Im a scuba instructor and tech deep diver and it has been some time Ive been looking around at different commercial diving schools, to be specific two in particular: NYD in Norway and UDC at Fort Williams.

Can anyone give me give the rational behind the big difference in price?  Do they offer the same courses?  Any other schools in the world that are good?

Also is worth the while to get a full package as offered at UDC or standard surface supplied with top up adding NDT and welding be a good set of skills for employability?

I was thinking - mainly because of the price - getting my degree at NYD then adding whatever is missing from fort williams but dont know if thats the right angle to go for considering employability.

thanks in advance for any advice


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Check out the south african school. Pretty cheap and you get the same cert.

Don't let on that you're a scuba diver, it doesn't sit well with us older hands.
When I went to school you had to know how to breath out of a goat skin bladder to get in. Doesn't that qualify for scuba?
Hey Marty! I'm looking for a 18 frame, you got one? I'm at the house.
James, I do not have one. I do know where you can get one cast in bronze. It does improve the comms and balance plus no inserts to come loose.
Nick I would say HSE is still the best ticket for overall recognition. The schools that do the offshore certs are UDC in fortwilliam as you have already checked out, and the PDA in Dunoon. I trained at the PDA and as I've stated elsewhere I couldn't rate the place high enough. I came into the industry with no prior diving experience and they really taught me a great deal in the 9 weeks I was there. When I left I was prepared for what lay in store to a good degree and my first start felt very similar to another day in the academy. Work has been steady since though I've been slack for the last 2 - 3 weeks.

James you are wrong when you say its the same cert when you train in SA, its not. I did a lot of research before I did my couirse and looked at all the possibilities and found that the only only place you can get a true HSE cert is in the UK. It might be cheaper but a lot of companies will prefer an HSE qualified diver over SA trained (HSE approved)diver so it will cost a lot more in lost work long term. Your right about previous SCUBA it doesnt really matter when your hanging underneath a vessel with a hydraulic brush cart for a couple of hours at a time, its all about hard work!
Cheers guys for the advice. This has added a bit of a positive twist to my search. Been a couple forums ive visited and there seems to be alot of negativity towards this profession - not paid well, crappy, no work, too many people etc.... is it really that bad out there in the commercial diving industry - can it be worse than any other job?

On a last note - i dont have any true construction or engineering kind of experience - is this going to really put me at the bottom of the queue? oh n btw anything to say about nyd? reputated?

cheers again guys
Nick I never came from a construction background but I've been lucky enough to get a job early on and have learned many new skills since starting out. Most I've learned has been from the guys I've worked with and most importantly the supervisor. We were taught quite a bit with tools, rigging etc at dive school, but its still a sharp learning curve when you get into work and it pays to ask plenty of questions. I would say it definitely helps to have the kind of background that you mention but only at the beginning.

As for the job, well after 13 years of office life I am only saddened that I never did it years ago. It is hard at times but I love the variety the travelling and the truly outrageous characters that I've worked with. Divings full of colourful and immensely funny people and its great to be part of a team that's pulling for one another when the weather sucks and the jobs going to rat s***! The satisfaction of achieving something in the water that moves the wh*** job forward is hard to beat and I'm immensely glad I came into this new career, even though I did wait until my mid/late thirties.

So my advice, if you have the calling then go for it and the very best of luck to you!
Hey Borat
Thanks alot for you help. This is helping to clear things out for myself.
If I may ask where you based - SA?

Sorry ask but your the only one so far who seems to have some straight answers for me.
Any opinions about dive schools in canada delivering D.C.B.C certification. Canadian Working Divers in Ontario seems pretty decent. There seems to be so many certifications out there its a little mind boggling and spending 15K + is definet making me think about launching myself into this. It seems the one in Norway (albeit quite cheap - about 5000k) is good, train in everything but the downside is no certs in any of the extra skills (welding, etc...) so not much use there i guess apart if your Norwegian and working for a Norwegian company!

best in luck in finding work

Cheers again for you advice


From the South west of UK and currently working in the North. You have the right attitude do do as much research as possible before committing and I suggest that you visit the schools if you can. Your right there is so much choice I was advised that if I could afford to do the HSE as its the best recognised. I don't really have any opinion on any other training schemes as I'm not in a position to compare one against another. I can only give you my own training experience which I really enjoyed and which I felt stood me in good stead when I started working. Glad I could help you out, I know what it was like for me at the beginning when you ask a simple question on a forum and get shot down as a complete fool!!


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