In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted an addition of 14,500 welding jobs to the U.S economy by 2028. This may not seem like a lot, but it shows that the job market for welders is headed in the right direction. Also, the addition of the fourteen thousand plus jobs indicates that more companies will need welders in the coming years.
A welding job done by an in-house welder can also be done by offering welding services on a freelance basis. In fact, the majority of the companies would prefer to work with a welder on an ‘as-needed’ basis rather than hiring an in-house welder. This is because they may have to pay the latter a salary even if they perform no welding work over the course of a month.
On the other hand, starting a welding business and doing freelance work provides welders with an opportunity to be their own boss and set the rules of work. While any welding business would allow you to be your own boss, starting a mobile welding business will offer convenience to your customers, which will positively impact your revenues.
So, how to start a mobile welding business? You can start a mobile welding business to distinguish yourself from other welders in the area by investing in a work van or truck and buying equipment that allows you to perform mobile welding jobs. Here, we will discuss everything there is to know about starting a mobile welding business.
How to Start a Mobile Welding Business
Mobile welding companies offer welding services to individual and business customers with neither the expertise nor the equipment to perform welding jobs on their own.
Establishing a mobile welding company is an enticing small business opportunity because, in comparison to opening a brick-and-mortar office, it needs little assembly. Additionally, it can provide you with a consistent revenue stream. The process of opening a mobile welding company includes getting the necessary qualifications and licenses, buying mobile equipment, and a truck, and promoting the business heavily. The following are the steps in starting a mobile welding business briefly explained.
Step 1—Getting the Necessary Qualifications and Education
If you don’t already have it, get the necessary qualifications and education (certification and training) from a recognized welding school. If you don’t know of any authorized welding schools in your area, you will find what you’re looking for by using the school locator of the American Welding Society.
Step 2—Acquire a Welding License
Acquire a permit to weld by submitting to the licensing board of your State. Remember that you will have to take a licensing evaluation that will assess you in things such as welding tools, welding methods, manufacturing, and restoration process. Please visit or contact the licensing board of your state to acquire application forms and arrange the test. Obtain a municipal building permit as well.
Step 3—Buy the Mobile Welding Tools
The third step in starting a mobile welding business is buying the needed welding equipment. Retail shops with welding supplies are one option to make the purchase. However, a less costly choice would be to purchase the tools through auctions. The tools that you need to purchase include a fume extractor, respirators, plasma, and air cutters, a welding helmet, and most importantly, MIG and TIG welding machines. Additionally, you need to have safety equipment such as welding gloves, hoists, welding pads, and surfactants.
Step 4—Buy a Welding Truck or Van
Buying a truck or van is one of the most important investments to start a mobile welding business. This is because a transportation vehicle is needed to take your welding tools to the location of your customers where welding needs to be performed. Additionally, the truck or van can be a great medium for advertising your welding business. Simply label the vehicle with the name of your business and your phone number to create awareness about your business and get welding jobs.
Step 5—Search for Customers
Simply labeling your business vehicle with your business name and phone number may not be enough to get customers for your mobile welding business. You will also have to search for individuals and businesses in your area that need welders.
One way to get work in your area is by making an approach to businesses that are likely to need welders at some point. Examples of these businesses are restaurants, welding contractors, truck stops, cooling and heating repairmen, mobile home dealers, electricians, stores selling auto parts, and bowling alleys. To make these businesses aware of your welding services, send them a letter of introduction that briefly covers all the services that you offer.
Step 6—Promote Your Business
Promote your company by providing advertising materials or magnetized business cards to customers that they can stick to a fridge or other metal adhesive. These materials or cards are usually visible for a longer period than a regular paper-based visiting card. Meet companies or individual customers that may require your welding service. You should not only introduce your business to these customers but also give details of the services you provide. Building a website can be another promotional tool for your welding services.
These are the six basic or main steps involved in starting a mobile welding business. If you follow these six steps, you are likely to experience at least some success in your business after you set up and start offering your mobile welding services.
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Mobile Welding Business?
One of the common questions about starting a mobile welding business is how much does it cost. The minimum that you will need to spend to start a mobile welding business is five thousand dollars. You will need to spend this much to start your welding business if you buy a basic welder and some essential tools to provide welding service to individual customers and businesses in your area. Here, we have assumed that you already own a van or truck that you can convert into your business vehicle. If you do not already own a van or truck, you will have to factor in buying the van or truck for your welding business as well. Following is a breakdown of the minimum cost that you will need to incur to start a mobile welding business.
The Cost of a Welder
The cost of buying a portable welder is the first and foremost cost that you will need to account for when looking to start a mobile welding business. At the very minimum, a good portable welding machine attached to a generator will cost you around $200-300.
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The Cost of Welding Tools
Another essential cost that you need to account for is the cost of the basic welding tools. These tools include wrenches, welding helmet, hammer, welding gloves, vise grips, and a hand grinder. The costs of all these tools will be around $2,000. If you add further tools to your welding gear, then your costs of welding tools will increase.
A Van or Truck for Carrying Equipment and Tools Around
Perhaps, the most important of all costs that you will need to incur for your mobile welding business is buying a van or truck to carry welding equipment and tools around. Consider yourself lucky if you already own a truck or van.
With just a few modifications, you can convert your personal truck or van into your business vehicle. If you do not already own a van or truck, then you will have to add the cost of buying a van or truck to your overall start-up costs. The minimum you will have to pay for a van or truck suitable for your business is around $20,000.
From the above, we find that your cost of starting a mobile welding business will be around $5000 if you already own a truck or van and $25000 if you do not. Your costs can further increase if you wish to buy welding tools and equipment other than those necessary to perform a basic welding job.
How Much Do Mobile Welders Make?
The majority of mobile welding companies make money by taking on specific welding assignments. However, a lot of money can be made by them by committing to long-term ventures. Usually, it is the suppliers of marine equipment that offer the best business opportunity to mobile welding services. This is because marine equipment can easily rust and get damaged due to water and thus, it needs a lot of services that can be provided by mobile welders.
Money can also be made by a mobile welding business by making improvements and corrections to the metals. When a company’s equipment fails, it will call a welding service to investigate the related issues. The company can also notify a different repair team to take control of metal repairs and the manufacturing required itself.
You can charge for your welding services in two different ways. The first is to get paid per job. The second option is charging for welding work at a specific rate per hour. The rates per hour generally range between $20 and $60. You can start by charging $20 per hour for your welding services and once you have made a name for yourself in your area, you can start charging more, possibly even the $60 rate at the higher end.
Once you are well-established in your area, you can expect to earn an annual profit of as high as $60,000 per year. Additionally, if you are amongst the top welders in your area, then you can expect to earn a profit that easily exceeds six figures.
So, how can you ensure that your mobile welding business is profitable? Firstly, you need to budget each work period. It is suspected that a badly drawn business plan is the primary reason behind the failure of any welding business. Determine what is affordable to you, and always put customers first. Also, only buy welding equipment and tools when you need them.
Your efforts should be focused on bringing your mobile welding business through the door and identifying the right customers in need of your services. Lastly, whether you’re trying to get a multi-billion contract or a freelance welding job from a local business, you will need to have exceptional in-person negotiation skills to seal the deal.
How Do I Spread The Word About My Mobile Welding Business?
One of the best ways to spread the word about your business and get more welding jobs is by performing the welding work you get exceptionally well. If the owner of a business you’ve provided welding service to is pleased with the job you’ve done, they’ll definitely spread the word about your business to others. Ensure that your clients get the best welding service in the area should be a top priority for you if you want to extend and develop your clientele.
However, you will have to make some efforts to make people aware of your business after launching it. One way to draw publicity and inform people about your welding services is by leaving your business cards or flyers at local businesses/shops.
The power of internet marketing can also be used to generate hype about your new business. For instance, creating a website or using Facebook advertising will boost your business’s exposure online. Additionally, you can build a loyal customer base by delivering more than what you promised to your customers. The foundation of any effective company is to demonstrate to customers that you are ready to make the effort to satisfy their needs.
In this article, we discussed everything that is needed to start a mobile welding business. This included the six steps to launch a mobile welding business, the costs involved in starting a mobile welding business, the amount of money mobile welders can expect to make, and the different ways you can spread the word about your mobile business.
Using the information provided above, you can launch your own mobile welding business and determine how much to charge for your welding services to get the desired profits. In short, following this guide to start a mobile welding business will serve you well.
How Do I Start A Welding Business?
When it comes to starting a welding business, you need to follow a few important steps. These steps include the following:
- Naming Your Business
- Establishing a Legal Entity
- Getting Registered for Taxation Purposes
- Opening a Bank Account for Your Business and Getting a Credit Card
- Setting up Business Accounting Procedures
- Acquiring the Required Certifications and Licenses
- Buying welding equipment, tools, and van or truck (if needed)
- Getting Business Insurance
- Creating a Website
- Promoting the Business
While some of these steps are self-explanatory, others may require a bit of explaining. For example, you can choose between these legal entities for your business: DBA, LLC, and corporation. Choose the option that suits you best.
If we talk about the licenses and certifications, then you will need to meet federal business licensing and labor safety requirements and provide a Services Contract and a Certificate of Occupancy. If you keep these things and the above-mentioned steps in mind, starting your own mobile welding business will be a breeze for you.
How Much Do Independent Welders Make?
The average amount charged by independent welders for welding jobs is between $20 and $40 per hour. This is significantly higher compared to what the majority of employers pay to in-house welders. Additionally, companies are willing to pay a higher rate to a mobile welding business that can provide welding service at their business location.
This is because taking the welding job to a fabrication shop is a major inconvenience for most companies as it not only consumes time but also costs them in fuel costs. Therefore, mobile welding businesses that have a good reputation in the area of service can expect to earn anywhere between $30 and $60 per hour for welding work.
However, the amount of money you make as an independent welder during a month or year depends on how much business you can get. For this, you will not only need to promote your business through marketing, but you will also need to identify opportunities for networking. By developing partnerships with contractors in your industry, you will be able to get business other than what your marketing efforts attract. This will ultimately have a positive impact on your revenues and profits.