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How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

This is the direct info as quoted from the labor statistics. “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, commercial divers and underwater welders have a mean (average) hourly wage of $26.32, while the mean annual wage is approximately $54,750. Additionally, the top percentile (90%) can make approximately $93,910 or more.”

This is a personal experience. While me and a crew were working as pipe fitters on a new school, a man came around talking to us. He was representing an underwater welding outfit. He promised they would pay for training, and since I was a journeyman at the time and certified in almost everything else, I would probably train quickly, at least on the welding part. As I have never scuba-dived, I would have to train in that as well. If memory serves, I would be starting at around 29 an hour after my training was complete. However, I can’t remember how much while training; it was definitely lower.

The main reason I didn’t was because the job was in the Bahamas, and I had just started my family at the time. A friend, however, did go, and about six months later, he came in saying how much he loved it and I should go too. About a year after that, he quit and moved back, wanting his job back. I don’t know if the reason was the truth or not, but he said he was getting laid off more than he was working, and it was during the peak of the last recession, so that may be true. Although, he did admit to being very lonely, which is why he came in after six months to try and get me to join him. Remember, the job was not in the us. I know that was your question, but I wanted to add my experience, too. He also claimed that they only paid him 29 an hour while underwater. So, getting everything ready and driving and all, he got significantly less. I should add sometimes he was a bit of a B.S. type of guy. So whether he was just lonely or he was telling the truth is up in the air. Or it could have been a bad company using tactics that are illegal in the us, which is why the company was based in the Bahamas. If my story has a moral, I guess it would be to research a job thoroughly before jumping straight in like my friend. I have heard of many people making a great living as an underwater welder in the us, but I don’t know any personally. My friend did tell me the training was very rigorous. Then it brings me back to the fact that he is the kind of guy who would tell you he defeated 3 ninjas to protect a princess who was about to elope with a dragon warrior. Lol, no, he wasn’t that bad, but he was known to stretch the truth to make himself seem tougher, smarter, stronger, etc. Either way, I wish you luck in your chosen career, no matter what it may be. Have a great day!

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

What is the average salary for an underwater welder?

A lot, an awful lot.

But, it is a very risky job where you, the welder, have to be in top-notch condition and alert every second of your time underwater.

This is not a job for the “faint of heart.”

I have a friend from high school (we graduated in the 50s) who did that kind of job when in his 30s.

After some life-endangering incidents, he took welding tickets for many exotic materials and earned an outstandingly high income as a specialty welder, serving off-shore platforms around the globe.

He’s now happily retired and lives in Spain.

Oh, you didn’t ask, but I can tell.

What happened to his marriage when he was traveling so much for work?

They got divorced, and he’s now on his fifth girlfriend in Spain.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

What is the average salary for an underwater welder?

Chuckle. ZipRecruiter says the average annual salary is ~ 53,500 US dollars. According to Water Welders, a “rookie” starts between 25K U.S. to 40K U.S. and, after five years, should be in the 50K to 80K range. Not bad bread.

I know one. He takes contracts at the nuclear plants and has made over 200K each year since I’ve known him.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

How much does a welder make a year?

Certified Radiographic Interpreter (2010–present)3y

There is a very wide range of pay for welders based on their skill and their years of experience. Welders working in a production shop where the work is mostly wire feed processes and the welding skill is not so critical the wage can be low (12–20 dollars) and take years to get much better. For welders working in Code shops where the finished quality is more scrutinized, the pay can be much higher- depending on the processes, code involved, and skill level needed. When welders are required to follow stringent codes and produce quality welding time after time without defects and rejections, the pay can go higher. Code welders doing moment frame or seismic welding or large full penetration welding will draw a high wage.

Another thing that comes into consideration here is location. Welders in areas where unions or demand for welders is high can also earn much more than welders in more rural areas or areas of lower demand. Currently, I know welders working in shops around my region making trailers or manufactured goods, earning about $800 a week with some benefits. I also know welders with their own companies and welding rigs making $6000 a week. These rig welders are highly skilled and must provide their insurance and must produce welds that are continuously radiographed, as things like pipelines and pressure vessels require the highest degree of skill and repeatability.

A welder can start in a shop and develop the skills necessary to become a highly skilled and highly paid “master of molten metal manipulation,” as I like to call them, and patiently become a highly paid and well-respected craftsman. Anyone. It just takes determination and focus on the goal of learning the acquired skills and knowledge. When that is done, it’s a great career and a rewarding vocation.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

Is being an underwater welder worth it?

No. However, I hate the water, so I am a little biased. Underwater welding is probably the most dangerous welding you can do. The majority of underwater welding is in salt water, which is great for conductance. However, if you are a person who lives life on the edge, then perhaps it is for you; the one nice thing is you will make a piss pot full of money, work that dangerous pays.

There are some good answers, but people have yet to mention saturation diving. In deeper waters such as the North Sea, underwater welding is performed at depths that require the welders to be maintained at a pressure equivalent to their working depths. Constant cycling from deep water pressures to surface pressure is very hazardous to the divers health. The solution is to pressurize the divers’ living space to working pressure/depth and transfer them under pressure to the worksite for their shift. After completing their work shift, the divers are transferred back to the living quarters again under pressure. Effectively, the divers make one dive lasting a couple of weeks.

At the end of their work shift, the divers are gradually depressurized over days to surface pressure. You cannot speed up the process, or gas bubbles will form in the diver’s blood, leading to the bends, which are excruciatingly painful and usually fatal.

Just think about being locked inside a tiny compartment for days, knowing that simply opening the door would cause a slow, agonizing death. Any failure of the systems or personnel outside your tiny shell will kill you. All you can look forward to is hard and dangerous work in a cold and dark environment for days ahead.

Deepwater divers are extremely well paid, and they earn every penny.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

Where in the world do underwater welders make the largest salaries?

In general, underwater welders who work in the Gulf of Mexico make the most money. Offshore saturation work brings in the biggest income. And the Gulf of Mexico is where most of this work is carried out.

Underwater Welding Salary Averages

In general, underwater welders earn about $25,000 to $80,000 per year. Average earnings come in around $50,000, according to the Bureau Labor of Statistics.

Saturation divers earn much more money – some can earn $300,000 or more for a given year, though they will earn this only a few years since their jobs are dependent on project demand and seasonality.

Underwater welding & commercial diving salaries are based on several factors. Here are the biggest ones:

  • Experience
  • Location (primarily offshore/inland)
  • Diving Depth
  • Underwater Environment

I’ve done quite a bit of research on this question and a comprehensive article containing stats from multiple countries, top-earning states, and all important factors that affect an underwater welding salary.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

How much money does an underwater welder make, and what is the job like?

Underwater welding is a highly skilled and physically demanding profession that involves welding and cutting metals underwater. The job requires specialized training and equipment, as well as significant physical and mental stamina. As such, underwater welders typically command high salaries, although the specific amount can vary depending on various factors such as experience, location, and employer.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for commercial divers, including underwater welders, was $56,750 as of May 2020. However, some experienced underwater welders may earn well over $100,000 per year, particularly those who work in offshore oil and gas drilling operations or shipbuilding and repair yards.

Underwater welding can be a challenging and potentially dangerous job, as it involves working in an inherently hazardous environment. Divers must contend with risks such as underwater currents, poor visibility, and dangerous marine life, as well as the risk of decompression sickness and other medical issues. However, for those with a passion for diving and a desire to work in a high-paying, physically demanding profession, underwater welding can be a rewarding career choice.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

How much do underwater ship welders make in 2021?

Underwater welders usually earn well over 100,000.00 per year. BUT! They earn it. That is hard, nasty, dangerous work. Nuclear-qualified plant repair welders can also get over 100,000.00 if they are willing to travel.

Why do underwater welders get paid so much more for working on an oil reg?

There are two important factors to determine why underwater welders get so much paid

  1. Underwater welders need to balance his/her stands in the water, with current flowing down the line while, at the same time, focusing on welding. I was a vocational diver myself, and it isn’t easy to balance your stand in the flowing current
  2. Underwater welders face 2 threats to their lives: electric shock and drowning; in short, more risk, more pay

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

How much money does the average welder make?


It depends. There is the old joke about a welder interviewing for a welding job. He asks what is the rate of pay. He is told pay starts at $15 an hour and can go up depending on experience and performance. He is handed two sets of coupons for his welding test. He goes into the booth and comes back in a few minutes with the two sets of coupons welded. He hands them to the interviewer; one looks like a dog turd was deposited on the seam, and the other looks like a textbook perfect weld. The interviewer asked him why there was a difference. The welder responds the first one was a $15/hr weld; the second was a $30/hr weld.

All joking aside, welding pay can run from $12/hr for a low-skilled mig monkey just out of welding school squirting metal on seams in a production environment to $130K+ a year for a certified pipeline welder who works 7 days a week, 12 hours a day in miserable hot/cold/wet conditions in very remote locations. Or for a trained, certified underwater welder working out on the oil rigs. Or for a certified welder doing exotic metals in a specialized production environment. There are too many different welding jobs, too many processes, and too many conditions to give a definite answer. Suppose you are willing to travel, spend the time and money to get properly trained, and stick with the trade. At the same time, you learn the practical experience you will need in the field and always keep learning new techniques and processes, achieving and keeping all certifications current. In that case, you can have a rewarding career both monetarily and with job satisfaction.

If you want to invest the time and money later in your career, you can go the CWI route as well. Every certified weld, every welder’s certification, and every formal welding procedure has a certified welding inspector involved at some level.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

How much money does the average welder make?

Welders do not make money… They fabricate, modify, repair, and reinforce weldments, among a great many other things.

Minters, by which I mean people employed by the Mint. Are responsible for making money, at least legitimately. However, a few counterfeiters out there may argue their case.

However, despite the inability to make money, welders can be quite successful in their ability to earn money. Unfortunately, there is no typical mean annual salary for being a ‘welder.’ That annual sum is influenced by a million different variables, ranging from the usual things like geographical cost of living, education, experience, and available workforce/job pool. To the more unintuitive variables, things like survivability percentages and the annual death toll for a given inhospitable, extremely dangerous, hostile job site, altitude above or depth below sea level, or does the job involve work in the interior of a pressure vessel? Is Delta P a concern? Then, other factors influence the pay rate. For instance, whether the job requires you to qualify (pass a weld test) 3g, 4g, 5g, or 6g. will carry a lot of weight in determining an annual salary. The labor pool for 3g quality welders will include self-taught entry-level welders and thus be quite extensive. While on the other hand, the labor pool for available 6g capable welders may only be 3% of the 3g welders. So, 3 in every 100 average welders. Those 3 will almost always have graduated college or technical school, will be familiar with and able to perform all welding processes, read blueprints, and impart wisdom and education to the other welders on staff.

There are tig welders that can only Tig, some that can stick and Tig, and fewer that can Tig stick and mig.

It is the same with mig welders that can only mig, some that can mig and flux, etc., etc.

etc. etc.

Then you’ve got Combo welders, aka college grad welding degree (familiar with every professional welding process, carbon arc, submerged arc, laser beam welding, etc.)

Then you’ve got Combo welders with diving degrees or have state pressure vessel licenses.

Then you’ve got pipeliners, combo pipeliners, and owner-operator combo pipeliners.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

Then you’ve got Tig Jewelers welding with 24 caret gold filler rods to upsize gold rings or weld custom diamond fittings.

Or the combo welder who Tig welded the perfect 4/4/2 Nascar headers for Jimmy Johnson’s Race Car and earned a 277,000 dollar bonus for shaving 00:00.09 seconds off his qualifying time.

Or that tig welder Porsche Dealership Service desk has on speed dial whenever a customer orders a 911 turbo bigger turbo/intercooler package.

Then There’s my Ex-cousin-in-law, a self-taught stick welder who can only stick weld owner operator who makes over a hundred dollars an hour for turning scrap pump rods from old gas wells into miles and miles of cattle ranch fences.

My point is that there is no cookie-cutter welder. The industry is so diverse it is depended on by just about every other industry out there. There are so many different methods, processes, categories, and markets. Some are deadly and underpaid, some are ridiculously easy, and are paid fortunes.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

I do know here in Texas, where the cost of living is quite low. For a 3g qualified job, expect around 14 dollars an hour, 40 hours a week, and the typical 35-hour weekly production deadline. These extremely temporary full-time jobs are common as quotas are often missed, and write-ups are frequent. Usually, hard-wire squirt gun work. I advise anyone against this kind of employment; You’re better off making sandwiches at Subway.

Tig welders really shine in machine shops around here. 4 days a week mon – thurs 10 hours a day. The 3-day weekend every week, tig welders are the breadwinners and cash cows for machine shop owners, so they often are spoiled if your good shop owners will spare no expense when the tool truck shows up or the Lincoln/miller sales reps come around pushing new tig torches table jigs, and all that fancy shit that improves the quality of life instead of the exaggerated claims of improved production. Pays anywhere from 15 an hour to 22 an hour. These jobs are coveted, as anyone can run a lathe or load a CNC, but not everyone can Tig Machine shop owners’ wallets big. Keep in mind the other staff may alienate you if you don’t keep your spoiled ego in check.

Combo Welders, in general, should expect at least 25 dollars an hour as an engineer in maintenance at most mfg and production facilities with high output or overworked clammers and equipment.

Suppose you have your own flatbed/diesel welder/long leads/bottles/long torches. You should expect no less than 75 dollars an hour, doing literally anything you want to do. Put your ad in the phone book/online/donut shops/local cafes. Drop your card at all the commercial/industrial facilities that could make use of an on-call welder and your set.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

If you are a welder, how much can you earn? Is this more than many college-degreed professionals can earn?

My ex-wife’s cousin was a machine shop welder making an underwhelming 11 dollars an hour for the majority of our marriage. One year before me and my ex split up, her cousin had managed to convince his wife to refinance their car and let him spend the entire income tax return of around 6–7 thousand dollars on an older, very used Ford F250 flatbed truck, an ancient Hobart diesel welder, and one of those portable handheld oxygen acetylene torch kit, the kind you can get at home depot for a few hundred dollars.

This setup was the bare minimum requirement needed for a job opportunity offered to him, welding and mending ranch fences all over Texas and Oklahoma. The job paid 27 dollars an hour to turn scrap from oil/gas wells into cattle fences at basically his own pace. To put this in perspective, a welder couldn’t ask for an easier job. It’s comparable to Mario Andretti getting a job as an Uber driver and making 3 times more than racing cars.

It was no more than a year from when he got the job; his Boss ended up with so much work that in order to meet the business’s commitments, he offered her cousin a full 50% partnership. He never told me exactly how much of a pay increase a partnership brought, but he did hint that it was at least in the 3 figure hourly range. So, at the very least, these fence jobs pay $100.00 an hour, but I suspect significantly more. Every Sunday morning after church, he invites the entire congregation of a modest little cowboy church out to breakfast at the local cafe. His treat and it always spills out to the bench tables and patio seating, paying the check for 20ish/35ish + tables worth of patrons. They moved out of a mobile home and purchased a 2 story house to live in temporarily while they had their custom home built…

This is just one example of the great many success stories welders have achieved, at least the lucky welders. I have another friend who has found success welding up and facing Trophies and Signage for the NBA, NFL, and NHL. And another that turns, nuts and bolts and gears and sprockets and the sort, into the most amazing tagged together tiny insectoid timepieces. Beautiful works of art

And then I’ve got buddies slaving away refurbing rail cars with impossible deadlines and mean-ass mgmt for the same wage that guy working the Arby’s drive-thru makes.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

Salaries and Wages: How much does an Underwater Welder make a year?

Someone else mentioned data given by the USBLS. While this is a very credible source, their statistics for this exact info could be more accurate. This is because they base their yearly wage findings on salaries. The problem here is underwater welders don’t have salaries. They get paid job by job.

That being said, there are a huge number of factors that determine UW pay. They can make anywhere from about 30,000 (in US dollars) all the way up to 250 or 300,000 per year.

I strongly recommend looking up the website, as it has much more detailed information from experienced underwater welders

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

How much do welders make monthly?

This is a totally subjective answer. As a welder, I’ve made 18 dollars an hour working in a factory, and I’ve made 110 dollars an hour working in the oil fields in North Dakota. And many places in between. It really depends on what industry you are in, how many welders there are in that area, and what skills you bring to the table. Is it structural or pipe? Are you certified? Can you pass a 6g test? There are just too many variables to give you the right answer because they are all right answers in different situations.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

How much does a welder make per hour in the United States?

If you are not being trained to be a welder, you really don’t need to worry about what other people make.

If you are a welding student, ask your instructions.

Or you could put that question in your favorite search engine.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

Can a welder really make six figures a year?

I’m a wellhead welder in the oilfield. I usually work 2-4 hours a day, weld 30– 60 minutes of that, 4 days a week, and make $220,000-250,000 in 8 months. I have all the time off a guy could want and live a good life. I’m in a nitch market where you have to know the right people to get my job.

This needs to be corrected. I am a 1st year Boston apprentice union pipefitter/welder (Local 537), and we are required to complete 5 years of school. By our 5th year, before even completing our training, we are already breaking $100,000 annually…and that’s not including the amount of overtime we get. I mean, it very much differs per state and local, but generally, at least Union welders are able to break a $100,000 annual salary easily.

I would think so. But you better have some damn good skills and be willing to travel and work some crazy hours.

By traveling to pipelines, plant shutdowns, or other constructions, if you have the necessary skills, which take a lot of hood time, you can make real good money, especially if you have your truck and tools. But not just any welder will do. Something that can weld at high amps for 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, is probably in the $15,000 range. Remember, a cutting rig, wrenches, pipe bevelers, grinders, a dually truck, and possibly a camper to sleep in, and your upfront expense is pretty high. Oh, and also those x-ray, code passing pipe welding skills that take a bunch of practice, material, and rod to get, this isn’t something you can jump in and do next week. But it is very good money. And if you keep away from the drugs and booze, you should be able to keep most of it.

I also imagine aerospace TIG welding would generate a huge yearly salary. Again, this is also a skill that takes quite a bit of time to master. I took a TIG welding class in college, and it was way more challenging than MIG. And that was just on carbon steel. Aluminum, stainless, and alloys are even harder. I’m not saying it can’t be done; it will just take a while.

If you want to make the big money welding, assuming you still need to go to school, I recommend it wholeheartedly. The amount of wire, electrodes, gas, steel, and booth time you get is huge compared to the money you will spend. It is the cheapest way to get your skills up and then get set up at home to practice, practice, practice. Then, get a low-paying production job, as I have, where I get paid to practice 40+ hours a week. That helps, too.

How do most underwater welders die?

Either something related to alcoholism, Harley accidents, or jealous husbands shoot them. Commercial divers are a “rough” breed of man; they work hard, they drink hard, they party hard… They are sort of a hybrid of merchant seamen and oil patch roughnecks with bigger balls and fatter wallets.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

What are some crazy things that happen while underwater welders are in the water welding? Do some aquatic life get too close?

Aquatic life is nothing to commercial divers. They are used to large grouper coming to watch, etc., so that’s not “crazy.”…. Crazy things are much crazier, for example.

  1. You break the arc and discover you have welded your mouth shut. Amalgam (metal) fillings will become reliquified while the circuit is complete. Sometimes, say you have a top and a bottom… They fuse. OOOPS. The solution is simple – weld some more so they become flowable again. Open your mouth, break the arc, and they freeze again,
  2. The topside guys fucking with you while you change rods. Make it cold. It’s cold. ZAP!!!!! I said make it cold. It’s cold. ZAP YOU SON OF A BITCH MAKE IT COLD!!!!! C O L D COLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ZAPPPP! It must be a short somewhere, hahaha. Yeah, dont piss off the tender. There is a knife switch in the welding circuit. Make it cold / Make it hot means turn the power off and turn the power on. If you try to change rods with the power on, you get a painful but harmless shock.
  3. Unexpected explosions… Sometimes small, sometimes big enough to make you shit your wetsuit. Those bubbles are coming off the welding rod. Pure hydrogen and pure oxygen…. If they accumulate somewhere like overhead or in a tubular like a pipe… HELLO! LOL
  4. Delta P. Differential Pressure or how to put 50 pounds of square shit in a two-pound round hole. LOL. To understand Delta P in 12 seconds –

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

What is underwater welding technology?

There are many ways to use water to cut, braze, weld, etc. using water.

Multiplaz 3500 is an interesting device needing only a 20amp 220V plug. The unit produces a plasma (8,000C) using only water to cut or a mixture of water-IPA to solder.

However, you are asking underwater, so this is another story.

Arc welding is achieved by arranging an electrical circuit in which current passes from the welding power source through the welding electrode, across an arc to the workpiece, and through a return lead to the power source. For the safety of the welder/diver during wet underwater welding, he or she must be completely insulated from the welding circuit. An insulated electrode holder or welding gun is used, and the welder/diver wears rubber gloves. For safety, on the verbal directions of the welder/diver, the power supply (which is controlled from the surface via a double-pole ‘knife’ switch) is switched off immediately after welding stops. For a discourse on underwater electrical safety, see Ref.1.

Once the welding circuit is completed by striking an arc, the heat of the arc is sufficient to vaporize the surrounding water. Hence, the arc is surrounded by a vapor shield, similar to the gas shield, which surrounds an arc during welding in the air. However, reaction with the molten metal influences the composition of this vapor, and it typically comprises ~70% hydrogen, ~25% carbon dioxide and ~5% carbon monoxide. The resulting weld metal diffusible hydrogen level can be extremely high (up to 100 ml/100g of deposited metal for rutile electrodes) but is much lower for oxidizing electrodes (~25 ml/100g of deposited metal). These levels increase as the welding depth increases, thereby increasing the risk of hydrogen-assisted cracking. See Refs [2,3] for information on the metallurgy of wet underwater welding.

How much does an underwater welder earn in the U.S. in 2024?

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