Navy Diver: Duties, Outlook and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a Navy diver. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and schooling information to find out if this is the career for you.

View Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Navy divers are military personnel who complete extensive and rigorous training in various dive techniques. They perform underwater duties ranging from routine ship maintenance to classified special operations support missions. To become a Navy diver, one must already be in the Navy or enlisted. Requirements to get into the Navy diver program include passing a timed physical fitness test involving swimming, running, and strength exercises. Recruited or already-enlisted sailors must also meet vision acuity requirements, meet age restrictions, and be eligible for a security clearance, in addition to earning acceptable Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test scores.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent
Other Requirements Be already enlisted or recruited in the U.S. Navy; complete the Navy diver training program; meet other military requirements for the position
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 29% for commercial divers
Median Salary (2013)* $47,930 for commercial divers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Navy Diver Duties

Navy divers perform a variety of tasks and missions in underwater environments. They inspect, maintain, and repair a ship's hull, rudders, and propulsion screws. They salvage and recover sunken assets. Navy divers also support construction projects, for example, by performing underwater welding operations. Additionally, they participate in tactical missions, such as search and rescue efforts, harbor clearing operations, and diving support for special operations missions.

Navy divers typically use SCUBA, surface-supplied-air, mixed gas, and saturation diving methods. Navy divers might conduct operations anywhere in the world, including tropical environments and extreme cold water locations. Assignments might require divers to be deployed for extended periods.

Navy Diver Training

Initial Navy diver training includes a Diver Preparation Course that focuses on basic electrical and engineering subjects. This is followed by Second Class Dive School at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) in Panama City, Florida. Graduation from this school is followed by an assignment to a fleet unit, where additional training takes place, such as Diving Medical Technician and Diving Medical Officer.

Employment Outlook

The U.S. Navy provides divers with a career path that includes advanced levels of dive training and promotions, including First Class Diver and Master Diver. This career path enables qualified Navy divers to pursue careers in the Navy until retirement. Navy divers might qualify for enlistment bonuses, dive pay, special duty pay, and sea pay, in addition to their normal salaries. Naval divers with a college degree might advance to officer positions.

Alternatively, some Navy divers might seek civilian employment as commercial divers after completing their Navy obligations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment options for commercial divers include working on oil rigs or for shipyards. They might maintain infrastructure, such as port facilities, dams, and bridges. During the 2012-2022 decade, the BLS predicted that job opportunities for commercial divers would increase by 29%. The BLS reported that the median salary for commercial divers was $47,930 in 2013.

Show me popular schools

Related to Navy Diver: Duties, Outlook and Requirements

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Become a Commercial Diver: Education and Career Roadmap

Commercial divers work with teams of engineers to perform mechanical repairs and construction underwater. Divers work in all...

Salary and Career Info for a Navy Engineer

Navy engineers require a significant amount of formal education. Learn about the salary, job duties and employment outlook to...

Career Info for a Naval Architecture or Marine Engineering Degree

A degree program in naval architecture or marine engineering prepares students to design watercraft and maritime power systems....

Salary and Career Info for Professional Scuba Divers

A professional scuba diver may work in a variety of commercial fields, such as underwater repair, research, photography,...

Become a Navy Chaplain: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Engineering Physics
      • Math
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Bioinformatics
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • General Biology
      • Microbiology and Immunology
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Pharmacology and Toxicology
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • International and Comparative Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Transportation and Distribution
      • Architectural History
      • Environmental Design
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics