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Career profile Commercial Diver

Also known as Commercial Diver, Diver, Diver Tender, Hard Hat Diver, Non Destructive Testing Under Water Welder (NDT U/W Welder), Salvage Diver, Tender

Commercial Diver

Also known as Commercial Diver, Diver, Diver Tender

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$36,200 - $111,130 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Building and Construction
  • Physics
Core tasks
  • Take appropriate safety precautions, such as monitoring dive lengths and depths and registering with authorities before diving expeditions begin.
  • Check and maintain diving equipment, such as helmets, masks, air tanks, harnesses, or gauges.
  • Communicate with workers on the surface while underwater, using signal lines or telephones.
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What does a Commercial Diver do?

Commercial Divers work below surface of water, using surface-supplied air or scuba equipment to inspect, repair, remove, or install equipment and structures.

In addition, Commercial Divers

  • 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.

What kind of tasks does a Commercial Diver perform regularly?

Commercial Divers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Take appropriate safety precautions, such as monitoring dive lengths and depths and registering with authorities before diving expeditions begin.
  • Check and maintain diving equipment, such as helmets, masks, air tanks, harnesses, or gauges.
  • Communicate with workers on the surface while underwater, using signal lines or telephones.
  • Descend into water with the aid of diver helpers, using scuba gear or diving suits.
  • Obtain information about diving tasks and environmental conditions.
  • Supervise or train other divers, including hobby divers.
  • 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.
  • Inspect the condition of underwater steel or wood structures.
  • Repair ships, bridge foundations, or other structures below the water line, using caulk, bolts, and hand tools.
  • Recover objects by placing rigging around sunken objects, hooking rigging to crane lines, and operating winches, derricks, or cranes to raise objects.
  • Operate underwater video, sonar, recording, or related equipment to investigate underwater structures or marine life.
  • Take test samples or photographs to assess the condition of vessels or structures.
  • Cut and weld steel, using underwater welding equipment, jigs, and supports.
  • Install, inspect, clean, or repair piping or valves.
  • Carry out non-destructive testing, such as tests for cracks on the legs of oil rigs at sea.
  • Install pilings or footings for piers or bridges.
  • Salvage wrecked ships or their cargo, using pneumatic power velocity and hydraulic tools and explosive charges, when necessary.
  • 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.
  • Perform activities related to underwater search and rescue, salvage, recovery, or cleanup operations.

The above responsibilities are specific to Commercial Divers. More generally, Commercial Divers are involved in several broader types of 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 materials.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
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.

What is a Commercial Diver salary?

The median salary for a Commercial Diver is $54,800, and the average salary is $71,850. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Commercial Diver salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Commercial Divers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Commercial Divers earn less than $36,200 per year, 25% earn less than $43,570, 75% earn less than $77,220, and 90% earn less than $111,130.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Commercial Divers is expected to change by 17.5%, and there should be roughly 500 open positions for Commercial Divers every year.

Median annual salary
$54,800
Typical salary range
$36,200 - $111,130
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
17.5%

What personality traits are common among Commercial Divers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Commercial Diver are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Commercial Divers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Commercial Diver tend to value Support, Independence, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Commercial Divers strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Commercial Divers strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Commercial Divers moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Commercial Divers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and stress tolerance.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Commercial Divers, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

What education and training do Commercial Divers need?

Commercial Divers often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Commercial Divers usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Commercial Divers

  • 13.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 39.6% completed high school or secondary school
  • 26.6% completed some college coursework
  • 9.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 9.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.3% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Commercial Divers

Commercial Divers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, building and construction, or physics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Commercial Divers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.

Important Abilities needed by Commercial Divers

Commercial Divers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Commercial Divers need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Commercial Divers, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.

Critical Skills needed by Commercial Divers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Commercial Divers frequently use skills like critical thinking, operations monitoring, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Commercial Divers, ranked by their relative importance.

Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
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.
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.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.