How Much Does an Underwater Welder Make An Hour? Underwater welding, according to the job description, is responsible for welding underwater, but they do much more than that.
Underwater welders are, by definition, a form of commercial diver and have the only certification above SCUBA. Underwater welders could get pay that differs significantly based on the situation in which they work and their experience.
A Comprehensive Guide: How Long Does It Take to Become an Underwater Welder?
Basics of Commercial Divers:
Commercial divers work beneath the surface of the water using SCUBA equipment, air that is supplied by the surface, or divers who are able to dive to saturation.
While underwater, they check and repair, install, or remove structures and equipment, and assist with repairs and maintenance of water vessels.
Additionally, many commercial divers conduct tests or experiments and also take photos of structures and marine life. They might even set off explosives. It is a physically and mentally demanding job. However, those who seek fresh challenges each day will succeed in this field.
At the top of the line among underwater welding professionals, those who are involved in saturation diving will be exposed to the most challenging conditions in any occupation, working in an environment that is similar to an astronaut’s.
Due to the ever-changing nature of the water and the life below it, the conditions in an underwater welder’s surroundings will never be the same again, and the majority of job opportunities will require welding professionals from all over the world.
1. Underwater Welder: Education Requirements:
While underwater welding doesn’t require a college education, it does require several certifications that are typically earned after going to an accredited technical college or vocational institution.
These schools typically require a high school diploma or equivalent in order to be able to attend, according to experts at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
It is believed that it’s much easier to instruct a topside welder to swim than it is to teach divers how to weld. The most common qualification to be obtained, as well as the route that the majority of underwater welding professionals begin to take, is a welding license from a recognized professional body like The American Welding Society.
Also, you’ll need commercial diving certification, which is a distinct higher level of certification than SCUBA (self-contained breathing apparatus for underwater use) certification.
Because many underwater welding jobs occur in other regions outside of the U.S. or in international waters, it’s recommended to acquire an internationally recognized certification, such as that of the Association of Diving Contractors International.
It’s also beneficial to develop additional abilities like photography, drafting, and the rigging process.
2: Underwater Welder: Salary and Industry:
The salary of an underwater welder is heavily dependent on experience and other elements like location, environmental conditions, and overtime or hazard pay.
Although there is no evidence that they are paid overtime, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t keep specific records for underwater welders, but it does keep track of the salary and employment prospects for commercial divers generally.
BLS also monitors the earnings and jobs of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers.
Based on these numbers, the median annual salary for welding is $46,690, with the 50th percentile earning a median salary of $44,190, the 90th percentile, earning $66,250, and the 10th percentile making $30,640.
The numbers that apply to commercial divers include a median annual salary of $71,850. The median is $54,800, the 90th percentile wage is $111,130, and the tenth percentile is $36,200.
Welders who work underwater are more skilled than regular commercial divers.
They can also earn an impressive increase in their pay after at least three or five years of experience. Additionally, underwater welders are generally split into several categories: coastal, inland, and offshore diving.
Types of Welders and Pay:
According to the experts in Water Welders, new shore underwater welder salaries can range from $25,000 to $40,000 and from $50,000 to $80,000 in the following three years.
Onshore underwater welding workers tend to enjoy steady employment and regular 40-hour working hours throughout the year. They also have to deal with fewer dangers when working on docks, bridges, water towers, and smaller vessels.
Offshore underwater welding is typically performed on larger ships, pipelines underwater, and offshore oil platforms, performing everything from routine inspections and maintenance to the construction of heavy-duty underwater structures.
They have more risky conditions because they’re at sea, facing strong currents, low visibility, and sometimes marine life.
A novice offshore underwater welder as well as underwater inspectors and excavators pay ranges from $40,000 to $60,000, while more skilled workers in these positions are paid between $75,000 and $100,000.
The third, most specialized type of underwater welding that can be found is called saturation diving. The Divers Institute of Technology describes the process as diving deep into the sea for days or even weeks at a stretch to prevent the risks and delays of depressurizing daily after an hour of work.
This dangerous field requires a specific pay modification known as “depth payment,” which is a sum of $1–4 dollars for each inch of submersion.
Welders working in this area typically earn upwards of $100,000 per year, usually ranging from $200,000 to $300,000, and as high as $500,000 for the most highly-rated experts in the world.