DIVING AND HYDROGRAPHY
If you are interested in working in a career which looks below the sea you might like to follow the link to learn more about becoming a Marine Hydrographer.
Divers work underwater at sea, or in rivers, lakes, canals and reservoirs.
Many divers work in the offshore oil and gas industries using their skills to carry out maintenance (e.g. thermal cutting or welding) and conduct inspections on pipes, cables and structures like oil rigs. Inspection may involve taking photographs or videos.
Concern for the environment has led to new developments which may also require divers to work on offshore wind farms etc.
Scientific work – marine biologists sometimes dive to carry out research. Archeologists may also train as divers to specialise in surveying wreckages.
Marine civil engineering work carried out inshore may involve working on projects such as surveying or repairing bridges, ports or harbours. Work can be found anywhere in the world and is usually on a contract basis.
Qualifications and Training
To be a diver, you don’t need any set educational qualifications.
Some people train to be a commercial diver as part of their work, perhaps in the Armed forces or the police.
If you want to work in the commercial marine industry you will need to train with a commercial organisation or professional body to get your diving qualifications.
You'll also need experience relevant to the industry you're working in. For example, you'll need a background in welding to work as an offshore underwater engineer, fixing pipelines.
It is essential to gain recognised, approved qualifications appropriate for the type of diving you intend to do. The HSE approves qualifications in the UK, and a list of these can be found on their website.
Most divers are self-employed. Pay varies and depends on inshore/offshore, experience and the level of the role undertaken, for instance as a diver or supervisor.
Commercial Diver Training Limited
Professional Diving Academy
Health & Safety Executive - information on careers and lists approved diving qualifications and diver competence assessor organisations: www.hse.gov.uk/diving
The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) – tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520. Website has careers information, links to members around the world and lists approved training providers: www.imca-int.com/careers.
GOOD TO KNOW
Before starting a training course to become a commercial diver, you need a certificate of fitness to dive from a medical examiner approved by an appropriate body, such as the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK; this is renewed annually.
You might find it useful to have experience of recreational scuba diving before training as a commercial diver.
Many diving schools offer tests to help you decide whether you'll be suited to working underwater.
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