Commercial diving is a professional occupation found in a variety of industries that require divers to perform construction underwater. These professionals build structures submerged in water. Other work includes repairing and inspecting underwater structures to ensure their stability.
Unlike other occupations, commercial divers can perform a variety of simple and complicated tasks underwater because the ability to successfully dive is more important than the tasks themselves. Commercial divers are the eyes and ears for other professionals working on the surface.
These professionals perform their job wearing a wetsuit, oxygen tanks, a mask and protective headgear. They use a variety of tools and equipment specifically designed for underwater tasks. Most underwater projects start by working with engineers to understand what the needs are for each dive.
The engineers use blueprints, pictures and other sources to give the commercial divers specific instructions on what they need to do when they’re submerged. For projects related to engineering, commercial divers often use underwater cameras for engineers to watch them work and ensure the work is done properly.
Work As A Team
Commercial divers almost always work in teams to ensure their safety and perform the job quickly and efficiently. Individuals on the surface monitor each dive by checking divers’ air pressure and the depth of each dive. When doing deep dives, commercial divers need to decompress afterwards to gradually adjust to the difference in pressure, because pressure is much heavier deep underwater.
The process can take several hours. The work is often in dark, murky waters with little light. Divers use high-powered lights to perform their work and have their tools and equipment close by, typically attached to a belt on their wetsuit.
Getting Into Commercial Diving
To ensure commercial divers are well prepared for the job, they attend diving school and become certified. Employers prefer those who graduated from a school accredited by the Association of Commercial Diving Educators. Basic skills performing basic repairs, welding and reading blue prints are helpful for this occupation.
Many commercial divers spend a few years working on the surface as a helper before performing underwater work, similar to an apprentice in other skilled trades. After monitoring dives and learning how to use the tools and equipment, helpers advance to perform work underwater.
Professionals in the commercial diving industry often enjoy their work. Many consult or continue working on the surface after they stop diving. Their expertise in the trade assist engineers and newer commercial divers stay safe and perform the work efficiently.
The profession of commercial diving is unlike many other occupations. Only about 3,700 were employed in the United States in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job is generally in costal regions, so relocation may be required to work in the commercial diving industry. The average salary for commercial divers was approximately $56,000 per year, according to BLS.
Category: Commercial Diving