Commercial DIVERS work below the surface of the water, using SCUBA gear (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) or diving suits with air lines to the surface. Professional divers are involved in activities such as off-shore oil rig and pipeline maintenance, salvage operations, bridge and pier construction, power plant intake and discharge construction, ship and barge inspection and repair, dam construction, and emergency response, investigation, and recovery operations. They inspect, repair, remove, and install equipment and structures; perform rescue operations; and take photographs of underwater structures, or marine life.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $57,000 average per year ($27.50 per hour)
- A small occupation (3,700 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow slowly (0.5% per year)
Commercial DIVERS must have documentation showing that they completed appropriate training at a vocational school, commercial diving school, in the military, or from the Army Corps of Engineers, or from a school that has been accredited by the Association of Commercial Diving Educators (ACDE). Employers prefer to hire divers with a high school diploma. Some need an apprenticeship or a combination of several years of experience, college or other trade courses, or several years of on-the-job training. Employers are looking for divers who are good construction workers as well as being a good diver. Commercial divers should take courses in welding, plumbing, electric shop, physics, and physical science.