Being an underwater welder is not a walk in the park. Instead, it will test your physical strength and mental toughness.
The familiarity with the best welding equipment and your ability to operate the best welding machines is not enough for you to dive in this field; rather you have to be an expert diver and welder at the same time with the mentality of a warrior or marine commando (and love for the Great White Sharks, Orca Whales and Saltwater Crocodiles who will welcome you in the deep waters — xd)
Jokes aside, the path to becoming an underwater welder is not as foggy as it looks. All You need is the right mentality, self-belief and motivation to stay on your course.
As a beginner, if you don’t have any prior knowledge and skills of welding then it may take a little longer for you to become an underwater welder contrary to those who are also associated with the welding profession from a couple of years or more.
Who is an Underwater Welder?
From Definition “The process of joining together metal or plastic parts by heating the surfaces upto melting point by any electric or non-electric tool is known as welding and the trained person who performs the welding process is known as a welder”. Whereas, an underwater welder is a trained professional who performs welding tasks beneath water (e.g. welding underwater pipelines, ships or anything built of metal).
From prerequisites, it doesn’t mean you need equipment like welding respirators, welding gloves and welding helmets at the very beginning. On the track of becoming an underwater welder, you need to complete a high school education or diploma. Besides, if you are a non-American and non-Canadian candidate and want to pursue your career in the USA or Canada you must get a GED certificate first.
Here I wanna be clear that it is not compulsory to have a college or highschool degree to enter in this field, rather it will increase your credibility and worth which provide you an advantage over seasoned welders.
HOW TO BECOME AN UNDERWATER WELDER?
It’ll be better for you to take baby-steps to reach your destiny. Stay calm and composed and be patient as well while achieving your milestones one by one. If you wanna achieve your goals without a headache or complexities then you must achieve the following objectives.
Our first recommendation for you is to dive down into the research and collect as much info as you can. The info gathering is pretty crucial as it’ll play a vital role for your future judgments related to your field of work.
Which kind of welding machines you’ll operate? Which kind of welding accessories will boost productivity? And more importantly, which kind of safety equipment you’ll use? for example: welding Jackets , Welding Boots and welding gloves etc.
Find out which are the best suitable institutes for you who offer welding courses and certifications.
Hmmm, Well, if you are here then perhaps you’ve already made up your mind to join this field or else if you are still in a confusion then you can analyse the info gathered earlier. Now you can decide whether this occupation is worth joining or not?
If, at this point, you realise that this work demands more than your potential then you must leave and save your resources for work which meets your caliber or else go ahead to the next objective.
Take a Basic Welding Course and Certificate
Look for the nearest community college or technical training institute who facilitates welding courses. Moreover, if your high school offers such courses then well and good. You’ll get a certificate of course completion at the end that’ll allow you to join in the hands-on training under an instructor.
Gain Practical Experience
Getting an apprenticeship is the best way of gaining experience when you are completely new in this field. In this way you’ll be trained under a master of this field who’ll guide you and share his in-field experiences with you, causing a push to you to become a seasoned welder.
AWS Certification Exam
Any AWS’ (American Welding Society) certified welder is taken as a topside welder in many companies. The companies prioritize such welders having this certification. After gaining experience and hands-on training you should prepare for the AWS exam. The exam consists of both written and practical tests and on passing both tests you’ll be awarded AWS’ welding certificate.
Participate and pass divers’ physical tests. It is optional for you to sign-up for a physical test with the same institution who offers commercial diver certification you’re looking for. In physical tests following health checks on a candidate are performed:
- Joints’ tests ( like Knees,elbows and ankles ) including length measurements of arms and legs
- Cardiovascular health
- CBC (Complete Blood Count) and other blood tests to detect any diseases
- Drugs tests
If you get diagnosed with an infectious disease or any illegal drug substance then you’ll probably be disqualified until your reports are negative.
Join an Underwater Welding School
So here is the real deal, in underwater welding school your diving and welding experience will be tested and enhanced. The training includes implementation of different welding techniques on wet surfaces and beneath the water as well. Bsides classroom activities, you may need to achieve 25 to 50 hours of diving depending on the course requirements and institution.
It is worth mentioning that for this pacific job you don’t have to buy the best welding helmets which are being used by the welders in the normal welding process on the surface but instead you should find out the best diving gear for underwater welders.
Applying for The Job
Now apply as a Dive Tender in any company of your choice and again have an apprenticeship under an expert underwater welder and try to absorb as much knowledge and experience as you can. You don’t need to worry as almost every underwater welder goes through the same way and nearly no one is able to get a high post in the beginning.
The construction companies who specialized to work on the coast are the ones who work with underwater welders.
When you’ve completed your first contract with the first company you’ll be considered as a professional underwater welder. Now If any company wants to hire you then your previous experience can be helpful while negotiating on the table and a high raise in salary.
Surely, underwater welding is one of the high paying jobs and of course one of the diffical as well. This occupation not only requires long distance travelling but also the strong nerves and ability to work for long durations.
In this job not only the awareness of best welding machines and best welding equipment is necessary but also the diving capability and physical fitness matters the most. In a nutshell if you are facing any minor sort of health issue or have weaker nerves then this field is not for you and vice versa.