Choosing the right commercial diving school is the most important part of your commercial diving career. The right school for you will not only provide focused training but also provide unique opportunities to study and thrive in your areas of interest. If you have a desire to work in a certain part of the commercial diving industry, the right school will help you learn all you can about it. Advanced training, career planning, and alumni resources should be available to guarantee a comprehensive understanding of the specialty and help you build a career.
Reviewing the school’s accreditation and staff is the first step. However, taking your research a little further, and reviewing those schools that tailor to your specific interests can move you toward the career results you’re looking for. When vetting a commercial diving school, use the steps we outline below to make the best choice possible.
Step #1: Review the Accreditation, Staff & Curriculum
As mentioned, the first three aspects of a school that you should review are the accreditation, staff, and curriculum. These are three of the most basic qualities and each should reflect a top-tier organization.
Accreditation & Licensing
Specifically, when it comes to accreditation and licensing, many different associations are considered “certified accrediting agencies.” Make sure the accrediting agency for the school is approved by the United States Department of Education.
The staff at the right commercial diving school for you will be knowledgeable, experienced, and patient. Make sure that teachers have years of real-world experience so they can teach you aspects of diving that are even more applicable in the field. Consider, also, staff with a military background.
Finally, review the curriculum for the program you are considering. Some schools offer a single comprehensive program that includes several specialties and yields several certifications. Others simply offer a basic training program or ask the student to choose a specific career route in which they will focus. Depending on your career goals, one of these types of curriculums might serve you better. Consider your needs and what type of training seems right for you.
Step #2: Confirm Advanced Training Opportunities
After you have completed a simple check of the school’s licensing, staff, and curriculum, consider your future career. As you go through basic training, your interests may lie with HAZMAT or salvage diving. However, as you grow as a professional, you may choose to pursue a more advanced career path, such as SAT diving. In a different vein, you may develop an interest to pursue the path of a diver medic or dive hat technician. Or, after a few years in the industry, you may want to take on the role of a dive supervisor. In this case, you need to graduate from an inland/offshore supervisor specialty course. In all of these circumstances, specialized training beyond the basic program is mandatory.
It is, of course, difficult to confidently know where you’ll want to take your career after years of diving. However, graduating from an institution that offers these programs allows you a certain level of comfort. Knowing that you can always return to your school to expand your knowledge and education is key.
Step #3: Check Career Planning & Alumni Resources
With advanced training programs confirmed, you should check out the resources that will be available to you during and after you complete the program. Specifically, career planning resources while you are in school will help you dial into the areas that really interest you. Furthermore, you’ll be able to seek out other professionals with that specialization to ask questions, get in contact with potential future employers, and obtain necessary references to get where you are going.
Alumni resources are just as important. After you graduate, continued career assistance and access to new educational opportunities make all the difference. Refresher courses ensure that you will stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and training in the industry. Access to experienced staff and professional organizations through your school can also help you to prepare for any unexpected career changes.
Step #4: Speak to the school’s Alumni & Staff
After you have completed your review of all the above-mentioned attributes online, it’s time to take your research to the next level. As a final step, reach out to divers and staff who have connections with the institution.
Current and past staff from the school you are considering are a great resource. Ask them questions about their experience, the courses, the industry, and the school’s track record. Explain your career goals and confirm that the school can help you achieve them.
Finally, past students may be your most valuable resource in choosing a diving school. They can speak truthfully about the curriculum of the school and the quality of the training and staff. They can also confirm that the advanced training programs and/or career/alumni resources will meet your expectations. In addition, past students can provide a knowledgeable opinion based on their experience, answer any lingering questions you may have, and quell any extra concerns you may have about choosing your school.
Divers Institute of Technology & Your Future Career
For over 50 years, DIT has trained quality divers. We stay focused on achieving a singular mission: to train in an effective way that ensures students enter the diving industry with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed. At DIT, we care about creating a well-balanced diver, and we train students to succeed in many aspects of commercial diving. To learn more about our curriculum or find out if DIT is the right school for you, contact us today! You can also fill out an application here.
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