Professional divers work at sea or inland in rivers, lakes, canals and reservoirs. Your tasks would vary depending on your industry. You might work in the offshore oil and gas industries, in engineering, the leisure industry, or with the police.

If you are an excellent swimmer and you can cope with demanding physical conditions, this job could be a good choice. You will need to pass a strict medical examination before you take any diver training. You might also find it useful to have experience of recreational SCUBA diving before training as a commercial diver, but this is not essential. 

You do not need academic qualifications to learn diving skills. However, to work as a commercial diver you will need the right skills and qualifications for your industry, as well as learning how to dive. For example, most scientific divers have a degree in oceanography or marine biology. Some offshore divers might need a degree in surveying or engineering, and construction divers might need qualifications in welding or non-destructive testing.

When it comes to employment opportunities, renewable energy is an expanding industry and there are a growing number of companies which specialise in offshore wind and wave generators. This means there are now more opportunities for divers working in this field.

As an experienced commercial diver with further training, you could qualify for roles with extra responsibility and more pay, such as:

  • life support technician – monitoring conditions for closed bell or saturation divers
  • diving supervisor – monitoring the safety of other divers and their equipment.