Everything You Should Know About Becoming a Maritime Welder

Looking for an adventurous career that also offers the chance for travel and the potential for earning a good living? Becoming a maritime welder may be the right choice for you. Job opportunities could lead to performing welding on ships and barges in coastal areas domestically and abroad. It’s a challenging job, but the rewards could be significant in a field that also could offer room for advancement. Here’s what you need to know about becoming a maritime welder.

What Is Maritime Welding?

Welding, quite simply, is the art of using heat to join metals or thermoplastics together. In our modern world, welding pretty much keeps our metallic infrastructure together. Welders work everywhere: under water, on bridges, in manufacturing facilities and on top of skyscrapers. Although maritime welding can also refer to the job a commercial welder-diver will do on offshore oil rigs, it most commonly describes a job required in building ships and boats, as well as the repair of their metal structures and parts.

Jobs in Maritime Welding

Typically, maritime welders will be employed in shipyards and repair facilities.  Maritime welders in the U.S. are most often employed in coastal areas, including the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic or Pacific shores, coastal Alaska, Houston, and in the Great Lakes region, as well as our very own Coastal Virginia area.

Welding School

To begin your career as a maritime welder, you will need a GED or a high school diploma, and some ability in mathematics and fluency in English. The first logical place to start your career path may be enrolling in a program that offers a diploma or degree in welding, which should teach all of the fundamentals of maritime welding.

In the welding school setting, students generally must learn how to repair steel and aluminum structures and weld pipe in multiple positions. They should also know how to use modern welding equipment and tools, and demonstrate proficiencies in operation as well as in safety procedures for shipyards or other settings. Successfully completing a diploma or degree program may prepare students for entry-level employment in structural and pipe welding.

Some of the courses you may take to earn a degree in welding include the following:

  • Introduction to Maritime Welding Technology
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding
  • Gas Metal Arc Welding
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
  • Flux Cored Arc Welding
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding Multi-position Structural
  • Gas Metal Arc/Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, Aluminum
  • Gas Tungsten Arc/Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Pipe
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Pipe 2G and 5G
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding Pipe, 6G

Skills earned in these courses can often be used in construction, rail, and trucking.

How Much Do Welders Make?

Welder SalaryWelders earned an average median salary of $36,300 in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and job growth for welders for the next seven years is projected to increase by 6 percent, according to the BLS. Skilled welders who keep their training up-to-date generally have good opportunities for employment as well as increased salary potential.

Opportunities for advancement for maritime welders may include taking on the roles of inspectors, supervisors and trainers. By furthering training, maritime welders may become engineers or advance as consultants for maritime welding projects.

Basic skills in blueprint reading, math, mechanical drawing, metallurgy, chemistry and physics, as well as knowledge of computers can also be helpful in advancing one’s career.

Take the Next Step Toward Becoming a Maritime Welder

If you think a career as a maritime welder might be for you, contact Advanced Technology Institute for more information on earning a diploma or degree in maritime welding. Through our accelerated program, you could earn a Maritime Welding AOS Degree in as little as 19 months or a Maritime Welding (Diploma) in as little as 14 months. Contact us at 800-468-1093 or request information online today.

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