Welding and the Cruise Ship Industry

welding cruise ships

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Welding skills are in high demand in many sectors of manufacturing and construction. Welding and the cruise ship industry may not necessarily come to mind but with a projected growth in the number of people booking cruises, there may be opportunities for welder especially those with additional shipfitting and pipefitting skills.

New Cruise Ships in 2016

The cruise industry is seeing an increase in travelers. One industry expert expects 23 million passengers to book a cruise sometime during 2016 and ten new ships are launching in 2016 with a majority of these passengers coming from North America. The industry is looking to expand its reach in Europe and Asia where there is an untapped market. 1 Someone needs to build, maintain, and fix the cruise ships which could expand the job opportunities for welders with shipfitting experience.

Shipyard Opportunities for Welders


These are some of the requirements need for various jobs in shipbuilding:

  • Shipfitters – Shipfitters positions parts of the hull construction. 2 They need to be able to read blueprints and then follow exact specifications to fabricate, assemble, modify, repair, and install metal plates, shaped-metal items, parts, and piping that are an integrated part of the ship’s structure.
  • Pipefitters – Pipefitting in the shipbuilding industry is complex and extensive. There is a lot of piping on ships that must be installed in tight spaces. Pipefitters must be able to read blueprints, fabricate pipe, install pipe, and conduct pipe inspections/testing. 3
  • Pipe Welders – A pipe welders employed in shipbuilding works with many types of metals and makes welds in difficult positions and uncomfortable angles. The pipe welder works on a pipe that can’t be moved because it’s too large and heavy. The pipe’s content can also be flammable, caustic or under high pressure, so pipe welder must follow safety standards and procedures meticulously. 4
  • Structural Welders – Structural welders need to read blueprints. They also need to know the many welding techniques used in the shipbuilding industry. 5

Shipfitting Training at TWS

TWS offers a professional welding program with shipfitting in Jacksonville, FL that teaches the skills and techniques necessary to perform the specialized and complex welding tasks required in the shipbuilding industry. TWS shipfitting training curriculum includes, but is not limited to:

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  • Welding at all angles in small spaces – Learn safety techniques for working in tight spaces and restricted positions without over-extending the body or being injured.
  • Using mirrors for welding – Learn the techniques of how to make welds while looking at a mirror to observe the work efforts in spaces too small to permit a direct view of the work area.
  • Working with ceramic-backing and high-strength/exotic alloys, made from copper, nickel, and titanium.

Shipfitting training at TWS can be completed in as little as 10 months, creating a pathway to a promising career as a welder or shipfitter in a short period of time in the booming cruise ship industry of 2016 and beyond. Contact TWS today to learn more about vocational programs.

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