How Much Does a Underwater Welder Make an Hour?

how much does a underwater welder make an hour

Underwater welding is a unique field that merges welding expertise with the complexities of working in aquatic surroundings. With the increasing demand for underwater construction and maintenance, there is a growing necessity for proficient individuals capable of executing welding operations beneath the water's surface. Let’s get the hang of the hourly wages of underwater welders and the common factors that impact their earnings.

Overview of the Underwater Welding Profession

Underwater welding encompasses the fusion of metal structures, pipeline repairs, and maintenance work in submerged conditions. This field demands a distinct skill set, specialized equipment including a welding cart, and the capacity to operate in potentially perilous environments. Underwater welders must possess expertise in both welding techniques and underwater operations, making their roles exceptionally unique and demanding.

Such type of welding involves fusing metals in submerged settings. Given the challenging and perilous nature of their work environment, underwater welders must possess technical expertise and physical endurance to execute their duties proficiently.

Factors Influencing Underwater Welder Hourly Rates

Several factors play a paramount role in determining the hourly rates of underwater welders. One of the most significant factors is the level of experience and skill. Entry-level welders with limited experience typically earn lower hourly wages compared to experienced professionals who have honed their skills over time.

Wages can also be influenced by location and job demand, with areas experiencing high demand for underwater welders offering higher pay rates. The industry and type of projects can also have an impact on wages, as certain sectors provide more lucrative opportunities.

Underwater welders can boost their earning potential by obtaining certifications and qualifications, like the AWS D3.6 Underwater Welding Code, which is designed to ensure compliance and proficiency in their field.

How Much Does an Underwater Welder Make an Hour?

The hourly wages of underwater welders can differ greatly depending on experience level, industry, location, and job requirements. For beginners, the pay can range from $20 to $30 per hour, while experienced professionals typically earn an average of $40 to $60 per hour. For specialized and demanding assignments like deep-sea welding or working in remote and challenging locations, hourly rates may surpass $100.

Regional Variations in Underwater Welder Wages

Wage discrepancies for underwater welders can be observed not only across different countries but also within regions of a single country. Countries with a higher cost of living or increased demand for underwater welding services generally offer higher hourly rates. Regional variations within a country can arise due to factors such as proximity to offshore installations or underwater construction projects.

The states with the highest salaries, as reported by Comparably, are Texas, Colorado, and Washington. These states have elevated wages for underwater welding compared to the national average due to their popularity among oil companies and other underwater construction firms. On the other hand, states like Minnesota or Wisconsin in the Midwest have lower average salaries for welders since the demand for underwater welding services is lower in this region.

welder working underwater

Industries and Sectors Employing Underwater Welders

Underwater welders are employed in diverse industries and sectors. One notable sector is the offshore oil and gas industry, where welders are necessary for the maintenance and repair of underwater pipelines and structures. Shipbuilding and repair is another sector that relies on the expertise of underwater welders. Opportunities also exist in underwater construction, infrastructure projects, salvage, and maintenance operations for these skilled professionals.

The aquaculture sector involves the use of underwater welders to construct fish farms and other aquatic structures. Experienced underwater welders are often sought after for recreational activities such as diving tours.

In order to determine the industry that suits you best, comprehend the distinct requirements of each sector. For instance, underwater welding in the offshore oil and gas industry often necessitates advanced technical knowledge, whereas welding for recreational purposes may involve simpler tasks. When making your decision, take into account your interests, experience, and skill set.

Additional Benefits and Considerations

In addition to regular wages, underwater welders often receive supplementary benefits and considerations. These can include overtime compensation, performance-based bonuses, and hazard pay, all of which are provided due to the demanding nature of the job and the associated risks involved. Career progression and salary advancements can be attained through accruing experience, obtaining additional certifications, and cultivating professional connections within the industry.

Nevertheless, take into account the health and safety issues connected with underwater welding. This occupation presents potential risks, including exposure to high pressures, electrical hazards, and underwater hazards. Maintaining a work-life balance and finding job satisfaction are also important aspects for individuals involved in underwater welding.

Tips for Aspiring Underwater Welders

To pursue a career in underwater welding, here are some valuable tips for success. Obtain proper education and training in welding techniques and commercial diving. You can also enroll in courses to acquire certifications and qualifications that are in high demand within the industry.

Gaining experience through internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level positions can be highly beneficial. Enhancing career prospects can be achieved by acquiring certifications like the Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) or becoming a certified commercial diver.

Staying connected within the industry and staying updated with the latest advancements and techniques are essential for professional growth. You can further personal growth by participating in conferences and networking events to establish connections with fellow professionals. This can lead to valuable opportunities that may otherwise remain inaccessible.


To understand the hourly wages of underwater welders, consider several factors such as experience, location, industry, and certifications. While entry-level wages may be comparatively lower, experienced professionals have the potential to earn higher hourly rates, especially for specialized projects. There are regional variations in wages for the type of welding, both within countries and across different regions of a single country.

Despite the inherent challenges and risks, this profession offers numerous benefits, including additional compensation, opportunities for career growth, and job satisfaction. Individuals interested in pursuing a career as underwater welders can do so by obtaining the necessary education, training, certifications, and networking within the industry.