Salaries For A Underwater Welder

Salaries For A Underwater Welder

Underwater welding takes a lot of training, education and skills to be considered a professional underwater welder that’s why a lot of us get curious about the salaries for a underwater welder. And true, underwater welding belongs to the 6 most profitable but most dangerous professions in the world of welding being in the number 2 position. The others are industrial pipeline welding, military support welders, nuclear industry welders, aerospace welders, and certified welding inspector.  

But how dangerous is underwater welding that we often hear about underwater welding accidents and underwater welding death rate? How come a lot of people are still striving to get into this kind of profession when it takes a lot of time to earn skills and experience and in the end will be exposed to hazardous work? Well, the truth is, it is the underwater welding pay that people are generally after because undeniably, in our world of commerce, the more dangerous the job, the higher you get paid.   

Underwater welders’ jobs are commonly filled with hazards. They install and repair pipelines and rigs which have the potential to explode. They dive into dams, repair platform bridges and no matter how deep the repair project is, they dive for it to secure the whole project. This is why they are highly in-demand by the oil and gas industry and the companies that run this industry have the most riches compared to other businesses.

Other Factors Why Underwater Welding Pay

Most underwater welders are certified commercial divers. Which means that they have attended and were trained in specialized commercial diving and trade school. They were also taught to master the art of dry welding to make them more versatile both on land and in water welding. They are also putting their lives at risk every time they dive even reaching up to 300 feet especially when carrying out repairs for underwater pipelines and drilling platforms. Put it simply, they do work which other workers would not be able to do. 

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the salary underwater welder rate may vary depending on several qualifications. As they are also called commercial underwater welders, there are 4 distinct factors in determining their wages. 

Factors that influence the salaries of commercial underwater welders:


Economic status of Employer

Location of the dive/work site

Depth of the dive

Accordingly, an underwater welder can earn an average of $26.32 an hour or computed into $54,750 in a year. That is if the welder works about 6-8 hours/day, 5 days a week. But those who work overtime, they can earn an approximate $93,900 a year or even more. Some young professional diver welders can even earn as much as $300,000/year like if they become regular contractors of multinational companies such as the oil companies. 

However, to reach the peak of becoming a highly-paid commercial diver welder, you need to be highly trained, fully certified and have a strong physical and mental condition. You must also pass psychological tests because certification academies would not want to compromise their divers when faced with stressful conditions like having panic attacks during the events of

Why Salary Underwater Welder

Did you know that not all underwater welders have the same rate? Countries around the world also have their underwater welders thus offering different salaries underwater welder rates. For example, in South America, a commercial underwater welder can only earn an average of $59,000 a year, in the Middle East it’s $70,000 but in Northern Europe, it’s $76,000. Considering that these divers almost do the same work and routine, the income of the diver may also depend on the economic status of the country aside from the employers’ financial status. 

There are also the underwater welders that are the highest paid among other offshore divers and these are the saturation divers. These divers are making dives at a depth of more than 300 feet (91 meters) and in this depth, the water pressure becomes 10 times more compressed than that of the sea level. Staying at this depth it will only take 5 minutes to develop bubbles from the gas in your lungs, blood and tissues. Such a condition is called the decompression sickness and this is very dangerous. 

Saturation diving is a specialized form of diving and can take many weeks of training to complete. To prevent divers from developing decompression sickness, they must breathe a mixture of helium and oxygen to saturate themselves and avoid nitrogen narcosis. Nitrogen narcosis is the condition of temporary mental impairment due to the anesthetic effect of gases into the brain. With the gruesome conditions that these diver-welders must face, their underwater welding pay can range from $45,000 to $90,000 per month or an average of $500,000 a year including bonuses.

Types of Welders That Influence the Salaries for a

There are two major types of underwater welders and these are the offshore welders and the inland or the onshore welders. Each of them can also have different salary underwater welder rates. The offshore underwater welders work in oceans, seas and gulfs and they are supported by people who are on stationary platforms. These divers are generally needed by oil and gas industries in carrying out maintenance and repairs including oil extraction. They may work underwater for weeks regardless of the weather conditions and water temperatures. 

Offshore underwater welders are also of two types. The rookies and the experienced divers. Rookie underwater divers could have an underwater welding pay starting from $40,000 – $60,000 per year and that’s about 2-3 years of experience. Those with 3-5 years of experience, however, can earn as much as $50,000 – $80/000 per year. 

The onshore underwater welders do their jobs in rivers, lakes, dams, or under the bridges or any freshwater bodies. They sometimes work without the surface support but only with their scuba and welding equipment. Their main job is supporting and maintaining engineering projects,  though they also work in challenging environments. The salary underwater welder rate for the onshore welder rookies could range from $25,000 to $40,000 while the more experienced diver-welder can earn from $50,000 to $80,000/year.

Underwater Welding Jobs

Underwater welding jobs are also in demand in the UK. But to be a professional underwater welder in this part of the world you have to be a graduate from a certified commercial diving course and must undergo a 20-week course. And to profess your experience to an employer you must present your welding certificate along with your commercial diving certificate. If you lack any of these, you will be required to work as an apprentice diver for about 2 years before getting allowed to work for underwater welding. This can also earn you an underwater welding certificate. 

As a professional underwater welder in the UK, the salaries for a underwater welder may range from £100 per day if you are a beginner but you can go as much as  £1000 once you get considered a highly professional underwater welder.  This means that you can do more advanced work and not just welding simple repairs. 

Underwater welders in the UK are also getting paid according to their projects if the employer agrees not to go for per hour rate. Depending on the skills, the typical welder-diver may do rigging and fitting, structural testing, photography and cutting. The more skilled professionals do preparatory work which can include clearing out the area, cleaning the project site and rigging for the welders to work on, the higher the underwater welding salary uk can go. As such, these skills can be achieved by attending post-diving certification training. When you get to have enough experience and are loaded with certificates you can advance your career into higher positions like a supervisor or an instructor thus your salaries for underwater welder rate will also conveniently increase.


Underwater welding is not as simple as dry welding. Although both have risks, with wet welding you get to work in an unknown world and face a lot of hazards. From the moment you dive down, you become secluded from the world but you must produce a perfect welding job so that life on the surface would continue and thrive. 

This is why you have to be fully armed with training and certification and must also earn a lot of experience to be able to work for this unique job. And this is also why these diver-welders also deserve higher salary rates. If you want to get into the pool of professional underwater welders and get a much higher salary underwater welder pay, try to earn more certifications every year. 

Don’t stop with your training and consider training with engineers so that you can be able to work with professionals and ultimately can allow you to work in a more professional environment. These are some ways on how salaries for an underwater welder can increase. 

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