Though challenging and complex, underwater welding has been a growing profession for skilled welding labor across the country. Apart from decent salary packages, professionals also unlock financial perks and incentives, which is why a large chunk of laborers are attracted to the field. If you are wondering about the prospects of an underwater welder salary, here is a complete guide to explore more.
Salary Potential of Underwater Welders in South Africa
The average baseline salary for underwater welders in South Africa is anywhere around R440657 on a yearly basis, making it R 211.85 on an hourly basis. This field is highly dependent on incentives, and an average bonus with a yearly salary is reported to be around R 10 355. However, this salary can be revised based on your education, qualifications, and expertise.
An average entry-level employee in Port Elizabeth makes approximately R 314 695, whereas this number is R 550 265 per year for advanced/ senior professionals. In comparison, an underwater welder based in the USA would earn around $56,000 on a yearly basis.
Over the years, the high demand for skilled labor in the field has resulted in an increase in salaries across the board. Given the past and present salary chart, the expected salary for underwater welders is expected to go up to R 510 843 in 2028. Specifically, as of now, professionals with advanced training in equipment installation, metal-cutting techniques, and welding protocols are preferred for high positions.
What Do Underwater Welders Do?
As the name implies, underwater welders are arc welders who are required to cut and weld in aquatic conditions. They specialize in welding protocols and diving procedures to work in intricate environments like aquatics. As an underwater welder, you are supposed to work in tight spaces like hyperbaric and cofferdam chambers, which may go deep down in the natural or artificial water reservoirs.
Here is a breakdown of the most professional responsibilities you will be required to perform as an underwater welder in South Africa.
- Creating and maintaining safe welding setups in aquatic conditions, including cofferdam, marine facilities, and deep water chambers.
- Transporting and working with welding and diving equipment.
- Identifying defects and learning protocols for nondestructive testing underwater.
- Analyzing and evaluating the depths of water to perform photography and recording underwater and other marine conditions.
Education and Training Requirements
To practice as an underwater welder, you need to have the following.
- The minimum qualification should be a high-school certificate or equivalent diploma.
- The minimum training required for an underwater welder is a commercial diving certificate.
- Apart from this, you need a diploma certificate in welding, metal fabrication, and machining.
- An advanced associate formal degree in welding is desired for a better salary package.
- Relevant work experience either as a welder or diver, is preferred for the job opportunities.
- Advanced training programs include apprenticeships with AWS certification for welding.
Factors that Count in Deciding Underwater Welder’s Salary
There are a number of factors that come into play when deciding your salary as an underwater welder salary. So, before entering this field, it is better to do the research and plan your career path accordingly. Here is a breakdown of all the important things taken into consideration.
Experience and Age
Like any other field, your experience and age matter the most in deciding your salary as an underwater welder in South Africa. According to the salary chart, people with ten to fifteen years of experience earn 8-10% more than those with less than ten years of experience. However, it is also considered whether your work experience was in the private or public sector.
Your educational qualifications matter partially when you start working as an underwater welder in South Africa, though you do not require a formal university degree for the job. According to the salary charts, 68% of the welder workforce across SA have a high school diploma. Apart from this, the other 32% is taken by Associates, undergraduates, and doctorates, whereas only a small portion is given to postgraduates.
The city you are placed in also matters a lot in determining your salary as an underwater welder. According to the updated statistics, Pretoria and Witbank are the two best places to start your job as an underwater welder. Here is a breakdown of the baseline welder salaries across South Africa on the basis of cities.
Pretoria is the best place for welders to get started as a welder. The average reported salary for welders is around R 33 269 per month.
Secunda also has a decent estimated salary for welders. According to the salary chart, the estimated salary is around R 19,403 on a monthly basis.
Witbank is a decent city in South Africa for anyone planning to get started as an underwater welder. The estimated reported salary of welders in the city is around R 20,636 per month.
Durban, KwaZulu Natal
If you are planning to get your job in KwaZulu Natal as a welder, expect the salary package to be around R 15,621 on a monthly basis.
Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
According to the reported stats, the average salary of welders based in Port Elizabeth is around R14 746 per month.
What do underwater welders do?
Underwater welders primarily specialize in welding and cutting techniques in marine settings. They are required to perform cutting water in deep and closed chambers. To work as an underwater welder, you must have a detailed knowledge of welding and diving procedures in marine environments.
Do underwater welders make above R200 in South Africa?
Yes, an average baseline underwater welder working in South Africa makes approximately R 211.85 on an hourly basis.
How much can I earn as an underwater welder with three years of experience?
If you have three years of experience as an underwater welder in South Africa, your estimated salary would be around R 337 576 per year. As you move forward and gain eight years of expertise in the field, your salary automatically goes up to R 660 217 on a yearly basis.
Is welding a good career in South Africa?
Yes, welding jobs are considered reliable in South Africa, given the increasing demand for skilled labor. Within welding, the country has a wide variety of specialized fields and industries that employees can explore as they progress in their careers.
How much do underwater welders make in South Africa?
On average, an underwater welder makes approximately R 440 657 per year. The median salary for underwater welders in the country is around R 435 084 on a yearly basis.
Do you need a degree to practice as an underwater welder in South Africa?
No, you do not require a university degree to practice as an underwater welder. That said, you are required to at least have a high school diploma along with a diploma or training in welding and diving protocols.
Underwater welding can be a challenging yet highly rewarding profession with a diverse range of fringe perks for anyone planning to switch from traditional welding. It only requires some diploma certificates and training programs to enter the field, though you need patience and a strong will to work in the field. Finally, I hope this guide has been helpful in figuring out whether the financial perks of working as an underwater welder are aligned with your future plans.