Best Underwater Welding Schools 2023, Welding Risks & Guide

Are you here to search for the Best Underwater Welding Schools? Then you are in the right place, as we have deep research and give you all the relevant information regarding underwater welding. Though underwater welding is a good-paying job for this proper professional training is necessary.

The underwater welding process is performed at elevated Biometric pressures and during this process, divers face a lot of life-threatening challenges. So, this process needs a complete professional training from an institute to get specialized skills.

Underwater Welding Schools


What is Underwater Welding: –

There are two methods in underwater welding one is Wet welding and the other is Dry or Hyperbaric welding. Many underwater welding schools give specialized training in these fields.

Wet Welding:

This process is almost like the ordinary welding just with a specialized rod designed for this process. This type of welding is less costly than other methods, easier and more workable to remote positions underwater, the speedy process to perform the task but dangerous due to openness of the task in water that might cause electric shock or gas explosion in the water.

Most of the time welders use Shielded Metal Arc Welding or Stick Welding in this type of welding due to its cost-effectiveness and versatility. This method produces an electric arc when the electrode touches the infrastructure metal surface to weld the metals. This process is most workable for Stainless Steel and Aluminum metals.

The second method which most of the welders are using is Flux Core Arc Welding with a consumable and tabular electrode with a flux. Welders use Flux itself, or a shielding gas to protect the atmosphere from gaseous and liquid slag. Due to high speed and portability welders mostly use this method to perform the underwater welding tasks on Nickle based alloys and iron metals.

The third method is Friction Welding which welders create high friction and heat to weld the metals instead of fusing rods.

Dry Welding:

This type of welding is safer as the welders create a separate dry environment around the location either for the welding equipment or for the welder as well. Artificial habitat or chamber (hyperbaric chamber) is created to avoid any water influence in location to make the task secure and safe. All other things are the same as the welders perform the tasks outside water.

This type of welding is costly, slow but safe on the other side. So, this type of welding can be used in specific situations only. There are four types of Dry Welding.

  1. Pressure Welding:

    In this type of welding, welders perform all the task in a pressure vessel which is created around the metal surface underwater.

  2. Habitat Welding:

    An artificial habitat is created like a small room with elevated pressure. All the water is vacuumed outside that habitat, so that task can be performed without the interference of water.

  3. Dry Chamber Welding:

    This is also a small type of habitat so that a welder goes inside that chamber up to his shoulder to perform the welding task as normal outside water.

  4. Dry Spot Welding:

    This is a much shorter form of habitat in which the chamber is as small as the welder’s head. So, the welder just inserts the electrode inside the habitat or chamber to weld by sealing around it.

    We have also reviewed some excellent TIG welding machines for beginners, hobbyists and professionals.

Top 10 Best Underwater Welding Schools

  1. Santa Barbara City College, California: –

Santa Barbara City College - underwater welding school

This is one of the oldest community colleges in California established in 1909 as High  School. There are two types of courses regarding welding which provide full professional and commercial diving and welding skills. One of these courses is Marine Diving Technologies (MDT) and the other one Commercial Diver Training (CDT). Minimum age limit is 18 years and requires 16 credits in total. These courses include all type of theoretical and practical content to train you with all aspects. For example, Hyperbaric chamber operations, rigging, first aid, underwater cutting and welding, mixed gas diving, Noxious gases information encountered during diving operations. SBCC has also accreditation from Divers Certification Board of Canada and International Diving Schools Association.

  1. Divers Institute of Technology, Washington: –                                                  

Divers Institute of Technology

Divers Institute of Technology is also a quality reputation training institute especially in the field of underwater welding established in 1968. DIT is accredited with Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. This institute is offering different courses in the field of Lightweight & Rigging, Offshore & Hazmat, Salvage & Hydraulics, Scuba and Deep Diving and 4 months training in underwater welding. These all training are from entry to advance levels for all type of divers and welders with all latest techniques. During these training, you will experience the practical weld diving operations 50-60 miles underwater.

  1. CDA Technical Institute, Florida: – 

Commercial Diving Technologies

Commercial Diving Academy CDA, is the only accredited commercial diving school in the Southwest. CDA is offering two courses in the field of Commercial Diving and Underwater Welding. There are various other courses in different fields, like DCBC Surface Supplied TOP-UP. Experienced professional trainers are giving practical training. All courses have their requirements regarding minimum age and other skills which are must to have before enrollment into any course. The institute has accreditation from Association of Diving Contractors International.

  1. South Central Louisiana Technical College: –   

South Central Louisiana Technical College

This is the best technical training college in Louisiana, which provide training in the field of commercial diving and underwater welding for entry to advance level. These training include various sub-courses like rigging, underwater survival, first aid training etc. After these courses, someone can easily get jobs as a commercial diver, or underwater welder. After delivering theoretical knowledge to trainees they also get a chance to experience that underwater diving and welding tasks. In this way, they can get hands-on practical experience to assess their abilities and knowledge level.

  1. Divers Academy International, Philadelphia: – 

Divers Academy International

DAI is one of the best training school in the industry for the last 40 years. There are various certifications available in field Commercial Diving like Nitrox, KMDSI, HAZPOWER, ACDE, ADCI. Each of these certifications provides training in different fields like ADCI is for Air Diver, Mixed-Gas Diver, Air-Diving Supervisor. Nitrox is for Mixed-Gas Diving and Divers Academy International Certificate is for the field of underwater welding. These trainings are as per the US Navy Dive Manual Revision-7. All these courses require a minimum age of 18 with some other skills like swimming, and you would have to pass the physical fitness test.

  1. The Ocean Corporation, Houston: –

The Ocean Corporation - underwater welding school

 The Ocean Corporation 1969 is providing most comprehensive, rigorous, and unparalleled training in the field of commercial diving and underwater welding. The fields which the instructor will cover in these two courses are Inland Diving, Salvage Diving, Mixed Bags/Bell Diving. The instructors of each course practically explain the processes to trainees to learn the things in a practical way. You can join a position in a company after this course if they learn the process properly in the field of offshore diving and survival, underwater nondestructive testing. During this process, you also learn how to use different equipment in a different type of situation and how to work as a team to perform well and increase the efficiency level.

  1. National University Polytechnic Institute, California: –    

National University Polytechnic Institute

This institute is currently offering two courses, one is Commercial Diving Program (CDP) and other is Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). After completing the theoretical portion of training trainees get a chance to experience the practical aspects in form of real-time tasks. The whole training is as per safety standards. After completion of this training with hands-on experience, you will get certification and will be ready to join a position as a commercial diver or underwater welder. NUPI has booked its own Bay area and diving tanks to give practical training to its students in Kearny Mesa, Chula Vista, San Jose, Fresno.

  1. Hydroweld Underwater Technology, Miami: –

Hydroweld USA

The institute is offering specialization in Dry and Wet Welding. Even most of its courses revolve around the area of underwater welding. You may learn the skills relevant to welding, cutting, and all other relevant procedure and latest techniques to perform all the task precisely. You will get practical training in 45-thousand-gallon tank. In the first phase of the training after ten days a test in conducted regarding welder performance qualification to pass for next phase according to American Welding Society standards. Each part of all training, trainees can get practical experience.

  1. International Diving Institute, South Carolina: –

International Diving Institute

IDI is offering courses in the field of Air/Mixed Gas Surface Supplied Diving, DCBC Unrestricted Diving, Underwater Welding, Hazardous Waste Operations, ROV Pilot and Technician, Underwater Burning. To learn underwater welding in two weeks course of 80 hours, someone must be certified, commercial diver. You may join Air/Mixed Gas Surface Supplied Diving course for this to learn first. Minimum age is 18 years with a High School Diploma. After completion of the training, the student is required to pass the Welder Performance Qualification to get Underwater Welding Certification.

  1. Commercial Diving Academy Technical Institute, Florida: –

CDA Technical Institute - underwater welding school

CDA is fully accredited and internationally recognized institute of Florida. If you are certified diver then you may directly opt into underwater welding course. Those who are not certified divers must have to pass another course which is Air/Mixed Gas Commercial Diver Program. In this course, you will learn basic to advance regarding wet welding, dry or hyperbaric welding. All these courses will give you a chance every aspect practically and meet the American Welding Society standards. After certification in these programs, you will be able to do any task professionally.

Risks in Underwater Welding: –

Many people get fascinated when they see that underwater welders are getting high salaries. And they also want to start careers in this field, but it is necessary to know the risks and dangers in this field. We are briefly explaining all these major threats which someone can reduce with professional training and maintaining the standards.

  1. Electric Shock: –

One of the major risks in underwater welding is electrocution, especially in wet welding. If you use the equipment after proper testing and also do other precautionary measures then you may avoid this threat.

During underwater welding, welders should use a waterproof electrode, especially during wet welding. There is a greater chance that in the freshwater arc is more erratic and unstable so welder should start the weld at low voltage. Electric shock in the result of low voltage has low damage. To reduce the threat, welders should place ground fault into the earth surface to give access current away from the worksite.

  1. Decompression Sickness: –

This disease starts normally when the diver goes from high pressure to low pressure area underwater. That results in entering the nitrogen bubble into the bloodstream of the diver. Due to these bubbles, the diver can face various problems like rashes, paralysis, and joint pain.

Normally these symptoms arise within minutes to 24 hours and in-depth of 20 feet or more. The reaction can be more severe with the magnitude of the change in water pressure. Divers or welders should go through regular medical checkups to avoid any sudden threats.

  1. Drowning: –

This is another life threat that causes due to various reasons. The major reasons behind drowning are a fault in equipment like oxygen cylinder leakage or may happen due to symptoms of decompression sickness. The diver may get tired due to decompression sickness and if he is working in depth that increases the threat level.

  1. Explosion: –

When Hydrogen and Oxygen gas pockets start building underwater during the welding process that may cause explosions after a certain limit. Most of the time, explosions occur during the wet welding process.

During Wet welding, if you listen the bubbles sound around you that may be due to gas pocket bubbles popping sound. Then stop the welding immediately and locate the gas pockets to reduce their effect for some time.

There should always be a risk assessment test before starting any underwater welding task to reduce these void spaces and gas pockets.

  1. Hypothermia: –

The temperature under seawater may be too cold which directs the heat away from diver’s body and may increase the threat for a diver to survive. Due to the low body temperature results in metabolism issues and any organ loss.

Divers should use waterproof wetsuit during the work to save the body from extra heat or cold. Commercial diving training also helps you to maintain the body temperature as needed and other health and safety protocols underwater welding.

Underwater Welding Risks

Underwater Welding Schools Guide: –

There is sometimes a difficult situation while choosing a welding institute which has a different type of certifications. You should first get all the relevant information about all training institutes and the certifications they have. The major points which you should note are training cost, site location, program duration, training assistance, and finally job placement assistance.

You may add your own reservations to this scrutiny criteria, to choose the best underwater welding training institute.

  1. Training Cost: –

There are several factors which determine the cost of the training. Along with tuition fees, there is some travelling cost, practical safety gears like masks, wetsuits, books, living and meal expenses.

The average cost of underwater welding training is from $15000-$2000 in the United States. This may vary for different cites in the USA and different countries as well. But the cost factor should not be the decisive one and you should consider other factors like training quality as well.

  1. Location: –

Sometimes training and practical site location are different. And it also cost an extra amount to you in form of living and travelling expense. On the other side, diver training is tiring for beginners and long travelling makes this more hectic routine. So, you should also consider location as a major factor.

  1. Program Duration: –

There are different underwater welding and diving courses with different time duration as per the level of the program. For example, the underwater welding course for certified divers is for 3 to 4 weeks and there are also basic to advance courses which last to 18 months.

Duration of the course also matters for organizations who sponsor the training programs for their current employees to enhance their skills for upcoming projects.

  1. Training Practical Workshop and Certifications: –

Professional training always needs a practical aspect to make it more result-oriented. For this institutes hire professional experienced trainers. The trainees who fulfil the requirements get a chance to experience the welding processes underwater. Institutes own artificial water tanks for this purpose.

All institutes issue the certifications on passing the practical test either it is underwater welding or commercial diving. These certifications and accreditation will also matter when you will take interviews for most professional jobs.

  1. Jobs Prospects: –

 Some training institute collaborates with welding companies to send the bright students there for an apprenticeship. After completing this apprenticeship, these companies offer permanent jobs to internees.

Before entering a training program, you should also consider after training job prospects to secure your career pathway.

Conclusion: –

Most of the training institute issues certifications so are important for career enhancement and high earning opportunities. But underwater welding careers also require additional skills and, in some courses, even need certifications as prerequisites.

Taking underwater welding as a career is high paying and lucrative but alongside has risks which need a full professional training from underwater welding schools. There are various institutions as explained above from which you can get this training bearing in mind all other important factors of cost, location, program duration, and job assistance.

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