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    patt24k's Avatar
    patt24k Posts: 23, Reputation: 0
    New Member

    Sep 2, 2008, 09:17 AM
    Underwater welding
    My name is Patrick. I am 23 years old, and I was considering a career in commercial diving and specializing in underwater welding. Does anyone have any advice for me before I spend all of my money enrolling in a diving academy. Things such as: how much they make, available job opportunities and possible dangers would help. I hear they make good money, but what financial and health risks are involved? I would greatly appreciate any feedback.
    smearcase's Avatar
    smearcase Posts: 2,392, Reputation: 316
    Ultra Member

    Sep 2, 2008, 09:32 AM
    I am retired from highway administration and my only comments would be that with the condition of the bridges in this country, the opportunity should be unlimited for someone with diving and welding skills. Some say it would take a trillion dollars to get those bridges into acceptable conditin. A high percentage of the "problem" bridges are over water because the longer spans are more complex.
    I think you could subcontract with many of the consultant engineering companies that handle the inspections (not low bid contracts either) plus arrange your own on-call arrangements with the state DOTs.
    I just don't know how much competition is out there. Much travel involved. Good luck.
    Sidnal's Avatar
    Sidnal Posts: 20, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 22, 2008, 06:41 AM

    I'm a commercial diver in the Gulf of Mexico, I work on offshore rigs and pipelines.
    1) American wet-welders usually don't do *just* wet-welding, they cover a wide range of sub-sea tasks, from construction to burning/cutting, to ditch digging. A US diver (working in the Gulf of Mexico) will make in the 80-120k range, depending on how often you get called out to work, and how long you stay offshore.
    2) When working in the offshore (oceans) versus inshore (lakes, rivers, dams, water tanks), you earn 84 hours per week minimum, plus depth pay that averages about $1.50 per foot, with 44 hours being at the overtime rate of 150%. When working inland, you don't get near as many hours, but you can be at home a lot more often. Inland companies usually don't offer depth pay, but if you penetrate (say a pipeline, or a conductor under a dam) they offer penetration pay.
    3) Working abroad is up to you, but there are certification issues. Google IMCA.
    4) Bonuses? Hmpf. The work is hard and thankless, the days and nights long, but the money can be good. Most American companies offer a superb benefit package as well (insurance, 401k, etc.)
    5) Saturation diving is only done by the best of the best, don't look to get into Sat unless you have 5 or more years of experience. Sat pay is usually at a 24 hour rate, with 16 of those hours at overtime.

    You can check out,, they both have populated forums.

    Good Luck!
    Sidnal's Avatar
    Sidnal Posts: 20, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 22, 2008, 06:58 AM
    I pasted the previous post from another question I have answered already. I'll try to answer your specifics here:

    As far as job opportunities, companies in the Gulf are almost always hiring entry level divers, AKA tenders. Expect to spend a couple of years as a tender before you "break out" as a diver. Most guys who enter this workforce don't make it past their first year, the work is hard, you'll spend many weeks offshore with grumpy guys who don't expect you to make it, and the attaboys are few and far between.

    As far as dangers, there are plenty. You'll be working on a floating construction zone, working under cranes that are swinging heavy loads overhead, slippery decks, hazardous chemicals and gases, just to name a few of the dangers before you even hit the water. When you do get to dive, then you are doing the same thing underwater, usually with zero visibility. Safety is paramount, and is generally the FIRST priority, but Murphy and the IRS pay special attention to divers.

    Also, work is not on a set schedule. You'll get called out on a job that may last 2 days or 5 months, only to have anywhere from 2 days to 2 months until your next job. Feast or famine, learn to manage your money wisely, saving for the lean times (especially winter).

    I strongly recommend going to the public commercial diving school in Morgan City, LA. The cost is only a few thousand, compared to about 17 thousand for the private schools set up in other places. Also, this school is in the hub of a lot of diving companies, so you may get to hire on early and work in the shop during your training.

    Good Luck!
    Diver3825's Avatar
    Diver3825 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Mar 13, 2009, 03:58 PM
    1st off Yes divers do make good money it varies greatly depending on what state or country your in and level of experience. 2nd I don't know of any companies that only do wet welding You might be doing underwater welding one day and salvageing a ship the next. But it is a good skill to have. As for the risks 1) death 2) sever injury. You can laearn more @ or Home. Good luck and dive safe.
    brekonf's Avatar
    brekonf Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 22, 2009, 01:47 PM
    Hi! I am an professional artist and have a family . The reason I am going to the commercial diving school is a hope to spend 3-4 month a year someplace offshore doing hard work and good money and to live a rest for my art. So, I have some questions for the divers or people with offshore experience:
    1)Is diver have an ability to manage his (her) time? 2)Is it better to go offshore first to get familiar, then go to diving school?3)Is it have a sense to go to the local inland schools, which is not accredited.4)How to compare real quality of diving schools (someone just recommended Morgan city, but I would like to hear more pro and contra) .
    Could anyone help me to find a right pass?
    Thank you.

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