Welding is a fun activity that is a great way to work on your DIY skills and get creative. However, it can be so much more than a hobby. Welding is also a great way to make money.
Welding as a skill is in high demand, and companies from manufacturing brands to utility companies are always looking for qualified welders. Even if you don’t want to become a professional welder, you can still make money by hiring out your skills or working on projects that you can sell.
If you’re thinking of turning your welding hobby into a way to make money, here is your guide to getting your business off the ground.
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How to Make Money Welding at Home
To make money welding, you can obviously become a professional welder. Welding is in very high demand as a profession since so many industries need it, and not enough people are trained for it. However, entering professional welding requires extensive technical training and even a degree.
If you don’t have time for going through training or are happy with your current career, being a professional welder is not for you. However, you can still make money by welding at home. Here are a few ideas for how to do so:
Make and Sell Welding Projects
One of the simplest ways to make money from welding right out of your garage is to make and sell welding projects. You have complete creative control in this form of welding as you decide which products you want to make. You can create everything from functional shelving to metal art.
However, it takes time to figure out how you’re going to sell your projects. You can look into local craft fairs, take orders online, or ask your friends and neighbors if they want to buy your stuff. This can be a great source of supplemental income, but it requires work to create projects and build your business.
Sell Your Services
Besides selling your projects, you can also sell your services as a welder. Ask around if anyone needs stuff fixed. It’s a great way to make a quick buck while helping out your neighbors.
Do Contract Work as a Welder
If you are a very skilled welder and have some training, you can get into semi-professional work without leaving your own workstation. Some companies hire welders for contract work, and depending on the project, you could do your work from home instead of going into a factory or workshop. Research welding careers and see which niches are a fit for your interests and skill set.
Elements of a Profitable Welding Project
If you are serious about making money from your welding, you can’t just focus on your passion projects. Although you should like what you are doing, you also have to think about what will help you make money. Here are some elements of profitable projects that can help guide what you will do next.
You want to make projects that you know people will want to buy. Think about what is popular where you live. If you live near a lake or beach, you can make anchors or other accessories for people’s boats. If it’s something that your friends and neighbors might want, chances are, there are other people who feel the same way.
When you’re welding with the goal of making money, you have to think about profit. If you spend a lot of money making the project, you won’t have a lot of profit unless you raise the price very high. Try to save money on materials whenever possible, so choose projects that have accessible materials. You can even make fun things reusing scrap metal!
Custom and Special Details
Finally, a profitable welding project will be one that stands out enough that people are willing to pay money for it. Something you make will always be pricier than what someone can get online (unless you cheat yourself in your pricing). However, people are willing to pay more for something special. Offer customization or special details that mass-produced welding projects can’t replicate, and your customers will be happy to pay whatever you ask.
These are just some guidelines to help you decide which welding projects could be profitable. If you are starting a business, figuring out what you will sell is a process of trial and error. You might need to adjust what you are making depending on what people around you are willing to buy.
Before you start welding, ask around. Be direct, tell people you are thinking of welding for money, and ask what they would buy. That can give you an idea of projects that would sell.
1. Basic Shelving
You don’t have to have years of experience to start making money welding. With these simple projects, you can sell your work for a profit and awe others who don’t know how easy they were to put together.
Putting together some very basic shelves does not require extensive experience. If you’ve already created shelves for yourself to organize your garage or workspace, why not offer the same service to other people? Many people don’t care about shelves looking pretty; they need something to help them organize clutter.
Offer customizable shelves where clients can adjust the size and number of shelves according to their needs. They may not have pretty details if you’re still a beginner, but they will still be sturdy.
2. Small Decorative Items
Some of the best projects for beginner welders are small decorative items. They don’t require lots of materials so you can turn a profit because you don’t spend lots of money on the project. They are simple and quick to execute. Plus, they are more forgiving of mistakes because they don’t have to bear weight like other projects such as furniture do.
You can offer many different decorative items or focus on just a few specialties. This category is broad enough that you can play around with whatever strikes your fancy. For example, you can make storage racks for different items such as wine or firewood, or items like bookends or coat racks.
If you’re confident in your welding skills, you can move on to making and selling furniture. Choose furniture that is as simple as possible, such as desks and coffee tables. All you have to do for tables is weld the legs into a sturdy frame, then add the tabletop. It is a larger project that requires more material but easy enough to execute once you have basic welding skills.
Once you have intermediate welding skills, you have many more options in terms of projects you can build. Here are some profitable ideas that will wow the people around you.
Once you are comfortable with the basics of welding and making furniture, you can make more complicated furniture such as chairs and stools. Stools are a bit more complex, but doable, because you have to install the legs at an angle. Plus, they are fun little projects that don’t require a lot of material but are very popular.
5. Garden Accessories
If you know many passionate gardeners, you can make money by making garden accessories. Trellises, arcs, and supports are important to help tall plants grow properly. They don’t require a lot of material but are a bit finicky since the rods are so delicate and require shaping. You can also make garden signs and offer to customize them for your customers.
6. Fire Pits
Fire pits are a great accessory for every backyard. They are a conversation starter, a place to warm yourself on chilly nights, and even a great place to make smores. Fire pits are also very simple to construct. All you need is the trough or pit and some legs. Making the pit’s shape might be harder for a beginner, but it is just the right challenge for an intermediate welder.
7. Basic Art
Most people think of welding as a purely functional skill. However, you can use it to make beautiful art. Welding for art is a different set of skills than purely functional welding, but you can master it once you have the basics down. Weld together different metal pieces to make flowers or create basic lawn ornaments. People love eye-catching, unique artwork they know they can’t make at home, so you can sell these at a profit.
Once you master the skill of welding, you can make pretty much anything you set your mind to. Challenge yourself with these welding projects.
You can also charge a higher price for challenging projects because you are investing more skills and time into your work. Plus, people will be awed at your skill and more willing to pay the higher price. If that’s not an incentive to get better at welding, I don’t know what is.
8. Welding Portraits
Once you have complete control over your welder, you can move on to making advanced welding art. You can make complex sculptures with fine details. You can even make portraits! People will commission you to make portraits of your loved ones. Then, you will use a welding machine to engrave their faces into a sheet of metal.
Welding portraits requires artistic skill as well as control over the welding bead, which is often difficult for a beginner to master. Portraits are a great way to show off your skill. Plus, because they are custom-made, people will pay you good money for them.
9. Outdoor Cooking Equipment
Once you have mastered welding, you can make complex, functional items. One application for your skill is outdoor cooking equipment. Make custom grills, smokers, and outdoor stoves for people. These projects demand skill because not only do you need to make something that looks good, but it also needs to be functional. You need to create an item that stores fuel, ignites properly, cooks food, and protects people’s safety.
While making smokers, stoves, and grills is more complicated than other welding projects, it is also more rewarding because you are challenging yourself. These items are also very profitable because people will pay a lot of money for them, especially if you are making a custom grill to fit someone’s specifications.
10. Workshop Tools
One important audience you can tap into when selling your work is other people who are welders or DIYers. Make tools, stands, and mounts that can make their projects easier. These people are also more likely to appreciate your work and be willing to pay more.
For welders, you can sell custom-made welding carts. For DIY handymen, tool racks, vice mounts, and other workshop equipment are helpful. You can even cater to hunters by selling deer hoists and other tools that make it easier to break down game after hunting.
Once you have advanced welding skills, you can make more complex functional projects, including vehicles. These projects are large, making them more difficult to manage, and contain a lot of moving parts. However, they are also in high demand.
One relatively simple project you can do is making a trailer. If you live in an area with lots of farmers or handymen, there will always be a demand for trailers. Make simple flat-bed trailers or more complex utility trailers for people hauling tools.
If you want to challenge yourself, you can even make your own bikes and tandem bikes at home! They won’t be as advanced as competitive road cyclists’ bikes, but they are still a nice way to show off your skills. Some people may want them as decorative pieces for the garden.
Not only is welding a creative skill, but it is also a skill that can make you money. Even if you decide not to become a professional welder, you can make money from home by offering to conduct repairs or selling your projects. There are projects for every skill level and interest. The hard part is deciding what you want to make!