Becoming a Commercial Diver

So You Want to Be a Diver? Here’s What You Need to Know

Professional diving is both an intriguing and exciting career if recreational diving is a beloved hobby. Diving will be one of life’s pastimes eventually, so why not make it into something greater right now? Why not make what feels like a vacation into a full-time career? Why not pursue a beloved hobby and reap benefits? Why not become a professional diver?


Like any other profession, diving is a tough career to last in. It requires tons of experience, certifications, and even some schoolwork. Before taking the plunge, read the two steps that what it takes to become a professional diver below.


  1. DIVE!

Training and repetition is one of the most vital parts of this profession. Having strong diving skills is the foundation for a prosperous career. For people who have never dove before, but want to start, take the questionnaire by the World Recreational Scuba Training Council to ensure physical fitness. Find a scuba diving academy to take basic courses. Make sure you have the right equipment as well—check out this scuba gear for beginners.


To those who have been recreationally diving for a while: practice, practice, and practice some more. Make sure you are 100% comfortable with your body constantly being thrown into water. Then, take courses to become a certified diver.


  1. Find out which profession is your favorite.

Recreational diving is a huge market. Scuba instructors are needed everywhere from water parks to private yachts. Where water is warm, people will want to enjoy it. Scuba instructors perform tasks such as instructing and being responsible for the health and safety of beginner divers.


Commercial diving isn’t the prettiest or safest profession to pursue. If thinking about pursuing a commercial diving career, the levels of danger and underwater interests should be taken into account to make for the most pleasurable career possible.


There are six main types of commercial divers in the industry:


    • Offshore: Divers are working in an effort to build and maintain the structures gas and oil companies have created. They participate in tasks such as underwater welding, inspecting, and rigging for long periods of time at sea, making this choice quite tenuous.


    • Inland: A choice not as dangerous as offshore diving, these workers spend time in smaller bodies of water such as lakes and rivers. Although they may perform tasks that are similar to offshore divers, they also tend to work on civil engineering projects such as underwater videography and photography, salvaging, and bridge and dam inspection.


    • HAZMAT: These divers are in a quite risky environment, directly contacting sludge, oil, and irradiated material. HAZMATers work in various water sources such as pipelines and sewers to remove these hazardous chemicals.


    • Scientific: Divers that research the sea and its creatures. These scientists inspect the sea and gather data, along with participating in videography and photography. These divers are scientists first and divers second; they are only in the water for short periods of time.


    • Naval: Do similar work as inland and offshore workers, but work in the navy.


    • Military/Police: Also known as combat divers, or “frogmen,” these divers are responsible for tasks such as bomb diffusion, rescue diving, and demolition. They are also responsible for finding bodies and evidence.


  1. Go for It!


Once the decision of what type of diver preferred is made, all that’s needed to be done is more learning and experience.


For scuba instructing, one needs these certifications:

  1. Open water diver certification: Programmed to teach diver what happens to their body when diving. Will also teach student how to become a more competent diver.
  2. Advanced open water diver certification: Helps build on the foundation from the previous certification.
  3. Rescue diver certification: teaches students how to help instructors and divemasters in emergencies.
  4. Divemaster certification: Teaches diver how to operate dive boats and trips, assist scuba instructors with their courses, and supports student divers.
  5. Emergency First Response instructor (CPR and First)
  6. 100 open water dives logged
  7. Instructor Development Course (IDC): The master course. Usually takes from 10 days to 3 weeks to complete.


For commercial diving, only three steps need to be taken.


  1. Finish high school: During this time, future divers can spend time taking open water, advanced open water, and rescue diver certification courses, along with taking classes in school that have to do with mechanics and problem-solving.
  2. Enroll in commercial diver training program: This program will allow the student to learn about tasks that he will need to complete in the future, such as welding, photography, and repairing construction sites. For those who want a more inclusive educational experience, college degrees involving commercial diving programs are available.
  3. Start working: Once finished with the program, the student becomes an Entry Level Diver. To further his or her career, the diver must log their experience and receive training to be eligible for certification.

Although the journey to becoming a professional diver is a long and tenuous one, one who is fond of diving will be sure to reap the benefits of making his or her hobby into a career. This career offers various perks, depending on the journey taken. However, one should only consider taking up diving if he or she is passionate about the hobby and is willing to work enough to create a life around it.

The Best Scuba Gear & Packages Eli Recommends


Scuba diving can be an amazing way to explore the world’s oceans and other deep waters.  In addition to proper training, you’ll need proper gear.  Familiarizing yourself with the various equipment all divers need can make the buying process a little easier and make many of the terms you’ll come across seem a little less foreign.


When it comes to the simpler basic equipment, you’ll need a good mask.  Your mask should fit tightly enough that it provides a seal that keeps water out, which means your eyes stay dry so that they can properly and easily focus as you explore.  It should also allow a enough room for your nose that you can breathe out as necessary to equalize pressure when needed.  It shouldn’t be so tight as to feel constricting or obstruct blood flow.  When trying on masks, it’s a good idea to try them on in conjunction with your regulator (discussed below) and with your head in various positions, including looking upward.


Swim fins are the best way to propel yourself through the water.  Stiffer, larger flippers offer the best propulsion as long as you have the lower body strength to make them efficient.  If you know your legs and hips could be stronger, you might want to start with a more flexible, shorter pair.  Fins should fit snugly enough that they won’t float away on you, but not so snugly that you aren’t able to move your toes at all or feel too much compression in the arch area of your foot.  Visit for reviews of some top-rated fins as well as additional information to consider when shopping for your own swim fins.


A good wetsuit is essential to keeping your body temperature at a safe level.  Even waters that don’t seem terribly cold are well below normal body temp and will result in your own body heat quickly being depleted without proper protection.  The deeper you dive, the colder the water gets, so make sure you find a suit designed to handle your intended depths.  Make sure the suit is watertight, but not tight enough to restrict your breathing or movement in any way.


Regulators are fairly universal in that there isn’t much difference between comparable models from different reputable manufacturers.  There are models rated for different depths, so make sure you don’t overlook this factor when shopping.  The regulator converts the pressurized air in your tank to breathable air that’s delivered via the regulator’s mouthpiece. It also delivers air to your buoyancy compensator (described below).  In addition to being appropriate for the depths you’ll be diving, make sure your regulator fits comfortably in your mouth while wearing your mask.

Your buoyancy compensator will be your most complex piece of gear.  This device allows you to  maintain neutral buoyancy at any depth; helps you float when you get to the surface; and holds the rest of your gear, including your air tank, in place.  Wearing your wetsuit when you try out BCs will help you find one that fits snugly, but can be fully inflated without restricting your breathing.  You also want to make sure you choose a BC designed for your max depths.


A dive computer will monitor your depth and bottom time in addition to tank pressure and ascent rate.  These features mean you can enjoy longer dives with no worrying about decompression or guessing how much air you have left.  Make sure you’re very comfortable using your computer before your first dive, especially if you opt for a model packed with extra features and functions.  Check out this link to know more about the best dive computer for beginners.  You’ll find pros and cons of different types of dive computers, including wristwatch models and models that are Bluetooth compatible.  You’ll find models that fit different budgets and also some additional information on what to consider when you’re shopping for this critical piece of equipment.
The products above are just some of the tools one can use that “teaches” how to breathe underwater, or at least makes it more possible.