One of the questions our Student Advisors get asked the most is, am I too old to be a commercial diver? In this blog post we explain exactly how age affects – or doesn’t affect – your career as a commercial diver.
How old to work offshore?
From a diving contractor point of view, the legal standpoint is generally that you need to be at least 18 to work inshore as a commercial diver. It’s harder to get offshore until you’re at least 21 – although there have been exceptions. At the other end of the scale, a report by Oil and Gas UK in 2011 showed that the average age of a commercial diver in the North Sea was 45. You can see from the graph below the age range of commercial divers offshore – note that the largest percentage are actually between 45 and 54.
How long will it take me to get offshore?
On average, most commercial divers will work inshore for a year to two years, building experience, before going offshore – however as always there are exceptions to that rule. So, if you start diving in your mid-thirties, with hard-work and determination you could expect to be offshore before you are 40.
How old are most people when they start?
Two thirds of the divers that we train at The Underwater Centre are between 25 and 45.
In our experience though, it’s not your age that dictates how successful you’ll be as a commercial diver, it’s your attitude. Whether you’re 18 or 40, if you work hard, have the right training, get on well with people and are determined to succeed then those will be the factors that ensure your success as a commercial diver.
If you have questions about getting started in commercial diving, or progressing your career, contact our student advisors in Fort William or Tasmania. Alternatively, leave a comment and let us know about your experiences.