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Take This Job and Submerge It: When Welding Goes Underwater

Welders, have you thought about super-sizing your career and taking it undersea? The American Welding Society of Miami, Florida (www.aws.org) has a lot of mesmerized spectators when they do demonstrations of underwater welding. The dazzling spectacle looks like a melding of art and science in a most awe-inspiring form. If you are skilled at welding, why not think about taking it up a notch? Here are some things to consider:
 
Underwater welders have to be commercial divers; they must be equally capable in both welding AND diving. A welder can receive commercial diving certification upon completion of a commercial dive school, and be then ready to begin work as an apprentice welder-diver. You will need to be certified by the regulations of the ANSI Specification for Underwater Welding before you can perform all of the job duties of an experienced welder-diver.
 
Annual dive physicals may be required. This work is only for those in good physical shape, and is best suited to the twenty-something and thirty-something crowd. Most underwater welders have plenty of job options once they've passed their prime years. Some go on to become instructors, consultants, or managers in the field.
 
The salary one can earn is dependent upon the available work. Most underwater welders are paid per job, not per year, so the salaries can be very low to very high. Some make as much as doctors do. The more experience one has in this industry, the more valuable he or she is. Success comes to those who know all phases of the job and can do the planning, execution, and follow-up for the project.
 
Diving safety, diving communication, fitting and rigging, and underwater cutting are but a few of the qualifications needed. Do you have what it takes to be an aquatic mad scientist? Aging bridges, vessels, and pipelines everywhere need you!

By Michelle Simmons
Get Welding Jobs, Contributing Editor

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