Being a commercial diver is a challenging job. For work, you’ll slip out of this world and enter an underwater world where your skills will help you complete your job and keep you alive.
Commercial dive training is incredibly important. Not only will it help you get a proper job later on, it will give you the skills to be a safe professional.
Dive training starts in the classroom. Academically, you’ll need to have a solid understanding of dive physics, math, medicine, and physiology. It’s important to grasp these skills so that you understand what happens to your body as you dive deep or why and how much time you need to have between dives so that your body functions properly.
You’ll also need to learn about specific dive equipment. This is the stuff that allows you to breath underwater. Full-face masks, dry suits, wetsuits hot water suits, gloves, knives, harnesses, bailout bottles, helmets, weights, and fins are things that you’ll be wearing every time you dive.
When you are at work under the sea, you also need to have a solid set of skills for welding, burning, cutting, cleaning, blasting and whatever else you may be doing. This takes specialized equipment like hand tools, hydraulic tools, welding tools, airlifts, lift bags, burning gear, high-pressure tools, cameras, digging equipment, and pneumatic tools. You’ll need to learn how to use these tools in order to successfully complete your job.
As a commercial diver, you’ll be working underwater, but you’ll also be working topside. Topside operations are anything that happens out of the water. On the surface, you need to learn how to work with surface supplied air systems, mix gas like trimix, heliox, or nitrox for deep dives, manage air compressors, take note of the manifolds, communicate with divers, operate hyperbaric chambers to help with any decompression sickness that arises, operate diving bells, or prepare saturation chambers for long term underwater work. Learn about diving air mixeslater on in this section.
Appropriate training is key to being successful as a commercial diver. By earning certain diving certifications, you’ll get a stronger resume and have stronger skills. Certifications come in all aspects of diving. Some certifications are welding, non-destructive testing, HazMat, burning, dive medic, hyperbaric chamber operations, rigging, air systems, and several others.
Check with your dive school of choice to see what certifications they offer.
After you’ve researched commercial dive schools, choose a school with an emphasis in your area of interest. It might be non-destructive testing, salvage, gas mixing, or welding. Check to see that the Association of Commercial Diving Educators (ACDE), the Association of Diving Contractors (ADC), or other respected agencies like the International Diving Schools Association (IDSA), or the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) certify your school of choice to ensure your training meets recognized standards.
Commercial dive training is intense. You’ll need to train for more than a few weeks to really master the skills. Proper training and experience is a must to really be a competent commercial diver. Be sure your commercial dive school can train you to a respected professional level.