Some of you know me, some of you know what I do for a living. I am a commercial diver/deep sea diver. I've gotten numerous PM's and replies to my posts asking for a thread with more information about what I do and how you can get into it. Well here it is. Throughout my post I will use the terms "deep sea" and "commercial" interchangeably, they refer to the same thing. I did not copy/paste this, I went to the effort to write this for those who asked. If you don't care, then don't read it. By the way, I go by multiple usernames. One of them being skatin707. If you are linked here from somewhere else by skatin707, its me.
What is deep sea diving/commercial diving?
Simple, its diving for profit!
So what do you do underwater?
This is a question that has a very immense answer, I will keep it brief because I'm sure nobody made it this far
. As technology advances, the tasks carried out underwater grows more and more numerous. Diving began in the 16th century and was done in VERY shallow water. As our gear got more and more advanced, the depths we dove to got deeper and deeper. The boom in the dive industry came with the hurricane in the gulf of mexico that royally ****ED most of the rigs out there. However, there is more to it than that. Diving on a rig is a complex job. It includes pipe laying, pipe repair, barge repair, rig repair, and underwater equipment placement. Underwater welding is done in this portion of the industry, but I'll mention that later. There is also a sect of diving called inland diving which is comprised of lake diving, dam diving, and underwater ships husbandry. There are other things such as HAZMAT and nuke diving.
Saturation Diving (you spend a week or so underwater instead of going up and down)
Well, we know what you do...so how do you do it?
Commercial diving is done primarily under surface supplied operations. Surface supplied means the air is compressed via a compressor on the surface. The industry standard compressor is the Quincy 5120, it uses monolec oil. That sounds frivolous, but its more important than you think. Your gear consists of a hat (typically a superlite), a wet or dry suit, a harness, an umbilical, fins (if you are working midwater), gloves, a bailout bottle (come home bottle, oh **** bottle, etc), and whatever tools your job requires. Your dive umbilical is comprised of 3 main things. It has your air line, your pneumofathometer (depth meter), and your coms cable. Depending on the job/company, your umbilical may have other things such as video, hot water, and light cable. Once you suit up, you make peace with your God, and go to work.
So we know a bit about it, what is the pay like?! How often do you work?
The pay is pretty damn good. Anywhere from $20 to $300 an hour depending on where you work. The $300 an hour is very very very very hard to get and you wont get it for long (maybe an hour or two). If you work in the gulf, don't expect to work more than a couple months at a time. The work is very off and on. Most schedules in the gulf go month on, month off, and so on. It can change, obviously, but that is what my friends report back to me. I do have one friend who was gone for a year or so straight. Every company is different. Inland diving is quite a bit more consistent. You can have a typical 8-5 job.
Diver going to work.
Sounds great, where do I sign up?
Go to dive school. That's the best way to get started. The best school you can go to is called Diver's Institute of Technology. Google it, it is in Seattle. Most other schools have horrible ratings and are getting shut down because of this. DIT has been around since the 60s.
Ok, so be specific. What do you, Akward Silence, do?
I have a sweet gig going right now. I work for a company that holds a navy contract for ship cleaning/repair. Its a great job because I work 7-3 4 or 5 days a week. My pay is incredible, and I get to go home every night (which is rare in this job). I don't own my own dive hat yet, but I'm working on that. They cost upwards of $10,000 and I am still paying off school loans. If you are curious, my pay is roughly $100 an hour.
Underwater Ship Husbandry, this is what I do.
I'll add more as it comes to mind.