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Find the right underwater welding school for you - Friday, February 19, 2016

Many professional diving schools have underwater welding and hyperbaric welding training. Many commercial divers want to find a program that will meet all of their needs.

Choosing the best underwater welding school for you means you must have a list of priorities and goals going in.

underwater diving welder school

Photo Property of National University Polytechnic Institute

Each underwater welding school follows a specific program. Some cover only the basics. Others provide a fully comprehensive curriculum that includes campus lodging and advanced training.

Like any career path, underwater welding (or hyperbaric welding) provides education with many variables with different priorities. This means there are several factors to take into consideration when finding the best underwater welding schools.

School Cost

What gets you the best bang for your buck? Each facility should provide an overall pricing package on the school's website. If you don't see it, ask the admissions officer is included and what you must pay for yourself. In addition to tuition, you'll be responsible for application fees, books, and underwater welding equipment.

High Quality Instruction

Instructors have a lot on their plate. Though their classes are usually quite small, each individual demands their attention and help.

Still, some instructors are inexperienced and haven't dealt much with real commercial diving work. Others have done a good deal of work, but their last gig was 20 years ago and they're not staying current with the equipment and methodology of the commercial diving industry.

High quality = Real world, Current Diving Experience

This is the kind of instructor you want. Ask the admissions team about their instructors. How often do they work on projects outside of their instruction? Does the school allow instructors to take time away from work to focus on diving certification and professional experience?

It's not easy to investigate, but the more you learn about your future teachers, the more confidence you'll have in them.

For the best results, travel to the school directly and speak with instructors.

Program Length & Schedule

Underwater welding is a fast-moving career, and the best dive schools keep you on a rigorous schedule. This simulates your real work environment -- especially offshore. As an underwater welder, you won't always be working throughout the year. But when you do, it will add up to long hours.

Underwater welding schools' programs usually differ in length according to national and international requirements. To give you the best price, schools often combine their coursework into one comprehensive package lasting many months.

It's up to you to determine if the time spent in the program is worth it.

Certification

How much do certifications matter? To be among the best underwater welding schools, certification is prioritized at the top.

Some commercial diving schools specialize in one or two certifications like Hydroweld or ABJ Welding. Many schools issue a surface supplied diving certification -- either restricted or unrestricted. This is the official certification to operate as a qualified diver-welder or commercial diver.

Other certifications like emergency diving/CPR, underwater welding and Non-destructive Testing can take you to the next level as a diver. Due to the specialization of maritime companies, not all will demand the certifications you have earned. Therefore, it's important that you ask questions to active commercial divers to see what the industry is demanding. You'll probably receive quite a few answers, but from these answers you can gauge how much each certification might be worth to you.

Look at which organizations are backing your certification. Some are internationally recognized, others local. Your certifications don't mean a thing if they aren't backed by a reputable organization.

Here's a list of some of the best-known underwater welding schools and a link to each one:

United States

Australia

South Africa

Canada


United Kingdom

A complete version of this article was originally posted on Water Welders and written by Matt Smith, Owner and Writer. Water Welders educates and resources those interested in commercial diving and underwater welding careers.


 

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