Working as a commercial diver can be challenging, engaging and very rewarding. By making this career choice, you are entering into a popular and demanding field. To ensure your success as a commercial diver, getting a top education in the industry is crucial. Choosing the right program at the right school is the most important thing you can do to make sure you are properly prepared. High-quality training, expert staff, and additional resources can make all the difference. As you begin to vet commercial diving schools to prepare for your career, keep the following qualities in mind.
#1: Accreditation & Professional Organizations
One of the first things to look for when vetting commercial diving schools is the institution’s accreditation and licensing. While several different organizations are considered “certified accrediting agencies”, the top agencies to look for are approved by the United States Department of Education.
Additionally, check out which professional organizations support the school you are vetting. These associated organizations are important resources for ensuring their graduates have top connections within the industry. They provide additional professional resources and training. They also allow graduates to meet peers to make industry trade connections and broaden their spectrum of skills. Some examples might include The Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI) and the Diver Certification Board of Canada (DCBC).
#2: The Right Curriculum
Many top diving schools offer a variety of different certifications for aspiring commercial divers. As a student, you may be interested in professional underwater welding, NDT inspections or working with hazardous materials. In any of these careers, specific certifications are required. Each of these specific certifications requires a targeted curriculum. After identifying which specialty is most interesting to you, you should confirm that the school you attend offers courses for certification in that specialty. In some cases, a school may offer an “all-encompassing” diving program that yields several certifications at the ending of training. This is ideal, as it allows students some flexibility in determining which specialty they want to pursue in their careers.
Another aspect to consider pertains to the length of the program. Every professional diving school offers certification programs that last for different lengths of time. If the program is too short, you may not receive all of the training necessary for success. In other cases, a school may keep students much longer than necessary, causing them to delay launching their careers.
#3: Experienced Staff
Another important factor to consider is the quality of the staff employed at the school you are vetting. Simply put, the more experienced the school’s staff, the better the chance of obtaining a dynamic education. Staff with years of real-world experience in the industry will be able to provide students with more information that will be applicable in the field.
It may help to also consider schools that have staff with military experience. Teachers who are military veterans can target their lessons toward the experiences of many students who have also served in the military.
#4: Career Planning Resources
As you review the available commercial diving programs, look for a career planning section on the school’s website. At the end of the day, the whole reason you are seeking certification in commercial diving is to enter into a rewarding, successful career. That said, a top diving school will provide a multitude of resources to ensure their graduates find employment. This can include resume building and mock interviews, as well as guidance for budgeting and life planning. The school should offer to provide references for students who have completed their certifications, as well as create opportunities to build industry connections.
In addition to these resources, look for the school’s job placement record, which indicates how successful the institution has been at placing graduates in full-time careers.
#5: Alumni Support
Top commercial diving schools continue to provide support to their students long beyond their graduation. If the school offers the right resources, alumni can expect to find work and be successful in their industry for years. In short, the top commercial diving schools stay committed to keeping alumni safe and working. Look for schools that offer refresher courses to ensure that you can stay on top of the most current regulations and technology. These courses can also help you prepare for career changes and stay relevant in the industry. Your diving school should also provide additional resources, such as industry professionals to consult, sample resumes to review and any other reference materials you may need to take the next step in your career.
Learn More about Divers Institute of Technology
At Divers Institute of Technology, we have trained quality divers for over 50 years. We believe that we maintain our reputation by staying focused on a singular mission: to train in a unique 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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