Alternative titles for this job include Commercial diver

Divers work underwater at sea, or in rivers, lakes, canals and reservoirs.

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Diver

You can get into this job through:

  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • training with a professional body


You may be able to apply for diver training through your employer. For example, if you're in the police, armed forces or work for a marine engineering company. Once qualified, you could work with an underwater unit.

Similarly, if you work in scientific research, like oceanography or archaeology, your employer may put you through specialist diver training, so that you can carry out tasks underwater.

Direct Application

You could apply directly for jobs if you've got the right diving and safety 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, repairing pipelines or cables.

Other Routes

You can do a course with a commercial training organisation or professional body to get your diving qualifications.

Training must be approved by the Health and Safety Executive. Examples include courses offered by the:

More Information

Career tips

You might find it helpful to have experience of recreational scuba diving before training as a commercial diver.

Many diving schools offer assessments to help you decide whether you'll be suited to working underwater.

Further information

You can find out more about commercial and leisure diving careers through the:

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • observation and recording skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • persistence and determination
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • pass a medical check

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a diver, your duties will depend on the type of diving you do. 

You could:

  • survey offshore oil and gas drilling rigs and pipelines
  • carry out underwater repairs, demolition or salvage on civil engineering jobs
  • support teams on underwater filming or photography projects
  • carry out scientific research or underwater archaeology
  • search for and recover missing persons or evidence for the police
  • lead recreational scuba dives or teach scuba diving skills in the leisure sector

Working environment

You could work underwater or in an office.

Your working environment may be cold, dirty and physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You'd normally be self-employed as a commercial diver.

With experience and further training, you could take up roles with extra responsibility like a dive leader or instructor, or a life support technician, supporting divers in a compression chamber.

If working in a dive centre, you might move into management.

You could also set up a business, or work in a related field where diving skills are useful, like swimming pool or aquarium maintenance.

Current opportunities

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Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Diver right now.

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Courses In England

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Jobs In the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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