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What is a Commercial Diver?

Being in the commercial diving and marine services industry, there are two questions that we receive quite frequently from potential clients and/or people that may not be familiar with our business. One of the questions is “what is commercial diving” and the second almost always has to do with “what is a commercial diver”? While you may not be able to find a clear definition of either of these terms in your desktop dictionary, it is important to understand their meanings as well as what separates them from other forms of diving and divers, especially if you are planning on hiring a commercial diving contractor.

Simply put, commercial diving is the technique of placing and supporting a worker underwater in a safe and efficient manner.  Unlike recreational diving where a diver is primarily responsible for his/her own actions and safety, commercial diving involves a team of people mutually responsible for each other while performing work or tasks. Commercial diving can be a potentially hazardous occupation, and work performed under the scope of commercial diving is governed by Federal Regulations including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  The inherent risks associated with commercial diving can also be greatly reduced by the equipment, skill, technique, and professional aptitude of the company and dive team.

A commercial diver is someone who has the skills of a professional divers as well as technical skills such as those of a laborer, tradesmen, craftsmen, or specialist in order to perform work in an underwater environment. Unlike the leisurely nature of sport diving or recreational diving, commercial diving involves underwater construction & repair, welding, and inspection. The skill set required to perform these duties can only come from proper education, certification, and technical field experience. Essentially, commercial divers need to be medically qualified, academically qualified, and occupationally qualified in order to be efficient and effective at their job.

Commercial divers can fall under many different fields or specialties. A few of the primary types of commercial divers include: offshore diver, inland diver, HAZMAT diver, nuclear diver, and potable (tank) divers.

  • Offshore– Offshore divers are probably the most common commercial diver. These divers tend to live and work on oil platforms and carriers with the majority of the work focused on servicing the oil and gas industry.
  • Inland– As the name implies, inland divers primarily work on inland projects on lakes, rivers, harbors, and dams.
  • HAZMAT– HAZMAT divers tend to be specially trained and highly experienced. These divers work under dangerous conditions including contaminated water and sewers.
  • Nuclear– Similar to risk and danger level of a HAZMAT diver, nuclear divers must take extra precautions to mitigate the risk of exposure to harmful radiation.
  • Potable– Potable divers specialize in the maintenance, cleaning, and repair of potable water storage tanks. A unique process in itself, this form of commercial diving requires highly specialized equipment and strict processes to prevent the contamination of contained potable water.

Here at Midco Diving & Marine Services, Inc., we are proud to be a leader amongst commercial dive companies in the U.S. and beyond. With over 30 years of combined experience, we strive to continue building our reputation as an industry leader by delivering innovative and cost-effective solutions that result in the superior service and product that our clients have come to expect. Our professional dive company is OSHA compliant and our divers are ADCI certified. If you are in need of commercial underwater contractor, give us a call at 1-800-479-1558 and let us show you how we can help you with your next project.


We provide turnkey commercial diving services for unique industrial and municipal needs

Our divers are experienced in underwater inspection, marine construction, repair projects, and so much more. From project design to execution and oversight, our staff of qualified and experienced project managers, DPICs, equipment operators, and certified commercial divers will complete your project safely, effectively, and efficiently. The scope of Midco’s commercial diving underwater service is substantial. Professional diving services include: