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Diving as a Career

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Commercial Diving Training, Commercial diver training, commercial diver license

The Essence of Commercial Diving

Commercial diving is a term that covers a remarkably broad spectrum of activities. It involves a variety of trades and skills, all of which are complicated by the hostile environment in which they are performed. Jobs like welding are tough, but even tougher when performed in the inky, cold blackness 400 feet below the surface.

While most people associate commercial diving with the offshore oil industry, there is also a lot of inland commercial diving. This includes support for everything from nuclear power plants to bridge inspection and repair to building and repairing wastewater treatment facilities. Regardless of what kind of commercial diving it is, it requires a skill set far afield from recreational diving, and quite unlike anything else at all. A commercial diver must be equally capable of performing a multitude of different tasks, and in much more demanding situations than other tradesmen. Proper diver training is essential, so you need to invest in yourself for a career as a commercial diver.

What Commercial Divers Do

Commercial divers perform a spectrum of work activities that require a range of specialised skills and experience. The following is a list identifying some of the jobs and activities a commercial diver may perform.  These jobs may be performed in a variety of diving environments and depths.

  • Bridge inspection, construction and repair
  • Fabrication of equipment
  • Flotation devices maintenance
  • Gravity surveying
  • Grouting
  • Guideline replacement
  • Hyperbaric chamber operations
  • Injection equipment installation
  • Life-support systems construction, operation, repair and maintenance
  • Marine environmental control check
  • Medical and emergency care for diving illnesses and accidents
  • Operation of 1-atmosphere suits
  • Operation of remotely operated vehicles (ROV)
  • Operation of diving bells
  • Platform construction, inspection, maintenance and removal
  • Rock drilling and blasting
  • Salvage
  • Search and recovery
  • Seismic surveying
  • Sewage line installation and maintenance
  • Site surveys prior to installation
  • Submersible operations
  • Surface geological appraisal
  • Trenching or underwater jetting
  • Underwater inspection, installation, repair and maintenance
  • Underwater painting
  • Underwater photography and videography
  • Underwater surveys
  • Underwater welding and cutting
  • Water line installation, inspection, repair and maintenance
  • Wellhead repair and maintenance


Most divers are paid by the day, and work on average around 150 to 200 days a year.

Earnings can be anywhere between £120 and £1,000 a day, depending on the type of diving and work involved. For example:

  • an inshore or civil engineering diver could earn £120 to £250 per day, working 180 to 200 days per year
  • an air diver working on windfarm construction and maintenance could earn £300 per day
  • an offshore diver in the North Sea could earn £450 per day with an expectation of 120 to 150 days work per year
  • a saturation (or diving bell) diver in the North Sea could earn up to £1000 per day

Figures are intended as a guideline only.


Some more helpful resources: – a great online community for prospective divers, new divers and the veterans

UK National Careers Service – Basic info, tips and advice

DiveTraining Magazine – Career Library