Saturday, April 13, 2024

Turning Your Passion Into a Career: Scuba Diving Jobs and Opportunities


When you first think about scuba diving jobs, there seem to be few. Typically if you have only been exposed to diving in a resort environment, the first things that come to mind are a scuba diving instructor or dive master.

However, you will be glad to hear that your passion for scuba diving can be easily turned into a cash-earning exercise since there are far more jobs involving scuba than first appears. So read on to learn about the vast array of scuba diving jobs!

Scuba Diving Jobs can be very satisfying
Scuba Diving Jobs can be very satisfying

Divemaster/Dive Leader

Typically, this is an entry-level professional position and the first Scuba Diving Job in the dive industry. The divemaster role is the first “professional” dive rating. While divemasters in a resort/tropical environment seem to lead a charmed life full of fun diving with certified guests, the role is much more involved.

Divemasters act as dive guides and play a critical safety role in the briefing, equipment preparation, logistics, and more. Also, divemasters will often be tasked with assisting student divers during their entry-level courses.

It is not uncommon for a divemaster to help a student perfect and polish his scuba diving skill so that he can safely complete his open water course.

Divemasters also play a role in running the business side of a dive operation with a wide range of tasks. These are phenomenally broad and vary from creating boat passenger manifests and taking payments, to putting the gear away and sweeping up at the end of the day!

Assistant Instructor/Instructor

The assistant instructor/scuba instructor role is probably the most well-known scuba diving job. Instructors generally do everything a divemaster does but are primarily tasked with teaching divers.

Scuba Instructors predominantly teach divers how to dive but also take divers on further education courses and specialties.

Outside of teaching, a significant crossover exists between the divemaster and instructor roles in operating a scuba diving business. More often than not, both undertake the other day-to-day tasks that ensure a scuba operation keeps functioning.

Technical Diving Instructor

A step into the dark side of diving, technical diving Instructors are specialists who, by a large degree, only conduct technical diving.

Due to the higher demands placed on technical diving, technical diving instructors tend to be recreational diving instructors passionate about technical diving and have decided to train as tech instructors.

The Deep Dark World Of Technical Diving

Technical diving covers a wide range of diving types, although all include an overhead environment, whether real or virtual (decompression).

The minute you remove direct ascent to the surface as a safe option, the risks multiply, and there is a whole new set of challenges divers must learn to adapt to and plan for to execute their dives safely.

Most well-known technical instructors are passionate about their choice and tend to teach technical diving exclusively.

Instructor Trainer

Instructor trainer is the top role within the dive training hierarchy. Typically, instructor trainers are responsible for training future recreational and technical instructors, depending on their specialty.

Since the number of potential students is significantly smaller than entry-level candidates, instructor trainers tend to fall into two work styles.

The first work style involves traveling from destination to destination to teach instructor courses. In contrast, the second style involves taking on other duties in a dive operation due, like an instructor or divemaster.

Due to their extensive experience in the industry and advanced diving and standards knowledge, most instructor trainers tend to occupy roles as senior managers or owners of a dive operation.

Underwater Imaging

Underwater imaging is a vast field from photographers to videographers; underwater image makers have been astounding the world since Hans and Lottie Haas.

Typically, as a scuba diving job, underwear cameramen are passionate and want to discover the underwater world. Think of all the stunning underwater imagery you saw in series like The Blue Planet, and an underwater cameraman took them.

To enter the profession of an underwater cameraman, there are no specific technical qualifications you need to take, like a scuba instructor. Generally, you must be an accomplished diver comfortable in the water and a fantastic camera operator (video or still).

As your reputation develops and you build a network in the industry, you get more work as an independent contractor.

A Day in the Life of an Underwater Cameraman [HD] | Borneo from Below (S01E18) | SZtv

Some underwater videographers choose to work on boats or at resorts where they shoot trips and courses, which are then sold to the customers.

This is an excellent way to develop your skills diving with a camera and your editing and photo skills. Depending on which country you want to work in, some qualifications may be needed before you can work as an underwater imaging professional.

Scientific Diver

A wide range of scientific activities requires diving as a critical skill since they happen underwater. In most cases, additional dive training to standard recreational dive training is required to allow the user to conduct scientific methods underwater safely.

Most scientific diving involves taking techniques typically used on land (surveying and sampling, for instance) and using them in a marine environment.

Scientific Diving feature

The range of scientific scuba diving jobs is enormous. It varies from the obvious, like surveying coral reefs and underwater archaeology, to the less well-known, like underwater geology and the study of hyperbaric medicine.

Commercial Diving

Commercial diving is a massive field that contains a vast number of jobs. While most people initially think of guys in hard hats and diving bells doing huge, enormous deep dives there is much more to it than that.

Any activity that involves someone getting paid to go and perform a task in the water is generally regarded as a form of commercial diving and will be governed by its own set of laws and regulations.

Due to the dangers involved, commercial diving activities are highly regulated by most governments.

Things To Consider Before Going Into Commercial Diving

Scuba Diving Jobs considered “commercial diving” range from the glamorous to the much less glamorous.

These can include cleaning the underside of boats in marinas, and police search & rescue dive teams. Forensic dive teams, and even retrieving golf balls from water hazards on a golf course.

Military & Police Diving

Diving and the military have a long history; some of the first depictions of humans breathing underwater come from ancient Greece, around 800 BC. In the military, there are multiple careers where diving is a primary or ancillary skill.

Special forces like the Navy SEALs and Special Boat Service are the most famous. They use diving to get to and from their targets and conduct underwater surveillance, espionage, and sabotage.

Most ships have ships diver, whose main job is to work on the vessel below the waterline. In addition, there are underwater Explosive Ordinance Disposal specialists.

These highly trained positions require diving skills as an ancillary; bear in mind these jobs are hard enough on land, let alone under the water.

Working a Crime Scene Underwater

The military also has a branch of diving virtually identical to commercial diving. These professionals are tasked with everything from repairing military facilities to raising lost items of the seabed utilizing many of the same techniques used by commercial dive operators.

Many commercial divers come from the military since joining and serving means they can receive their training for free.

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for