5 Types Of Commercial Divers: Their Lists of Tasks And Responsibilities


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Every time we watch underwater videos on youtube, we often see two or more people exploring the deep sea in their wetsuits, helmets, and breathing apparatus. While this may seem like a hobby to most people, diving is a career pursued by professional and commercial divers.

5 Types Of Commercial Divers: Their Lists of Tasks And Responsibilities

Commercial divers are people who are paid to go underwater to perform and accomplish several tasks. They are the explorers of the different bodies of water who have undergone several programs and training to become professionals. There are several different types of commercial divers, and besides sea exploration, they also have other tasks and responsibilities. The different commercial diver types include:


Commercial divers who are prone to do dangerous and hazardous tasks underwater are called HAZMAT divers. HAZMAT divers are those types of divers who offer and do different commercial diving services and tasks, such as maintaining underwater valves, repairing pipelines, welding inside sewers, recovering bodies and lost objects, and maintaining pumping equipment to improve landfill sites.

HAZMAT divers are exposed to risky procedures and hazardous materials. That is why most of their protective equipment is modified to reduce the risk of direct exposure. Some of their equipment includes a positive pressure full-face mask, redundant exhaust valves, a free-flow breathing gas supply, and an exhaust. They also wear dry suits that are usually single-use and are made of materials resistant to contaminants.

To ensure that the HAZMAT divers are safe in doing their tasks, they use safety measures and risk management. Most of the divers are injected with vaccines against tetanus, hepatitis, and other diseases. They are also equipped with contingency plans in case they face problems while doing their tasks underwater.

Offshore Divers

Offshore divers are those types who work for oil and gas companies. They help in maintaining oil platforms and in building drilling rigs and pipelines. They also help in building underwater structures utilized in oil and gas production. Offshore diving is the most common type of diving, and its divers are known to work outside of the waters of a state.

Commercial offshore divers usually work by three in a team–one who does the diving underwater, one as a standby diver, and another as a diving supervisor. Each of them should have a tender who can assist them in entering and exiting the water and putting up their diving uniform. Depending on where they are located, offshore divers wear a wetsuit while in warm areas and a drysuit in cold, dangerous areas.

In every diving team, the one who does the diving is called the working diver. Without them, there will be no diving operation to accomplish. The standby diver stands as the secondary diver who assists and performs a rescue to recover the working diver in case of emergency. Lastly, the diving supervisor is considered the manager of the team. They are the ones responsible for the team’s operations’ safety and management.

Onshore Divers

Unlike the offshore divers that usually work in ships, the onshore divers work primarily in freshwater or near the shore of dams, tanks, rivers, and lakes. They are more concerned with helping in construction and engineering projects. Onshore divers’ tasks include welding or cutting holes in concrete, fitting anchors, trenching, cable laying, working with hydraulic and pneumatic tools, etc.

Media Divers

The type of commercial divers that we can see in every underwater video and photographs are the media divers. They are the ones who go and dive underwater to take television films and documentaries about marine life. Most media divers are trained by camera operators and are equipped with high-quality cameras and rebreathers, especially if they are working with underwater wildlife.

The media divers’ tasks include planning, researching, organizing logistics, preparing and maintaining film and diving equipment, etc. Researching is included in their tasks to ensure that they are in the right time and place when the desired action for the film or footage takes place.

Scientific Divers

Scientific divers are those types of divers having a goal to seek scientific knowledge underwater. They make observations and conclusions about marine life while ensuring that the process is environment-friendly. They are initially professional scientists and biologists who have undergone diving training and programs to get to their fieldwork location.

Scientific divers are concerned with marine science, marine biology, and marine chemistry. Some of them are also into underwater archaeology and geology. Most of their tasks include measuring marine organisms, saving marine animals, collecting samples, taking photography and videos, coral coring, and maintaining scientific underwater equipment.


Commercial diving is a noble job to pursue. Although it does not have a high demand for employment, those who are employed enjoy many rewarding opportunities across many industries. If you are among those amateur divers who dream of pursuing a commercial diving career, the types mentioned above are some of the choices that you can opt to take.


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