Becoming offshore oil rig welder
Oil rig welding jobs on offshore platforms are also entry level positions in oil and gas industry - the same as the jobs of roustabouts and some other. But in reality, even being trained as a welder at an accredited vocational training facility and/or being AWS certified welder with transferrable skills doesn't mean that you can simply walk in like that and convince the HR department you are exactly that one candidate meeting the requirements/employer's expectations allowing yourself to successfully apply for a vacancy of an offshore oil rig welder. Of course, you could be looked at with interest and curiosity, but your application still has chances to end up being rejected once HR manager discovers your not having prior experience of working offshore. It's the experience of having worked on offshore platform in whatever position that matters. Of course, having formal education as a wet welder is an important advantage, but it rarely happens that oil rigs would hire welder who has no clue what life aboard offshore platform or drillship is like. Therefore it's not a bad idea based on the personal experience of many of your predecessors, that as a candidate you apply for a position of Roustabout, which is the most popular entry level job in offshore oil drilling industry; only don't forget to highlight in your CV/resumé your having AWS certification as a welder and the years of hands on experience in the trade of welding. This won't pass unnoticed by the officer entitled with making hiring decisions and may play crucial role in your future career on offshore oil rigs.
Another, more realistic path to becoming offshore oil rig welder is by getting proper on site education/training, while already working in one of those unskilled low end positions aboard an offshore rig like Roustabout or Roughneck. Every offshore oil drilling facility's administration not only encourages the hired personnel to learn and acquire additional skills, but also offers training programs and courses that can be attended in parallel with worker's performing his or her actual position duties and responsibilities.
Becoming welder through initially taking part in welding operations in the capacity of welder's helper who would be occasionally called to assist rig welder in the course of performing certain complicated welding tasks is a confirmed path to finally get the needed skills and certifications that would permit someone to start working their way towards the top welding jobs on offshore oil rig like underwater welder or rope access welder with awsome salaries. By the way, if you get promoted from Roustabout position to that of welder's helper on offshore oil rig, your expected salary as welder's helper should be somewhere above $US 40,000, or if we speak within the terms of hourly wages, welder helpers aboard offshore oil rig should make somehwere arounf $US 20 per hour.
As for the salaries paid for performing different offshore welding jobs, they vary depending on the complexity of welding and the extent of risks involved. To the best of our knowledge it ranges between $US 42,000 to $US 62,000 and above. Underwater welder salaries range bestween $US 80,000 - $US 200,000, depending upon the deapth under the sea surface, weather it is necessary to perform welding using the welder's scuba diving skills etc. Offshore oil rig welders usually work 12-hours a day on rotation shedule that provides for either 7 days on duty alternating with 7 days off, or 14/14, or 21/21-day rotations.
Underwater welding jobs overview
Underwater welders in the oil & gas industry perform wide range of highly specialized tasks that require both being licensed as technical/commercial scuba diver and holding adequate certificates that confirm that worker's credentials as high class welding specialist. The missions they perform include the underwater welding in the course of installation of offshore drilling platforms, fitting underwater pipelines, capping wells and more. Experienced certified underwater welders are and surely will remain in big demand in offshore oil exploration/production industry.
In fact, the career of underwater oil rig welder requires combination of excellent health, continuously improved professional skills, and extremely high level of intelligence. The more of the requirements assumed by these 3 components underwater welder meets, the higher salary he gets. Ideally, sub sea welder-diver would have training, skills, and qualifications allowing him to perform both wet and dry welding, know the computer programs used in the process of highly technological underwater welding, inspect and test the welding site, do different types of cutting, fitting, cleaning, rigging, taking photos and shooting underwater videos, manipulating and moving around welding, diving and other equipment etc. He also is expected to advise oil drilling company on a specific underwater welding site and general oil rig working process matters.
Recent rig welder announced vacancies that have been filled, were from contractors looking to employ Welder/Riggers - in Hattiesburg MS; Welder in San Angelo, TX (Nabors Industries).
Becoming underwater welder
Accredited training facilities for those wishing to gain highly marketable and prestigious profession of commercial diver-welder
To get a decently paid job you need to do something in the terms of education/training. Getting entry level job as welder in offshore oil drilling industry offers no exception from the general rule.
For people with no prior experience in either scuba diving or welding, we may recommend getting combination of both skills in the International Diving Institute located in North Charleston, South Carolina that offers Commercial Diver Training course (more info available at phone number 843-740-1124). Enrollees should have good health and a=be capable to pass the full set of physical tests, you could become underwater welder/scuba diver in only 4 months. Successful graduates in fact are readily trained professionals that could apply for entry-level jobs of underwater oil rig welder and start pursuing lucrative career on offshore platforms right away.
Another accredited underwater welding school that offers 7 months long training course designed for individuals aspiring to become offshore welder, is Divers Institute of Technology. To be eligible to enroll, one must be at least 18 years old, be High School graduate or GED diploma holder, should know to swim, eligible for obtaining TWIC card, and their physical shape should allow them to pass ADCI dive physical examination. Upon the graduation you get certified as commercial diver-welder who might apply directly for offshore and onshore oil rig welder positions that are also considered entry-level jobs in oil & gas industry's upstream sector.
If you live in California, then College Of Oceaneering could be good choice. This is another accredited school that offers training for underwater welder-divers, it's accreditation is with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Here you can enroll at any time of year, since education/training starts by measure of forming new group of students each 5-th next week. The commercial diver/underwater welder course comprises 50 weeks of training split to 30 weeks long first year and 20 weeks long second educational year. The College is also known for it's excellent job placement service, with the rate of placement reaching 90%. You start as a commercial diver and work your way to underwater welder on offshore oil rigs. For more information/details interested people may wish to call phone number (800) 432-3483 (toll free).
One more place to become a very well trained welder with offshore platform targeted professional experience should be Commercial Diving Academy (Jacksonville, FL), they offer the welder training progam (CDA Technical Institute's Maritime Welding Program) that would teach aspiring offshore oilrig welders to perform wet welding, ship fitting, arc cutting/welding etc., making the graduates highly saught after professionals that could ask for the salary that they define themselves. Yes, this is a trade, where salary can be negotiated. Aside from that there's a job placement program that they run, which can offer you what they call lifetime career.