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Career and Education Opportunities for Commercial Divers in Los Angeles, California

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for commercial divers in the Los Angeles, California area. The national trend for commercial divers sees this job pool growing by about 5.8% over the next eight years. Commercial divers generally work below surface of water, using scuba gear to inspect, repair, or install equipment and structures.

A person working as a commercial diver can expect to earn about $34 per hour or $70,750 yearly on average in California and about $22 per hour or $46,340 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for commercial divers are better than in the overall category of Specialized Equipment in California, and better than the overall Specialized Equipment category nationally.

There are 274 schools of higher education in the Los Angeles area, including one within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can get a degree to start your career as a commercial diver. The most common level of education for commercial divers is a post-secondary certificate. You can expect to spend a short time training to become a commercial diver if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Commercial Diver

Commercial Diver video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, commercial divers work below surface of water, using scuba gear to inspect, repair, or install equipment and structures. They also may use a variety of power and hand tools, such as drills, sledgehammers, and welding equipment.

Commercial divers check and maintain diving equipment such as helmets, masks, air tanks, harnesses and gauges. They also take appropriate safety precautions, such as monitoring dive lengths and depths, and registering with authorities before diving expeditions begin. Equally important, commercial divers have to communicate with staff on the surface while underwater, using signal lines or telephones. They are often called upon to cut and weld steel, using underwater welding equipment and supports. They are expected to operate underwater video and related apparatus to investigate underwater structures or marine life. Finally, commercial divers examine and test docks, ships, bouyage systems, plant intakes and outflows, and underwater pipelines, cables, and sewers, using closed circuit television and testing equipment.

Every day, commercial divers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for commercial divers to take test samples and photographs to gauge the state of vessels and structures. They are often called upon to set up and repair piping and valves. They also set up pilings or footings for piers and bridges. They are sometimes expected to drill holes in rock, and rig explosives for underwater demolitions. Somewhat less frequently, commercial divers are also expected to carry out non-destructive testing such as tests for cracks on the legs of oil rigs at sea.

and obtain data related to diving tasks and environmental conditions. And finally, they sometimes have to take test samples and photographs to gauge the state of vessels and structures.

Like many other jobs, commercial divers must be reliable and be persistant in the face of problems and impediments.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Boat Mechanic. Repairs and adjusts electrical and mechanical equipment of gasoline or diesel powered inboard or inboard-outboard boat engines.
  • Medical Equipment Repairer. Test, adjust, or repair biomedical or electromedical equipment.
  • Outdoor Power Equipment Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul small engines used to power lawn mowers, chain saws, and related equipment.
  • Rigger. Set up or repair rigging for construction projects, manufacturing plants, logging yards, ships and shipyards, or for the entertainment industry.
  • Vending Machine Mechanic. Install, service, or repair coin, vending, or amusement machines including video games, juke boxes, or slot machines.
  • Watch and Clock Repairer. Repair, clean, and adjust mechanisms of timing instruments, such as watches and clocks.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Commercial Diver Training

National Polytechnic College of Science - Wilmington, CA

National Polytechnic College of Science, 272 S Fries Ave l Los Angeles Harbor, Wilmington, CA 90744-6399. National Polytechnic College of Science is a small college located in Wilmington, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 304 students. National Polytechnic College of Science has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Diver, Professional and Instructor which graduated 151, thirty-three, and two students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Divemaster: Would you like to lead dives and dive trips; take certified divers on vacations to the world's best dive sites? Many Divemasters are employed full-time or work independently supervising certified divers during club, store, resort or charter tour and travel activities.

For more information, see the National Association of Underwater Instructors website.

Instructor: A NAUI Instructor is a person dedicated to the motto of "Dive Safety Through Education"; a person whom others look to for leadership and knowledge.

For more information, see the National Association of Underwater Instructors website.

Divemaster: Your adventure into the professional levels of recreational diving begins with the PADI Divemaster program.

For more information, see the Professional Association of Diving Instructors website.

Open Water Scuba Instructor: The PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor program is your final step in the quest to become a PADI Instructor.

For more information, see the Professional Association of Diving Instructors website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.