Find a globe. We’ll wait. Look at the globe and find America. Consider four areas: inland; coastline; offshore; overseas. With an education as a maritime welder, you could own the world, neatly divided into four areas rich in opportunity and eager for your talents.
Maritime Welding Careers Inland—#1 through #3
Maritime welders need not work beside seawater. The need for skilled welding exists throughout America’s heartland. Wherever a navigable river runs, ships will travel upstream and downriver to transport goods. Those ships need your skilled welder’s hands to make repairs, help with overhauls, and add equipment. The largest riverside ship construction and repair yard in the United States, Jeffboat, is on the banks of the Ohio River near Jeffersonville, Indiana, churning out and repairing barges that ply the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The 68-acre site features a 62-foot by 200-foot dry dock. Earn your diploma and then visit, but be polite—you don’t want to barge in.
Hydroelectric plants and dams need maritime welders. Grand Coulee Dam, for example, on the Columbia River in Washington State is the 7th largest hydroelectric dam in the world. In operation since 1933, it requires constant maintenance and the services of qualified maritime welders.
Our nation has 610,749 bridges, according to the National Bridge Inventory (why did you even doubt there was such a thing?). Not all of these are metal bridges, and not all the metal bridges span water. But when a metal bridge spans water, maritime welders must be on the scene. Considering our nation has an alarming 61,365 deficient bridges, work is available in every state. Pennsylvania leads the nation—huzzah! (?) —in deficient bridges, at 5,050. Move to Pennsylvania for the bridge work; stay for the pretzels.
Maritime Welding Careers on the Coastline—#4a, 4b and 4c
Ports and harbors are natural areas to find shipyards. Dry docks cannot function without maritime welders ready to make repairs to plate steel below the waterline. America’s busiest ports bustle not just with cargo ships loading and unloading; the repair yards interspersed among the docks make quick, efficient repairs to huge cargo ships that only make money when they are moving.
The skills of talented maritime welders help keep ships on schedule and recover from small problems like broken hoists or damaged hatch covers.
- The busiest, richest West Coast port is Los Angeles, which also leads the nation. The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach together generate an astounding $417.5 billion in value.
- The Port of New York and New Jersey sees some $185 billion worth of goods pass through annually, importing and exporting mostly to Europe.
- To the south, the Port of Houston does a booming $168.1 billion in trade.
All three of these enormous port facilities require maritime welders on duty at all times to help keep the cargo moving.
Maritime Welding Careers Offshore—#5
Some of the highest paid maritime welders are helicoptered offshore, into the Gulf of Mexico to make repairs on oil drilling rigs far out at sea. Offshore welding is perhaps the most dangerous work within welding, brazing, soldering and metal cutting occupations, but also pays the highest wage. Offshore oil rigs may be as far out in the Gulf as 240 miles south of Louisiana. When maritime welders commute to work on oil rigs, they stay for weeks at a time.
Maritime Welding Careers Overseas—#6 and #7
If you happen to be fluent in Korean, the largest shipyard in the world is in Ulsan, South Korea. Hyundai Heavy Industries operates it, employing some 60,000 workers in a 24/7 enterprise that turns out a new ship every four to five days. These are precision-built ships 1,000 or more feet long, welded as enormous, separate sections that are then assembled into finished ships. Every weld is examined and often X-rayed for quality. Some of the cargo ships churned out at Ulsan are liquified natural gas (LNG) ships, which transport gas in huge tanks under high pressure, so their welds must be of the best quality.
How is your Portuguese? The largest shipyard in Latin America is expected to break ground—er—water—er, um—soggy ground sometime in 2016 . Brasil Basin Drydock Company is building Empresa de Docagens Pedra do Ingá (EDPI) to handle repairs on any size merchant ship in the worldwide fleet. The enormous shipyard will be completed by 2019, so you can pursue a 14-month education in maritime welding, graduate, take classes in Portuguese, and arrive in the Brazilian state of Paraíba just in time to start at the western hemisphere’s most modern shipyard.
First Stop: ATI’s Maritime Welding Program
You cannot reach any of these important centers of commerce and maritime trade without having the skills of a maritime welder. Get them in as little as 14 months by earning your Maritime Welding AOS Degree. Contact ATI today to learn how you can reach these and other exciting destinations nearby or worldwide. Contact us today at 800-468-1093 or request information today.
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