If you’re passionate about diving, you might want to make it your career, and there are quite a number of jobs that can turn your hobby into a living. Many of the career paths are very lucrative, although all professional diving jobs tend to begin on a similar payscale, with differences beginning to emerge after around three to five years of experience.
In This Guide
The Qualifications Required For Most Scuba Diving Jobs
To become a commercial diver, you will need a high school diploma or the equivalent and must be 18 years or older, with good reading and writing skills. You must be physically fit and have a TWIC card. You will also need strong swimming skills as well as a good sense of mechanics. Diving careers all vary in many respects, from the certification required to the risk they involve, however you’ll need to have a commercial diving license if you want to become a professional within any area of diving. Here are just six of the different scuba diving jobs that you could consider:
The Best Scuba Diving Careers
One of the most lucrative diving career paths is in offshore welding. Many offshore welding divers live on stationary oil platforms for periods of up to 6 weeks at a time, with a 10 day break before heading back out to the platform again. Although the salary is high for this career path, the hours are long, with working days often being more than 12 hours long. Shift work is also usually necessary, with tasks including such jobs as welding pipelines and measuring gaps for placing new materials. There are several locations where offshore welding jobs can be obtained including off the coast of northern Europe and in the Gulf of Mexico. The main downsides of this job, however, is that it is a seasonal occupation since poor weather means that offshore welders will go for many months of the year without obtaining any work. Commercial divers receive an average salary of $58.640 per year.
This is a high risk job that involves working with some unpleasant and dangerous substances, but which also involves high salaries of over $60,000 per year. HAZMAT divers have to carry out repairs, cleaning and maintenance in a number of underwater environments. While some tasks will be routine, others will be emergencies and a special suit must be worn and decontamination must be carried out after every job.
For any diver with a love of marine life and underwater flora, a career in scientific diving could be the perfect choice. Scientific divers research and examine biology, archaeology and geology under the water however to obtain work in this field, qualifications in science are required. Scientific divers can earn approximately $30,000 per year and usually work for large organizations focusing on underwater research, conducting experiments under water and taking samples.
Divers who work for the police are required to hunt for evidence and clues under the water that relate to criminal investigations. While some of the tasks will be simple, such as looking for contraband, other tasks may involve searching for bodies. This career path is well compensated however, since the average salary for a police diver stands at approximately $75,000.
A fascinating and low risk career path that makes the most of your diving skills is underwater photography. Media divers, as this career path is known, are involved in photographing scenes underwater or filming for movies. Usually, media divers begin their career as a freelancer, with many starting up a business of their own, however some may work for another media diver undertaking a form of apprenticeship. Underwater photographers have to learn how to use waterproof lights, sound equipment and cameras to take footage under the water. Usually, only a high school diploma is required to get into this career path as most of the skills required are learned on the job. Salaries begin at around $30,000 and can rise to $60,000.
Underwater Tour Guide
If you have a passion for adventure and travel as well as a scuba diving qualification, you could become an underwater tour guide. There are opportunities around the world at a number of popular diving locations for qualified divers to take groups underwater to see the sights, however it isn’t all about fun and games. Dive guides are required to not just lead the group but also to take responsibility for assessing the conditions of the dive site to ensure that it is safe and suitable for the group. They also have to give the group members a complete briefing about the dive and ensure that all participants enter and exit the water safely. A dive guide also sets the required limits for the dive with respect to depth and air consumption. While dive guides aren’t personally responsible for the health and safety of all of the members of their group, they are responsible for ensuring the dive itself is completely safe, which involves quite a lot of responsibility. Salaries vary wildly between locations, however can generally expected to start at around $30,000.
How To Get A Scuba Diving Job
If you’re keen to get a job in the scuba diving industry, it can be difficult to know how to get started. One way is to use connections from within the industry to try to find a suitable entry level post. The internet is a very useful resource for finding scuba diving jobs, since there are a number of sites which are dedicated to scuba diving career paths. Sites like DiversJobs.com list relevant posts in several different diving sectors so that those who are new to the career, or even those who are already working in the field and wish to make a change, can find suitable jobs to suit their interests and experience.
If you are passionate about scuba diving, finding one of the many available scuba diving jobs could be the way forward to a new and lucrative career path. Don’t dive professionally without making sure you’re well-equipped for your new gig, though! Be sure to check out the best dive packages for beginners here!