Commercial Divers
SOC: 49-9092.00


Work below surface of water, using scuba gear to inspect, repair, remove, or install equipment and structures. May use a variety of power and hand tools, such as drills, sledgehammers, torches, and welding equipment. May conduct tests or experiments, rig explosives, or photograph structures or marine life.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
4,400 employed

Projected (2024):
6,000 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Commercial Diver
  • Deep Sea Diver
  • Dive Superintendent
  • Dive Supervisor
  • Divemaster
  • Diver
  • Diver Tender
  • Diving Supervisor
  • Hard Hat Diver
  • Marine Diver
  • Navy Diver
  • Non Destructive Testing Under Water Welder (NDT U/W Welder)
  • Non Destructive Testing Underwater Welder (NDT U/W Welder)
  • Salvage Diver
  • Scuba Diver
  • Skin Diver
  • Submarine Diver
  • Tender
  • Under Water Assistant (U/W Assistant)
  • Underwater Welder

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Installation
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Communicate with workers on the surface while underwater, using signal lines or telephones.
  • Take appropriate safety precautions, such as monitoring dive lengths and depths and registering with authorities before diving expeditions begin.
  • Check and maintain diving equipment, such as helmets, masks, air tanks, harnesses, or gauges.
  • Descend into water with the aid of diver helpers, using scuba gear or diving suits.
  • Obtain information about diving tasks and environmental conditions.
  • Inspect and test docks, ships, buoyage systems, plant intakes or outflows, or underwater pipelines, cables, or sewers, using closed circuit television, still photography, and testing equipment.
  • Repair ships, bridge foundations, or other structures below the water line, using caulk, bolts, and hand tools.
  • Cut and weld steel, using underwater welding equipment, jigs, and supports.
  • Recover objects by placing rigging around sunken objects, hooking rigging to crane lines, and operating winches, derricks, or cranes to raise objects.
  • Install pilings or footings for piers or bridges.
  • Take test samples or photographs to assess the condition of vessels or structures.
  • Install, inspect, clean, or repair piping or valves.
  • Operate underwater video, sonar, recording, or related equipment to investigate underwater structures or marine life.
  • Remove obstructions from strainers or marine railway or launching ways, using pneumatic or power hand tools.
  • Salvage wrecked ships or their cargo, using pneumatic power velocity and hydraulic tools and explosive charges, when necessary.
  • Set or guide placement of pilings or sandbags to provide support for structures such as docks, bridges, cofferdams, or platforms.
  • Perform activities related to underwater search and rescue, salvage, recovery, or cleanup operations.
  • Supervise or train other divers, including hobby divers.
  • Carry out non-destructive testing, such as tests for cracks on the legs of oil rigs at sea.
  • Drill holes in rock and rig explosives for underwater demolitions.
  • Remove rubbish or pollution from the sea.
  • Perform offshore oil or gas exploration or extraction duties, such as conducting underwater surveys or repairing and maintaining drilling rigs or platforms.
  • Cultivate or harvest marine species or perform routine work on fish farms.
  • Set up dive sites for recreational instruction.
  • Inspect the condition of underwater steel or wood structures.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Adjustable crescent wrenches
  • Air tanks
  • Bailout bottles
  • Barometers
  • Box end wrenches
  • Buoyancy control devices
  • Carbon Dioxide CO2 monitors
  • Chain hoists
  • Closed circuit system helmets
  • Closed circuit televisions
  • Closed diving bells
  • Code alpha flags
  • Comealongs
  • Cylinder harnesses
  • Digital thickness gauges
  • Dive computers
  • Dive timing devices
  • Divers' knives
  • Divers' lights
  • Divers' safety harnesses
  • Diving compressor systems
  • Diving gauges
  • Diving masks
  • Diving suits
  • Dry suits
  • Emergency diver recovery hoists
  • Explosive detonation devices
  • Fins
  • Folding knives
  • Gas blending panels
  • Gas reclaim system helmets
  • Hammer wrenches
  • Hand winches
  • Hard sole wet boots
  • Heavyweight diving helmets
  • Hydraulic breakers
  • Hydraulic cutters
  • Hydraulic hose reels
  • Hydraulic torque wrenches
  • Inflatable dive markers
  • Jib cranes
  • Lightweight diving helmets
  • Magnetic particle inspectors
  • Measuring jigs
  • Mechanical pit gauges
  • Mechanical sampling buckets
  • Mixed gas analysis equipment
  • Open bottom diving bells
  • Oxygen analyzers
  • Pry bars
  • Rebar locators
  • Rebound hammers
  • Rebreathers
  • Remote operated vehicles ROV
  • Rigging knives
  • Sample jars
  • Snorkels
  • Steel sledge hammers
  • Submersible pumps
  • Ultrasonic pulse velocity meters
  • Ultrasonic thickness testers
  • Umbilical cutters
  • Underwater blow torches
  • Underwater chainsaws
  • Underwater chipping hammers
  • Underwater compasses
  • Underwater cutoff saws
  • Underwater depth gauges
  • Underwater flashlights
  • Underwater hammer drills
  • Underwater hydraulic drills
  • Underwater impact wrenches
  • Underwater jackhammers
  • Underwater power drills
  • Underwater power grinders
  • Underwater pressure gauges
  • Underwater reciprocating saws
  • Underwater recording equipment
  • Underwater sinker drills
  • Underwater sonar equipment
  • Underwater video cameras
  • Underwater video equipment
  • Underwater welding current breakers
  • Underwater welding equipment
  • Underwater welding oxygen regulators
  • Underwater writing slates
  • Water dredges
  • Water jets
  • Weight belts
  • Welding electrode holders
  • Wet suit gloves
  • Wind sensors
  • Wireless communication systems
  • Diving logbook software
  • Diving table software
  • Dynamic positioning DP software
  • Remote operated vehicle ROV dive log software
  • Web browser software

  • installation maintenance and repair

    industry stats

    SOC: 49-0000

    Total Employed: 5,374,150

    Average Annual Salary: $45,990