Search the Forums

Key Word

Specialist Forums > Commercial Forum > Looking For Career Advice...
posted : January 31, 2008 Post subject: Looking For Career Advice...
Hi all, thanks for reading this and any help will be greatly appreciated I kid you not.

I've got a couple of questions which I'm sure some of you will be able to answer...

I'm currently researching a career as a commercial diver doing either underwater welding or saturation diving or both. I assume that is possible. Is it?

I'm about to finish a apprenticeship as a fabricator & welder. If i did a diving course will i be seen as a 'better' candidate for a underwater welding job?

I have been told i might get trained as a diver from my work related to ship building. Thing is I wear contact lenses, will this prevent me becoming a saturation diver? I've consulted the HSE medical pdf document, it say's they are fine but what crucially do employers say? Do they permit them, do you work as a sat diver and wear them?

Apart from that, going by the HSE document I have no other issues apart from getting the money together to learn which brings me on to my final question.

I see people mention training in South Africa as opposed to Fort William (I'm based in Fife), is this such a good move? Are the qualifications you get there acceptable over here?

Much thanks to any individual who replies.

posted : January 31, 2008 Post subject: Looking For Career Advice...
Hi Gavin. I have been a Commercial diver since 93, and a saturation diver since 2006, mostly in the North sea. Firstly, I know many guys in sat who wear glasses, but none with Contacts. I don't know why not, don't need them myself.
Your welding/Fabrication experience will come in useful for Inshore Civils diving, which is where you should go for at least a year or two for experience. OR Offshore air diving for a couple of years, before you even think about Sat. The entrance requirements for HSE Sat tickets are fairly lax, meaning that some divers can go from 'Dry' to 'Sat' in one year. This might seem good, pay-wise, but believe me, there is not enough experience gained in a year to make a SAFE transition to Sat. I have personally seen this recently. let's just say the diver lived, but he'll not work in the North sea again, all down to lack of experience.

As to Ft. Bill/ S.A. Personally, I would go with the HSE ticket always. the SA tickets are accepted grudgingly due to a dropped political ball a few years ago, but I know many Superintendants that don't really like the tickets.

I'd just say that this is the best time in the last 30 years to be a diver, but this doesn't mean it's not a hard job. when you get your ticket, keep your head down do what you're told and LISTEN to what's going on around you. Nothing is faster than a cocky newstart's arse down a gangplank!!

posted : February 1, 2008 Post subject: Looking For Career Advice...
Thanks for the reply, it's a boost to hear from someone who does this for a living, hearing some advice from someone doing what I want to do.

Firstly I've no problem with glasses but it's a preference of mine not to have them. I'll dive deeper into this as despite you knowing some SAT divers who wear glasses, it is possible they don't wear contacts for reasons other than they aren't allowed.

I've gathered from this site and your post that experience plays a vital part in commercial diving, probably more than just about any occupation. Like I posted yesterday, I'm hoping to train through the company I work for who are Babcock Marine. Their divers deal with inn shore work and things to do with ships coming into drydock prior to being supported etc. It seems this would be a result as I'd have my foot In the door and gain vital experience in the advised area of diving. Braw!

It's duely noted regarding the training provider, I suppose in the end you get what you pay for and I don't want to blow my money.

Again thanks for the reply and encouragement.


posted : February 3, 2008 Post subject: Looking For Career Advice...
Just to finish this for reference sake.

I've spoken to sat divers who wear contacts and laterly got laser surgery. They have reported having no problems other than the occasional lens falling out.

I'm happy with that...


posted : February 28, 2008 Post subject: Looking For Career Advice...
Does anyone know how recognised the South African DOL Class 2 Commercial Surface Supply 50m is World wide? as i understand it is their equivalent to the HSE Part 1... so i was wondering how differantly employers look at it?

posted : March 16, 2008 Post subject: Looking For Career Advice...
i have had a south African hse recognized ticket for coming up to four years have and never been denied work from it.. even in the north sea.. the training is second to none and the school will certainly prep you for what is expected of you inshore and off.. Whats more it offers more inwater time than Fort Bill
Grant at the PDC In Durban now has a hotel where students can choose to live.. when i was there we lived on site in containers stacked upon each other on the dockside.. air conditioned of course!! was awesome!
At the end of the day the school is gonna teach you how to blow bubbles along with dive theory and hands on chamber runs etc.. in Durbs we also got to weld, burn, water jet, airlift, bag work, uw explosives it goes on.. and i paid 4large less than the uk, met some wicked people, went to a country id never been to, learnt zulu WENT GREAT WHITE SHARK DIVING!! in Cape Town and did all this in the sun!!!

The choice my friend is yours!!

posted : March 17, 2008 Post subject: Looking For Career Advice...
The only advice I'd give to you is to speak to the schools and ask them lots of questions. Ask about facilities (wet and dry), instructors, safety records, course content etc. Try and establish which school will give you the best training, and then go with that one irrespective of price, location, freebies etc. In short, If you're paying for a training course, choose the course for the quality of the training.

Too many people on this, and other, diving forums are quite partizan regarding the school they attended. There aren't many commercial divers who've been to more than one school, and very few who've been to more than two, so there aren't many people who can make a like for like comparison of schools. This will not stop people from saying school x is great, school y is rubbish based on hearsay, speculation or an affinity for where they were trained.

About us | Disclaimer & terms of use | Contact us | Site News | Suggestions | Link to us | Advertising Info
© 2006 Personal Print Ltd