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Becoming an Offshore Welder: A Step-by-Step Guide


Embarking on a career as an offshore welder is a journey that combines technical expertise, hands-on experience, and a daring spirit. This guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of becoming an offshore welder in the United States, from education and certifications to gaining practical experience and navigating the unique challenges of offshore work.

1. Lay the Educational Foundation:

Begin your journey by securing a high school diploma or equivalent. While not mandatory, having a solid educational background, particularly in mathematics and physics, can provide a strong foundation for your future endeavors.

2. Dive into Welding Training:

Enroll in a welding program offered by vocational schools or community colleges. These programs cover a spectrum of essential skills, including welding techniques, metallurgy, blueprint reading, and safety protocols. Consider this stage as the starting point for honing your welding expertise.

3. Gain Hands-On Experience:

Practical experience is invaluable in the welding profession. Seek apprenticeships or entry-level positions in welding workshops to put your knowledge into practice and refine your skills under the guidance of experienced welders.

4. Secure Welding Certifications:

Distinguish yourself by obtaining welding certifications from reputable organizations like the American Welding Society (AWS). Certifications such as AWS Certified Welder (CW), AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI), and AWS Certified Welding Educator (CWE) showcase your proficiency in various welding processes.

5. Specialize in Underwater Welding:

To transition into offshore welding, consider specializing in underwater welding. This specialization requires additional training in commercial diving techniques and underwater welding procedures, paving the way for a unique and exciting career.

6. Attain Commercial Diving Certification:

As an offshore welder, you'll need more than welding skills; you'll need to be a certified commercial diver. Organizations like the Association of Commercial Diving Educators (ACDE) and the Diver Certification Board of Canada (DCBC) offer certifications that validate your competence in commercial diving.

7. Dive into Offshore Training:

Many offshore employers require specific training tailored to the challenges of working in offshore environments. Courses on survival at sea, helicopter underwater egress training (HUET), and other safety protocols become crucial components of your skill set.

8. Cultivate Offshore Experience:

Secure entry-level positions in offshore welding or related roles to accumulate practical offshore experience. This hands-on experience is pivotal for advancing your career, gaining exposure to diverse projects, and showcasing your capabilities in the challenging offshore environment.

Certifications Required for Offshore Welding in the US:


  1. American Welding Society (AWS) Certifications:

    • AWS Certified Welder (CW)

    • AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI)

    • AWS Certified Welding Educator (CWE)

  1. Commercial Diving Certifications:

    • Association of Commercial Diving Educators (ACDE) certifications

    • Diver Certification Board of Canada (DCBC) certifications

Experience Requirements:


  • Entry-level positions in welding and diving act as stepping stones. Accumulate several years of practical experience in both disciplines, gradually advancing to more complex offshore projects.

Salary Expectations:

oil money

  • Entry-level offshore welders can anticipate annual salaries ranging from $50,000 to $60,000. With experience and expertise, salaries can significantly increase, with some seasoned offshore welders earning well over $100,000 annually.

Additional Tips:

  • Stay abreast of industry standards and technological advancements in welding.

  • Network within the industry to explore job opportunities and advancements.

  • Be prepared for the physically demanding and unpredictable environmental conditions of offshore work.

Embarking on a career as an offshore welder demands dedication, continuous learning, and a commitment to safety. As you navigate the intricacies of underwater welding and offshore environments, remember that each step in your journey contributes to the forging of a remarkable career beneath the waves. Start by acquiring safety and O&G industry-related certifications from us -

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