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Diver careers

Divers work in a variety of locations, using their skills to access the pipeline of an oil platform, a film setting, or the deck of sunken ship. Some divers combine teaching with diving and become diving instructors.

While there are no formal minimum qualifications for diver training anyone wishing to dive professionally in the UK must hold a relevant qualification approved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Qualifications vary according to the type of diving work, and include:

  • HSE SCUBA diving
  • HSE Surface Supplied diving
  • HSE Surface Supplied diving (offshore top-up)
  • HSE Closed Bell diving
  • Each of these courses takes around five to eight weeks' training, and you must pass a thorough medical examination before starting diver training. Commercial divers will often have a combination of qualifications, and in addition, many professional divers also hold academic and/or technical qualifications relevant to their chosen industry.

    For example, divers working in the offshore industry often hold a degree in an engineering or science subject, construction divers might have welding qualifications, and a nautical archaeologist would have a degree in archaeology. To become a diving instructor requires that you build your SCUBA skills through courses from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). Divemaster and SCUBA Instructor qualifications are based upon a combination of certification and quantity of logged dives.

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