7 Tips for Aspiring Commercial Divers


Commercial diving is one of the most dangerous and complicated jobs out there, as it combines the complexity of construction work with the added perils of working underwater. In this article, we’ll be discussing the basics of how to become a commercial diver, common injuries in the profession, as well as career path opportunities.

Be Fit 

Commercial diving is a strenuous job and people usually succeed if they’re physically fit. Doing manual labor underwater takes its toll on the body, especially for divers who usually work long hours in the deep waters that can range from 300 feet to 1,000 feet.

But being physically fit is not enough, it’s also a massive requirement that you’re mentally tough as well. Commercial diving instructors usually say that people who are comfortable in the water would usually pass training with minimal issues.

Be Coachable

Those who have a military background will typically find success as a commercial diver, not just because they’re physically and mentally capable, but because most will listen to instructions to the letter. If the manual requires you to do A, then B, and proceed to C, do not skip the steps as it will result in a disaster.

Start Your Career as a Tender

A tender, or a diver’s assistant, is the first big step of becoming an entry-level commercial diver. To do this, you’ll need to enroll in a commercial dive school like the CDA Technical Institute in Jacksonville, Florida and get your certification.

CDA Welding Requirement

It’s a common misconception that to be qualified for a commercial diving school, you’ll need to get an above-welding certification. Sure, it will help to have a background in the field but instructors at the CDA will cover this training no problem.

Drew Duffy, an Admissions Specialist at CDA Technical Institute, says that a welder certification is not required to enter their program. Just be fit and prepare yourself mentally and you’ll be ready to go.

Career Opportunities

Another common misconception surrounding commercial divers is that you need to do underwater construction work all the time. While underwater repair and construction are indeed within the scope of commercial diving, there are a lot of paths that you can take in this industry. 

Research what interests you the most and go from there. Here’s a list of career opportunities for commercial divers: 

  • Offshore divers – this one typically deals with engineering projects involving oil rigs and gas companies.
  • Onshore divers – a branch that is involved in freshwater projects with jobs involving dam repairs and bridge construction. This isn’t as difficult as offshore divers and professionals would often go home after a shift. 
  • Research divers – people in this field are often geologists or marine biologists who collect data for research purposes. If you want to work in this sector, you’ll need a scientific degree to be qualified.
  • Media divers – a branch that is involved in photography and filmmaking underwater. Divers in this filed must have experience being a camera operator. 
  • HAZMAT divers – the most dangerous branch in the field as these guys often deal with the hazardous material. 

Know the Basics

Knowing the basics in the field will tremendously help your career blossom. Whether it’s basic welding techniques, equalizing when diving, or common tips when working underwater, it’s best to be familiar with industry standards. 

Common Injuries of Commercial Divers

Knowing the most basic common injuries in this profession will help you avoid them. If you happen to get injured during your shift, it’s best to consult a workplace injury attorney.  

Here are seven common injuries of commercial divers according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): 

  • Drowning
  • Hypothermia
  • Decompression illness
  • Barometric pressure injuries
  • Gas poisoning
  • Gas narcosis
  • Poor decompression tables
  • Welding burns 

Water welding can be a fruitful and exciting career, but it comes with plenty of risks. However, by being aware of these risks and arming yourself with the right tools and techniques could go a long way.

Extra Tips:

You might need to install some Roof cargo basket on your private car so you can always bring with you your diving equipment.

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