Underwater Welding Schools

Picture that states "Underwater welding schools" and shows a diver welding.



There is a lot of mystique, falsehoods and misinformation that revolve around underwater welding. I have never been an underwater welder but I do have a good friend that is so I was able to get some good, real world information.

Below you will find a list of underwater welding schools in the United States and Canada. Before you get involved or enroll in a underwater welding school I would read my article “Underwater Welding Information” first. It is not an easy industry to break into but it can be done if you do it the right way!


List of Underwater Welding Schools

Please note that I or my website Class One Welding is affiliated with any of the listed underwater welding welding schools. This is simply a directory for your convenience and the list is in no particular order. Please investigate any wet welding school or college that you intend on enrolling in.


1) CDA Technical Institute (Jacksonville, Florida)

CDA offers a wide variety of hands on welding traing for the maritime industry including underwater welding. They have an excellent Air/Mixed Gas Commercial Diver Program with advanced training as a Underwater Welding Specialist. The program is 20 weeks long, 9 hours per day and is a 100% fully accredited diver training program with IMCA.

This is definitely one of the best underwater welding schools in the United States. They have students that travel from all corners of the world to attend their diving and welding programs. You will need to meet their enrollment requirements in order to start your training.

Here are a few of the courses you will take while enrolled in the diving/welding program.

  • Diving Physics
  • Underwater Explosives
  • Rigging
  • Underwater Cutting & Welding Equipment
  • Hyperbaric Chamber Operations
  • Diving Hazards & Legislation
  • Underwater Hand & Power Tools

Their training facilities offer a Deep Water Training Center (DWTC), dedicated underwater welding training stations and much more. On CDA’s campus they have on site dormitory housing, a cafeteria that provides three meals a day, laundry room and recreational facilities.

Here is a breakdown of how you will spend your time at  CDA Technical Institute.

  • Practical Experience – 527 hours
  • Classroom Learning – 344 hours


2) Divers Institute of Technology (Seattle, Washington)

Divers Institute of Technology is an excellent underwater welding school that offers in depth and comprehensive training.  The Commercial Diver Program is seven months long and is comprised of seven different courses that are one month long each.

  • Physics & Medicine – This is all in classroom based learning about safety, diving theory and hyperbaric chamber training.
  • Lightweight and Rigging – During the second month you will take your first dive and learn about rigging.
  • Offshore and Hazmat – Here you will complete projects that simulate real world tasks like assembling pipe in zero visibility. You will also learn about Hazardous materials and how to dive in a toxic environment.
  • Welding & Underwater Welding – During month four you will learn to weld above water as well as underwater.
  • Salvage & Hydraulic – Learn about and use underwater tools in real world scenarios.
  • SCUBA & Inland – Month six will cover non destructive testing, SCUBA certification and inland diving.
  • Deep Dives – During your last month you will be making a ton of deep dives in open water at depths of anywhere from 60 to 160 feet.

After completing the commercial diver program you will have nine different certifications. This will broaden your employment opportunities and make getting that first underwater welding job easier. Divers Institute’s admission requirements are comparable to most other schools with the caveat that you must be able to swim 400 meters unassisted.

3) Holland College Marine Training Center (Prince Edward Island, Canada)

Holland College has one of Canada’s best commercial diving and underwater welding programs. The program is one year long, offers multiple diving certifications and will prepare you for a underwater welding career. After completion of their program you will have the following certifications.

  • DCBC unrestricted surface supplied diver certificate
  • ADCI (Entry level Diver/Tender)
  • MED A1
  • CPR & First Aid Certification
  • WHMIS certificates
  • Oxygen administration

This underwater welding school offers a very unique, real world experience for all of its students. During your time at Holland College you will actually live on a offshore vessel for about 10 days. Over these 10 days you will perform real world dives and underwater welds.

In order to attend Holland College’s Marine Training Center you will need to meet their admission requirements.

  • Must have completed high school
  • Must have an open water SCUBA diving certificate
  • Must have 20 logged dives and at least 10 hours bottom time
  • Completed and passed diving medical physical
  • Submit a resume


4) Hydroweld (Miami, Florida)

Currently, as of 5/3/2016  this site is being modernized and rebuilt so I don’t have a lot of information at the moment. I do know that they have a large capacity water tanks for underwater welding training and research that is 23 feet deep. The tank has three removable welding stations and they utilize Kirby Morgan helmets with hat mounted lights. This underwater welding school is strictly for qualified divers only that are wanting to learn how to wet weld.


5) International Diving Institute (North Charleston, South Carolina)

This diving and underwater welding school (IDI) offers an excellent program that is four months long. Their diving and underwater welding program is 16 weeks long and is from 7am to 5pm for a total of 640 hours. After completing the four month commercial diver training program which includes underwater welding and top side welding  you can opt to take a advanced underwater welding course, also known as wet welding. You will receive the AWS D3.6 (American Welding Society)  certification and also learn how to burn and cut metal underwater (Z49.11-88 (ANSI) by AWS).

It is okay if you have no experience with diving or welding as long as you can pass the prerequisites which include:

  • Over 18 years old
  • Have a GED or Diploma
  • Must be a US citizen
  • Able to pass dive physical and be able to swim

International Diving Institute will start you off with the very basics of diving and welding. You will progressively move thru their program eventually learning advanced skills and techniques. Here are a some of the core curriculum courses you will take.

  • Diving Physics and Medicine
  • Hyperbaric Chamber Operations (decompression)
  • Underwater Welding and Cutting
  • Rigging
  • Salvage Operations
  • Offshore Oilfield Diving


6) National University Polytechnic Institute (San Diego, California)

This wet welding and diving school has an eight month program that runs from 7am to 3:30pm Monday thru Friday. In addition to having a commercial diving and underwater welding course they also offer advanced dive medicine and NDT (Non Destructive Testing) training. By the time you graduate you will have multiple diving certifications including AWS D3.6 (American Welding Society). In addition to underwater welding you will also learn to weld above surface.

This underwater welding school offers a 44,000 gallon dive tank and multiple off site diving locations. This allows for a safe traing environment and real world application of skills. The majority of your time will be spent on the following.

  • Becoming proficient at diving with a wide variety diving helmets.
  • Learning how to operate and maintain compressors.
  • Practicing underwater welding and cutting.
  • Utilizing lift bags, underwater tools and salvage skills like rigging

All graduates will be qualified and proficient in commercial SCUBA diving, mixed gas and surface supplied diving, underwater construction and diving medicine.


7) Seneca College (Toronto, Canada)

Seneca College offers a underwater skills program that incompesses commercial diving and underwater welding. They have been traing divers in Canada since 1974 for the offshore and maritime industry. Their program is 34 weeks long that runs from september to june. The admission requirements can be found here.

This college offers excellent traing facilities that will allow you learn a number of industry related skills. Some of their most notable facilities include the following.

  •  3 large diving barges on lake Seneca
  • 40 foot diver support vessel
  • Indoor diving pool that is 40 feet deep
  • Welding and mechanical shop
  • A dedicated rigging area
  • 2 re-compression chambers

In addition to industry related traing facilities they also offer a full service cafeteria, on site housing, computer labs and a gym.


8) South Central Louisiana Technical College (Morgan City, Louisiana)

This technical college’s commercial diver program has an excellent and comprehensive curriculum. Some of the courses you will take include the following.

  • Diving Physics and Physiology
  • Chamber Operations
  • Topside Welding and Cutting
  • Underwater Cutting and Welding
  • Dive Medicine


9) Divers Academy International (Erial, New Jersey)

This school has been training commercial divers and underwater welders since 1977.  Divers Academy offers two different commercial diving programs, the most in depth program is the Professional Commercial Diving Technology Program.

The professional Commercial Diving Program takes place on two different campuses, one located in Erial, NJ and Allentown, PA. During your time at this school you will spend about 268 hours of classroom based learning and 632 hours of actual hands on training.


10) Santa Barbara City College (Santa Barbara, California)

Santa Barbara College offers an excellent commercial diving and underwater welding program. You have the option to get diving certifications as well as an Associates Degree in Marine Technology. You can veiw a very in depth 50 page brochure that will explain what they offer.


Other Helpful Information & Links

Welding Career Information – Learn about pay, welder certification, how to become a welder and more.

Welding School Information – Check out my directory of welding schools, tips for choosing a welding school, school cost and more.

Welding Tips & Technical Information – General welding tips and informational articles.

Welding Equipment and Tool Reviews – Clothing, torches, gloves, PPE and more.