Underwater Welder Life Expectancy & Death Rate: Expectations vs. Reality

Underwater welding is welding underwater at elevated pressures. It is also known as hyperbaric welding. There are two categories: dry welding, and wet welding. In dry welding, you weld in a dry environment by placing a hyperbaric chamber.

In wet welding, you weld in a wet environment. Marine vessel repair and maintenance use underwater welding. Pipeline repairs also use it. This means doing the welding work literally underwater – sometimes under very deep water.

The Life Expectancy of Underwater Welders

You might be wondering about the life expectancy of underwater welders? Due to the high risks associated with the job, the life expectancy of underwater welders is relatively short. Previous studies have found that the average age of an underwater welder is 35 to 40 years old.

This age may seem low compared to the general human life expectancy. We attribute it to the high risks involved that cause long term injuries or death.

Here’s the deal: safety is crucial. Always ensure that you have the right protective gear as a welder before you go to work. You should also ensure that your tools and equipment are in good condition.

 All these safety measures will help you reduce the risks. You will be able to prevent equipment failure and the risks that come with it. Nothing is ever guaranteed though.

You need to undergo proper training before you undertake any underwater welding jobs. You should get specialized training in welding and diving. It will ensure your safety while welding underwater.

If you are working in deep waters, you need to be more cautious. You are at a higher risk than those working in shallow waters. Seek employment in a company that adheres to safety protocols.

Underwater Welder Life Span & Death Rate

We estimate the lifespan of underwater welders to be between 10-15 years. We realize that the low life expectancy of underwater welders affects their lifespan.

The death rate in underwater welding is much higher than in other occupations at approximately 15%.

How Many Underwater Welders Die in a Year?

In a year, on average, 12 underwater welders die from long term illnesses or injuries they sustained from welding accidents. This is about 1 in every 300 employees, which is significantly higher than the national average. There are many hazards in underwater welding that can lead to death including suffocation, decompression sickness and the bends.

Why Do Underwater Welders Die?

The high fatality rate in underwater welding jobs affects their life expectancy. As a welder, you are prone to injuries or death. The list below contains some of the causes of death for underwater welders.

  • Electrocution: Underwater welding requires you to work underwater with electricity and flame. You may suffer accidents like burns and electric shock.
  • Drowning also causes death among underwater welders. If your equipment fails, it can cause you to drown. A differential in pressure can also make you drown.
  • Explosions can also cause death. If hydrogen and oxygen combine, they create gas pockets. Ignition of these gas pockets will cause an explosion and lead to death or severe injuries. If you store fuel in offshore oil rigs and marine vessels, it can also cause explosions.
  • Hypothermia; Long exposure of your body to the cold underwater temperatures will cause hypothermia. It will then lead to organ failure.
  • Delta P: It is the difference between the pressure exerted by a fluid at one depth and that of another.

Underwater welding exposes you to cognitive and musculoskeletal effects. Prolonged exposure to harmful gases causes it. Avoid working in places with limited space for long periods. It is also a cause of decompression sickness that also causes death among the underwater welders. An increase in the pressure of breathing gases causes it. Do not expose yourself to harmful gases for long; it is fatal.

Environmental risks can also cause death to underwater welders. Dangerous marine wildlife like sharks and piranhas can attack and cause severe injuries. Low visibility underwater also jeopardizes your safety.

The Future of Underwater Welding

The Future of Underwater Welding

With research and development, underwater welding can be improved. Automation of processes will also help to enhance underwater welding.

The development of safer welding techniques will make the job more efficient and safe. It will also reduce deaths and injuries. A low death rate will improve the life expectancy of underwater welders.

Are Underwater Welders Happy?

Most people consider underwater welding as a dangerous profession. Want to know the best part? It is a rewarding and satisfying occupation. With the proper training, you can make much money as an underwater welder.

Underwater welding also requires you to travel around the world to work. The health implications involved will not allow you to have a long-term career. But here’s the kicker: you can earn a lot of money in a short period.

 In case you are considering a career as an underwater welder. The points outlined above should help you. However, there are high risks involved. Observing safety precautions will ensure that you are safe. As technology advances, so will safer techniques of underwater welding. 


In conclusion, underwater welding is a growing industry with good wages. This job has the potential to be dangerous, but it can be rewarding through safety training and precautions. That’s why its important that you are now more informed about underwater welder life expectancy, death rate and the risks involved in this career.

To become an underwater welder, you need to have the proper training. Safety precautions are also necessary for this type of work.