to get started. If you have a truck already, then you are good to go. Depending on your budget, choose which will be more appropriate for you.

Welding Contractors

A welding contractor is someone who is skilled in MIG, TIG, and Stick welding. You also need a license to start operating as a contractor. As a contractor, you will work with companies to fix pipelines, fix fleets of boats or cars, and do much more. You might earn up to $100 per hour. To start such a business, you need:

  • Welder and tools – These will cost you more than $5,000, depending on the welder you choose. You might want to go for a more industrial welder.
  • License – While the license will not cost you, you need a certification from a recognized school. The cost varies from one school to the next, and you might end up paying $17,000 for a certificate.
  • Vehicle – You need a truck to get around and carry your tools. You might already have a truck – if you do not and your budget doesn’t allow you to buy one, you can start by hiring one.

B2B Welding Business

As a B2B business, you will be working for other businesses that need welding services. You can work for automakers such as GM and Ford. It would help if you bid the tenders to build racks or any other parts for these automakers.

To start this kind of business, you need:

  • Equipment – These could cost you more than $100,000 as you need more than one welder, grinders, bank saws, shears, forklifts, tools, and a break. The number of tools you need depends on the size of your business.
  • A shop – Because you cannot operate from home, a decent shop will cost you about $150,000. You can put up a shop (which might be expensive for a startup), or you can rent until you are able to build your shop.
  • Employees – If you hire two employees, you will spend about $75,000 a year paying them $18 an hour.

You might end up spending $500,000.

Once you have set up a welding shop, you will still need to pay for ongoing costs such as insurance, welding supplies (such as welding wire, gas, gloves, lenses, and tips), employees, steel, legal advice, taxes, and accounting. These ongoing costs can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars year.

Choose the business size you need to start (based on your budget), and let’s make America great.

By: Joe Ludwig

Date: June 26, 2020

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