Divers carry out a range of duties underwater using self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA), surface breathing apparatus or underwater work chambers.

Duties & Tasks

Divers may perform the following tasks:

  • inspect diving equipment before diving
  • build, check and repair underwater constructions such as harbour wall foundations, ship hulls, jetties, piers and pipelines, sometimes using cutting or welding equipment
  • use cables, floatation gear or ropes to bring underwater objects to the surface
  • carry out underwater exploration
  • carry out underwater search and rescue operations to recover bodies, stolen goods and other property (police divers)
  • build and look after fish farms
  • supervise and teach others to dive
  • operate cameras for underwater filming (such as for nature documentaries)
  • place recording instruments underwater
  • operate decompression and recompression chambers.


Offshore Construction Diver

An offshore construction diver assists with the construction and repair of pipelines and structures associated with the production of offshore oil and gas. They are also employed in routine inspections of these structures and use non-destructive testing. They are often tradespeople, such as boilermakers or welders.

Onshore Construction Diver

An onshore construction diver works on a variety of projects, such as hull inspection and repairs, maintenance work and salvage operations. They may also construct, inspect and repair weirs, locks and dams.

Recreational Dive Instructor

A recreational dive instructor teaches at resorts and diving schools. Qualified divers supervise and assist recreational divers during lessons and on dives. They also work in diving equipment shops. Instructors start at divemaster level, assisting more experienced staff, and then progress to assistant and full instructor levels.

Saturation Diver

A saturation diver may descend to depths of 300 metres or more and work in underwater work chambers or diving bells. These are the most qualified divers and work usually involves scientific research or the maintenance of deep sea structures.

Scientific Diver

A scientific diver collects samples and carries out underwater analyses for scientific exploration and environmental assessments.

Seafood Diver

A seafood diver works in hatcheries and assists with the building and maintenance of boats, cages, nets and other equipment. They inspect, repair and clean housings, keep an eye on the health of fish, remove dead fish, repel or kill predators and report observations to the supervisor.

Working Conditions

Professional diving is both physically and mentally demanding, with a lot of time spent working underwater. It is a potentially hazardous occupation, so divers must work under strict safety standards.

Personal Requirements

  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • able to pass a strict medical examination
  • responsible and safety-conscious
  • able to work as part of a team
  • able to solve mathematical problems.

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