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The Benefits of Commercial Diving Programs

Updated: May 22

As you read about what it takes to excel and benefit from a career in commercial diving, you’ll learn:

  • What a commercial diver does and what skills they need to succeed

  • How much a commercial diver typically makes and what factors go into their pay

  • Who is most likely to succeed as a commercial diver

If you’re looking for an exciting career that will never fall by the wayside, you should consider commercial diving. As a commercial diver, you'll work beneath the water’s surface to assess, fix, install, and remove tools, equipment, and other underwater structures. You’ll put your problem-solving skills to the test while engaging in practical, hands-on work.

Of course, building a professional career underwater may not be for everyone. To better understand who typically excels at this type of work, the career benefits, and locations you might find yourself employed, make sure to read on.

What is a Commercial Diver?

One of the exciting things about a career in commercial diving is the diverse range of fields it could cover. In the broadest sense, though, the profession is defined by work done in a scuba or diving suit conducted underwater. This work may involve industrial construction, such as inspecting or repairing infrastructure. It can also involve police or investigative duties. Commercial divers may even be called to help clean up oil spills or other environmental disasters.

Beyond work of that type, there are a variety of responsibilities a commercial diver could undertake:

  • Assess and maintain diving equipment

  • Aid other divers in their work

  • Train and supervise divers, including hobbyists

  • Utilize power and hand tools to conduct underwater tests, rig explosives, or examine marine life

While this is just a short sample of your potential duties as a commercial diver, your specific responsibilities will be defined by the industry you work for. Since commercial diving allows you to specialize your work, it makes for an excellent career for those with specific interests ranging from marine biology to civil engineering.

How Much Do Commercial Divers Make?

No one chooses a career without some understanding of the pay. Several things can determine how much you earn as a commercial diver:

  • Your experience

  • Your degree

  • The state where you work

  • The industry you work in

  • The company you work for

Generally, though, experienced commercial divers can expect to earn a little under $60,000 annually with an average hourly pay of $29. However, divers new to the industry should expect to earn no more than $40,000 per year, with their salary often falling well short of that mark.

There are some states where work as a commercial diver could see you earning significantly more, though:

  • Alaska, $86,600

  • Washington, $84,480

  • New Jersey, $77,080

  • New Hampshire, $75,500

  • Connecticut, $72,400

If you’re closely paying attention, you’ll notice that each of these states is on the coast with access to plenty of water. When choosing where to pursue your commercial diving career, it makes sense to select places either on the coast or with a broad body of interior lakes and rivers.

What Industries Need Commercial Divers?

If an industry interacts with bodies of water, it’s likely to need commercial divers. However, some industries are more likely to employ commercial divers:

  • Civil engineers often require divers to inspect infrastructure and work on underwater construction or maintenance projects.

  • The communications industry brings on divers to lay fiber optic cable and conduct necessary maintenance and repairs.

  • The environmental industry hires divers to fix damaged pipelines, clean oil spills, and help control water pollution.

  • The nuclear industry uses divers to inspect and maintain intake systems and holding pools.

  • The oil industry needs divers for underwater welding and to work on oil rigs conducting inspections and repairs.

  • The shipping industry employs divers to work on boats, ships, piers, and shipyards.

  • Many scientific fields need divers to help them study, test, and photograph underwater environments or marine life.

  • Police departments, government agencies, and other investigatory bodies also use divers to inspect potential crime scenes, conduct rescue missions, and ensure specific companies or industries are following the law.

  • Utility companies utilize divers to ensure their hydroelectric plants and water treatment plants follow applicable code.

Becoming a commercial diver opens up a world of opportunity in front of you. This remains true regardless of almost any industry you choose to work in.

What Are the Benefits of Commercial Diving?

Perhaps the biggest benefit of becoming a commercial diver is your job is not likely to become obsolete. There will always be a need for real people to work underwater and use problem-solving skills and unique tools. You won’t find commercial diving jobs outsourced to other countries because the work needs to be physically done here.

There’s also a current shortage of skilled tradespeople in the United States. This means you shouldn’t have an issue finding your first job and building a career. In fact, you may find additional bonuses or incentives for choosing this career as companies and industries search for newcomers to fill the shoes of their soon-to-retire employees.

Unlike some other fields, there’s also a true sense of community for commercial divers. There’s a sense of comradery between everyone who works underwater that allows you to build lasting relationships. Since commercial diving work can be adventurous, there’s always a feeling of wanting to help whenever something goes wrong.

Who Would Make the Ideal Commercial Diver?

Commercial diving may not be for everyone. However, a large swath of people should find the profession rewarding. That group includes people who enjoy problem-solving, working with their hands, and want to work outside.

Military veterans may feel especially at home as commercial divers. The skills they learned and developed defending this country are easily put to use in the world of diving, and they may receive tuition assistance through the GI Bill, too.

You don’t need a specialty degree to become a commercial diver, which makes the profession available to anyone who displays the necessary skills and qualities listed above. Of course, work in a specialized industry may require additional education or training.

Are There Diving School Programs?

Commercial diving programs offer you the best opportunity to begin your career working underwater. At Commercial Divers International in Goodyear, Arizona, you’ll receive the necessary industry certification to begin a long, successful career in commercial diving. We’re the only commercial diving school in the country that’s owned and operated by commercial divers on a daily on-site basis.

Our staff includes Navy diver veterans and a team of professionals with over 75 years of experience in the commercial diving industry. This means you’ll gain first-hand knowledge that’s directly applicable to the line of work.

Our new 2.8-acre facility contains three 21,000-gallon tanks and sits near a 37-acre lake that reaches depths of 60 feet. We'll give you the real-life, hands-on experience you need to succeed as a commercial diver.

If you’re interested in starting your new career as a commercial diver, call us at 623-882-3483. You can also request a callback through our online form.

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