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Underwater Welder

Fuse together pieces of metal while working underwater.

What does an Underwater Welder do?

Underwater Welders join pieced of metal together below the surface of the water. Like other Welders, you cut, fit, and rig pieces of metal that are to be fused together. But because you’ll be doing the fusing in a dive suit, the preparation and processes you undergo before picking up your tools are more extensive than Welders normally go through.

To start with, you need to know exactly what is required in the project before you start welding. This means that you’ll go underwater and take pictures, videos, or x-rays to look for cracks or broken parts, using underwater equipment (and once the required repairs or installations are made, you inspect the work in this manner again).

Then comes the preparation, where you drag masses of welding equipment underwater, while remembering to breathe through a hose and adjust your buoyancy regulator at the same time.

Finally its time to weld, when you get to use all of the sweet rigging you’ve set up to complete your work underwater.

You might do all these tasks at an oil platform, a pipeline, or a ship repair site. In other words, you’re often required to work in remote locations, or travel to the work sites that need your help.

If all this sounds really exciting, know that there are a couple of ways to approach becoming an Underwater Welder. One is by becoming a certified Commercial Diver and then learning the welding trade. The other is by acquiring training as a Welder, and then earning a certificate at a commercial diving school. There is ample room for advancement into roles involving project management, teaching, inspecting, or engineering.