As a member of the military, taking the next step towards a future career can be difficult. The right career, in which your talents and past experiences can benefit you, may not be clearly laid out. If this is the case for you, you might consider professional commercial diving. As a commercial diver, you will use a lot of the skills you picked up in the military. Quick thinking, tenacity, and teamwork are crucial tenets of the industry. Before you can become a professional diver, however, a lot of specialized training and certification are necessary. Luckily, there is a lot of information about commercial diving available to you. Read on to learn a little more about the requirements for applying and the cost of diving school for veterans, like you.
What are the requirements for commercial diving school?
If the prospect of becoming a commercial diver appeals to you, first you should confirm that you are a good candidate. In other words, ask yourself if you meet all the requirements and prerequisites for training. The good news is that if you are trying to obtain a commercial diving certification, there are not many prerequisites that will stand in your way. The basic requirements are as follows. All candidates:
- Must be at least 18 years of age.
- Must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Will also be required to pass a diving physical.
- Must obtain a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card.
Additionally, a good candidate for commercial diving certification will have good swimming skills and some background or a sense of mechanics. While previous diving and/or mechanical experience is not required, it is certainly an advantage that will benefit you during training.
Why are veterans a good fit for commercial diving?
To become a certified commercial diver, you will complete a commercial diving certification program. This program will include classes on how to be a commercial diver as well as train you in certain special skills, such as underwater welding and more. Veterans, given their previous training and experience, are uniquely qualified for this challenge. Veterans have several fitting qualities and types of experience that make them a great fit for this challenging but rewarding industry.
#1: Knows How to Work With a Team
To succeed underwater, you will need to rely on the expertise of multiple people every day. Typically, on a job site, there is a team of people that ensure the dive is successful and the diver is safe. In short, you will rely on this team and they will need to rely on you. This kind of camaraderie will feel very familiar to veterans.
#2: Demonstrates Extreme Discipline & Dedication
Commercial divers must exhibit a high level of personal discipline to think quickly if the job goes wrong. They must also work well under a chain of command. Failure to listen to your boss at a dive can make a life-and-death difference. Similar to not following the direct orders of a commanding officer in the field of duty, showing dedication and discipline makes all the difference.
#3: Has Experience with Life-threatening Situations
Commercial divers are constantly put in these kinds of situations. Examples include exposure to hazardous materials, losing air supply, and experiencing pressure changes from deep-sea dives. Knowing how to work well under pressure is something veterans are very familiar with. Additionally, the tenacity to move forward after experiencing something life-threatening is not a quality everyone possesses. It is necessary for this field, and therefore, veterans are a great fit.
What is the cost of a commercial diving school?
The format of dive programs varies from school to school. This means that the cost of each program varies, as well. Typically, a program that yields a basic entry-level commercial diver certification costs around $8,000. However, many schools that provide more extensive or specialized training cost between $20,000 and $45,000.
The following numbers reflect the average costs at a reputable professional commercial diving school. It shows the total cost a student would incur to complete a program within the normal length of time. Please remember that all of these costs will vary depending on the program that you choose.
- Tuition: $29,500
- Physical & Gear: Up to $4,405
Besides tuition and fees, all costs are based upon average expenses for most students. Additionally, the student’s lifestyle can affect how much his or her cost of attendance will be.
Please note that a reputable school will have a financial aid team that helps applicants through each step of the process. If you are a veteran applying to dive school, make sure there is a VA-Certifying Official available to you. This person will outline all the financial details and answer any questions that may be lingering in your mind.
Are there benefits for veterans?
Diving schools for veterans offer military education benefits. For example, at The Divers Institute of Technology, a financial aid team handles post-9/11 GI Bill® paperwork every day. With this bill, active duty military and veterans attending DIT can receive up to $25,162.14 for tuition. At 100% eligibility students can receive up to $2,748 per month, which is paid directly to the student for Basic Housing Allowance. Students can receive up to $1,000.00 per academic year for books and supplies. DIT also waives the $50 application fee if the applicant is an active duty military or a veteran.
For more information on financial benefits for veterans, make sure you speak to a professional at the diving school for veterans that you are considering.
Divers Institute of Technology: A VA-Approved School
The Divers Institute of Technology is a veteran-owned-and-operated diving school. The teachers and staff at DIT take pride in being a VA-approved school since 1968. We are also designated as a military-friendly school. About half of our staff are veterans, and as a result, we understand the sacrifices you have made to better our country. Because of your selfless service, we are proud to assist you as you learn about the exciting world of commercial diving. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help you. You can also fill out an application here!
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