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NOC Code: NOC Code: 7384a Occupation: Commercial divers
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Commercial divers perform underwater activities related to construction, inspection, search, salvage, repair and photography. They are employed by commercial diving contractors, shipping and marine construction companies, and oil and gas companies with offshore operations. Commercial divers perform underwater activities related to construction, inspection, search, salvage, repair and photography. They are employed by commercial diving contractors, shipping and marine construction companies, and oil and gas companies with offshore operations.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3 4
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3 4


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading
  • Read email messages from co-workers, customers and colleagues. For example, read email messages in which project coordinators outline diving projects and describe work to be carried out. Underwater contractors read email messages from production company recruiters who list the documentaries that will be filmed in their areas. Divers employed by aquaculture companies read email messages in which managers and supervisors inquire about their availabilities for work in remote areas. Diving contractors read email messages from other commercial divers who are seeking employment. (2)
  • Read memos and bulletins. For example, read memos on topics such as changes to the organization's procedure and safety standards. Commercial divers who work for utility companies read bulletins about equipment and product recalls. Underwater camera operators may read bulletins from bodies such as the Canadian Standards Association to learn about changes to safety regulations. (2)
  • Read handling, storage, disposal and first aid instructions, directions for use and precautionary statements on product and equipment labels. For example, read precautionary statements and first aid measures on Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System labels on gas and solvent containers. Read instructions for storage and handling on gas cylinder labels. (2)
  • Read equipment, procedure and policy manuals. For example, read equipment manuals to understand how new umbilical cords should be connected and used. Saturation divers read underwater camera manuals to understand cameras' capabilities and limitations. Diving supervisors read sections of manuals such as Underwater Cutting and Welding to learn about wet stick welding and other procedures they have not performed recently. Search and recovery divers review manuals such as the Salvage Engineer's Handbook to learn procedures for rigging when attempting to recover sunken tugboats. They read policy and procedure manuals to ensure they are following published search and rescue protocols. (3)
  • Read articles in magazines. For example, saturation divers read articles in Underwater Magazine on topics such as police diving and search techniques. Diving supervisors may read about the history of diving in Diving Is My Business. Commercial divers who work for engineering organizations read articles in Offshore Diver Magazine to remain current with technical advances in their industries. Commercial divers employed in aquaculture organizations read articles in Northwest Dive News about new products such as ergonomic buoyancy vests. (3)
  • Read regulations, standards and guidelines. For example, search and recovery divers read safety regulations to ensure all concerns are addressed prior to beginning dives. Saturation divers read new safety regulations distributed by the Canadian Standards Association to ensure they remain compliant in their work practices. Commercial divers in aquaculture read regulations which outline requirements for inspecting and repairing fish farm pens. Diving supervisors may read the Guidelines for the Accreditation of Occupational Diver Training and Competency Assessment. (4)
  • Read reports, safety plans and contracts for diving projects. For example, diving contractors and supervisors read lengthy contracts for diving projects to ensure they reflect their negotiations with customers. Diving supervisors read safety plans which describe emergency procedures, risk assessments, work procedures and qualifications of personnel. Commercial divers involved in search and recovery read reports on dive sites' conditions when preparing for dives. (4)
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Writing
  • Write reminders and short notes for co-workers. For example, diving contractors write notes to record details of telephone messages and conversations with customers. Underwater camera operators write notes to remind themselves to contact movie production companies about new projects. (1)
  • Write letters to customers. For example, diving contractors write letters to describe their services and expertise to prospective customers. Underwater camera operators write letters to production managers to confirm that specific equipment is available at filming locations. (2)
  • Write comments in logbooks. For example, diving contractors write logbook entries to describe dive locations and comment on unusual conditions and findings. Commercial divers working for engineering companies write logbook entries to describe work accomplished during dives. (2)
  • Write proposals. For example, commercial divers working for engineering companies may write proposals for the provision of inspection and emergency response services. (3)
  • Write reports and project descriptions. For example, diving supervisors write project descriptions which summarize the work planned, outline the roles of divers and list the safety procedures which will be followed. They write post-dive reports which describe dives and summarize divers' observations. Diving contractors may write reports on topics such as zebra mussel infestations of pipes and water intakes. (3)
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Document Use
  • Locate data on various gauges. For example, saturation divers scan tank gauges to identify quantities of air in tanks and tank pressure prior to beginning dives. Commercial divers involved in search and rescue work view gauges located on their wristbands and dive suits to identify dive depths, water temperatures and lengths of time they have been submerged. (1)
  • Locate data in tables and schedules. For example, scan decompression tables to locate the lengths of time that can be spent at various depths. Scan tidal charts to locate times when wave movements are minimal and visibility is good enough to conduct inspections. Diving contractors scan dive operations schedules for diving locations and depths. (2)
  • Enter data into forms. For example, complete the Diver Certification Board of Canada application form when applying for certification as commercial divers and supervisors. Complete National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration pre- and post-dive checklists, and dive logs for all dives. Commercial divers working in aquaculture record their use of compressors in logbooks. Underwater camera operators enter personal and contact information into 'deal memos' when signing on for new productions. (2)
  • Interpret assembly drawings. For example, commercial divers working for utility companies view assembly drawings which show how various pieces of equipment such as helmets, diving suits, umbilical cords and compressors link together. Diving contractors view assembly drawings to understand how to assemble line compressors and air supply equipment. Commercial divers working in aquaculture view assembly drawings of fish farm pen netting, fittings and anchors. (2)
  • Locate data on equipment labels. For example, commercial divers scan labels on gas cylinders to ensure they have the appropriate mixtures for dive conditions. They scan tank labels to confirm dates when tanks were filled, visually inspected and pressure tested. Diving contractors locate makes, models, serial numbers and manufacturers' names on equipment and supplies used for their dives. (2)
  • Locate data in a variety of forms. For example, confirm that dive data has been correctly recorded in dive logs and database forms. Underwater camera operators scan production call sheets to locate details of scenes they are required to film. Commercial divers working in aquaculture locate the times and durations of their dives in dive profiles. Diving supervisors scan medical examination record forms to locate dates of annual physical examinations. (2)
  • Interpret and locate data in maps and nautical charts. For example, saturation divers examine nautical charts to determine depths and currents in areas where salvage operations will be carried out. Commercial divers working for utility companies use survey maps to identify the depths and contours of lakes and rivers where they are planning dives. (3)
  • Interpret technical drawings. For example, diving contractors scan scale drawings to identify locations of specific underwater objects such as water intakes. Commercial divers working for engineering companies review construction drawings to familiarize themselves with areas where they will be working. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Use computer and software applications. For example, use dive computers to calculate dive and decompression times. (2)
  • Use spreadsheet software. For example, diving contractors may create spreadsheets to record revenues and expenditures and to generate forecasts and budgets. Saturation divers may create spreadsheets to organize inventory lists and equipment serial numbers. Diving supervisors may create spreadsheets to track contact numbers and areas of expertise of divers they hire. (2)
  • Use the Internet. For example, diving supervisors use search engines to locate the websites of companies requesting services. Saturation divers access suppliers' websites to find information on new equipment. (2)
  • Use word processing. For example, diving contractors and supervisors use word processing software to prepare proposals and dive reports for customers. (2)
  • Use communications software. For example, diving contractors and supervisors may use email to communicate with customers about dive operations. They may send email messages to suppliers to order equipment and supplies. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Discuss ongoing work with co-workers and colleagues. For example, commercial divers working for engineering companies discuss travel arrangements with other divers assigned to the same projects. Saturation divers inform their dive partners of work that remains to be completed. Diving supervisors relay measurements taken underwater to workers on the surface. Search and recovery divers speak to other divers who have conducted similar types of recovery operations to determine if special equipment is needed. (2)
  • Discuss dive operations with customers. For example, search and recovery divers ask customers to explain the objectives for dive operations. Diving contractors and supervisors inform their customers of work they have completed to date and describe challenges they have encountered. (2)
  • Discuss equipment and repairs with suppliers, service technicians and manufacturers' representatives. For example, speak to suppliers and service technicians to obtain product information and troubleshooting advice for equipment such as regulators. Commercial divers working for engineering companies ask suppliers about prices and delivery options for diving suits. Search and recovery divers discuss the functioning of new umbilical cords with manufacturers' representatives. (2)
  • Discuss technical matters with co-workers, colleagues and customers. For example, contribute to safety and planning sessions with operations support workers prior to all dives. Discuss the purposes of dives, the roles of team members, work procedures and special signals to be used underwater. Divers who operate underwater cameras speak to directors of photography about adjustments to be made prior to filming scenes. Diving supervisors speak to tugboat company representatives to arrange for diving platforms to be moved into place for offshore diving operations. (3)
  • Provide and receive directions during emergency situations. For example, when divers lose air supplies while underwater, supervising divers coach them through emergency procedures. Commercial divers working for engineering companies request emergency assistance when their diving suits become inoperable. They listen to their co-workers' directions to ensure a safe return to the surface. (4)
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Money Math
  • Calculate expense reimbursement amounts. For example, calculate reimbursement amounts for travel to remote work sites. Calculate amounts for the use of personal vehicles at per kilometre rates. Add amounts for hotels, meals and per diem allowances. (2)
  • Calculate invoice amounts. For example, diving contractors and supervisors calculate invoice amounts using regular and overtime hourly rates for divers. They include costs for equipment rentals, mixed air supplies and related expenses. They calculate discounts, surcharges and sales taxes. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Create schedules for dives. For example, diving supervisors create schedules for dive operations. They plot timelines and set times and dates for dives. They create individual dive profiles which show diving, decompression and 'on task' times for all divers. They calculate times for descents and ascents. They may have to adjust dive schedules due to adverse weather and tide conditions. (3)
  • Develop budgets for projects. For example, diving contractors and supervisors create budgets for diving operations such as pier and dock inspections. They calculate amounts for divers, support personnel, equipment rentals, consumable supplies, transportation, accommodations and meals. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Take a variety of measurements using common measuring tools. For example, commercial divers measure lengths of aquaculture netting and distances from anchoring points using tape measures. Commercial divers who carry out inspections for utility companies measure the diameters of pipes and the thicknesses of steel plates. (1)
  • Calculate amounts of time required to descend and ascend from work sites. Use tables and formulae to calculate decompression times for various depths, dive durations and water temperatures. Calculate times required to complete series of dives using minimum surface intervals. Factor in ascent times and mandatory decompression stops. (3)
  • Calculate weights and displacements of submerged objects. For example, diving contractors determine the force required to bring pieces of equipment to the surface and to lift them on to barges. Underwater camera operators calculate numbers and types of counterweights and buoyancy control devices required for various equipment and camera configurations. (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare elapsed times, pressures and depths to specifications and standards outlined in dive tables and work descriptions. (1)
  • Collect data and generate statistics to describe work accomplished. For example, when describing salvage operations, dive supervisors may collect data on numbers of dives required to recover wreckage, amounts of oxygen and other gases used, and average lengths of dive times. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate times required to complete job tasks. For example, diving contractors estimate times required to complete underwater construction and maintenance jobs. Diving supervisors estimate times needed to connect steel beams to structures. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Commercial divers organize job tasks to complete dive operations in accordance with the schedules they have established with supervisors and customers. They determine job task sequences to ensure efficiency and safety. Diving contractors and supervisors are responsible for planning and organizing dive operations and scheduling work for other divers. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Choose dive methods and equipment. For example, diving supervisors choose equipment for dive operations at various depths and under a variety of weather conditions. Diving contractors select gas mixtures to be used for dives after confirming dive types and depths. (2)
  • Decide to execute and abort dives. For example, commercial divers working with engineering companies may decide to discontinue dives when weather conditions become less favourable, tides increase in intensity and air tank volumes are diminished. Divers on oil rigs may decide to remain below surface for additional time to complete repairs. They verify that air supplies are stable and consult with support staff on the rig. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Discover equipment is malfunctioning and unsuitable for dives. For example, commercial divers working for utility companies discover their airlines have become twisted. They request assistance from above-water personnel. Saturation divers find their helmet diaphragms are freezing as they descend. They attach pneumatic air hoses to their helmets and breathe through these until they are able to return to the surface. Diving supervisors discover that gas metering equipment does not meet standards. They suspend dives until replacement equipment arrives. (2)
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Finding Information
  • Find information about dives. Review dive profiles, consult maps, study weather forecasts and speak to dive team members during pre-dive meetings. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Assess the suitability of equipment for dive operations. For example, saturation divers judge the suitability of dive suits for deep dives. They consider the types and numbers of dives completed annually, water temperatures encountered and types of rubber used to construct suits. They seek out the opinions of other divers. (2)
  • Judge the suitability of job applicants. For example, diving supervisors read résumés to learn about the qualifications and experience of divers. They conduct job interviews and contact references to judge applicants' characters and abilities. (2)
  • Judge the performance of divers under your supervision. For example, diving supervisors observe divers' preparation for dives, use of equipment and work habits. (3)
  • Evaluate the safety of work sites and diving operations. For example, complete pre-dive checklists, review dive schedules and profiles, and inspect equipment. (4)
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