10 Reasons Why A Career In Commercial Diving is Great for Veterans

Posted: May 29th, 2019

The transition from military service to civilian life can be a difficult change for many veterans. A career in the military is an honorable, brave decision, but it’s often a challenge to discover your new work passion after active duty ends. Many men and women are left wondering, what’s next?

For many, post-military plans include applying for college or enrolling in vocational school. When it comes to vocational school, there are many options to consider. From auto repair to construction, plumbing and electrical work, the list goes on. Veterans come out of the military with a host of transferable skills, and employers are eager to hire these hard-working veterans for their unique blend of real-world experiences, leadership skills, and ability to learn quickly in the field.

With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which path is the best choice for your new life as a civilian.

However, when it comes to choosing a challenging, adventurous, and rewarding career, commercial diving stands out.

What is commercial diving?

Commercial diving is a broad term that encompasses the field of underwater industrial construction.

Although a large portion of commercial divers work specifically in the offshore oil and gas industry, there are a wide range of purposes for commercial diving such as bridge inspections, infrastructure repairs, emergency responses, investigative police work, and more.

Commercial diving plays an essential role in the maintenance and wellbeing of America’s infrastructure, and it’s an exciting career to consider for many reasons.

Why is commercial diving a great career choice for veterans?

  1. Veteran Assistance
    The GI Bill can help veterans find their path to civilian success by providing financial assistance to cover or reduce tuition costs.Many people wrongly assume the GI Bill is only for traditional bachelor’s degree programs, however, it also applies to trade schools, vocational schools, and specialized skill training programs, as well.Thanks to the GI Bill, military veterans are eligible for financial assistance for many vocational programs, including commercial diving. The GI Bill is one of the best benefits that veterans can take advantage of when it comes to living life after the military and achieving their education goals.With the rising cost of tuition in the United States, trade schools and vocational programs are a smart choice for long-term career success. With the addition of financial assistance from the GI Bill, veterans are able to invest in a career choice that is not only rewarding, but also financially smart.
  2. Opportunities for Career Advancement
    Commercial diving is not limited to the offshore drilling oil and gas industry. There are a number of jobs that commercial divers may perform, including:

    • Bridge inspection, construction, and maintenance
    • Remotely operated vehicles (ROV) pilot
    • Sewage line installation and maintenance
    • Underwater welding and burning
    • Search and recovery missions
    • Seismic surveillance
    • Vessel repairs and maintenance
    • Medical and emergency response
    • Scientific marine research

    After students have earned their initial commercial diving certification, they may choose to advance even further to receive specialized certifications in a variety of areas. Some of these specialties include:

    Each of these specialized programs offers a valuable new skillset and prepares students to enjoy long-term, diversified career success.

  3. Relevant Experience / Training
    A career in the military takes guts – much like commercial diving.Commercial diving is a rewarding career, albeit sometimes dangerous. Military veterans have been specifically trained to handle dangerous situations, which is why so many veterans thrive in the commercial diving industry.In fact, when considering a career in commercial diving, military experience is a major plus. The military trains you how to wake up early and work hard while listening to instructions and maintaining a sense of self-disciple and respect for authority. These traits translate well into a career as a commercial diver where you need to be calm under pressure and in constant communication with your team members.It’s also important to note that most commercial diving programs do not require enrollees to have any prior experience or technical training in diving, welding, or construction. Our priority is your education, and we’ll work with you to ensure you receive the proper training, knowledge, and skills you need to be a successful commercial diver.
  4. Job Security
    As a commercial diver, your job will never become obsolete.Commercial diving is an extremely secure career choice simply because nobody else can do it. It’s not a job that can be outsourced or sent overseas.As more people choose traditional 4-year college programs, skilled trade workers are becoming extremely valuable and increasingly scarce. Physical labor will always be needed in the modern world, so it’s a great idea to pursue a career that’s consistently in high demand.As baby boomers retire from their jobs in construction, manufacturing, and engineering, the United States is experiencing a shortage of skilled trade workers. In fact, 62% of firms struggle to fill important skilled trade positions.By choosing a career in commercial diving, you are becoming a valuable commodity and all but guaranteeing yourself long-lasting job security.
  5. Financial Success
    The cost of college has always been high, and experts agree it will only continue to increase in the years ahead. According to CollegeBoard, tuition at a four-year private college cost an average of $34,740 for the 2017-2018 school year. Even worse? Student loan debt has hit an all-time high, and there are more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion.Compared to 4-year plans, The International Diving Institute offers a 16 week, 640 hour comprehensive program that covers the training you need to work as a commercial diver and underwater welder – ultimately saving you thousands of dollars upfront.Not only will you achieve sizable savings on your initial education costs, but commercial diving can also be a very lucrative career. According to WaterWelders.com, the average underwater welding salary is $53,990 annually and $25.96 per hour. Diver welders in the top 10% make $83,730 or more.
  6. Physical Work
    Physical fitness is a major factor that will determine your success as a commercial diver.Commercial diving programs like IDI require enrollees to pass a dive physical. A dive physical is different from your typical annual physical at a doctor’s office, since the job requires you to work underwater in specific air, pressure, and light conditions. First and foremost, you must be a strong swimmer, able to pass as least up to level 4 as outlined by the American Red Cross.Beyond swimming, you will also need to pass a complete checkup of your heart, lungs, muscles, and joints to ensure you’ll be able to perform the necessary physical tasks required of commercial divers.Commercial diving is very physically demanding career choice, so veterans who have gone through a high level of military training will most likely excel in this space.
  7. Sense Of Community
    In commercial diving, it’s never “every man for himself.” Commercial divers work on a team and develop a sense of comradery with their peers, both in the water and out. In commercial diving, work situations can literally become life or death, so it’s essential that you trust your dive partners and develop a sense of community and open communication.A commercial diving program like IDI is an excellent way to forge those relationships with your fellow divers. Our small class sizes allow for natural friendships to form, and our industry-leading faculty from several branches of the military will make you feel comfortable and familiar within your training courses.We know exactly how hard the process of leaving the military and starting a new life in the civilian world can be. We are here to help and offer insight based on our own experiences. There’s a general sense of camaraderie and purpose that comes with a career as a commercial diver, and veterans will be able to appreciate that benefit above all else.
  8. Adventurous Career Path
    Commercial diving is not your typical desk job. Many veterans originally enrolled in the military not only because they wanted to serve their country, but they also wanted a job that was dynamic, physically challenging, and adventurous. Being active duty in the military isn’t staring at a computer screen from 9-5, and neither is commercial diving.As a commercial diver, your day will never look the same because no dive is ever the same. Commercial divers approach every task with a fresh mindset, ready to tackle challenges head-on and give their all to the project at hand.With so much at stake including oil leaks, bridge repairs, dam maintenance, and hydroelectric plant upkeep, commercial diving is essential to the infrastructure of the United States and the safety of our citizens.Veterans who already have the mindset of serving others in their career will transition well into an industry that puts so much responsibility on the shoulders of its workers.
  9. Challenging, Yet Rewarding
    Welding is already a difficult job that requires a specific skillset and mental determination. Welding underwater 400 feet beneath the surface? Now that’s a whole new area of expertise.As a commercial diver, you are constantly challenged. If you’re fine with standing by and letting life take the lead, a career in commercial diving might not be for you.Military veterans are all about meeting life’s challenges and facing hardships with a brave face. Commercial diving takes a tough personality – one that can thrive in dark, cold, and less-than-ideal work conditions. Like at the bottom of the ocean, for example.Although commercial diving is a challenging career, it’s also extremely rewarding. People who work with their hands have an immense sense of accomplishment at the end of each work day, because they physically made a difference in the world. Whether they welded new pipeline for an offshore oil company, brought a major water-crossing bridge up to code, or helped in an underwater search-and-rescue mission, commercial divers make a tangible impact each day and experience high levels of job satisfaction.
  10. Respected Career Choice
    It’s hard to think of another career choice that is as respected as the United States military. For veterans, it can be difficult to part with an institution of that caliber. Commercial diving, however, also plays an essential role in society by helping to maintain American’s infrastructure.As a commercial diving specialist, you will be respected for the dedication to your job, and the hard, demanding work you face every day in the field. Not everybody can become a commercial diver, so it’s a position that demands respect.As a commercial diver you put your life on the line every time you complete a dive. You also need to be able to stay level-headed in hectic situations and follow training procedures to avoid disaster. That passion, dedication, and commitment to your job speaks volumes to the type of person that you are – and will create an overall appreciation for the work you do.If that’s not convincing enough, just think of the stories you’ll be able to tell about life below sea level.


IDI understands exactly what it’s like to leave the military and start a life in the civilian world. It’s not an easy decision, but with a challenging, adventurous, and rewarding career like commercial diving, you can excel in civilian life with a solid purpose and mission to better yourself and the community around you.

International Diving Institute is veteran-owned and veteran-focused. We work with our students to overcome any hurdles they may face in the transition from military service to civilian life. We also know that veterans tend to possess the grit, determination, and bravery that make great commercial divers, and we help them to apply these excellent characteristics to their new careers.

IDI offer a number of courses to help ensure the highest opportunity for job placement in the field of commercial diving. Many of our programs are perfect for veterans, as we have faculty from several branches of the military that specialize in underwater diving.

Are you ready to dive in?

Our admissions team is standing by to help you take the next steps in your post-military life.

Registration is easy – Download our enrollment form and follow the simple steps to get started.