COMMERCIAL DIVING CAREERS
COMMON DIVER JOB TYPES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
Inspection divers are specially trained in techniques to inspect underwater structures such as dams, bridges, and water treatment facilities. The work may be either inland or offshore based.
The most common type of commercial diver is the offshore diver working in the oil and gas industry. Here is where many commercial divers enter their professional career. Hourly pay is often lower than prevailing wage public works jobs, but typically increases over time. Offshore divers live on oil platforms or vessels for long periods of time, and may work long hours for several days in a row, though most do not work year-round due do the seasonal flow of offshore operations.
Inland divers commonly do government work on land-based civil engineering operations in lakes, harbors, rivers, and dams. They do not face as many hazardous working conditions and living situations of offshore divers, and the tasks are typically infrastructure repair or inspection. Per NTSB regulation, every bridge with a pier or abutment in the water must be inspected every 5 years, while some ratings require work at least once a year, all to be done by divers. Divers for inland work are frequently hired by private companies, as well as by states/cities/municipalities, in which case they are required by law to receive prevailing wage rates. Harvest divers may be employed to collect shellfish, sponges, or timber as a commodity. Reservoirs or large potable water tanks require regular servicing by commercial divers as well.
HAZMAT divers are considered highly skilled and experienced divers who work under dangerous conditions. They have to work under special circumstances due to the dangerous materials they dive in, such as pollution, chemical tanks, or sewer diving. HAZMAT divers must take precautionary measures before, during, and after their dive to deal with the threat of contamination. Nuclear divers work under conditions much like HAZMAT divers, and may assist in power plant construction/maintenance or waste recovery. Different precautionary measures are taken to prevent the exposure of radiation. They may use a cold water suit to prevent heat stress from contaminated areas.
This short introduction to commercial diving jobs and roles gives a glimpse into the full range of career paths and roles commercially trained divers from CDI may consider as they advance in their commercial dive training. Although the job comes with a demanding and challenging environment, proper training along with good physical fitness ensures your team gets the job done safely and efficiently. CDI is the place to get started!
For more information about CDI and our programs, get in contact with a member of our team today.
Many divers are able to travel for work suiting their schedule and needs. Public works jobs funded by government agencies are required to pay divers prevailing wage hourly rates, or mandatory minimums for the work being completed. Prevailing wage rates typically require the diver to be paid for 4 to 8 hour minimums, overtime hourly payments on weekends/holidays, per foot rate increases for depths greater than 50 feet, per foot rate increases for work in enclosures, and rate increases based on the distance of the project from the governing office/diver’s residence.
Most diving jobs require the employee to be underwater to inspect, repair, remove, or install equipment and structures. Divers use a variety of power and hand tools, such as drills, sledgehammers, torches, and welding equipment.
Divers may also be required to conduct tests/experiments, rig explosives, or photograph structures or marine life. The type of work and rate of pay depends on the location and nature of the work performed.
SALVAGE AND RECOVERY DIVER
Commercial salvage and recovery divers are trained to search, locate, and often recover lost items. This type of diving requires specialized training in rigging and recovery techniques.
Commercial divers train in various underwater welding and cutting techniques to facilitate marine construction projects and/or demolition or decommissioning.
Divers train to use custom mixed breathing gases to work at deeper depths for extended periods.
DIVER MEDICAL TECH
A fully certified commercial diver who is also trained as an E.M.T. or Paramedic. A diver medical tech provides medical support for divers and surface crew.
DIVER TENDER or SAFETY DIVER
Dive tenders monitor and support the diver before during and after diving operations. Stand by divers are fully dressed and ready in the event of a need to assist the diver. They both are required to be fully certified commercial divers.
Scientific divers collect experimental data underwater. Work typically includes collecting samples and taking photographs or other observations of a marine environment in order to contribute to a research project.
Media divers work in underwater filming and photography. Many become trained as camera operators who mostly cover projects meant for television documentaries and movies.
Police divers assist in police investigations where a diver is need to recover something underwater.
CDI is committed to giving you the training and preparation to find work and develop your diving career well after graduation.
Using our experience in the industry, we will support your search for employment with techniques for finding work closest to your interests. Resume writing and application procedures vary depending on the type of commercial diving work you are seeking, and we provide several strategies to make the most out of your job search both immediately after completing the program and as you continue with your diving career.
We keep in touch with our students after they complete our program to make sure they have the resources and knowledge necessary to take full advantage of their training as a commercial diver.