Why Become A Commercial Diver?
A Career with Excitement, Travel, Money and Some Danger!
It’s not for Everyone.
By Jim Tuttle
There are probably hundreds of different reasons why people enter commercial diving and enjoy their jobs after they get started, but the most often-heard reasons are:
Commercial diving is exciting.
The average person who spends eight hours a day framing another house, doing a valve job on some old Chevy or installing a cable TV system, or doing any other repetitious factory or dull clerk-type job, can’t believe what it’s like to be a commercial diver. Diving is just plain fun. Divers are highly respected by average people, who wouldn’t try it in a million years. Divers are independent and can often work when they want.
Divers travel all over the world and do interesting jobs in places most people only read about. And, maybe most important, divers do the type of work that often, because of the locations and conditions, requires good common sense, an unusual level of personal pride and the ability to hang in when things get tough. A lot of satisfaction comes from being a diver.
Advancement in commercial diving is based on personal performance.
People who do their jobs well, will move ahead fast. Seniority is secondary. The people you will work for are divers themselves, and they know what’s important. They’ve been there.
They don’t care where you came from or how new you are to diving, so much as they care about how well you do your job. If you cut it, you’ve got it made. A lot of people are in the commercial diving business because it’s new and small enough not to be encumbered with all the regulations and seniority systems that make it impossible for other businesses to advance people fairly.
Diving is wide open, and good performance is the bottom line.
It’s a great opportunity for people who take pride in doing a good job.
Commercial divers can make a lot of money.
They make it because they do a job that most people are afraid to do. The average person thinks diving is uncomfortable, difficult and dangerous. To some extent they’re right, but the level of discomfort, difficulty and danger has always been greatly exaggerated.
Uncomfortable? Yes, if you compare diving to selling shoes. No, when you understand that the biggest diver discomfort problem, cold water, has been virtually eliminated by the development of hot-water diving suits and good dry-suit systems. The diving companies figured out a long time ago that divers can’t perform tasks properly if they are cold or uncomfortable, and diving is a task oriented business. There is a certain degree of discomfort in diving, but it’s not like the old days.
Difficult? Yes, because doing any job underwater is more difficult than doing the same job on the surface. But that’s all part of the challenge. Dangerous? Sometimes, but not anywhere near as risky as most people think. Some facts: Most diving personnel accidents do not even occur underwater. They fall in the “industrial accident” classification (i.e., construction industry type accidents).
There is some discomfort, difficulty and risk in commercial diving, just as there is in some other similar outdoor action type occupations, but the commercial divers obviously believe the excitement, job satisfaction and high pay is worth it. They’re right.
Other Valuable Resources for the Aspiring Commercial Diver:
- The Commerical Diving Directory
- Equipment Suppliers
- Exploration Opportunites
- Technical Library
- Commercial Diving Schools