Underwater-chainsaw

Looking for work? It might be time to jump into a career in commercial diving.

While it may go against the tide in terms of national employment trends, all along the West Coast of Canada there’s an acute shortage of commercial divers.

“In the last few years we’ve noticed a significant increase in work, and that means we’re always looking for certified commercial divers,” says Rob Brown, a director with Allpen Diving and Floatation, based on Vancouver Island. Brown says his company needs divers for salvage work, floatation corrections, servicing fish farms and underwater power-washing – services the family-owned company has been providing for more than 20 years.

“Generally things are pretty stable in our industry; the need is there but it tends to be slow and steady. Recently, with ongoing expansions in aquaculture, that need has become more significant.”

Brown’s comments are echoed by Kelly Korol, Director of Training for Island-based DiveSafe International, Western Canada’s leading trainer of commercial divers.

“While the need for commercial divers is always growing, it seems to be acute right now and shows no sign of weakening,” says Korol. “We’re getting plenty of calls from dive-based companies asking about our graduates. I’d say there’s never been a better time to be a commercial diver!”

According to Korol, several factors have contributed to the current high demand for qualified divers.

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“Not only have 10 fish farm sites been slated to open or re-open in B.C. waters recently, but there has also been an increase in seafood harvesting in general,” he says. “The international market for urchins and geoduck is really strong right now, particularly with our low dollar helping with exports. Combine that with growth in construction, as well as weather-related damage repairs, and it adds up to a lot of opportunities for commercial divers.”

It also means greater interest in DiveSafe International’s courses – and not just from Vancouver Islanders. A sure sign of the times, Korol says the company’s current class has a couple of men who have left the oil fields of Alberta for the coastal waters of B.C.

DiveSafe’s next commercial diving course, beginning this summer, is Unrestricted Surface Supply Diver – what Korol refers to as the “Big Kahuna” of diving courses.

“It’s a deeper diving course – very extensive and covering everything from underwater welding to compression chambers,” he explains. “With this ticket you can handle pretty much anything to do with construction, aquaculture, harvesting and even research.

“It’s a great opportunity to get a steady, high-paying job doing challenging and interesting work that changes – literally – with the tides.”

For more information on upcoming diving courses, visit www.divesafe.com or call (250) 287-3837.

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NOTE: This article is a discussion about the commercial industry and an introduction to the above dive training company. If you’re looking for a job in commercial diving, please contact the above company for training, or visit other industry-specific websites for job opportunities. This is not an offer of employment.

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