How to Become a Deep Sea Diver

Whether you want to become a commercial diver, scientific diver or deep-sea rescue diver, you must first complete training and gain experience. Scuba Schools International and other global organizations offer deep-sea diver training. Educational requirements depend on which career path you choose to pursue. Scientific divers, for example, need a graduate degree in addition to deep-diving courses.

Tip

The first step to becoming a deep-sea diver is to choose a career path, such as commercial or salvage diving. Next, take a deep-diver course and complete additional training in your field of interest.

Types of Deep Sea Divers

Deep-sea divers explore the seas at depths of 59 feet (18 meters) to 131 feet (40 meters), according to Scuba Schools International (SSI). However, these standards vary among certifying organizations and job specialties. Technical divers, for instance, may attain greater depths than salvage or rescue divers. Regardless of which career path you take, it’s essential to be physically fit and wear appropriate equipment.

As a deep-sea diver, you may work in various industries, from engineering to scientific research. There is also the option to join the military or the police forces. Research your career options, choose a path and then take the steps needed to complete training. If you want to become a scientific diver, you may need a graduate degree in marine biology, geology or a related field. But you must also complete a deep-sea diving training program while in school or after graduation.

Scientific divers require at least 100 hours of theoretical and practical training, explains Oregon State University. These professionals use their skills to collect underwater data, take samples and study marine animals in their natural habitats. On the other hand, Salvage divers are responsible for recovering sunken ships and valuable objects lost at sea. Commercial divers may specialize in underwater welding, construction projects and more.

Complete Deep Sea Diver Training

Deep diving poses several health hazards that you may not be aware of. The Association of Diving Contractors International cites differential pressure, stored energy and the inappropriate use of scuba equipment as the leading causes of death among divers. Considering these risks, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the different types of diving equipment and procedural adaptations, such as decompression and saturation diving.

First things first, sign up for an accredited deep diving course. The one offered by SSI is available to anyone over the age of 15 and lasts 10 to 15 hours. Students who complete the program receive a Deep Diving Specialty certification. Later, they may enroll in specialty programs covering wreck diving, rebreather diving, navigation and other advanced topics.

PADI, the global organization, offers specialized courses in addition to deep-sea diver training. Applicants can sign up for technical diving, enriched air diving or rescue diving courses, to name a few. The Deep Diver Specialty course is available to those who have completed the Adventure Diver course or a similar program. It includes four deep dives under the guidance of an instructor, plus access to an online learning platform.

Continue Your Education

Depending on what kind of deep-sea diver job you’re interested in, additional training may be needed. Construction divers, for example, may need to enroll in welding education programs to work in this field. If you plan to specialize in offshore diving, note that employers may require an academic degree in engineering. First-aid training may be necessary, too.

Commercial divers must complete a training program approved by the Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI) to earn their certification. The organization does not recognize PADI and other SCUBA certificates. If you decide to take this path, search for an ADCI-approved school, such as the International Diving Institute in North Charleston, South Carolina, or the Divers Institute of Technology in Seattle, Washington.

A deep-sea diver’s salary depends on his experience, location and job duties. Commercial divers, for example, have a median annual wage of ​$71,850​, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who work at museums and other similar institutions make around ​$40,330​ per year. A deep diver specialized in civil engineering construction can expect to earn about ​$70,570​.

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