With April being National Welding Month, what better way to generate a little bit pride and excitement around welding by showcasing tradesmen & tradeswomen who have found a wonderful career in welding! In this feature we are sharing a quick snapshot of what it’s like to be welder within a specialized trade or profession, from the folks who live it day in and out.


Underwater Welder: Kirk Hooker

My name is Kirk Hooker, I currently work for Global Infrastructure, LLC. as I commercial diver/welder.  I’ve been a professional commercial diver for 16 years now, and I also own and operate Hooker Welding Service, LLC.

Hooker welding provides repairs and fabrication in addition to mobile underwater welding demonstrations and education. These demonstrations take place in a 1300 gallon steel tank that I fabricated for spectators to view underwater welding procedures live and in person!

I first learned to weld 22 years ago in vocational welding class in high school, this welding class built a rock solid foundation to my professional welding career! Welding, both above and below water is truly a passion of mine and has provided a great living for me!

Rig Welder: Ryan Nierop

My name is Ryan Nierop, a rig welder and ticketed pressure welder out of Vancouver, BC, Canada of 15 years. Growing up I spent a lot of time working alongside my father, a rig welder so it just came natural for me to follow in my fathers footsteps. I love being a rig welder because I’m always meeting new people in different places. 

Every job I do is different. A lot jobs have a time sensitive deadline, so I will have to work as many hours as it takes to get the job done. Most of the time I am working well over 40hrs a week.

Welding to me is something that you’re always improving on and can always be better. The only way to be good is by putting the time in and being very passionate about the work! 

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