Underwater welding is a specialised profession in Malaysia that combines diving skills with welding techniques. Underwater welders in Malaysia primarily work in offshore industries like oil and gas, where they repair, maintain, and construct structures or equipment underwater. They are required to have commercial diving and advanced welding skills.
These professionals must undergo rigorous training and receive certification from recognised institutions. ]The job of an underwater welder in Malaysia is risky due to the harsh underwater conditions and possible accidents. However, it is a lucrative career due to the high demand for their skills in offshore oil and gas extraction industries.
Career in Underwater Welding in Malaysia
How to become an Underwater Welder in Malaysia?
Becoming an underwater welder in Malaysia involves several steps, including education, training, certification, and gaining relevant experience. Here’s a detailed guideline for you:
- Basic Education:
Start by completing your basic education. This usually means at least SPM, ahigh school diploma or equivalent.
- Basic Welding Training:
Attend a technical school or community college to pursue a course in basic welding. This typically includes different types of welding techniques such as TIG, MIG, and stick welding. Make sure the program you choose is accredited and recognized by the local welding institutions in Malaysia.
- Diving Training:
As an underwater welder, you will not only need to be skilled in welding but also in commercial diving. Look for a reputable commercial diving school to get certified. The training will include diving physics, decompression theory, dive medicine, underwater navigation, and use of various diving equipment.
- Underwater Welding Training:
After becoming a certified welder and a commercial diver, you need to combine these skills. There are specific training programs designed for underwater welding. These programs will cover underwater cutting techniques, welding safety, and welding procedures.
After completing your training, you need to get certified. In Malaysia, the certification is usually provided by the American Welding Society (AWS) or similar recognized bodies. However, it’s also important to get a diving certification from a recognized diving institution like the Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI).
- Gain Experience:
Once certified, the next step is to gain on-the-job experience. Most employers prefer hiring underwater welders with at least a few years of experience. Seek entry-level positions or apprenticeships in welding or diving companies to build up your experience and skills.
- Continuous Learning:
The field of underwater welding is continually evolving. It’s important to stay updated with the latest technologies and techniques. Consider attending seminars, workshops, and further training courses.
- Apply for Jobs:
After gaining the necessary experience and skills, you can start applying for jobs as an underwater welder. The oil and gas industry, shipping companies, underwater construction firms, and marine salvage companies are some of the potential employers.
Remember to keep your certifications up to date and always adhere to safety regulations on the job. It’s a challenging and potentially dangerous profession, so proper training and safety consciousness are critical.
What qualifications do I need for underwater welding?
- SPM or Equivalency: Most underwater welding jobs require at least an SPM, high school diploma, or equivalent.
- Commercial Diving Certification: This is a must-have for anyone interested in underwater welding. You can obtain this certification from accredited diving schools. The certification process includes rigorous training on safety procedures, diving physics, decompression systems, etc.
- Welding Experience: Before you can begin underwater welding, you’ll typically need to have a few years of experience in surface welding. This is to ensure that you have a solid understanding of welding techniques and safety procedures.
- Underwater Welding Training: Once you have a solid foundation in diving and welding, you’ll need to undergo specific training for underwater welding. This training will teach you how to use specialized welding equipment underwater and how to deal with the unique challenges that come with welding in an underwater environment.
- Physical Fitness: Underwater welding is a physically demanding job that requires a high level of fitness. You’ll need to pass a physical examination that assesses your ability to handle the physical demands of the job.
- Good Vision: Good vision is essential for underwater welding, as you’ll need to be able to see clearly underwater to perform the welding work accurately.
- Other Soft Skills: Good problem-solving skills, the ability to work well under pressure, and strong communication skills are also important for underwater welders.
Note: The qualifications may vary depending on the country and specific job requirements.
Is underwater welding difficult?
Yes, underwater welding is considered difficult and dangerous due to several reasons. It requires specialized training and skills in both welding and diving.
The environment under the water can be very challenging and unpredictable, with poor visibility, strong currents, and high pressure.
The welder must also handle complex equipment and deal with potential hazards such as electric shock, decompression sickness, and explosive gases.
Therefore, it requires high physical fitness, mental toughness, and professional competence.
Is underwater welding worth it?
Whether underwater welding is worth it or not really depends on your personal interests, goals, and risk tolerance. Here are some things to consider:
- Pay: Underwater welders often earn a high salary due to the specialized nature of their work and the risks involved.
- Risk: Underwater welding is considered one of the most dangerous jobs due to the risk of drowning, explosion, decompression sickness and even electric shock.
- Travel: Many underwater welders have the opportunity to travel all over the world for their jobs, which can be a major perk if you enjoy seeing new places.
- Training: Underwater welding requires extensive training, including both commercial diving and welding certification. This can be time-consuming and expensive.
- Physical Demand: The job is physically demanding and often requires long hours, which can lead to burnout and injury.
- Job Opportunities: The demand for underwater welders fluctuates with the state of the economy and the needs of industries like oil and gas, shipping, and infrastructure.
If you enjoy challenging work, have a high-risk tolerance, and are attracted to the potential for high pay and travel opportunities, underwater welding might be worth it.
But it’s important to understand the risks and demands of the job before making a decision.