Sokanu rates Commercial Divers with a C employability rating, meaning this career should provide moderate employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 2,300 Commercial Divers. That number is based on 1,600 additional Commercial Divers, and the retirement of 700 existing Commercial Divers.
Demand for Commercial Divers
Commercial diving is a growth industry. Jobs in the field continue to stem from the need to maintain oil rigs and repair damages resulting mostly from hurricanes. Recent floods have led to additional demand for commercial divers to inspect and repair bridges, dams, and other structures. Additional growth sectors include marine environment control checks; seismic surveys and geological appraisals; ocean floor fiber optic cable installation; underwater salvage; and underwater photography and videography.
Aspiring offshore commercial divers should be prepared to often travel internationally and work at sea for two to six weeks at a time. Inland and commercial diving contracts typically offer divers a more traditional work schedule; though larger projects in this sector may also entail extended periods away from home. Given the specialized and demanding nature of commercial diving and the small number of professional divers, most certified applicants find jobs. The industry, however, is historically cyclical and subject to downturns. In addition, most employers refuse to hire divers aged forty-five and above. Consequently, most applicants enter commercial diving at a young age, with an eye toward the future and transferring their skills to a non-diving or ‘topside’ position, either within the industry or in a related field.
Supply of Commercial Divers
The Commercial Diver industry is not particularly concentrated in any state.