Does TIG welding make money?

Yes, TIG welding can make money. It is particularly profitable in specialized industries like aerospace and automotive, where precision welding is required. With an investment in quality equipment and skilled labor, TIG welding businesses can offer lucrative services such as custom fabrication, repair work, and specialized welding projects, generating substantial income.

Does TIG welding make money


TIG Welding vs Other Welding Methods

TIG Welding


TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) Welding, also known as GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding), is a process that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. It’s known for its precision and the purity of the weld joint.

Advantages of TIG Welding
  • Precision: TIG welding offers a high degree of precision. It is often used in applications where fine and delicate work is required.
  • Quality: The quality of the welds is often superior, with a clean and smooth appearance.
  • Material Versatility: It can be used on a wide variety of materials, including stainless steel, aluminum, and more.
Disadvantages of TIG Welding
  • Cost: The cost of TIG welding can be relatively high, especially in terms of equipment and labor. A typical TIG welder can range from $1,500 to $5,000.
  • Speed: The process is generally slower compared to other methods, especially for thicker materials.
Parameters and Specifications
  • Power Requirements: Generally, 10-50 amps for thin materials, up to 200-300 amps for thicker materials.
  • Material Thickness Range: 0.5mm to around 10mm.
  • Life Span of Equipment: Approximately 5-10 years, depending on usage and maintenance.

MIG Welding


MIG (Metal Inert Gas) Welding, or GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding), is a welding process in which an electric arc forms between a consumable wire electrode and the workpiece metal(s), which heats the workpiece metal(s), causing them to melt and join.

Advantages of MIG Welding
  • Speed: MIG welding is typically faster, especially for larger projects.
  • Ease of Use: It’s generally considered easier to learn compared to TIG welding.
Disadvantages of MIG Welding
  • Quality: While fast, the appearance and quality of the weld might not be as refined as TIG welding.
Parameters and Specifications
  • Power Requirements: Usually 30-400 amps.
  • Material Thickness Range: Generally suitable for materials over 0.8mm.
  • Cost of Equipment: Ranges from $500 to $2,000.

Stick Welding


Stick welding, or SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc Welding), is a manual arc welding process that uses a consumable electrode covered with a flux to lay the weld.

Advantages of Stick Welding
  • Versatility: Suitable for outdoor use and on rusty or dirty materials.
  • Low Cost: Generally, equipment costs can be as low as $300.

Welding Hobby Projects You Can do at Home To Make Money

Disadvantages of Stick Welding
  • Skill Requirement: Requires more skill and practice to master compared to MIG.
  • Appearance: The welds may not be as clean or aesthetically pleasing as TIG welds.
Parameters and Specifications
  • Power Requirements: Typically 20-400 amps.
  • Material Thickness Range: Suitable for materials over 1.5mm.

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Here is a comparison table of the three methods considering factors like cost, speed, quality, and material compatibility:

Welding Method Cost of Equipment Speed Quality Material Compatibility
TIG $1,500 – $5,000 Slow High Wide Range
MIG $500 – $2,000 Fast Medium Moderate Range
Stick $300 – $800 Medium Low Limited Range

Market Analysis for TIG Welding

Current Market Trends

Growth in Automotive and Aerospace Industries

TIG Welding is seeing significant growth in industries like automotive and aerospace. In the automotive industry, the demand for lightweight and strong materials has increased, especially in electric vehicles. The precision and quality of TIG welding make it suitable for such applications. The aerospace industry also relies on TIG welding for its high-quality standards.

  • Automotive Sector Growth: The market size for TIG welding in the automotive sector has seen a 6% annual growth rate, reaching an estimated value of $2.5 billion in 2022.
  • Aerospace Sector Growth: With a 4% annual growth rate, the market size reached around $1.3 billion in 2022.
Technological Advancements

The integration of advanced technologies such as robotic automation has improved efficiency, speed, and accuracy in TIG welding. This trend is contributing to a wider acceptance of TIG welding across different sectors.

  • Robotic TIG Welding Growth: The market for robotic TIG welding is expected to grow at a rate of 8% annually, with projections for a $1.1 billion market by 2025.

Opportunities and Challenges

Expansion in Emerging Markets

Emerging markets like India, China, and Brazil offer vast opportunities for TIG welding, especially in construction, transportation, and manufacturing sectors.

  • Market Growth in Emerging Economies: An expected growth rate of 10% annually, reaching a potential market size of $3 billion by 2025.
Energy Sector Development

The energy sector, particularly in renewable energy like wind turbines, can be a significant opportunity for TIG welding due to the need for durable and precise welds.

  • Energy Sector Opportunity: Estimated growth rate of 7%, leading to a market size of $1.5 billion by 2025.
  • How to Make Money Welding - Ultimate Guide For You
High Initial Cost

TIG welding equipment is relatively expensive compared to other welding techniques, with costs ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 for quality setups.

  • Barrier to Entry: The high cost can be a barrier for small and medium enterprises, potentially limiting market expansion.
Skilled Labor Requirement

TIG welding requires skilled labor, which might not always be readily available, particularly in emerging markets.

  • Training Costs: The cost of training a single welder in TIG can range from $3,000 to $6,000.
  • Labor Shortage: In some regions, there might be a shortage of skilled TIG welders, slowing down industry growth.

Income Potential from TIG Welding

Starting a TIG Welding Business

Initial Costs

Starting a TIG welding business requires a significant initial investment. The costs include purchasing welding machines, safety equipment, and setting up a workspace.

  • TIG Welding Machine: Costs between $1,500 and $5,000 depending on quality and brand.
  • Safety Equipment: Approximately $500 for helmets, gloves, and protective clothing.
  • Workspace Setup: Renting or buying a workspace can vary widely by location, but expect to spend at least $2,000 monthly for rent or $100,000 to purchase a suitable space.
Revenue Streams

TIG welding businesses can generate income through various services like custom fabrication, repair work, and specialized welding projects.

  • Custom Fabrication: Charges can range from $50 to $100 per hour.
  • Repair Work: Typically ranges from $40 to $80 per hour.
  • Specialized Welding Projects: These can be lucrative and vary widely, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 per project.
Ongoing Costs
  • Utilities and Rent: Around $2,500 per month.
  • Insurance: Approximately $1,200 annually.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance of equipment can cost about $500 per year.

Salary and Compensation for TIG Welders

Entry-Level Salary

An entry-level TIG welder can expect to earn between $16 to $20 per hour, depending on the location and industry.

Experienced Welder Salary

An experienced TIG welder with certifications and specialized skills can earn anywhere from $25 to $35 per hour.

Benefits and Additional Compensation
  • Health Insurance: On average, this can cost the employer $6,000 per year per employee.
  • Retirement Plans: Many employers contribute to retirement plans, costing around $3,000 per year per employee.
  • Bonuses: Performance-based bonuses can add an additional $1,000 to $5,000 annually.

Factors Affecting Income


Welders in urban and industrial areas generally earn more due to higher demand and cost of living.


Different industries have different pay scales. For example, TIG welders in aerospace typically earn more than those in automotive repair.

Skill Level and Certifications
  • Skill Level: Higher skills command higher wages.
  • Certifications: Having certifications from recognized bodies like the American Welding Society can increase earning potential.
Economic Conditions

The overall economic health, demand in construction, manufacturing, and other sectors influence the income potential for TIG welders.


Equipment and Material Costs

Investment in TIG Welding Machines

Types of TIG Welding Machines

Entry-Level Machines

These machines are suitable for beginners and typically cost between $400 and $1,000. They offer essential features but might lack advanced controls and options.

  • Power Range: 10-200 amps
  • Size: Compact, weighing between 20-40 pounds
  • Material Compatibility: Suitable for steel and aluminum
  • Efficiency: Around 60-70%
  • Warranty: Usually 1-2 years

Professional Machines

Professional TIG welding machines are designed for industrial use and come with a price tag ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

  • Power Range: 10-400 amps, with more precise control
  • Size: Larger, weighing between 50-100 pounds
  • Material Compatibility: Can handle a wide range of materials including exotic alloys
  • Efficiency: Around 80-90%
  • Warranty: Often 3-5 years, reflecting their quality and reliability
Factors Influencing Investment
  • Brand Reputation: Well-known brands like Miller tend to be more expensive but offer better reliability.
  • Features and Controls: Machines with advanced features and digital controls are priced higher.
  • Purpose and Scale of Operations: Industrial-grade machines are more costly but necessary for heavy-duty applications.

Maintenance and Operating Costs

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial to keep the TIG welding machine operating efficiently. Costs include:

  • Cleaning and Inspection: Around $100 per year if done professionally.
  • Parts Replacement: Consumables like tungsten electrodes, shielding gas, and nozzles can add up to $300-$500 annually.
Repair Costs

Unexpected repairs can be expensive, with costs varying based on the issue.

  • Minor Repairs: Around $100-$200 for things like replacing minor parts.
  • Major Repairs: Can exceed $1,000 if significant components need replacement.
Operating Costs
  • Electricity Consumption: Depending on the power and efficiency, operating a TIG welding machine can cost between $0.10 to $0.20 per hour in electricity.
  • Shielding Gas: Consumables like argon or helium can cost between $30 and $100 per cylinder.
Training Costs
  • In-house Training: If specialized training is needed for staff, it might cost around $1,000 per employee.
  • External Certification: Sending employees for certification through an organization like the American Welding Society may cost up to $3,000 per employee.

How does TIG welding's power consumption compare to other welding methods?

TIG welding generally consumes more power compared to processes like MIG welding due to the continuous use of the high-frequency arc and the need for constant heat control.

Is TIG welding cost-effective for high-volume production?

TIG welding might not be the most cost-effective option for high-volume production due to its slower welding speed and the need for skilled welders.

What is the average cost of TIG welding equipment?

TIG welding equipment costs can vary widely, but a basic TIG welding setup can start around $500, while more advanced setups with additional features can range from $1000 to several thousand dollars.

How does TIG welding handle different material thicknesses and sizes?

TIG welding is versatile and can handle a wide range of material thicknesses, making it suitable for both thin sheets and thicker materials.

What are the advantages of using TIG welding for critical applications?

TIG welding offers excellent control over the weld pool and heat input, resulting in high-quality, precise, and clean welds, which is crucial for critical applications in industries like aerospace.

Can TIG welding be used for welding reactive metals?

Yes, TIG welding is well-suited for welding reactive metals like titanium and zirconium due to its ability to maintain a stable and controlled welding environment.

What are some drawbacks of TIG welding?

TIG welding can be slower than other methods, leading to higher labor costs. It also requires a skilled operator, which might increase the cost of hiring or training welders.

Does TIG welding require specific gases for shielding?

Yes, TIG welding typically uses inert gases such as argon or helium for shielding to prevent contamination of the weld area and ensure high-quality welds.

Scroll to Top