The word “career” is rightly derived from the Latin word “carrera”, which means race. It is simply a race in which everyone participates and more often than not loses their individuality and forgets their true passion and talent. Most people run after building a career in some fixed set of fields like medicine, engineering, law etc. These career options over the years have become the most respectable and people tend to choose them on the basis of mass following. There are many other career options available, which initially may have been a hobby but can definitely be converted into a full time career option. Scuba or deep sea diving is one such activity which is extremely adventurous at the same time a lucrative career option.
Self Contained Under Water Breathing Apparatus, popularly known as SCUBA diving is not a run-of-the-mill kind of a career option. To pursue a career in this field, all you need is love for the sea, its vast flora and fauna and a bit of an adventurous spirit; although there are a few practical and theoretical examinations that one has to clear to be certified professionally.
Scuba diving jobs can be broadly classified into two categories, namely recreational and commercial. To be qualified for such jobs, one has to be certified as a dive instructor by one of the many scuba diving schools such as Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), Scuba Schools International (SSI), Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS).
Recreational scuba diving has a number of disciplines including wreck diving, cave diving, deep diving and ice diving. Recreational diving jobs are basically where one works for either a resort or a dive shop or a cruise. The tasks expected to be performed as a part of the job may include leading dives, teaching newcomers, maintaining scuba gear, filling tanks and captaining a dive boat. In such a job, the job seeker is also expected to have good interpersonal skills as he would have to interact with customers. With diving increasing as a tourist activity, the number of job opening for recreational scuba divers is on the rise. This provides an opportunity to travel around the world and experience the varied underwater ecosystem of different places. What could be more rewarding for a diver than getting paid for his explorations? On an average the pay would be in the range of $15,000 to $20,000 per annum.
Commercial diving has a far greater number and more lucrative job opportunities, but at the same time demands more specialized skills. Most of these divers would be employed by companies dealing with underwater civil engineering tasks. They require divers to conduct underwater research to assist engineers in their plans for the offshore constructions. Other related tasks would include offshore oil exploration and underwater welding. Other categories of commercial diving would include search and rescue operations, salvage of wrecks, underwater photography or film making and fishing. The most challenging of the commercial diving jobs is the military diving for military personnel who have to train in activities like underwater combat and stealthy infiltration amongst others. Although commercial diving can get very demanding in terms of endurance and skills, it does pay very well. Average starting salary for such type of diver would range in between $40,000 to $60,000. With experience it would even touch $100,000.
Scuba diving not only offers job opportunities for the able bodied. It has opened an entirely new avenue of jobs for the disabled as well. Scuba diving is seen to have a therapeutic impact for the handicapped, not only physically but also mentally. It helps them gain in confidence and it provides movement of the joints and muscles.
Although scuba diving as a career can be extremely exhilarating, it does require a lot of hard work and skill. There are also important precautions that need to be taken to avoid health hazards. One of the most common hazards is the decompression sickness which may be caused by quick ascent after a dive, causing gas to dissolve in the blood to form bubbles in tissues. There are many such health hazards involved which the diver needs to be aware of and take necessary precautions to avoid any accidents.
Just like any other job, a diver has to undergo a job search. There are many websites which help divers around the world in this matter. Some of the well known websites include www.jobs4divers.com and www.diversjobs.com. Apart from this one could also join a diving school to first get trained and then be placed through their placement office. A couple of well known dive schools include Bob Brayman’s International Diving Career Institute at Hall’s and Pro Dive International. Thus scuba diving can be considered as a good career option where there are plenty of job opportunities with something to offer of interest for everyone, whether an engineer, a photographer, a biologist or an environmentalist.
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