There are five requirements to obtain commercial diver training: meet the application criteria, select the school, complete the coursework, pay the tuition, and pass the examination. Commercial diver training is available from select community and career colleges, but is primarily offered by private diving schools. A commercial diver uses special equipment to dive into large bodies of water. They can stay underwater for an extended period of time, and are often part of search and rescue or salvage missions.
In order to apply for commercial diver training, you must have a diving license and pass a physical health examination. Most states have age requirements, to ensure that all commercial divers are over the age of 18. This requirement is based on liability and health concerns, and is not considered discriminatory.
The commercial diver training programs typically take eight to 12 months to complete. Courses include diving techniques, search methodologies, psychological preparation, and monitoring your physical health. The training program is divided into two components: theory and practical. The first part is classroom based, and covers equipment management, calculation of oxygen requirements, and emergency responses.
The practical or diving component allows students to learn how to move in different types of water, manage breathing equipment, and communicate with the team. Most schools assign a specific diving instructor to each student. For the first few weeks, the student and instructor go into the water together. Over time, the instructor spends more time on the boat, monitoring the student.
When selecting a school for commercial diver training, it is important to review the reputation of the school. Schools with an excellent reputation have dedicated significant money, time, and resources to the program over a period of years. They are committed to providing a professional caliber program, and are focused on your long-term health and well-being.
Commercial diver training programs cost between $5,000 and $8,000 US Dollars (USD). Included in this cost is the fee to rent the boat, breathing apparatus, and related equipment. Many commercial diver training programs can be completed part time, allowing students the flexibility to work and study simultaneously.
The diving examination for a commercial diving license is a combination of written and diving tests. The written part of the examination focuses on regulations, laws, and safety guidelines. The diving component of the exam is conducted by a licensed diving examiner. This portion includes underwater maneuvers, descents, ascents, and communication methods.