Commercial Divers

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Also known as:
Commercial Diver, Marine Diver, Non Destructive Testing Underwater Welder, Salvage Diver, Scuba Diver, Submarine Diver, Underwater Welder

ABOUT COMMERCIAL DIVER CAREERS
Video transcript

We usually don't see them, but below the surface of oceans, lakes and rivers, commercial divers are doing a lot of important work. Divers are used to inspect and patch the hulls of ships. They're specially trained in how to attach cables to sunken objects so they can be hoisted to the surface without damage.

Divers help install pilings for construction projects, check underwater pipes and cables for break, and they maintain underwater machinery such as pumps. They may search for missing person or objects, or collect police evidence. They may also operate video and other related equipment to investigate underwater structures and marine life.

This is all incredibly demanding work. The simplest activities on the surface take great concentration and physical effort underwater and it is dangerous. Divers often work in the dark, sometimes in confined spaces. They need to be able to remain calm in emergencies--all this while wearing scuba gear, so a diver must be constantly mindful of his remaining supply of oxygen. For deeper, longer dives, they use a special suit tethered to the surface with an air hose and communication wire.

In addition to mastering diving skills, these experts need to know how to weld underwater, and even how to safely rig explosives for construction projects. To get started, a high school diploma or G.E.D. is required. Specialized training is offered by some two-year technical schools, and you need to be in excellent health. Employment prospects in this field look good, so if you think you're qualified to "take the plunge," consider a career as a commercial diver.

SNAPSHOT
Work below surface of water, using surface-supplied air or scuba equipment to inspect, repair, remove, or install equipment and structures. May use a variety of power and hand tools, such as drills, sledgehammers, torches, and welding equipment. May conduct tests or experiments, rig explosives, or photograph structures or marine life.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Salvage wrecked ships or their cargo, using pneumatic power velocity and hydraulic tools and explosive charges, when necessary.

Install pilings or footings for piers or bridges.

Carry out non-destructive testing, such as tests for cracks on the legs of oil rigs at sea.

Remove obstructions from strainers or marine railway or launching ways, using pneumatic or power hand tools.

Set or guide placement of pilings or sandbags to provide support for structures, such as docks, bridges, cofferdams, or platforms.

Recover objects by placing rigging around sunken objects, hooking rigging to crane lines, and operating winches, derricks, or cranes to raise objects.

Perform activities related to underwater search and rescue, salvage, recovery, or cleanup operations.

Repair ships, bridge foundations, or other structures below the water line, using caulk, bolts, and hand tools.

Inspect and test docks, ships, buoyage systems, plant intakes or outflows, or underwater pipelines, cables, or sewers, using closed circuit television, still photography, and testing equipment.

Descend into water with the aid of diver helpers, using scuba gear or diving suits.

Communicate with workers on the surface while underwater, using signal lines or telephones.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Building and Construction Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
TOP SKILLS
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Equipment Maintenance Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.