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  1. #1
    welder689 is offline Aluminum
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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....

  2. #2
    HWooldridge is offline Hot Rolled
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    Aug 2005
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    Central Texas
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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
    bob308 is offline Hot Rolled
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    Feb 2006
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    littlestown pa.
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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.

  4. #4
    rusty ripple is offline Cast Iron
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    May 2006
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    new orleans
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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.

  5. #5
    macona's Avatar
    macona is offline Diamond
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    Jun 2006
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    Beaverton, OR
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    Here in Oregon my dad charges $65 per hour + travel and still has people knocking down his doors...

    -Jerry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Benton, IL USA
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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

    --------------------
    Barry Milton

  7. #7
    SND
    SND is offline Diamond
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    Jan 2003
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    Canada
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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.

  8. #8
    welder689 is offline Aluminum
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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.

  9. #9
    Ries's Avatar
    Ries is offline Diamond
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    Mar 2004
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    Edison Washington USA
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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.

  10. #10
    welder689 is offline Aluminum
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    This is a fast-food chain and it's just not the kind of place where I could do that.

  11. #11
    Timcasbolt is offline Aluminum
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    MD
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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.

  12. #12
    welder689 is offline Aluminum
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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.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Benton, IL USA
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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.

    --------------------
    Barry Milton

  14. #14
    James W is offline Cast Iron
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    Jan 2006
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    cincinnati, ohio
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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

  15. #15
    Toddles is offline Plastic
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    Oct 2006
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    conewango Valley
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    is there really that much welding in the restraunt buisness?

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