Self-employed welders...how much do you charge?
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  1. #1
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    Just wondering if anybody here owns their own full-time welding business and how you charge?

    By the hour? By the job? Do you charge for a "service call" if you have to drive a little ways?

    Are consumables (rod, welding gases, etc.) figured into your hourly rate?

    Charge more for TIG work than stick or MIG? Charge more for stainless or aluminum work?

    Just curious....

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    In Texas, it has often varied with what else is going on. If the oilfield is depressed, welders are a dime a dozen and can be had with rig to stick weld for $25/hour. If the oilfield is busy, the rig will cost up to $50/hr.

    Really good TIG welders in this area command $75/hr or more but that is typically specialty work that is X-Ray or other trick stuff that the average Joe can't do.

    I get $50/hr for specialty work out of my shop but I do TIG, machining and small industrial forging.

  3. #3
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    around here i am trying to get 35 an hour. but there so many people that think they can weld and they will do it for a 6 pack of beer. it is tuff to get that.

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    i charge 36 per hour, and won't do call out work for less than a 100$. i don't do this full time by any means, i came up with the 36 an hour because 36 sounds like it has a reason behind it, like it was calculated, the idea being that the client isn't as likely to balk when he doesn't think you're pulling a number out of thin air.. then again i have no certs whatsoever, just a company name to put on the letterhead. i think i might be one of those people that think they can weld and could be talked down to a six pack of beer. definitely charge more for stainless and aluminum. if you are working for oil/gas industry you'd be amazed what you can charge. even if welders are a dime a dozen, good ones are almost always hard to find. if you make friendly with the foreman often times they will request you personally or call you directly instead of going through staffing agencies. relatively unskilled welders through agencies are often paid around 13$ an hour while the agency charge 50-60$ an hour for them. straight stick welding with little to no english speaking skills.
    lots of companies don't really care how much it costs so long as it gets done quickly. so far my advice would be play it by ear. plant thats shut down until you fix something? charge alot. someone brings you a broken lawn chair, a friend of a friend of a friend needs a gate hinge fixed. it all depends on the situation.

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    Here in Oregon my dad charges $65 per hour + travel and still has people knocking down his doors...

    -Jerry

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    $50/hour in the shop, more if it's a rush job.

    $75/hour portable, time starts & ends shop-to-shop, one hour minimum.

    Both rates double after 10 p.m. and on weekends. Must be about right, no one complains about the price

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    Barry Milton

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    Welding is part of my machining business, although not full time yet. I only do Tig welding at home but I get quite a bit of it. Rate depends on the material and how complicated it is, if its really easy fusion welding I charge a bit less. Sometimes I charge per part. After doing a bunch I end up with a set price. If I manage to get faster then good for me. I mostly only do stainless and aluminium. Filler and gas is quite expensive so my rate is between $40 and $60. When I do the bill they don't know how long it took me. I just keep it fair and people are happy. I never had any customer ask me about my rates yet.

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    The other night (Friday) I did a small stainless MIG repair at a restaurant in a large mall. I had to do it after-hours otherwise I would be in everybody's way in the kitchen. I told the owner no way I'm doing it when you're open and people are tripping over me. He said OK.

    So, I did it. Not including travel, 15-20 minutes from my house, the job took me an hour (not including wheeling my MIG/tools in and out of the mall). I cut a small piece of my own stainless - about the size of a nickel - for the repair and MIGed it in with a small Hobart MIG that I set up with 308 and Tri-Mix gas. Worked great.

    What's this worth? I need to invoice them. I'm thinking $60 for the service call, $60.00 for one hour labor and $20 for consumables.

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    Personally, I never invoice restaurants- I always take it out in trade.
    I used to have a few restaurants I would do work for- build shelves, fix broken things, even complete remodels and building new furniture, and there is nothing better than having a tab at the restaurant, and taking someone out to eat and just saying "charge it to my account".
    I did a sign last year for a high end deli/wine store, and boy, was I sad when that tab finally got used up.

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    This is a fast-food chain and it's just not the kind of place where I could do that.

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    So, $140 for the whole job, after hours at the mall, and their problem is solved? They did better than you, but you did ok. They'll remember your name next time they need help. Maybe they'll pass the word. A few more of those a week and you'll be rolling in tall cotton.

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  14. #12
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    Timcasbolt,

    Yeah, I guess $140 for a few hours total is OK (figuring in loading/unloading my truck, etc.).

    I did have to do something that I'd been putting off in order to do this job...I had to get a million-dollar liability policy for my business.

    The management company of the restaurant wanted a copy of my insurance certificate before giving me the go-ahead on the work.

    That was a lot more than what I made on this job but, of course, now I'm insured for other jobs too.

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    I did a small stainless MIG repair at a restaurant
    Restaurants will pay almost any amount to get a problem fixed quickly An inspector from the local health agency will shut them down if the wash sink has a cracked rim (pretty common) or other defect.

    FWIW, my charge would have been 1.5 hours X $150, for a total of $225. Not too different from your charge.

    Even if the business hadn't required the insurance, you're smart to have it.

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    Barry Milton

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    I do work at a large chain of resturants(not fast food). I charge 50/hr for the first hour then 40 there after. I do general repairs, nothing extremly specialized. but, If i was to bring in a welder and repair one of there peices of equipment I would certainly charge much more then that. I would probably charge 75 like some of the other people here. Welders, wire, gas, helmets and gloves all have to be paid for, not to mention your time. I mark everything I buy up atleast 25%. You could even charge them a rental for the peice of equipment. I do that when i need to rent something I dont own.

    I dont think you should charge a service charge fee then an hour fee. I would probably just charge a min, say 2 hour min or make your first hour higher to cover travel and what not.

    I can tell you one thing, the chain I work for, one resturant makes anywhere from $30,000-$50,000/week, Im their smallest bill im sure. Not to mention youre saving them thousands by repairing their old equipment over them having to buy a new one.

    just my 2 cents..

    james

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    is there really that much welding in the restraunt buisness?

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    Checking to see what welding rates are and I came across this old thread, The new price is $ 90.00 hr with a 2 hr min.
    Ries, I like what you posted, I have a Italian restaurant that I've been doing work for 15 plus years and they have never paid me, but they sure feed me well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddles View Post
    is there really that much welding in the restraunt buisness?
    depends on what you call "that much".
    I have built barstools, tables, bars, racks for glasses, shelves in front of the house and in the kitchen, custom hooks for bread baking paddles, modified commercial kitchen furniture to fit unique circumstances, fixed coffee roasters, icing machines, and flour grinding machines, made lighting, signage, point of sale displays for chocolate dipped pretzels, wine racks, racks for display, window bars, doors, and right now I have a pastry case I built that will be installed soon.

    Now, most of this is one step beyond just "welding"- I usually design the pieces, make them, and install them.
    But, over the years, I have worked on at least a dozen restaurants, plus bakeries, delis, wine stores, and I even helped build a curly fry cart once.

    A lot of restaurant stuff is stainless steel.

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    I have been charging $65.00-$80.00 an hour depending on the job, every thing thru my shop is repair welding with a touch of fabrication work thrown in here & there.

  21. #19
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    $60/hr for mobile and shop, also charge for travel one way. I encourage folks to bring the work to the shop, since it takes me less time and I'm less cranky.

    Neil

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    had a guy at my old job used to brag he had a welding business on the side and he charged $100 to show up on a job with his truck and welding machine and it was $75/hr after that.
    .
    of course everybody said if you make that much what are you doing working a $20/hr job ? he eventually sold his shop welding equipment to 2 guys who took a voluntary layoff (they would get a separation bonus) to start their own business. something like $50,000 to buy the shop equipment. the 2 guys only paid 1/2 and were being sued as he wanted the other 1/2 of payment. the 2 guys wanting to start their own business quickly found getting steady work was more difficult than they thought. plus expenses for maintaining welding equipment was far more than they originally thought.


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