Prospective commercial divers looking to enter one of the most rewarding parts of the industry look to salvage diving. Arguably the most in-demand type of commercial diving, salvage diving requires only the most dedicated and tenacious divers. Becoming a salvage diver requires specialized training because these divers are put under strenuous underwater conditions. If you are interested in pursuing salvage diver training to jumpstart your career, consider the details of this sector of the industry before choosing this path.
What is salvage diving?
Simply put, salvage diving is a facet of professional commercial diving. Specifically, this type of diving work involves the recovery of structures that sunk into the water. This can include all or part of ships, their cargoes, aircraft, and other vehicles and structures. At other salvage jobs, the goal of the diver is to remove objects or structures that are environmentally intrusive.
Two of the most important salvages from this century, for example, include:
- The USS Hunley. A Civil War submarine that carried out the first successful underwater attack in Charleston, SC Harbor.
- The re-floating of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Isola del Giglio in Italy.
How do I become a salvage diver?
To become a salvage diver, you first need to obtain a commercial diving license from a reputable commercial diving school. Intensive specialized training is required for this career, and therefore, certification is mandatory.
However, not everyone is a great fit for commercial diving. A driven and dedicated personality and a calm and cool head under pressure are important. Other crucial prerequisites are outlined below.
Commercial diving school requirements
If the prospect of salvage diver training appeals to you, the next step is to make sure you are a good candidate. This means meeting all the requirements and prerequisites. Fortunately, if you are trying to obtain a commercial diving certification, there are only a few prerequisites. The basic requirements are as follows. All candidates must:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Pass a diving physical.
- Obtain a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card.
Additionally, as a good candidate for salvage diver training, you should have good swimming skills. It can also help to have some background in or a general sense of mechanics. While previous diving, as well as mechanical experience, are not required, it can be an advantage. This knowledge will help you move more smoothly through the required specialized training.
What is salvage diver training like?
As mentioned, salvage diver training is typically a part of a larger commercial diving training program. In the larger program, you will learn about the necessary equipment, safety procedures, the industry as a whole, and more. The weeks dedicated to salvage diving will focus on the fundamental principles of commercial diving. For example, hydraulics are a very important aspect of salvage operations. In addition, you’ll learn to use underwater chainsaws and jackhammers.
The curriculum at every commercial diving school is different, which means that the training and education you receive will vary. In other words, at each school, the courses they teach and how they teach them will vary. The duration of each commercial diving program will vary, too. A top-tier school will offer in-depth, real-world training, and have experienced staff teaching courses.
Before you choose a training program, make sure to vet all the aspects of the school. Check the website and review the course requirements. Next, reach out to staff and the prospective student point-of-contact with questions. Finally, if possible, speak to alumni from the school about their experience. With all of these resources at your disposal, you can be confident that the school is a good fit for you.
How much money does a salvage diver make?
The salary of a salvage diver varies depending on a multitude of factors. However, on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can expect to earn about $50,000 annually. Additionally, the average salary range for a commercial diver falls between about $32,000 and $119,000 annually. The range is so large because so many variables go into determining the ultimate salary earned.
The primary factors that will determine your salvage diving salary include the following.
- Your past experience
- Your diving certification
- The job’s environment
- The depth of work
- Dive methods
- Underwater equipment
- The distance offshore
- Any required overtime
- Other specific job site factors
Divers Institute of Technology & Salvage Diving: Your Career Starts Here
Divers Institute of Technology offers one of the top commercial diving programs in the country. With experienced staff and a comprehensive curriculum, divers leave our program with a full range of knowledge, prepared to take on all the demands of the work. The experienced instructors and staff provide top-notch training for our students. As a result, this includes specialized coursework that focuses on salvage diver training. To learn more about salvage diving, Divers Institute, and the available programs, contact us today! Otherwise, you can fill out an application to get started.
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