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Underwater Welding Jobs

Beginning a career as an underwater welder will require both planning and training. Underwater welders are essentially commercially licensed divers with welding certifications. There are, however, many certified welders who then acquired their diving certifcations so they could move into the underwater welding field. Underwater welding is, bar none, one the highest paying careers available today.

There is a lot of underwater welding work available these days, both in the Gulf of Mexico and worldwide. Several projects are coming online in the Gulf, and the need for underwater welders is quite high. For those interested in working abroad, There is a lot of underwater welding work available, and more coming on line in the very near future.

Underwater Welding Skills and Qualifications

The skills and qualifications required for becoming an underwater welder are basically those of an experienced welder and diver with the addition of commercial diving skills.  One should be well-versed in diving safety, rigging, physiology, communication and the underwater environment. and know how to use commercial diving equipment. 

One must also be a competent welder, familiar with welding setup and preparation skills such as materials preparation and alignment, beveling, fitting steel patches and repair plates, etc. Certifying in underwater weld procedures is also required.

Acquiring these skills does not need to take as long as one might thing; at the Commercial Diving Academy, for example, you can acquire both a certified welding certificate (3G to 6G structural, AWS Certificate of Completion-Certified AWS Entry Level Welder, AWS Entry Level Welder Certification Card, AWS D1.1 code from Blacksmith Marine) and commercial diving certificate (Air\Mixed Gas) in as little as 21 weeks; allow 4 weeks for the welding, 16 weeks for the diving, and another week for learning specialized underwater welding procedures.

Commercial Diving Schools

The following U.S. commercial diving schools are fully accredited by the Association of Commercial Diving Educators. Many offer financial aid, and some even offer living quarters and meal plans.

Commercial Diving Academy
8137 N. Main St.
Jacksonville, FL 32208
United States
Phone: 888-974-2232

International Diving Institute
1400 Pier Side St, Bldg 190, Ste C
North Charleston, SC 29405
United States
Phone: 843-740-1124
Fax: 843-740-5598

Commercial Diving School, Inc.
5030 Old Kings Road, Two Mesco Plaza
Jacksonville, FL 32254-1184
United States
Phone: 904-633-7731
Divers Academy International
Lakeside Business Park, 1500 Liberty Place
Erial, NJ 08081
United States
Phone: 856-404-6100
Divers Institute Of Technology
4315 11th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
United States
Phone: 206-783-5542
Divers University Esporte Aquatico Ltda
Av. Conselheiro Nebias, 536-Encruzilhada
Santos 11045--002
Phone: 55 13 3223-6967
Gangneung Campus Of Korea Polytechnic Iii
779 Noamdong
Gangneung 210-9--932
Korea, Republic Of
Phone: +82 33 610 6114
Holland College Commercial Diving
P.O. Box 29
Georgetown, PE C0A 1L0
Phone: 902-652-2055
Leonard Greenstone Marine Technology Training Center
14901 Central Ave
Chino, CA 91710-9500
United States
Phone: 909-597-1821 x4147
Louisiana Tech College--Young Memorial Campus
900 Youngs Rd.
Morgan City, LA 70380
United States
Phone: 985-380-2436
Minnesota Commercial Diver Training Center
712 Washington Street
Brainerd, MN 56401
United States
Phone: 218-829-5953
National Polytechnic College Of Science
272 S. Fries Avenue
San Diego, CA 90744-6399
United States
Phone: 858-309-3501
Santa Barbara City College Marine Diving Technology
721 Cliff Dr.
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
United States
Phone: 805-965-0581
Seneca College Of Applied Arts & Technology
13990 Dufferin St. N.
King City, ON L7B 1B3
Phone: 416-491-5050 ext.5020
The Ocean Corporation
10840 Rockley Rd
Houston, TX 77099
United States
Phone: 281-530-0202

Underwater Welding Careers

There is an extraordinary demand now for qualified underwater welders, particularly in the gulf of Mexico. Deepwater drill results have been spectacular, and the Gulf is now the most active piece in the global offshore oil patch.

Recent resevoir discoveries may soon lead to a significant growth in U.S. oil reserves, increasing production numbers across the board. Consequently, oil companies and drilling contractors, large and small, have committed to exploring and developing the deepwater sector in the Gulf.  Output in the Gulf of Mexico is soaring to the highest levels ever seen, and with it the need for underwater welders.

In addition to being able to qualify for underwater welding jobs with the offshore drilling contractors, obtaining a commercial divers license will open up a world of other doors for you. Once a student has graduated from a commercial diving academy, he or she will be qualified to earn certificates from the following professional organizations:

  • The Association of Commercial Diving Educators
  • Association of Diving Contractors International
  • Diver Certification Board of Canada
  • National Center for Construction Education and Research
  • American Petroleum Institute
  • American Welding Society
  • Divers Alert Network
  • Hazwoper Environmental Training
  • National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technicians
  • National Registry Emergency Medical Technician
  • Scuba Diving International

Having some or all of these certificates will qualify you to work all over the world. But if you prefer inland work, there is plenty of that available as well.  Demand for certified inland divers is high, and going higher. Our nation's infrastructure is aging rapidly; many of our dams and bridges were built anywhere from 30 to over 100 years ago, and all need inspected and often, repaired.  Cities, counties and states are even now issueing bonds that will be used to fund the necessary work to be done on these structures.

Wages for Offshore Underwater Welding

Underwater welding jobs can start around $80,000; experienced underwater welders can pull down up to $200,000.00 a year, and day rates of $1000 are quite common. Most divers do it because they love it, so getting paid well to do something you love is a real bonus.

Salaries for underwater welding jobs depend greatly on experience, skill sets, and years of experience, as well as the number of previous projects and project location.  Pay is usually by the project; as you progress in your career and acquire more skills (Certified Welding Inspection is a great one), the salary you can command will grow, often dramatically.  A few recent job postings showed the following wages being paid today:

  • Underwater welder - Gulf of Mexico, US $80,000 year.
  • CSWIP 3.2 Inspection Divers - Gulf of Thailand, USD 450 per day.
  • Underwater welder-diver - Offshore Australia, USD 870 per day.

Underwater Welding Jobs Recruiting Services

If you are interested in finding underwater welding jobs, one of the fastest ways to get hired is to utilize the services provided by The Oil and Gas Jobs Resource Kit. For what they charge, $37.00, they provide a lot of value:  a 50 page how-to on oil jobs resume creation that meets oil industry criteria, an 83 page manual on the types of oil jobs and where to find them; and 83 page guide on how an oil rig works, over 200 pages of oil and drilling company profiles, large and small, all over the world.  They also tie it all together in a seperate strategy manual on finding oil jobs.  They guarantee your satisfaction with their services, and you will get a lot of bang for the buck. 

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