If you want a career change where you can have an exciting job and be underwater, commercial diving could be a great choice. However, it is important to find the appropriate academy and receive the proper training. Therefore, you should know what commercial diving entails, what the academy will teach and how you will use it on the job.
A commercial diver dives underwater to repair, demolish and perform maintenance when required. Because their responsibilities vary greatly, there is no specific job description available.
Where They Work
Commercial divers can work offshore or inland. Offshore divers typically work in oceans in a more demanding atmosphere while inland divers typically work in lakes, rivers or harbors and sometimes have more flexible schedules.
They can work doing underwater construction, salvaging ships and can inspect, maintain or repair pipelines, docks, bridges and oil platforms. They can also handle underwater welding and photography.
In most cases, you must have a high school diploma or GED, have basic SCUBA lessons, CPR and first aid certifications, as well as a medical examination performed by a qualified doctor that is specific to diving.
You can apply to your local commercial diving academy after you have completed the above requirements. In most cases, you must have your academy training before being hired by employers, though some academies prefer that you currently be working in the field, especially for more advanced training techniques.
The subjects you will learn are based on broad concepts for diving physics, decompression procedures, treatment and prevention of diving injuries and diseases, safety concepts for both offshore and inland positions and technology.
Along with classroom teaching, you will also learn through hands-on training and practical experience. Once you have a generalized background of the theoretical material, you will learn to work using underwater tools in operations planning, welding, cutting, seamanship, rigging, report writing, blueprint drawing, maintenance and repair for marine engines and compressors, photography, emergency response, hazardous waste procedures and more. Each commercial diving academy will provide its own hands-on approach, but you should get the basics so that you can perform these job functions if asked to do so.
After receiving your SCUBA training, it can take as little as one week to complete your training, though some academies take up to six months. Many times, length of the course is determined by how quickly you learn.