It takes a lot of practice and training to become a professional underwater welder. When oil rigs and pipelines are in need of repair, underwater welders are often called for.
While the job might be profitable, it is undoubtedly the most dangerous in the world.
According to recent research, underwater welders have the greatest death rate of any profession. Estimates in the business put the mortality rate for underwater welders at 15%.
The death rate for other extremely hazardous occupations, such as logging and fishing, is less than 0.2 %. As a result, underwater welders are 75 times more likely to be killed on the job than some of the riskiest professions in the world.
Numerous people are willing to accept the risk of constructing submerged constructions despite the obvious dangers they provide.
How much money does an underwater welder make? Why is this job considered so dangerous? And how is the underwater welding process done?
Welding Under Water Process
Safety is a major concern when connecting two pieces of metal together in the water. Welders employ a variety of methods to accomplish this task.
A dry chamber method is employed in the vast majority of situations. It is necessary to use temporary hyperbaric chambers to keep water from the work area.
It is possible to host as many as three welders in the chambers at a time. Ground crews use fans to alternately remove exhaust air and provide fresh, clean air.
As a precaution against the development of pressure sickness, the cabins are well pressurized.
Wet welding is also an option, although it’s usually utilized as a last resort. Access to the region and severity degree determine whether the method is used or not.
Wet welds have an increased risk of breaking because of the water cooling them down too rapidly. Wet welding is a short-term or emergency procedure.
Expected Income and Needed Experience
Performing the duties of this position necessitates spending time submerged in water with little visibility. They work in environments that are both dark and cold.
The American Welding Society (AWS), or an applicable body depending on the country you reside, certification and sufficient training are essential to begin an underwater welding career.
It’s a good thing that there are so many commercial diving schools to choose from.
According to commercial divers and data from throughout the world, underwater welders make, on average, $53,990 a year and $25.96 an hour. Annual income ranges between $25,000 – $80,000.
In certain cases, commercial divers who specialize in underwater welding might earn more than $300,000 per year.
Dangers faced by under-water Welders
Every time they go on a job as an underwater welder, they run the danger of serious injury or death. There are several dangers, some of which might be deadly, while others could have long-term consequences.
Some of the most prevalent risks experienced by underwater welders have been outlined in this list.
Shocking Electricity: Underwater welders are primarily at risk from electrocution. All underwater welding requires the use of special waterproofing equipment. Every piece of equipment must be checked and insulated before it is put to work.
Explosions: Hydrogen and oxygen gas pockets pose a serious threat to underwater welders. These pockets can explode if they are ignited.
Drowning: Drowning can occur if an underwater welder’s gear component fails.
Sickness from decompression: While traveling between pressure zones, divers inhale hazardous gases that can cause decompression sickness. Decompression sickness can be deadly in extreme circumstances.
Damage to the ears, lungs, and nose: Regular exposure to high-pressure water can permanently harm your ears, lungs, and nose.
Wildlife Attacks: Despite the fact that underwater welders are rarely attacked, they should be aware of the possibility of encounters with sharks and other sea creatures that might be deadly.
Underwater welding future
Robotic developments are making it possible to better safeguard underwater welders. Underwater welders are currently employed in a variety of businesses throughout the world, disregarding what the future holds.
Companies all across the globe will need underwater divers as long as robots cannot accomplish complex jobs with the skill of a human. It’s a physically and intellectually demanding job, but the satisfaction that comes from knowing that you’re helping to keep up the cutting-edge technology on which our modern society depends is worth the stress.
This video shows how underwater welding is done: