Underwater welding and commercial diving can be a very lucrative career in the oil and gas industry. Of course, there are other industries which utilize commercial divers and underwater welders:
- marine vessel construction & salvage
- public works construction- infrastructure, bridges, etc
In order to begin a career as an underwater welder you must first obtain proper training in commercial diving and then learn the skills required to be not just a welder but an underwater welder. It is dangerous work, but it often pays extremely well.
So where can you get training for this career? Here are some of the leaders in the industry that are worth checking out.
Underwater Welding Schools
Divers Academy International
With national accreditation through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and many federal aid options, students can usually find a way to pay for their training. CDI offers career placement opportunities with connections to more than 100 companies around the globe, and they continue to purchase modern equipment for the experience and safety of divers.
In just five months, you can gain the expertise and training required to enter the satisfying and lucrative world of commercial diving. Become an underwater welder or join a salvage crew. With a comprehensive list of diving certifications, all options will be open to you.
Develop your skill set and meet the advanced employer demands with our intensive 25-week, 900 clock hour program. The Professional Commercial Dive Tech program was developed to meet ever-evolving employer demands and commercial diving certification standards and offers specialty electives to meet those needs.
This program offers advanced surface supplied air diving techniques, nitrox diving, advanced underwater welding and burning, and an all exclusive curriculum that meets employers most sought-after certifications. Graduates will master surface air diving technology, acquire skill sets in underwater welding, hyperbaric chamber operation, salvage, video inspections, equipment maintenance, rigging, and more.
Once these skills have been mastered, students will have an opportunity to select a specialty skill to meet their employment specialty skill set. Students can choose from the inland diver nitrox gas specialty or international deep dive specialty.
International Diving Institute
At IDI, you will be trained at the Old Charleston Navy Base. This location is in the heart of the industrial district of Charleston and integral to the Port of Charleston and waterfront ship loading operations. You will be training in the same environment that commercial divers work in every day.
After receiving certification, divers have the opportunity to take an additional course which concentrates solely on underwater welding. This is the only dive school who certify under Lloyds Register and AWS WPQ D3.6:2010 Class B. Other courses include diving history, medical application, physics, safety and inspection, equipment maintenance, and research.
The International Diving Institute offers a 2 week, 80 hour course which covers the training you need to test for a Lloyd’s Register Underwater Welder certification. The course culminates with a practical test proctored by a Lloyd’s Register Surveyor through American Welding Society (AWS). Welding certifications are typically required when performing emergency welds on ships, as well as certain load-bearing or critical structures. Lloyd’s Register provides an internationally-recognized certification.
Commercial Diving Academy
Commercial Diving Academy offers one of the most comprehensive diving and underwater welding training programs available, with on-campus housing and a full meal plan.
CDA’s internationally recognized Unrestricted Surface Supplied Air Diver Certification is recognized throughout the world and requires every student to achieve a minimum of 3,000+ minutes of bottom time (in-water training). In their training they utilize their pool, training tanks, river dive stations and The Deep Water Training Center in Ocala Florida with depths / dive up to and including 165 feet.
CDA prides itself on “The CDA Advantage” offering commercial diving certifications from global organizations. Their international certification for divers is recognized by IMCA (International Marine Contractors Association) which contributes to their high success rate, with placement in excess of 91%.
At CDA, students may earn an underwater welding certification, under AWS standards D3.6. The underwater welding qualification meets a strict standard and is only achieved by the most dedicated students. It requires successful completion of the practical portion of both the Top-side and the Underwater Welding course and recognizes Underwater Welding Qualifications for Class C fillet weld to AWS D3.6M.
The commercial diver training goes beyond underwater welding and our graduates are proficient in many other useful skills from underwater salvage, pipeline construction and repair, rigging, the operations of underwater tools (jack-hammers, hydraulic drills and chainsaws). These skills and certifications go beyond the required training and are a part of The CDA Advantage. They make graduates from CDA Technical Institute Air/Mixed Gas Commercial Diver Program a top choice for Diving Companies. Click here for more information on CDA’s curriculum and comprehensive commercial diving program.
Individuals interested in a career in underwater welding should know that this specific task represents only 5 to 10% of the duties a commercial diver will be expected to perform and is not a stand-alone career. This is why CDA is committed to providing comprehensive training in all aspects of commercial diving. It is worth noting that CDA is the only school that is owned and operated by an active commercial diver and underwater welder! Founder Captain Ray Black has been an underwater welder since 1989 and has worked worldwide.
Upon acceptance, divers will be exposed to every possible environment for underwater welding, including a 36,000 gallon water tank and four hyperbaric welding chambers.
Hydroweld provides underwater welding certification for completing their program, but the certification will not be transferable to all diving companies. Their main purpose is to prepare their students for underwater welding by meeting the AWS’ standards. Hydroweld provide well established, unrivaled wet welder training courses at: Hydroweld USA ‘Underwater Technology and Training Centre’ (UTTC) in Miami, Florida, USA.
The center includes an indoor, 170m, 6m (20′)diameter x 6m (20′) deep, 170,000 liter (45,000 US gallon) (approx.), filtered and treated training and research tank. The tank provides an outstanding controlled environment for a large range of underwater programmes including welding, hydroarc-gouging, cutting, welding procedures, welder qualifications and a variety of other equipment testing and training
The underwater welding system includes state of the art wet welding equipment and consumables. The course objective is to train professional qualified commercial divers in the art of wet welding who wish to pursue a career in wet welding or who want to improve on their current wet welding capabilities and gain a recognized wet welding qualification.
These wet welding courses are modular, with each module 10 days long. They are intended to train professional divers up to the standard required to pass a Welder Performance Qualification (WPQ) to AWS D3.6 Code for Underwater Welding, class ‘B’ welds. The WPQ test is witnessed by Lloyds Register (LR). LR are a major classification society and certification issued by them is generally accepted by other classification societies throughout the world.
The courses are open to both individual commercial divers and diving contractors alike. Commercial diving contractor who wish to sponsor a number of welder divers on a project specific wet welding course are welcome to discuss their individual requirements. These requirements may include the development and qualification of welding procedures or the use of their own procedures subject to them being within the scope of the training.
South Central Louisiana Technical College
Taking place on the school’s Young Memorial campus in Morgan City, experienced instructors teach in classroom and facility settings, allowing new divers to get their feet wet in a new, exciting environment.
The program focuses on tasks in offshore work under oil rig operations, and each student will work through procedures involved in dive safety, equipment maintenance and operations. Before applying for the program, students are required to obtain a high school transcript and SCUBA certification.
The Commercial Diving Program provides classroom instruction and practical experience to prepare individuals for entry level employment in the commercial diving industry. The program provides individuals with the knowledge necessary to understand the physics and physiology of hyperbaric environments as well as hands-on experience in areas such as equipment maintenance and equipment operations.
Students perform actual underwater work similar to that done routinely by divers in oilfield operations. The program emphasizes safe and efficient work practices, basic occupational skills, and employable skills. The content is organized into competency-based courses that specify occupational competencies which the student must successfully complete. Open the complete Commercial Diving Curriculum.
Diving students can earn certification upon completion of the programs.
The Ocean Corporation
The Ocean Corporation has made a name for itself in the diving industry, and its prime location near the Gulf of Mexico gives graduates thousands of job opportunities to apply for when they’re ready. Instructors make sure students are graded and measured on their personal performance, pushing them to the peak of their abilities.
The Ocean Corporation offers hands-on training that takes less than 8 months to complete. Our cutting edge training gives you the competitive edge you need to succeed in the commercial diving and NDT inspection industries.
Divers Institute of Technology
Veteran Owned and Veteran Operated since their inception in 1968. They have a history of leading the field in training divers. They were the first, and are currently one of only three programs in the United States to offer an International Certification, the CSA . This allows you to work globally, and can open up many opportunities for you in your future career.
At DIT, they don’t just train underwater welders, or any other particular type of diver. It is about creating a well-balanced diver, and will train you to succeed in many aspects commercial diving. When you attend school here, the bulk of your surface supplied diver training will be conducted in open water, giving you real world experience that can’t be replicated in pools, tanks, or quarries. You’ll perform deep dives to 165 feet, employing both in-water and surface decompression. Your instructors here are highly experienced and knowledgeable in the field, and our intensive, hands-on, and measurable curriculum will ensure that once you graduate, you are prepared to excel.
Operating in beautiful Seattle, Divers Institute of Technology (DIT) is just hours from mountains and beaches. Students will train in and outside of Lake Union, a fundamental experience including zero visibility conditions. They have a specialized 4 months course for underwater welding. Topside welding and underwater welding is one of DIT’s training modules. It includes classroom learning on equipment, introduction to T-joint welds, wet welding practice and final tests.