The approximate starting salary for a new underwater welder ranges from $40,000 to $60,000, and with a few years experience it commonly increases to $100,000 or more. Underwater welding schools in Texas offer the aspiring underwater welder a range of educational options that open the door to this interesting career. By carefully weighing which path suits you best, you can embark upon a journey towards a lucrative, challenging profession.
Entrance to most underwater welding training programs requires no formal diving training. However, a high school diploma or a GED (general equivalency diploma) are commonly required for admission. Costs for training programs in Texas can range from $5,000 to $20,000. Many companies that employ underwater welders will pay for part or all of the cost of underwater welding training when a new employee signs an employment contract that requires him to work for a minimum amount of time.
ACDE Certified Programs
The Association of Commercial Diving Educators, or ACDE, is a national organization that adheres to the ANSI National Training Standards. While the ACDE holds no official regulatory jurisdiction, it is the only organization that provides guidelines for the quality, length, policies and training methods for diving schools throughout the United States. For example, every ACDE certified training program must require students to complete a minimum of 625 training hours. Additionally every ACDE certified training program is regularly inspected for adherence to standards by the ACDE.
The Ocean Corporation Program
The Ocean Corporation's Ultimate Diving Training, located in Houston, is the only program in Texas that is certified by the ACDE. Financial aid and scholarships are available to qualified students. Upon course completion, graduates are fully certified as commercial divers. The training facilities are located within 300 miles of every major Gulf Coast oil drilling company, and include multiple decompression systems and on-site diving tanks, though offshore diving practices are conducted in Galveston.
Acquire Welding and Diving Certification Separately
Instead of choosing a program that teaches you both welding and diving within the same school, you could opt to become a Certified Welder (CW) in Texas through a welding program, and separately learn diving through any number of diving schools. To become a CW, register through the American Welding Society's website, aws.org, and check the list of accredited testing facilities to find the Texas location closest to you. There are many competing, certified diving schools throughout Texas, with the highest concentration in the Houston and Dallas/Forth Worth metroplex.
- Photo Credit welding image by glgec from Fotolia.com
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