Underwater welding is a skill that provides an opportunity to follow your dreams, but it also has its pitfalls like any other career. If you’re not careful, your ambition can lead to loss of life or limb – so let’s take a look at some of the risks and rewards associated with underwater welding before you make up your mind.
1. Inland Income
The income from an offshore welding job can be a fantastic amount of money. Like most other occupations, being a welder isn’t going to pay for itself, but a good weld can be worth a small fortune. Being underwater means that the money will go even further as it will be paid relatively high compared to an average salary.
2. Offshore Income
Offshore jobs usually mean work in warmer climates, which is excellent for those who like the sun and warm weather. Good offshore welding jobs also pay well and offer benefits such as vacation time and health insurance.
3. Skills, Training, and Qualifications
If you have the skills, training, and qualifications required to become an underwater welder, you will be able to get a welding job. The good news is that you won’t have to take a qualification just for being an underwater welder – there are plenty of marine jobs that require being licensed or certified.
4. Salary and Benefits
The salary for an underwater welder can vary dramatically depending on your location, the company for which you work, and the duties associated with the job itself. Offshore welders tend to make more money than their in-land counterparts in most cases due to higher demand for their services in more remote areas.
5. Career Opportunities
The opportunities for working abroad and getting paid more than you would at home continue to entice people to get into the underwater welding profession. This is why you’re more likely to find professional offshore welders than in-land ones.
6. Risks and Dangers
Being underwater does present many dangers, such as drowning or succumbing to bends. It can be a dangerous profession if you’re not careful. Still, it’s worth the risk if you enjoy what you do and make sure that your priorities are right: safety, first and foremost, followed by enjoying yourself and making money while doing it.
How to Become an Underwater Welder
1. Plan Your Career Path
Underwater welding is not a job where there’s room for error – you need to do everything by the book and then some. If you’re not sure about your career path, then this is probably not the job for you – otherwise, go with it. If you’re lucky enough to get into an underwater welding school, then completing it will present you with the opportunity to find a job.
2. Gain Topside Welding Experience
People who apply for an underwater welding job aren’t usually considered unless they prove that they’re also qualified and experienced in other areas. Working on top of the water is an excellent way to get experience, and it’ll help your application when applying for a job in this field.
3. Find a Diving School
The credentials and qualifications required for becoming an underwater welder vary from state to state and country to country. Still, the main thing is that you need diving skills, so dive school is such an important step when considering this career path.
4. Get Certified
You can get certified to work underwater in most countries, but you need the right qualifications to do so. If you don’t have any experience or qualifications, then look for a certificate that matches your requirements – these are generally required to get your first job.
5. Look for Work
Once you’ve completed your training and gained some experience, it’s worth looking for a job. There are only a few of these workplaces, and they aren’t competitive – so you’ll need to be on the hunt and work hard if you wish to secure one.
6. Stay Motivated
Be prepared to work hard for this career path. Everything you do is related to diving, so you must take this seriously and treat it with the respect that it deserves. If you don’t care about underwater welding, then the chances are that you won’t do well at it.
Reasons You’re Not an Underwater Welder
1. You don’t want to move away from the familiar
If you don’t want to leave home, then this isn’t the occupation for you. Many people are completely opposed to moving abroad – especially if they have a family – but this career path requires removal from your everyday life. You’ll want to make sure that this is what you really want. Otherwise, you need to stay at home and look for other types of work.
2. Training and certification are pricey
This is true – underwater welding is not a cheap option, and quite a few people don’t have the qualifications to do it, let alone the funds that are required to get trained. Expect to pay a hefty sum for training and certification for this job.
3. You’re not willing to work hard for what you want
If you’re not keen on working hard and long hours for little or no pay, then this isn’t the profession for you. Be prepared to work long hours and have little time for yourself – it isn’t for everyone.
4. You can’t swim
You may want to learn how to swim beforehand, but if you hate the water, then this probably isn’t the career path for you. It’s imperative that you can swim because you’ll be spending a lot of time underwater.
5. You don’t like getting wet
If you’re not comfortable being pulled deep into the sea, then this isn’t for you either. You’ll need to get used to constantly having your head underwater.
6. You’re not physically fit
If you don’t have the physicality or health to withstand the demands of this job, then you should leave this field. Many people don’t have the strength and stamina required for this career path, so it might be challenging for them – especially if you’re not used to working hard.
Underwater welding is a good career if you get the right qualifications and training and work in a safe and well-regulated environment – but you need to be mentally and physically prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. It might not work out for you if you don’t do your research first, so make sure that you’re prepared before you apply to become an underwater welder.
Q1. Is underwater welding a good career?
Yes, it certainly is – keep in mind that different countries have different regulations and qualifications – so even though this is a widely recognized career, it probably won’t be respected by everyone. Still, if you’re prepared to work hard and long hours for little or no pay, then this can be a very successful career.
Q2. Is there a minimum age to work as an underwater welder?
Usually, no – you can apply to any career provided that you are qualified. However, there are jobs for full-time workers only, so if you have school-aged children, they should be in school.