Diver

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

Average salary (a year)

Variable

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become a Diver

You can get into this job through:

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

Work

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

Similarly, if you work in oceanography or marine biology, your employer may put you through specialist diver training, so that you can carry out research tasks under the sea.

Direct application

You could apply directly for jobs if you've got diving and safety qualifications. You'll also need experience relevant to the industry you're in. For example, you'll need a background in welding to work as an offshore underwater engineer, fixing pipelines.

Other routes

You would usually do training with a commercial 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 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.

Further information

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • persistence and determination
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • pass a medical carried out by a doctor approved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) before you begin professional diver training

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Depending on the type of diving you do, you could be involved in:

  • offshore oil and gas - exploring and surveying, or building and maintaining drilling rigs and pipelines
  • inland/inshore - working on civil engineering projects carrying out underwater repairs, demolition or salvage, or working in fish farming
  • the media - performing stunts or doing underwater filming
  • scientific research or underwater archaeology
  • the police - searching for and recovering missing persons or evidence
  • leisure - leading recreational SCUBA dives or teaching SCUBA diving skills

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

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

With experience and further training, you could move into roles with extra responsibility and more pay, like life support technician or diving supervisor.

If working in a dive centre you could move into a management role.

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

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

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

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Are you interested in becoming a Diver?

Search for training courses near you.

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