Preparing for a Career Deep Dive: Certification Process

Preparing for a Career Deep Dive: Certification Process

Many divers are drawn to the lifestyle by the lure of the deep. Being able to drop beneath the water at 100, 120 or 140 feet is alluring for most divers who are no longer thrilled at the typical 60-foot dive. However, before a diver can perform a deep dive, certification is necessary. Anyone looking to give deep diving a shot must understand that diving in deeper waters requires special knowledge, training, and certification with a reputable diving organization.  

What is considered a deep dive?

“What’s the deepest a diver can go into the water?” is probably the top most frequently asked questions In the world of professional diving. Generally speaking, a diver is executing a deep dive at any distance 18 meters and below. 

However, because of the different types of diving, “deep dives” differ. In recreational diving, the deepest legal dive is 40 meters or 130 feet. In technical diving, a professional diver can go as deep as 60 meters or 200 feet.

What are the main risks of deep dives? How is it different?

While a lot of the associated risks of diving remain the same no matter the depth, there are a few new risks that you should be aware of. It is important to note that as long as you follow the standard rules and procedures, diving is safe and can be a life-changing experience.

The main risks of a deep dive include the following.

  • Decompression sickness (“The Bends”):  A disorder in which nitrogen dissolved in the blood and tissues. Nitrogen bubbles form as pressure decreases. Symptoms can include fatigue and pain in muscles and joints.
  • Nitrogen narcosis: A reversible alteration in consciousness that occurs while diving at depth. It happens because of an anesthetic effect of certain gases at high pressure.
  • Rapid air consumption: The air you breathe becomes denser the deeper you dive into the water. As a result, you will consume more air. A pressure gauge is necessary to keep your oxygen levels normal.

Deep diver certification: Options & Programs

To obtain a deep diver certification, you have two options. Regardless of which option you choose, there are a few minimum requirements before taking up a deep diver course.

  • You must be at least 15 years old.
  • You must be a certified Open Water Diver. 

 Advanced Open Water Certification

This is a course featuring an advanced skill: deep diving. Two very reputable diving organizations, NAUI and PADI, offer this certification course. This program improves your underwater knowledge and skills. The course helps you build confidence in navigation, perfect buoyancy skills, and introduces you to different diving activities such as underwater imaging, wreck diving, or night diving. After completing the coursework online, you’ll make between three and five Adventure Dives. This can include a deep dive (beyond 18m/60F), a navigation dive, and additional dives of your choice to earn your certification.

Deep Diver Specialty Course

Think of this training as a “continuing education” program for those divers who are already certified and very experienced. Credible dive training organizations offer this deep dive program, such as the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). You start the deep diver training and learn to know your personal limits. You will also learn about specialized deep diving equipment, dive planning, buddy contact procedures, buoyancy control at deeper waters, managing your air supply, and dealing with the possibility of nitrogen narcosis and other safety considerations.

What is the difference between deep diving vs. commercial diving?

Technically speaking, commercial diving is an application of professional diving where the diver engages in underwater work. This happens in a variety of professional industries, including industrial, construction, engineering, maintenance, or other commercial purposes. Deep diving is a mandatory skill set that all commercial divers must master before entering the workforce.

Because many of these jobs entail the maintenance and repair of underwater structures, deep diving is crucial to commercial divers success. Commercial divers must prepare to dive to depths of 200 feet to repair, inspect or maintain off-shore oil rig and pipelines, perform salvage operations or bridge and pier construction, and many other responsibilities. Each job may require a different skillset depending on the ultimate goal and contract. For example, some jobs require welding, conducting tests or experiments, rig explosives, or even photographing structures or marine life. In all of these cases, however, the non-negotiable, mandatory skill is deep diving. 

Dive Deep at the Divers Institute of Technology

Whether you choose deep dive programs with NAUI or PADI, a rewarding career in diving may be just around the corner. At Divers Institute of Technology, we don’t just train a single type of diver. We focus on creating a well-balanced diver who can succeed in the many aspects of commercial diving. You will gain real-world experience with professional diving, benefit from an intensive, hands-on curriculum, and make connections within the diving industry. To learn more about training at DIT, contact us today. You can also fill out an application here. 


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