Deep-sea welding is a specialization of underwater welding which is a specialized area of marine construction. As you can probably imagine, the work is challenging and carries inherent risks. Fortunately, the compensation reflects the skill, experience, and training required as well as the risks taken. In other words, it’s a highly challenging, high-risk occupation that requires physical and mental discipline, extensive training, skill mastery, and multiple certifications. The pay makes it worth it.
Becoming certified in commercial deep-sea welding requires mastery of two different fields: welding (including underwater welding) and commercial diving (including deep-sea diving). You have to be trained, certified, and get experience in commercial deep-sea diving, as well as trained, certified, and experienced in the art and science of welding.
A quality deep-sea underwater welding school will prepare you to pass the tests required for certification. Perhaps more importantly, the training you get at the school you choose is critical to your personal safety and that of the team working with you.
The majority of underwater welding is done using a hyperbaric system. This is a system that keeps the weld dry and often keeps the diver dry as well. Hyperbaric enclosures can range from those that isolate the area to be welded to those that hold up to three deep-sea welders.
Underwater “wet” welding is done without a hyperbaric enclosure. The way it works is the flux from your welding electrode creates a shield of bubbles that primarily protects the weld from the surrounding water. As a general rule, wet welding is done in emergencies and/or when a temporary weld is necessary.
Acquiring Welding Skills & Certification
It’s been said that in the dancing duo of Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire, Ginger did everything Fred did, but she did it backward and in high heels. Likewise, deep-sea welders do everything topside welders do, but they do it underwater – under very deep water.
You will want to get as much experience in surface welding as you can. There are several different welding types and techniques. Most often as an underwater welder, you will use shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), but you will need to become familiar with and have experience performing welding using other techniques as well. The more you know and have experience in, the more employable you are and the better equipped you will be to solve problems, troubleshoot, and get the work done.
If you are entirely new to welding, we recommend you research the American Welding Society.
Acquiring Deep Sea Commercial Diving Certification
The purpose behind a high-quality professional school like Commercial Divers International is to train you and get you certified as a commercial diver, as well as training you for underwater welding. With more diving certifications, you will be prepared to take on a wider variety of marine welding jobs. Talk with our instructors and admissions professionals to find out the courses you would need to be certified as a commercial diver specifically for underwater welding.