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How to Become an Underwater Welder

Mukta Gaikwad
Being an underwater welder is a job for the brave hearted. If you think you have it in you to pick up challenges, then this is the perfect job. Read on to know how to become an underwater welder...
If a little adventure and thrill is your idea of employment, then being an underwater welder is the perfect job for you. This is one of the highest paying underwater jobs, but also one of the most demanding ones. Many confuse the prerequisites of this job with scuba diving.
However, one needs to be a certified commercial diver and a certified underwater welder to get the job in question. The candidate much be we well equipped with underwater work and the environment. With developments in the deep sea oil rigs, there is an increasing demand of proficient underwater welders.

Becoming an Underwater Welder

  • The primary prerequisite of becoming an underwater welder is being a certified diver. Those familiar with underwater diving will know the difference between commercial diving and scuba diving. Being a scuba diver is not good enough to get a job as an underwater welder.
  • Commercial divers are trained in compliance to certain norms set by the authorities. They are trained to use safety equipment, swimming gear and breathing apparatus, which are mandatory, owing to the dangers of the job.
  • Unlike scuba diving, which is a sport or an activity for entertainment, commercial diving training includes an understanding of physical impact of the job. As mentioned earlier, this job is physiologically and psychologically demanding, as many times they have to work underwater for long durations.
  • Thus, one needs to undergo formal training courses which includes both physical training exams and written exams.
  • Once you acquire the diving skills, you need to get your certification as a welder. There are many schools which provide formal training for welding along with training for underwater welding. With the two certifications under your belt, the last thing you need to get is some hands-on experience of the job.
  • Get in touch with marine companies who hire underwater welders. Work as an apprentice with them for a couple of months, before you start applying to other firms. Experience is the best teacher. 
Thus, an apprenticeship is an important part of becoming an underwater welder. During this time you will learn about the intricacies of the job, which are often missed out within the walls of the classrooms.

Job Description

  • The job of an underwater welder includes repairing the damaged ship parts, carrying out the maintenance and construction work at the oil rigs.
  • As underwater welding includes usage of electrical appliances, it a job that comes with a risk. However, methods such as dry spot welding, dry welding in habitat, friction stud welding in atmosphere and dry chamber welding do not include direct contact of water and electrical appliances.
  • An underwater welder has to travel to distant shores and work in different kinds of water habitats. Thus it takes an adaptable temperament and love for challenges to take up this job.
One needs to have the love for the sea and a daring nature to pick challenges that are truly imposing. Many times an underwater welder has to work in deep seas, where there is minimum visibility. This poses the greatest challenge along with the fear of an unknown surroundings.
The high paying nature of this job is attributable to the risks it involves. However, the fees to receive formal training for such a job are also quite high. In most cases, the tuition fees do not include the gear costs required to be a part of the course. But there is always a price to pay to get the best of everything!