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.