Do you have what it takes to earn a wage from scuba diving? Find out now, with my guide to scuba diving jobs, from scientific divers to golf ball recycling.
Although you might not find much with a quick Google search of ‘scuba diving jobs near me’. If you know where to look, you could find your dream job in a beautiful location.
Learn more about the different types of diving jobs available. Just think about what you could do as a Divemaster or even as a technical diver to start your new career.
Is Scuba Diving a Career?
There are many reasons people become scuba divers, and to be able to earn a living doing it is probably in a lot of divers dreams. But, where do you start? Well, earning your open water scuba certification is the very start of a career in the diving industry.
However, there are many things to consider when following this passion. Some of the aspects are great while others are less so.
Let’s take a look at them here.
Advantages of a Career in Scuba Diving:
- You are making your hobby and something you love into your career
- It very often gives you the opportunity to travel
- Diving keeps you fit and helps you stay active
- Very rarely will it be a regular 9-5 job
- You will be able to contribute to ocean preservation
Disadvantages of a career in scuba diving:
- A diving career can be dependent on seasons
- There are certain job hazards
- Although the jobs are out there, they can be limited in quantity
10 Jobs that Require Scuba Diving
Although you may be surprised by the great choice of jobs that require the skills of a diver. Have you ever thought of creating your own business using these skills?
Here is my guide with just some of the great career opportunities that you could find as a qualified scuba diver. Check out the minimum requirement for each position to help towards your future dream diving job.
Scuba Diving Instructor or Guide
With the popularity of the recreational diving industry being vast and worldwide, opportunities available for work can be numerous. Maybe you have been to a dive center and seen scuba instructors at work. Now you are yearning to become an instructor yourself.
The most obvious underwater world profession is a scuba instructor or dive guide. You can work as one on liveaboard trips or at a dive center, almost anywhere in the world with a coastline or body of water close by.
Taking the first step is to become a certified dive instructor with an accredited dive agency. There are many different to choose from. I am working towards PADI Divemaster myself, after which you start your PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors (OWSI) course or the Assistant Instructor (AI) course.
Once a divemaster you will have to show that you have logged at least 60 dives to start the course and at least 100 dives to be admitted to the Instructor Examination (IE).
All in all, the course itself only takes a week or two but getting the diving experience obviously takes considerably longer.
Public Safety Diver
Thoroughly enjoyed your PADI rescue diver course and looking for something different? Then a career as a public safety diver might be something for you.
This job puts you as part of a search and rescue team or even a criminal investigation team. Being a public safety diver means you may work for the police or the military on a variety of cases.
After the rescue diver course, you will enroll in a special Public Safety Diver course where you will learn about rescue techniques, underwater navigation & communication, and recovery. It can be intense training but it is more than just a job, know that you are doing good for the community.
When you join the army, becoming a military diver is one of the niches that you can specialize in. How to get to that level will depend on the military regulations of the specific country.
In most countries, military divers first have to undergo basic training before continuing into the scuba diving specialty. As a scuba diver in the army, you will be doing many of the same jobs as a public safety diver.
Besides the army, you can also find similar positions in the navy. The advantage of this career path is that the government pays for your scuba diving training.
The term commercial diver can mean many things. The red thread is that you work for a commercial business that isn’t in the recreational scuba dive industry per se.
Many different types of professional divers could call themselves commercial divers. However, in most cases, people are referring to technical jobs that involve some form of engineering.
Common examples include exploration divers that work for oil and gas companies as well as underwater engineers that work on boats and civil structures. For most of these jobs, you will first need a higher education degree to learn the technical side of things.
Dive Shop Owner/Manager
Wherever you find a dive center you will usually find a dive shop owner or manager. If you want to spend your days right next to the water and spreading the joy of diving, this is it.
That being said, you can also start a dive shop somewhere in the city and not so close to the ocean. Not every scuba diver lives along the coast but they’ll still need somewhere to get their gear from.
This is one of the options that will let you eat and breathe scuba diving. But you may find it could restrict your time in the water. There is of course also the possibility that you could start up an online dive shop.
A marine biologist needs a master’s degree and has often had a research-oriented job before entering into marine life. If you are concerned about the welfare of our oceans, then this is a fantastic way to contribute.
Most marine biology work involves researching the condition of marine life by collecting data and samples and writing reports. From sharks down to the plankton, the ocean’s critters don’t come to us, so we have to dive down to them.
Although these positions are limited, you might find a working position with research institutions, the government, or universities. The ultimate goal is to help understand, preserve and discover new species.
This is another one of those titles that could mean a variety of work and it is broader than a marine biologist. Scientific divers are also interested in factors such as water quality, and water flows, etc.
There might be some commercial work for private companies doing impact studies, but many will also work for academic and research institutions. The job often involves the placement of scientific equipment, taking measurements, and other forms of data for scientific reporting.
Certain universities may offer specialized courses if they are relevant for the degree, but you will still need either PADI or SSI Open Water certification.
For those of you that love to dive and are keen on photography, being an underwater photographer would be a dream. But be warned to become experienced you need to practice underwater photography and that can take time.
Many industries require underwater shots to be taken, the advertising trade, and the fashion industry to name just two. Although this position would not require special training as a diver, it does present adverse conditions for a photographer.
Whether you work as a freelancer or regular employee for magazines etc. you will need a great understanding of shooting underwater and all that it entails.
Dive deep enough and you find soil (and shipwrecks)- the medium of archeologists. A marine archaeologist does much the same work as on land and you will require a background in science proven by a university master’s degree.
Of course, you also still need specialist skills for and you will have to learn to work with specific scuba equipment.
One of the valuable skills is wreck diving as many archeological sites on the ocean floor involve shipwrecks. This is a great opportunity for the history buff. Maybe you have been scuba diving at the SS Yongala wreck and have a newfound interest in underwater archaeology.
Golf Ball Diver
You may not have even thought of this but, golf ball divers are more common than you think. Just imagine how many balls would end up in the small lakes of golf courses if they were never collected. They cannot stay submerged forever.
Country clubs and golf clubs will hire a sport diver to retrieve sunken balls and clean them so they can be used again. It is not the most regular occupancy but can make for a very good income as a part-time job.
Where to Find Scuba Diving Jobs
Can you already envision your career with an air tank on your back and fins on your feet? Although the job-hunting part might be a little more unconventional, give serious thought to what you are suited to doing.
A good place to start is your local dive shop since employers know that this is where they will most likely find someone with diving ability. To help you further in your quest, below are a few websites also worth a browse for jobs and internships.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Still, have questions about the types of jobs that need you to scuba dive and what it would be like to follow this type of career path? Maybe you’ll find your answer below.
Do scuba divers make good money?
Whether scuba divers earn good money truly depends on where you work and the specific role you play. One thing is for sure since scuba diving is a special skill, your fees and salary are generally higher than a similar job on land.
See Related Article: Scuba Diver Salaries Explained
How much do police scuba divers make?
Although the salary of a police scuba diver depends on which state they work in. The US average is between $70,000 – $100,000 per year excluding overtime and bonuses.
How do I start a scuba diving business?
Start by thinking about your own specific skills, both on land and in the water. Find out which qualifications you need, how difficult they are to attain, and what the career opportunities are.
Don’t settle for an office job if you dream of being in the ocean. You can find a career path that takes you below the water’s surface and pays you a comfortable wage for doing something you love.