Most Navy welding careers fall under the Construction Battalions, the Seabees. Some welding jobs are also assigned to Navy Flight Support and to Naval Surface Warfare/Naval Special Operations. Flight support teams work to repair and maintain plane and aviation equipment. NSW/NSO divers may perform underwater welding projects, but welding is usually a small part of their duties as divers.
Navy Seabees work on construction and maintenance projects. These projects can be located on Navy bases, ports and other places around the world. Seabees sometimes work on rebuilding projects after a natural disaster.
Welders work with engineers and others to complete projects. Seabees perform land surveys, operate large equipment and work on the installation and operation of heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing systems. While some cross-training may be required to perform other construction tasks, the Seabee community is the primary destination for those in the Navy seeking duties as a welder or steelworker.
A small number of welders may find work with Navy Flight Support. As a member of a flight support team, a welder will be cross-trained to perform a variety of aviation maintenance skills. Welding is a relatively small portion of the duties sailors perform to maintain and repair aircraft and other aviation equipment.
Elite NSW/NSO divers handle some underwater welding projects, although welding makes up only a minor portion of a diver's duties. Underwater construction, repair and maintenance divers need to meet strict entry requirements for Navy dive schools. These include strong swimming and physical skills in addition to excellent eyesight. Divers perform a range of tasks and receive rigorous physical and classroom training in dive school. Once in the fleet, training for a Navy diver is an ongoing process. Divers earn extra pay.
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