Spoon Artist. Salary: $14,400 or less
You watched a YouTube tutorial on building a backyard forge out of household items. You managed to make and sell a few hundred bracelets made from spoons before forging one to your foot. Maybe you shouldn't have worn sandals, but that's something to think about in the ER.
Scaredy Smith. Salary: $20,000
You're a blacksmith at a historic park, which means you're part of the act when kids come in for tours. It sure isn't stress-free, though. Kids are running between you and the anvil. Someone's just lit a firecracker using the steel at the end of your tongs. If this keeps up, you're going to need to forge a pacemaker.
Renaissance Man. Salary: $35,900
You're a blacksmith at a Renaissance festival. You work next to the booth manned by the guy who cooks turkey legs. The two of you have a good deal in place: a chainmail vest for him, and a season's worth of free lunch for you. Life's not too bad, but you swear, if you have to make one more set of dragon earrings...
Blacksmith Success Story. Salary: $65,830
You've set up your own studio. After the local historic society commissioned you to do some work for them, your forge has been hot, hot, hot. Clients are pouring in like molten steel, and you're raking in the cash.
Forge Lord. Salary: $81,120
You're a nationally famous blacksmith—at least among those who read Blacksmithing Monthly. Your wrought ironwork is the best there is, bar none. A documentary crew is over at your studio filming as you masterfully forge a decorative sculpture. You don't like anyone watching you work, but at least it's better than those rugrats at the historic park where you used to spend your summers.