Professional divers– Professional divers are type of divers who dive to earn income. There are various branches of professional divers; best known form of professional divers is commercial diving. Any person, who wants to become a professional diver, will need to undergo a certain amount of training which will satisfy the local regulations of the state or the country, such as US occupational safety and health administration. Certification is something which is mandatory for a professional diver and some other fields may require certain additional credentials for an evidence of proficiency. However there is no set standard educational requirement for the career of professional diver. There are various degrees and certifications available for programs in topics like underwater photography and diving sciences.
Admission Requirements to become a professional diver
The applicant must be at least 18 years old, should have a high school diploma certificate or GED, should be able to swim, should have good physical health, ability to obtain TWIC card, should have mechanical ability, should possess strong work ethics and should pass the entrance interview.
There are various diving academies which will require all the above mentioned particulars in order to provide you an admission in their academy, it is also important to choose the academy considering various factors like the facilities provided, is it approved by the government or not, the cost of the program etc.
Training programs and certification
There are many variations in the content and format of commercial diver training programs. A program which provides the basic entry-level commercial diver certification will cost about $8,000, and would take about two months to complete. But, lots of schools provide a more thorough training curriculum which costs the student between $15,000 and $20,000, and shall take 4 to 12 months to finish, depending on the format and schedule of the program. In addition, there are some schools which also offer commercial diver certification and training as part of their accredited two-year degree program.
Despite few differences, a familiar thread in the fabric of commercial diver training is the certification of commercial diving. To deserve to work as a commercial diver, a person would require possessing a proper certification. The Association named as The Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI), which was formed in the year of 1968, is a nonprofit association which was formed to set up industry wide standards for the field of commercial diving in the United States. Even though ADCI has no particular regulatory jurisdictions, they have more than 500 member companies which represent educational, medical and business communities from 41 nations around the world, and are considered the industry watchdog for safe commercial diving.
ADCI has various functions aligned, along with which they also set standards for different levels of commercial diver certification. Entry level tender/diver is the basic ACD commercial diver certification; the diver must log experience underwater and in the field to earn more advanced certifications. In order to be eligible for more advanced commercial diver certifications the divers are required to go through on the job training.
ADCE through an American national standard describes the educational content of programs offered for training of a commercial diver. According to ANSI-1988, the general curriculum and minimum training requirements should be certified ACDE (The Association of Commercial diving Educators), however the ACDE describes a curriculum for the certification of commercial diver, which full fills the requirements for the advanced commercial diver certifications. According to ANSI-1988 the minimum requirements are to complete up to 625 hours for training. The students are eligible for ANSI-1988 commercial certification once they complete an ACDE accredited program.
Professional divers work for companies providing photography, exploration, and underwater repair and research services. Commercial divers will be responsible for installing and removing the equipment, performing various inspections and certain construction activities on specific submerged structures such as tunnels, salvage or oil rigs. Some companies will require professional divers to have experience and advanced knowledge with specialized equipment, such as explosive materials or welding tools.
Professional divers more often than not offer instruction or photography services for scientific exploration companies, diving schools and tourist shops. State and federal agencies, construction ventures generally employ divers for research and rescue needs.
Salary and Job Outlook for professional divers
The annual wages range from $32061 to $153785 for a professional diver according to recent survey taken by Payscale.com in 2014. Professional divers who have an experience between 0 to 5 years earned an annual income of $51000, whereas professional divers with an experience of more than 10 years earned a median income of $86000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates professional divers who work in heavy and civil engineering construction field earn the highest amount of pay.
The BLC indicates that the projected growth for professional divers will be about 29% between years 2012 to 2022.