A career as a commercial diver begins with commercial diving school, where students are taught to do nearly everything underwater. When a graduate hires on with a diving company, the graduate is a commercial diver, but until the diver has several years of experience the work may lack glamor or high wages. The industry works on an “on-call” basis, and divers do not work regular hours or on a set schedule.
Entry level commercial divers are called diver tenders. The entry level wage averages $18 an hour, or $216 a day for a 12-hour day as of 2012, according to industry sources. This wage is only paid when the diver is on a job or working in the dive company’s shop, preparing equipment for a job. This is comparable with wage and employment statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which states that the lowest 25 percent of commercial divers are paid an average hourly wage of $18.38.