Why Is Underwater Welding So Dangerous?

Workers in the petroleum business use underwater welders to repair pipelines, offshore oil drilling rigs, and ships. They are required to repair machinery and boats that are unable to be towed onshore for standard maintenance. It sounds dangerous but is it? And why? 

Electrocution is a significant risk for underwater welders, necessitating the use of specific waterproof equipment at all times. Furthermore, underwater welding generates oxygen and hydrogen gases, which when mixed in concentrated proportions can trigger fatal explosions.

Underwater welding is a profitable career that allows for exploring the world, but it is also one of the most dangerous vocations in the world. Because they use risky equipment in dark settings, underwater welders confront continual peril. Their injuries frequently result in long-term health issues and even death.

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Keep reading to learn more about this adventurous and high-risk career!

Dangers Of Underwater Welding

Many underwater welders are exposed to severe pressure variations since they operate hundreds of feet beneath the surface. A decrease in the higher pressures encircling the body causes decompression disease.

As a result, two health concerns arise: decompression illness and arterial gas embolism. Bubbles developing in tissue and causing local injury cause decompression sickness. Arterial gas embolism occurs when bubbles move through the arteries, harming tissue by obstructing blood flow.

Differential pressure can also cause drowning, yet it is practically imperceptible until it is too late to escape. This phenomenon occurs when two bodies of water with varying levels collide. 

The pressure differential can quickly build up to hundreds of pounds per square inch, entangling and drowning the diver. Mistakes with diving equipment, such as leaking masks, hoses, or oxygen tanks, can also culminate in drowning.

If you’ve been harmed owing to an underwater welding mishap, you deserve recognition and compensation for your work-related damages.

Factors That Add To The Risk 

Underwater welders and other professional divers have an extremely high death rate. Every year, six to thirteen divers are killed while diving. Welders encounter several potential hazards when working in new underwater environments.


Water carries heat away from the body, causing hypothermia. The colder the water becomes as you go deeper. Many underwater welding operations necessitate the diver being immersed in cold water for a lengthy period of time. They are at risk of hypothermia there. Divers should always wear a better insulated wetsuit to prevent the hazards of hypothermia.


Electrocution is another underwater welding danger that employees are at significant risk of experiencing. Water has negligible electrical resistance. This permits current to flow freely from an ungrounded electrical source.

 Divers should always wear underwater-specific equipment (such as waterproof electrodes, double pull switches, etc.) Most importantly, they should use and test the hardware before putting it into service.

Dangerous Marine Life 

Sharks are among the numerous sorts of marine animals that are drawn to offshore platforms. In most cases, they are not a threat. Underwater welders, on the other hand, must always be aware of their surroundings. This helps to prevent potentially dangerous contacts with aquatic creatures.

How Much Do Underwater Welders Make?

The average underwater welding pay, according to commercial divers and global data, is $53,990 per year and $25.96 per hour. However, most wages range between $25,000 and $80,000. Diver welders in the top 10% earn $83,730 per year, while those in the poorest 10% earn $30,700. 

The most important factor influencing an underwater welder’s wage is diving experience. The second factor is location. But here’s the catch: Underwater welding compensation for certain commercial divers can exceed $300,000 per year. 

Is It Worth The Trouble?

Underwater welding is simple to learn, but difficult to master. Many underwater welders begin their careers at dive schools, eager to get their feet wet as soon as possible. Underwater welders may make a lot of money:

According to divers and diving school reps I’ve spoken with and researched, you may easily earn more than $100,000 a year with the correct expertise. Most make between $25,000 and $80,000 per year. However, you will spend relatively little of your time welding underwater. Underwater welders are technically recognized as commercial divers.

Your career will be concentrated on one of two areas: offshore or inland.

Inland Welder 

You’ll earn between $40,000 and $80,000 by fishing in your area’s ponds, rivers, and lakes. The majority of your work will be on docks, bridges, dams, and small vessels. Inland welders do not earn as much as their offshore colleagues.

They do, however, enjoy the benefit of a less demanding schedule (40-hour weeks) and less travel. Unfortunately, due to the lack of salt ions, freshwater creates a more unstable condition for welding. Plan on putting in a lot of practice time before attempting this arc. 

Offshore Underwater 

Every year, you’ll make $40,000 to $100,000 or more working in the water.

Offshore underwater welders spend most of their time on oil rigs or big maritime vessels such as navy ships. It’s not uncommon for them to work 80 or more hours in a single week. However, due to your hectic work, underwater welders normally return indoors after a month at sea.

Underwater welders conduct a lot of cleaning, pipe welding, and installation work below big platforms out in the ocean. They must be able to think clearly in order to fix complex machines.

Unlike inland divers, offshore welder divers must come in for the winter. Tidal waves, storms, and other natural disasters make the oceans too dangerous.

What Is The Fatality Rate Associated With Underwater Welding?

They are required to repair equipment and boats that are unable to be towed onshore for normal maintenance. 

Underwater welding is a profitable career that allows for travel and adventure, but it is also one of the most dangerous vocations in the world. In reality, underwater welding has a 15 percent mortality rate.


Underwater welding necessitates a high level of competence, since it is physically hard work with a high level of technical intricacy. As a result, the industry will continue to push for greater quality requirements for underwater welds, as well as increased certification of underwater welding systems and employees.

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