Underwater Welding School - Divers Institute of Technology
Divers Institute of Technology

Established 1968 – Veteran Owned & Operated

Month 4

Welding & Underwater Welding

Have you ever operated a 10,000℉ flame underwater? Think it sounds hard? Persistence and focus are the keys to mastering this skill in Month 4.

"That first arc underwater is pretty damn exciting"
- Instructor Jim Bernacki

In this 3 week course, you’ll learn the skills you need to both weld and burn underwater.

You’ll also get familiar with many new tools. Topside you’ll use the electrode holder, chipping hammer, wire brush, 6010 electrodes, 7018 electrodes, oxy fuel rig which consists of a striker, and a smith torch, as well as basic hand tools like grinders and wire wheels. In the water you’ll use twist lock electrode holders, chipping hammers, wire brushes, 7014 electrodes, and Broco exothermic torches.

Course Program:

Week 1 The week starts with powerpoints on safety, tools, and skills. You'll learn in the shop about topside welding and burning, and on day 3 you have your first tank dive day, and start welding T joints in the water.
Week 2 Continue practicing underwater welding. You'll rotate with the other students through the different positions including running the rack, tending, and diving. On day 3 you take an underwater weld test, and on day 4 you have the opportunity to retake the test if you need it.
Week 3 You'll go to the dive station in Lake Union and have 4 days of underwater burning. You'll dive every day, and rotate all the different positions with other students such as diving, tending, and rigging.

DIT's Topside welding facility

Students first learn to weld on dry land before taking their skills to the next level underwater.

DIT’s Underwater Welding Video:


Instructors Josh Oxley and Jim Bernacki say the most challenging thing about the course is to keep focused, and not to give up because it’s hard.

“The skill itself is hard but the only way you are going to master it is to continue. If you give up you’re never going to do it.” Says Jim.

Josh adds, “Half the students think that topside welding is hard, and that underwater welding is easy, and the other half thinks it’s the other way, that underwater is hard and topside is easy. It’s always like that.” They agree that there are some pretty exciting parts of the course, such as when students make their first arc, whether it’s topside, or underwater. “For everybody, it’s always that first arc, so if you’ve never welded, either topside or in the water, that first arc is pretty exciting and memorable. And if you’ve got previous welding skills, that first arc underwater is pretty damn exciting.” Says Jim.

Another amazing moment is when students burn their first plate. “…the first time they try to burn underwater and achieve a goal that we set for them, they usually come up grinning.” Says Josh



Upcoming Class Starts
February 11Learn More