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Commercial Diving Certifications or How to Become a Commercial Diver?

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A post about commercial diving certifications, really, Dressel Divers?

We know you are wondering: Why is a recreational diving company suddenly writing an article about commercial diving certifications? Why have we gone crazy? Hahaha

No, it’s not true. The truth is that more and more divers want to find a professional outlet for what started as a hobby.

Don’t worry! We haven’t become a commercial diving school either. The professional opportunity we offer at Dressel Divers is the possibility of becoming a Divemaster and Diving Instructor. Regarding the rest of the options, we can only do one thing: offer you valuable information.

Indeed, commercial diving is one of those job opportunities, but there are more. You can find out about them in the article Professional Diving Services You Maybe Don’t Know

The content of this article is summarized in the following table.

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1. What Do Commercial Divers Do?

Imagine a bridge, an oil platform, or a dam, all those constructions that cross rivers or rise in the middle of the ocean need someone to build them, weld them, monitor them, and maintain the structures.

If something or someone is lost underwater, someone else must come to the rescue, or what if we talk about scientific research? Commercial diving certifications train divers to do this type of work.

Commercial divers work for a wide variety of companies of different natures: from construction companies to pharmaceutical companies. They need certified commercial divers to repair, install equipment, handle explosives, etc.


2. Commercial Diving Jobs

  • Salvage and Recovery Divers. This commercial diving training program is very useful in the salvage, rescue, and recovery of shipwrecks.
  • Underwater welders. These professionals need their commercial diving certification to provide them with knowledge in all phases of commercial diving and also as welders capable of performing both wet welding and dry welding or hyperbaric welding.
  • Saturation Diver. This commercial diver training lets the diver work under pressure for a long time. Their jobs are related to the building and demolition at depths of 1,000 feet /304m or more. Therefore, they have to live in a pressurized environment for weeks.
  • Scientific Diver. The scientific diver collects information for research projects, collecting data underwater.
  • Offshore and on Shore Divers. During offshore work seasons, offshore divers usually work on oil platforms or ships.

Onshore divers, however, work on civil engineering projects in lakes, ports, rivers, and dams.

  • Inspection Divers. The inspector diver collects information to anticipate the possible problems that a structure (ship, tunnel, submarine dock) or the divers themselves may have in the performance of their work.
  • Nuclear Divers or HAZMAT operations. They are perhaps the most skilled commercial divers of all, handling hazardous materials in extreme conditions. HAZMAT commercial diving certification focuses on precautionary measures to avoid radiation.

3. Some Commercial Diving Certifications

Not all commercial diving schools offer the same certifications or even the same programs for the same levels.

Some commercial diving training programs allow divers to work internationally, and others follow standards that will only allow them to work in their home country.

Generally, there is a consensus on International Standards for Commercial Diving and Underwater Operations.

Some certifications are:

  • Tender/Beginner Diver (2 years)
  • Air/Mixed Gas Commercial Diver Air Diving Supervisor
  • AMGCD – Underwater Welding
  • Mixed Gas Diving Supervisor
  • Bell/Saturation Diver
  • Bell/Saturation Diving Supervisor
  • Dive Medical Technician
  • Saturation Technician


4. Some Commercial Dive Certification Agencies

SDI, PDI, SSI, PADI or NAUI are not valid certifying agencies for this type of diving. This is because they can only certify recreational divers.

In order for commercial diving courses to be certified and their divers qualified as competent, they must be endorsed by the standards of some of the following agencies.

ADCI – Association of Diving Contractors International

ACDE – Association of Commercial Diving Educators

ADAS – Australian Diver Accreditation Scheme – An international organization for the accreditation of occupational divers based in Australia

DCBC – Diver Certification Board of Canada

HSE – UK Health and Safety Executive – It is responsible for promoting, regulating, and enforcing health, safety, and welfare in the workplace in Great Britain

ITDA – International Technical Diving Agency

5. Find A Commercial Diving School

Commercial diving training programs are much more demanding than recreational diving.

In addition to the safety specifications associated with diving, a commercial diver must be sufficiently qualified to handle heavy construction materials and dangerous tools and deal with possible electrocution or radiation.

On the other hand, he must know and manage the technical difficulty of the work itself. For example, an underwater welder must know how to weld, rescuers must know how to develop inspection plans and extraction techniques, and nuclear divers must know how to deal with radioactive material.

In addition, they must work in very demanding environments such as pipelines, bridges, dams, etc.

Therefore, choosing a good commercial diving school is a vital task before booking your commercial diving certification. Some of the items to consider are:

  1. If their commercial diving classes are endorsed by an international certification agency.
  2. If the commercial diving school has an adequate learning environment (underwater welding tanks, hyperbaric chambers for saturation diving)
  3. Real-world experience offer.
  4. Career planning. If the commercial diving school helps you to prepare your CV and do mock interviews will also be a plus point. However, the most important thing is planning for long-term career success with recruiter visits, collaboration agreements with employer companies, and continuous assistance for the students.

We hope this information has satisfied your curiosity about commercial diving training. Are you planning to pursue a commercial diving certification soon? Best of luck if you are!