Commercial Diver

Commercial Divers work below the surface of water and work with utilities and dams to make periodic inspections and perform preventative maintenance tasks in an effort to prevent unexpected breakdowns. This can range from pump repair to fish ladder maintenance, and uses a variety of skills. Commercial divers are skilled at using surface-supplied air or scuba equipment, drills, sledgehammers, torches, and welding equipment.

Also known as: Diver, Diver Tender, Hard Hat Diver, Non-destructive Testing Under Water Welder, Salvage Diver

Pay Scale

$134,470 in 2021 in WA

$60,360 in 2021 in U.S.


High School Diploma, Certifications

Projected Opportunities

10 through 2030 in WA

400 through 2031 in U.S.

Career Path

The career path for becoming a commercial diver varies but begins with a high school diploma. From there you can obtain a certification or associates degree before becoming an entry-level diver such as a diver tender, safety diver, or offshore diver. Advanced-level divers include inland divers, hazmat/nuclear divers, and inspection divers. From there you can move onto supervisory positions such as dive supervisor or team lead.

Commercial Diver career path

Training & Requirements


Pre-requisites for becoming a commercial diver include a high school diploma and being able to pass a dive physical, which can include being able to swim 400 meters unassisted. There are several categories of certifications that can be obtained through the Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI, linked below) with proper training.

Required Skills

  • Data base use for diving logbook software
  • Ability to perform physical activities such as climbing, lifting, balancing, handling materials, and swimming
  • Critical thinking and problem solving- use logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions


  • Take appropriate safety precautions, such as monitoring dive lengths and depths, as well as registering with authorities
  • Check and maintain diving equipment (helmets, masks, air tanks, harnesses, or gauges)
  • Obtain information about diving tasks and environmental conditions