Underwater welders are responsible for installing and repairing pipelines and rigs, often relating to the oil and gas industry. Advanced skills in scuba diving are necessary for this position, and these welders should also be certified as commercial divers, which can be done by attending a specialized commercial diving school. Certification as a welder is also necessary, as well as knowledge of both dry and wet welding.
Underwater welders must have advanced knowledge of commercial diving equipment and wet and dry welding tools and techniques; other important skills include underwater photography, welding inspection, cutting, and fitting. Inspection skills are also important to assess jobs after they have been carried out. These welders may spend weeks or months away from home, as jobs are sometimes stationed on oil rigs, and inspection skills are also important prior to beginning jobs in order to assess damage and what must be fixed. In fact, much of the job is spent analyzing and preparing for the actual welding.
Minimum physical requirements often must be proven prior to being hired and in periodic tests after being hired. It is important not to have difficulty with small spaces, as many underwater welders work in small boxes which allow for dry welding. Many commercial welders are paid per-project, and payment often varies depending on the difficulty of the job. Payment as an underwater welder generally increases with experience.