Underwater welding is a career rapidly coming into vogue for exciting nature.
It combines welding and underwater diving; thereby making it an adventurous and thrilling profession that also usually has a higher salary as compared to good old land welding.
With more people choosing to pursue this as a profession, it becomes necessary for one to obtain the necessary training and qualification to be a part of this field.
Such training is important for your safety and of those around you.
The USA has several underwater welding schools, more than any other country, to help aspirants in this field.
Following is a list of ten popular underwater welding schools and their details to help you in choosing one best suited to your conditions.
1. Divers Institute of Technology
The Divers Institute of Technology is located in Seattle Washington.
This school has been veteran owned and operated since its inception in 1968 and is committed to training quality commercial divers.
The institute claims to train an individual not only in underwater welding but in all aspects of diving to create safe professional divers.
The training consists of dives upto 165 feet with practice in the nearby Lake Union on both in-water and surface decompression.
All instructors are knowledgeable and experienced in the industry of underwater welding and the curriculum is intensive, hands-on and measurable.
The welding course is a 3-week long curriculum which teaches you to handle tools like electrode holders, chipping hammer and wire brush so that you can expertly weld and burn underwater.
Students are taught how to weld T-joints in their very first week.
The institute also offers refresher courses for those looking to rectify pitfalls in their training where alumni-only pay for the material they use during the course.
Several companies hire graduates from the Divers Institute of Technology- this includes Alaska Mobile Welding Diving and Salvage, Atlantic Diving and Welding, Global Diving and Salvage and Harbour Offshore.
2. Minnesota Commercial Diver Training Centre
The Minnesota Commercial Diver Training Centre is located in Brainerd in the heart of Minnesota, the land of ten thousand lakes.
The center is known for training commercial divers by means of hands-on open water training in the Cuyuna Mine Pits in Crosby/Ironton and the Mississippi River.
The curriculum includes initial training in a 14ft deep tank inside the school where students first learn the proper use of equipment and protocol.
Courses are offered only 3 times a year, spanning the months of March to October.
Aspiring students need to apply early as each class consists only of 12 students.
The course structure involves intensive teaching and training in the physics of diving, physiological factors associated with it, safety protocols, equipment functioning and the fundamentals of seamanship and rigging.
The institute has staff dedicated to placements whereby graduates can leave their contact information to be made aware of job opportunities.
The centre has placement history with companies like Collins Engineers in Illinois and Nordic Underwater Services in Superior.
3. Santa Barbara City College
Santa Barbara City College is a community college established by the Santa Barbara High School District in 1909.
It is located in Santa Barbara Mesa in California, a former University of California site.
The college offers a marine diving technology course to train high-quality commercial divers and marine technicians.
The course is recognized for vocational excellence and trains in the use of various data collection and safety equipment including world-class underwater welding.
The course provides industry-accepted certification post completion of the course which meets the International Diving School standards.
Instruction is compliant with industry standards as well, with adequate training in hyperbaric and bell/saturation diving.
With regard to placements, like any other community college, this institute has a career center that organizes workshops and job fairs to allow students to explore opportunities.
The college has a database through which students and graduates can streamline their job search.
4. National University Polytechnic Institute
The National University Polytechnic Institute is located in San Diego, California.
It offers comprehensive and affordable commercial diving courses taught by industry experts. The underwater welding school is integrated with a commercial diving program.
The course offers training that will make you adept for both inland and offshore work environments, expanding your career horizons.
The program for commercial diving and underwater welding will provide you with all the necessary certifications for a career in underwater welding.
The actual training in underwater welding happens in the last four weeks of the commercial diving course and trains you to pass the Welder Performance Qualification with ease.
The course trains you for diversified technical work underwater and the buttresses your ability to handle key equipment.
NUPI provides comprehensive career-building opportunities with workshops on how to write resumes.
The industry-oriented program helps one develop skills which employers are looking for and mock interviews are also conducted.
Companies like Aqueos Corporation, Chet Morrison and Madcon Cooperation hire graduates from NUPI.
5. The Ocean Corporation
The Ocean Corporation is located in Houston, Texas.
It was established in 1969 and has since been providing comprehensive and rigorous training in commercial diving and non-destructive testing.
It has included underwater welding and cutting in the standard curriculum since 1979.
The course on underwater welding trains you in offshore oilfield diving operations, surface and underwater welding and cutting as well as recompression chamber operations.
The program provides hands-on and intensive training in open water diving to build on students’ practical vocational skills as well.
The institute has made major contributions to the commercial diving industry, including diving in hazardous environments.
It has also worked towards vocational training for jobs in nuclear power plants and dams.
Houston is the place to be for those who are looking for job opportunities offshore.
Training from the Ocean Corporation can present you with a chance to work at oilfields for repairing and maintaining crucial pipelines under the ocean.
The corporation also partners with various companies which hires its graduates.
6. South Central Louisiana Technical College
The South Central Louisiana Technical College is located in Morgan City, Louisiana.
This college provides 90 clock hours for topside and underwater welding in its course.
They emphasize practical experience in entry-level diving.
The course is designed to train students in skills for hyperbaric welding in both inland and offshore applications.
The curriculum includes an underwater cutting and welding lab which also has training sessions for topside welding and oxy-acetylene cutting.
Students will be trained to handle welding equipment and given extensive training in working on ship engines.
The technical course allows students to seek vocational careers immediately after graduating.
Certification upon completing the course is up to industry standards and the college is also approved by the US coast guard for marine licensing.
With such high certification standards, jobs after graduating from this college are even easier to come by.
7. Commercial Diving Technologies Institute
The Commercial Diving Technologies Institute is located in Hudson, Florida.
It is an institute developed by skilled divers and dive instructors who work on offshore oil rigs, platforms, and wind farms.
The institute provides viable training in hyperbaric welding on pipelines.
The curriculum is regularly updated, courtesy of staff that still works in the industry.
Vocational training is the main focus of the program as students learn how to become professional divers and to handle safety and welding equipment.
It has a dedicated underwater oxy arc cutting course which meets standards of the Association of Diving Contractors.
The course is focused on safe and efficient use of underwater oxy-arc burning.
The course prepares you for careers in the fields of inland and offshore underwater welding, salvaging, saturation and nuclear power plant work.
The underwater welding course can also come in handy in pursuing a career in ship husbandry.
8. Hydroweld USA
Hydroweld USA is located in Weston, Florida.
With work in the UK and Asia as well, Hydroweld is well integrated into the underwater welding industry as it manufactures equipment and provides vocational training in the same across the world.
The program consists of hands-on training in a filtered and treated 45000-gallon tank to teach students how to handle welding and safety equipment.
It also provides students with an opportunity to be part of testing of welding equipment which buttresses their field knowledge.
The tank has permanent welding stations to allow students to manipulate workpieces in any orientations within the adjustable framework for all positional welding with a linear height range.
If you are already a qualified diver, the underwater welding course lasts just ten days and comes at a fairly economical price.
Hydroweld USA has a research and development department that works alongside large fabrication businesses like The Welding Institute.
With standard certification and the ability to weld up to class B welding regulations at the end of the program, job opportunities are easy to come by after graduating from the Hydroweld course.
9. International Diving Institute
The International Diving Institute is located along the east coast of the continental United States in North Charleston, South Carolina.
The institute offers a 2 week, an eight-hour course that allows certified divers to appear for the Lloyd’s Register Underwater Welder Certification test.
For those new to commercial diving, the institute also offers a mixed course for both diving and underwater welding. This is a sixteen-week program that trains you in topside and underwater welding.
The class size is small and students are given extensive training in handling welding and safety equipment.
Training happens at South Carolina’s Old Charleston Navy Base and the instructors are all active divers or workers of the industry who maintain their certification.
Optional courses include a program to train as an ROV Pilot and technician.
The institute aims to equip students with not only technical skills and knowledge but also professional qualities that are attractive to employers.
The program provides real-world experience and the connections of the institute with stalwarts in the underwater welding industry make placements easy for graduates.
10. CDA Technical Institute
CDA Technical Institute is located in Jacksonville, Florida.
This commercial diving academy has been dedicated to training professional underwater welders and provides a hands-on training experience with heavy underwater power tools for use by students.
The institute has a deep dive tank on campus for new students who later join senior ranks for practice in the Trout River for true real work experience.
The program provides international training and certification matching the standards of the International Marine Divers Association.
It also provides an Unrestricted Surface Supplied Air Diver Certification which means you can dive anywhere in the world.
The curriculum has been developed in close association with leading industry players and the program stimulates real maritime welding with ship fitting, crane operations, rigging, and offshore survival.
The training is fairly rigorous and extensive.
With training in barge, marine, ship and offshore welding, the institute gives its students the vocational techniques required to pursue careers in the field.
It cultivates the necessary skillsets for employment immediately after graduation.
Underwater welding schools in the USA hence provide certification matching international standards and the intensive training program affords real-world experience to aspiring underwater welders.
We hope this list has been helpful in giving you a fair idea of the curriculum followed by these ten popular schools and the program best suited to you.
For any queries, feel free to contact us by leaving your questions in the comments.