What is Mobile Welding? (All You Need to Know)

Wondering how to make money with your basic welding skills? Then look no more, mobile welding is the way to go. I have made this blog particularly for those parched minds searching for an income source during the post-covid era. So let’s see what mobile welding is all about!

What is Mobile Welding

Mobile welding is a sort of freelancing service offered in the welding arena. In addition to the basic knowledge of welding, one also needs to have credible certification proving his cognizant in the field along with enough resources to enter into this career path.

Intrigued? Then you are welcome to know more!

Who is a Mobile Welder?

Anyone can be a mobile welder if he has enough expertise in the field of welding. All you need is a bit of patience, willpower, certain technical qualifications, and the ardent desire to explore a new opportunity to grow. And of course, wherewithal is a necessary element in this, not compulsorily in the form of cash.

A mobile welder is a person who serves the ‘metal needs’ of people as and when they are in need of help. He will not work for a company on a full-time basis but can help an institution as a freelancer. At the same time, he can take up his own individual works according to his whims and schedule. Pretty alluring, ain’t it?

As there is no official authority that he is answerable to, he can decide his service rates based on the range of services offered, level of expertise, and the number of years of experience backing him (I will tell you about the strategy to decide the rates later in this article).

With time, a mobile welder can climb up the ladder as his name reaches more ears, novel bigger opportunities coming his way. Being a mobile welder is therefore a pretty plausible way to make money, given you spend considerable time and effort in developing the chosen path.

What are the benefits of mobile welding?

Mobile welding has a lot to offer. Unlike the usual welding services, independent welders can give you benefits such as:

1.) Meet all your needs!

Yes, independent welders are individuals who can be at your service at any time. Once you make your demand clear, mobile welders take their time to solve the problem or produce what you need.

The clients of mobile welders are therefore more at ease unlike when they have to look for workshops and take their demands there.

Improvisation on the work can be done by the mobile welders till the clients are satisfied. This luxury is not available for the usual welding services. They are bound to finish the work in the limited time that they have as they work on a fixed schedule.

2.) Fast solutions!

You might be aware of how much time a certain task takes when you approach a workshop with a repair. Sometimes weeks pass by before you get your broken bike or rusty doorknob or fender back in its good condition.

With mobile welders you don’t have to wait for long days; they are quick in solving the issues as you do not have to go looking for service, it comes to you!

3.) Much more convenient.

Of course, with mobile welders you will find it more convenient as you save a lot of trouble by going in search of repair workshops, spending time there, reaching out to them more than once, getting the repair done multiple times and the list goes on.

Mobile welders are ready to serve you at your doorstep and who wouldn’t want that?

4.) Can reach you anywhere!

A major advantage of independent welders is that they can come to your rescue no matter where you are. It is extremely difficult to travel from remote places to find a workshop.

Moreover, if the object to be repaired is cumbersome, you are done for. With mobile welders, you do not have to bother about this; they will reach you anywhere at any time. All you have to do is make a call.

5.) Transparent as it can be!

The work of mobile welders happens in front of your eyes. You can see the procedure and be convinced that you are being charged for what has been done and nothing more.

With other methods, you can be taken advantage of and end up paying for something that has not been done.

How do I start a mobile welding business?

Starting with a mobile welding business needs to be done through baby steps beginning from acquiring the desired qualification to finding your customers. Let’s go through each of them in detail…

Step 1- Get the qualification 

The first step of starting the business is to acquire a welding qualification. No matter the trade, you need to prove that you are qualified in it, so getting the essential qualification is the primary step.

For mobile welding, you can get coached and certified at various welding schools approved by the American Welding Society. Depending upon the kind of work you do, you will need to acquire the certificate.

While basic works do not demand them, heavy jobs cannot be done without proving your qualification. You can make use of the American Welding Society School Locator to decide on the institution you want to join. The link to the same is given below:


Step 2- Acquire a welding license

Once you get certified, the next step is to acquire a license from the licensing board of your state. Make sure to obtain a municipal building permit while you apply for the welding test conducted by the board to test your welding skills, methods, knowledge of the tools, etc.

Step3- Purchase your welding tools

Once you are solid with your technical side, you can start with the practical one. Start by buying the required welding tools; everything that is needed to take care of a rudimentary welding task. If possible you can go for more sophisticated ones once you can afford them.

But make sure to include all the safety aids needed for welding and good quality welding machines. Retail shops or auctions can be the place of purchase. 

Step 4- Buy a welding truck

A truck or a van is your aid to take you anywhere you need to go. Without a vehicle big enough to carry your welding equipment big and small, you can’t have a mobile business going on.

Step 5- Get insured

Accidents can happen no matter how careful you are. Especially for a risky business like welding you need to have a backup that can help you in case you fall into a pit that otherwise you may find difficult to come out.

Working with dangerous elements calls for safety measures both in the field and out. There are different insurance policies available based on the kind of work you indulge in. Make sure to choose the best policies and keep yourself updated with the same.

Step 6 – Find your clients!

Now that you have the tools and vehicle all set to get the ball rolling, you need to find your clients. And for that, you ought to get your name out there.

When you are a newbie, you need to go out and approach the potential clients (a nearby building being constructed or a person in your neighborhood with a broken fence).

Make them aware of what you can offer and let the word spread. Start with small works and with time, as you learn more and gain experience, clients will come searching for you.

Step 7- Market your business

The final step is to promote your service. Different ways can be adopted to do this. Making business cards both paper and magnetized are one way to go.

Visit institutions and hand them these and make sure that they know about the different services that you offer.

With the advent of social media promoting a service is no longer a huge mountain to conquer. You can make use of websites, Facebook, Instagram, even Youtube videos to get people to know about you. 

Decide whether you are ready to spend money for these or you can always stick to no-cost methods. Either way, your ultimate goal should be to make people talk.

Does it cost a lot to start a mobile welding business?

Now, this is where many tend to fall apart in this venture. Thinking about the costs that one has to bear can cause a bit of confusion and can make you feel overwhelmed.

A clear understanding of the cost involved in each element can help you with going forward with your plan if you strategize everything. I will break the overall cost for you.

1. Cost of tools: I have already given an idea about the necessity of having basic tools that you need to buy to get the journey started. These tools include certain elements that are cheap and some that are expensive.

You will have to afford a set of tools that costs around $2000 to $2200 if you are looking for a good beginning where you can cover the basic welding requirements.

2. Cost of the truck: Being the constituent that gives your business its purpose, a welding truck or a van cannot be avoided. The cost of a welding truck ranges from $10,000 to $30,000.

Be careful while buying a truck, as there are other expenses that you need to incur for the business. If you are short on savings, it is better for you to start with capital that is less costly.

3. Cost of the welder: A MIG or TIG welder is the primary requirement. Buy a welder that is suitable and comfortable for you. As TIG welding requires expertise that is backed by years of experience, most go for MIG welders.

They are enough for beginners and can satisfy most of the welding demands. Depending upon the quality, features, and brand, the price of welders starts from $200 and goes up to $3000 in rare cases.

You can own a decent single-purpose welder which is adequate for mobile welding if you are willing to spend around a range of $200 to $400.

These are the three visible areas where the costs matter. In addition to this, one has to spend some amount on insurance as well. Together, the whole amount will come around to $20,000 as the initial capital investment. Fret not; eventually, you will earn enough to cover all this!

See also: Best Multi-Process Welder under $1000 (for Beginners)

What are the tools that I need to start a mobile welding business?

Here is the list of basic welding tools you need:

      • Welder/Generator with leads
      • Weld gauges
      • Oxy-fuel Torch with cylinders and cart
      • Bessey clamps
      • Measuring tape
      • C-Clamps
      • Portable bandsaw
      • Grinder
      • Slag hammer
      • Speed square
      • Fume extractor
      • Respirators
      • Plasma and air cutters
      • A welding helmet 
      • Welding gloves
      • Hoists
      • Welding pads
      • Surfactants
      • Welding clamps
      • Turntables
      • Ground clamps
      • Cable connectors
      • Power tools
      • Abrasives

How much should I charge for my service?

Typically, the charge for mobile welding is done on an hourly basis. And there are factors such as the time of the day, the kind of work, tools involved that decide the rate further.

On average a mobile welder charges $40 to$ 60 an hour for his service which is higher than what an in-house welder is paid. Companies due to the convenience of having freelancers will offer a good pay for them. At times, the pay can go up to 85$ an hour.

You can also work as a single-hand welder, where your truck and welder are provided by someone else- an individual or a tractor plant. In this case, a welder will get paid from $10 to 40$ per hour. A normal fully independent mobile welder therefore can charge more than 40$ without a doubt.

Again, the charges differ from one state to another depending upon the welding facilities available in each area. Given below is the link to a video that explains how to calculate your hourly rate in general:

Welder pricing - How much should you charge for your welds?

What are the tips to have a successful career in mobile welding?

1.) Focus on experience rather than the pay

Yes, especially if you are starting as a fresher who just graduated from a welding school, you have to start from the very basic jobs even if the pay is not what you have in mind. Building experience is extremely necessary when you are planning to move forwards as an independent welder.

Start by helping your neighbours, solving their simple metal problems or volunteering to help in a construction site. At times, you might even have to work similarly to what an apprentice would do.

Without good grounding, it is difficult to prove your worth to the clients. It will also help to sharpen your welding skills making you ready to face any metal emergencies.

2.) Have a clear goal

Decide on the kind of service that you are willing to offer- specialized or not. Have an idea about the budget and have a clear-cut plan on how to spend, how much to spend on what.

Take the help of an accountant if you feel the need to. Without proper financial and technical planning, the journey can be quite difficult.

3.) Label your truck!

The welding truck that takes you everywhere is an excellent advertising medium for your business. Make sure to put your name and phone number on the truck in a way to catch the attention of the viewers. This will help you to spread your name faster than you can imagine.

4.) Be prompt in your dealings

Provide a tip-top service that yours should be the first name that pops up in someone’s mind when he or any of his friends are looking for a helping ‘welding hand’.

Remember to put your logo, name, phone number, and email id on the business card. Make a website with all the required details and services that you offer. Do it in an attractive and easy-to-comprehend manner.

Furnish a portfolio with enough credible references. Never miss a phone call from your clients. Always be on the alert and make your client feel that they made the right decision choosing you. This way, your service will be recommended and more chances will arise.

5.) Do not compromise on legality

Industrial customers will ask for insurance proof. And without producing the needed documents, a welder cannot be assigned work, especially in big building projects.

Make sure to keep your documents arranged and ready to be perused at any time. If you fail here, your credibility will be questioned which can further defame your name.

6.) Network as much as possible

Ultimately, it is how much you network that decides your success. There are many ways in which you can make yourself known among the welders. One way is by referring your colleagues to others and helping them out. It will be reciprocated by them when a similar situation arrives.

Another method is joining a local general-purpose group or a chamber of commerce. Here you get to know more in the welding community and improve your connections.

Try to talk to engineers and contractors who are involved with maintenance works and construction. Let them know you are open to work. Keep the connections alive. 

Wrap up

Mobile welding can be your choice for a living if you are willing to make certain investments like the ones I have mentioned in this blog. In addition to this, dedication and hard work also can go a long way in this journey.

Every venture needs time to grow and nothing happens overnight. So I say, do not hesitate to take your baby steps today, for tomorrow can be your lucky day!

Hope this article was a fun ride filled with knowledge.

Check more of my blogs for such informative content!

Steve Goodman
Experienced welder with 7+ years of expertise in all the latest welding techniques MIG, flux and stick welding, drill press, crane operation and metal fabrication. Welding certificate course graduate and 2018 Excellence in Welding award winner.

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