Underwater Welding Guide (Techniques, Risks & Salaries)

If you have a hands-on experience on welding and interested in learning to become an underwater welder and want to get a highly paid job, then you have come to the right place.  This article will help you understand the requirements, demands, process of training, institution, salary specifications and problem areas of underwater welding.

Job Requirements

First you need to be sensitive about the job requirements as it must be the first step in decision of career making.  Being mentally and physically fit and fond of diving, is what makes a welder, to be a perfect scuba or underwater welder. He must be aware of all potential accidents, injuries, and dangers prior to start training process.

Search for a training institution

There are several institutes in the world, that offer both theoretical and practical training programs and yet the best way to enter into the industry. The program includes a session of lectures, practical assignments and a final qualification examination. A program can also help students to get jobs in network companies. You may find out the underwater welding schools in the following list;

  1. Canadian Working Divers Institute – Canada
  2. Middle East for Commercial Diving – Egypt
  3. ABJ Welding – South Africa
  4. Dive Safe International – Canada
  5. XLT Institute of Welding – Australia
  6. Holland College – Canada

Apprenticeship Program

Search and apply for an apprenticeship program nearby at different locations. Several companies organize on-job training programs, where you can gain more skills and practical experience and get a chance to meet employers for job placement assistance.

Pay Scale of an Underwater Welder

The factors affecting an underwater welder salary income are; diving & welding experience, certification level, welding equipment, environment, location and overtime, etc. However, according to one statistical record, an average salary of an underwater welder is about $50,000 annually.

Problem Areas in Underwater Welding
Under Water Welding in Wet has made it possible to repair underwater heavy structures that cannot be transported to land, to be welded in air. This technique can be applied for repair works on heavy ship hulls, oil and gas pipeline structures. Efforts have been made to improve the quality of wet welds (made in wet conditions) but there are some problem areas that highly influence their quality. Following are the downsides of underwater wet welding that ought to be improved in order to make high quality welds in future.

1.Welder’s Visibility

The first and foremost requirement of wet welding, is welder’s visibility under water. The welder must be able to see and manipulate the welds inside the water. For recent years efforts have been made to improve the equipment that can provide welders, a clear view of arc.

2.Heat Transfer

During wet welding process, arc and base metal zone is surrounded by water that gives rise to a quenching effect due to high temperature gradient. As a result ductility of the weld metal gets reduced along with failure of other mechanical properties.


The weld zone is surrounded by high amount of water vapors due to which hydrogen and oxygen gets entrapped into the weldment. This entrapment gives rise to devastating porosity and hydrogen induced cracking. In order to prevent such consequences, arc zone should be kept free from water vapors under wet conditions.
Apart from weld quality, under water (wet) welding requires more safety and risk assessments, as compared to the welds made in air. For this water proof electrode holders are being used and also an emergency switch called knife switch is operated on the land surface under the instructions of welder diving in water. Welding cables, electrodes and connections must be made water proof by proper insulation, to avoid any contact with water. Underwater welding is further divided into sub categories; wet welding and dry welding under water.

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