Although wages are low initially, as a diver’s experiences and skills increase – so does their take home pay. Many factors influence the earning potential of commercial divers and are all taken into account by organisations and employers, namely:
- Field Experience – ample experience is crucial in securing higher paying commercial diving roles. Starting as an entry level diver and in time commencing into more niche roles (such as military or police force) is a great way to build experience and progress up the ladder.
- Qualifications – Whilst experience is essential, certification demonstrates competency in all aspects of the Diving industry, from diving techniques and correct breathing protocols to occupational health & safety and identifying hazards, very similar to aviation licences like what Droneworxs had to obtain to fly an UAV. Possessing different qualifications in the field also demonstrates a willingness to work outside of comfort zones and a preparedness to broaden the mind.
- Exposure to a range of conditions – Commercial Divers may face a range of difficulties whilst on the job, such as;
- Low visibility
- Below-freezing temperatures
- High wave currents
- Wildlife encounters
Higher paying roles often see Commercial Divers work in harsh environments. Once experienced, qualified and more exposed to such settings – all of which should be outlined on your resume – earning potential can be exponential.
Although a seemingly exciting, forever changing and always challenging role, Commercial Divers are often faced with on the job dangers that need to be dealt with accordingly. Training is an integral part of ensuring no dangers become life threatening whilst in the midst of trying to resolve the issue, as is an vast amount of experience. Mainly as a result of deep-sea explorations, the failure of breathing equipment is one of the most high risk dangers a diver will face. In addition to that, the following can occur either as a result of breathing apparatus failure or through the role itself:
- Brain damage
- Decompression illness
- Defective diving equipment causing burns or hypothermia
- Improper operational planning
- Inadequate training and supervision
- Incorrect mixture of air and gas
- Low visibility
- Machinery-related accidents usually on board a vessel
- Poor OHS and power tool usage
- Unstable weather conditions
To avoid such harmful dangers, it is important to be fully qualified before commencing a role, as training components often simulate dangers and how to get out of them. It is also important to communicate with supervisors and other staff members prior to working on a project, to ensure everyone is aware of the brief and is working together to ensure every staff member is accounted for.
So you want to be a Commercial Diver – how do you go about it? First things first, you need to determine in which field you want to go. As previously mentioned, you have the option of branching out into many industries. Once decided, training is imperative to ensure you can apply for entry level roles and gain your experience in order to progress further into the field. Undertaking diver training is important to ensure your knowledge is deep enough to commence working in the field. Finding the right course for you is important to make sure your qualifications take you to where you want to go. Training to be a Commercial Diver is the first step to a career in diving, but you need to ensure the registered training organisation you go through is accredited and reputable. Once you’ve found a diving course and an instructor you gel with, commencing a training plan brings you one step closer to your goal of becoming a Commercial Diver. The basic requirements to ensure you meet the prerequisites for training includes high school completion, passion for the industry, a basic ability to swim and passing a medical to ensure you are fit enough to train. Age also plays an important role in becoming a diver. Generally, divers over the age of 45 are restricted from deep water diving for medical reasons. Many companies prefer to high younger graduates, commonly aged between 18 to 35. Once qualified, the diver will hold an official diving qualification, ready to present to potential employers for prospective job opportunities.
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