View Full Version : Underwater welding
04-02-2009, 09:02 PM
I am looking into taking an UNDERWATER WELDING course, but I don't know enough about it to make my decision concrete. Is there anyone out there with underwater welding experience that could give me the low down on its pros and cons? Here are some of the questions that I have:
1.) What can an entry level underwater welder get for their first years salary? It is my understanding that it is highly varialble and dependent on the depth at which you dive, location and employer.
2.) What are the dangers involved? With proper training I would imagine that most dangers are avoidable if you are smart, but what of the unavoidable dangers such as years of diving, which creates nitrogen build up in the body?
3.) Also do you recommend a school to take the course through? I have been in contact with the National Polytechnic College of Science since they seem to offer a solid underwater welding program but do you know of any better programs?
That is all for now. Thank you for your time.
04-02-2009, 11:03 PM
You can do a search on this site for what you are after. Diver/welders seem to make good money when they work, but steady work is rare.
Try UA.org to find out about a career in pipe welding. Good luck.
04-03-2009, 04:30 PM
how long can you hold your breath?? lol...just kidding, it always intrsted my you dont get shocked while welding down under..
04-03-2009, 09:45 PM
first off you to go to commercial dive school . become a diver ,and not a scuba diver. as for underwater welding you will not be welding all the time . if your goal is to become a welder then do that you can get more work
Generally if they can find a way NOT to weld underwater they will take it. Most of the welding we do at the dive company I work for PT is done topside or after a compartment has been pumped down. If you want to DIVE great, if you want to WELD become a welder NOT a commercial diver.
Salaries vary, but don't expect to weld FT underwater. Most work is wrench work. They design systems to be assembled with bolts rather than welds most times. You have much better control of the welds if you do them topside then just bolt it together underwater.
As far as hazards. Dysbaric bone necrosis is a disease that affects divers. It comes from bone loss due to long periods of high pressures. This usually occurs in divers that do alot of deep saturation dives working on rigs or deep salvage. They check for this very year durring your physical. Basically your bones become like swiss cheese and brittle. Its not reversible. General diving issues, bends are common and can be permanent in some cases. Basically the bubbles in your blood can block off blood flow. How long the flow is blocked and what is blocked determines how severe it is. Lung over pressurization can occur if you rise too fast or hold your breath. Lots of injuries due to getting caught between objects or rigging.
I am not familiar with that school. There are several around the country that offer good training.
Commercial Diving Academy http://www.comercialdivingacademy.com Jacksonville FL
great lakes diving academy http://www.greatlakesdivingacademy.org
Commercial diving degrees in Santa Barbara CA http://www.sbcc.net/academic/mdt
College of Oceaneering San Diego CA 1-800 432-dive
Divers Academy International Camden NJ http://diversacademy.com
Divers Institute of Technology Seattle WA http://www.diversinstitute.com
The Ocean Corporation, Houston TX 1-800 321-0298
There's one in New Orleans or Louisiana but I can't find it right now.
I'll Pm you my contact info.
04-05-2009, 08:41 PM
Check out the mortality rate before you pursue it. I knew a guy who did it; he said that welding uw was really a small part of the job. He died under a rig off the Texas coast. Sorry to be a downer
05-09-2009, 10:31 AM
after completing an accredited dive program and purchasing most of your gear ( around 7k for a hat alone) you basically work as a dive tender for the first couple of years, getting few working dives. During this time you do all of the rigging, equipment maintenance, run the radios, run the rack or decompression chamber etc. Basically your the gopher for the more experienced guys. Tender pay varies from place to place but is generally low with long hours and not much respect. Eventually if you stick with it you break out and pretty much just dive. tender= apprentice/diver=journeyman. Id guess 8 out of 10 tenders never break out. If all you want to do is underwater welding you will starve. If you like construction however you can stay pretty busy, provided youll never be home.
05-09-2009, 12:11 PM
. . it always intrsted my you dont get shocked while welding down under..
DC only, never get between the work and ground and there's a person topside 'throwing the switch'. At least that's how I understand it. I had a cousin that did UW while in the Navy when I was a kid.
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