An underwater welder must demonstrate not only welding skills but also commercial diving qualifications. Underwater welders are also known as offshore welders and they must have the ability to control and manage the heavy welding equipment in a hazardous working environment.
This article will discuss in detail the career path of the underwater welder and also inform any aspiring underwater welder on what he/she should do in order to pursue their career in this field.
What Does an Underwater Welder Do?
Underwater welders are required to work with different types of welding equipment following the specific procedures laid down to complete the required task. Some of the duties they are required to do include
- inspection and nondestructive testing
- underwater photography
- underwater cutting
- and rigging.
Sometimes underwater welders work with the project planning managers. They are required to give them assistance in the management field and public relations as they are required to have good communication skills besides the interpersonal skills they have that normally assist them to work well with other employees.
How to Become an Underwater Welder
The first requirement for becoming an underwater welder is to obtain your commercial diving certification. This certification is offered by many schools offering diving courses.
Moreover, there are other requirements that cannot be overlooked even if an individual has vast experience in the field so as to be given the certification. Such requirements include the ability to use and handle a variety of diving equipment, underwater inspections, diver communications, diving physiology, emergency procedures, and hyperbaric chamber operations.
The welder-divers are required to have welding skills with a rating of AWS D3.6 standard, and with the knowledge and abilities to prepare and set up welds. Most welding courses offered at the educational facilities in the country are approved by the American Welding Society and therefore an underwater welder can benefit from his/her underwater welding skills as he/she will be recognized.
Internationally recognized training in underwater welding is exclusively given in the US by Commercial Diving Academy.
The underwater welders are required to be in good physical condition and there is no age limit. Most companies require individuals who can pass the physical examinations. In order to maintain the certification, underwater welders are required to undertake periodic examinations.
How Much do Underwater Welders Make?
It is not easy to generalize the earnings potential of underwater divers due to the fact that they depend on many factors. They are paid for the individual projects and some of the factors that influence their earnings potential include the project duration, hazard levels, the dive methods employed employer, and the divided grade.
Welding has been categorized as an occupation for commercial divers by the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics and the reported annual average salary in 2009 was $52,540.