HELP........Thinking of going to Commercial diving school....PLE .HELP.........

im thinking of going to CDA school of jacksonville in FL.Im 32 and im  a plant operater,you no the one that sits on my butt all the time looking at computer screens.....i have been doing that for 2 1/2 years....i been in construction befor that..welding,fab work,rigging,Iron worker.pipe,and so on.but i want to be a Commercial diver really bad  more less a under water welder ,,damn that looks so cool...but i hear bad things on how hard it is to get a job and the pay sucks..I don't want a SCHOOL teacher to tell me that it is all good and that i don't have to worry about anything lmao right ....sure..i live in south carolina and i make about 17 a hour..sitting on my butt..i would like to hear it from the real divers ,how much is the pay for the 1st year..i mean i got bill to.and how much traveling it is.i have a little 6 year old girl,And how hard it is to find a job.ples. tell me befor i try and get a 28k school loan .....BIG step for me ....ty so much..i really want to do this .........but i need to know the facts....ty

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If I did do it over again-I would make sure I had more complimentry skills in hand before setting out on a diving career. As it was I had 2500 logged hours as a tender, standby diver, and prep diver +. I was also a bridge and pier builder on a piledriving crew. I had considerable deckhand time working on dredges, dredge tenders and tugs/barges, working part time while going to high school. I don't know you, I haven't worked with you therefore can't say if you're the kind of guy I want as my standby diver or tender-I can't say if you'll bail after 3 or 4 trips, or if you may need 3 years to break out or 5. Even if you're on an inland crew you will definately be working out of town, because diving companies that get enough work to keep full time crews (more or less) bid work all across the country, there is seldom enough steady work in or near coastal ports or major waterways to work close to home and I can't think of where you would get those assurances. Same with gulf operators, I know a few divers that have made their homes in or near gulf ports because it assures operators that they will never have any trouble with those divers not making a crew change or emergency call-out. Thats part of building credability, a rep, being available, reliable. I would do it over again because I love being on, in, near the ocean-but due to that I'm not married and have no offspring. Before being an MD, you must incur great debt in studies then work for peanuts for your internship, like many other fields. Diving is the same, for me it was worth it-I'd like to say yes-go for it, everything will be alright. But due to any number of reasons I can't in good faith do that, its up to you to invest in more than one conversation with a hand that made 55 grand in 4 or 5 months- what got him there? how much experience? will he make another 55 grand this year? how long did he tend? how long has he been diving? what has he earned as an average over the last few years? does he live near the gulf? what is his family situation? You have an oportunity to get a lot of info from the folks here on this site-do you think of the 5000 members on this site they are all working? how many do you think? maybe 10%, those that are in school will probably pass-there are no failures. how many will be employed a year from now? 2 years out? etc. ending up about 10%. You have a ton of time, lots of people to talk to, access to hundreds of diving companies here and around the world-do yourself a favour and use these resources to the max. I'd love nothing more than welcome another comitted, professional to our brotherhood-make it so.
I appreciate your insight to Steven , Bill. you are very insightful. I have some questions to ask you myself.
Hey steve this is steve...i am getting ready to goto cda myself and my wife is pregnant with our i am in the same kind of boat...i have read nothing but every diver pretty much say how awful it is and knd of makes me wonder why all these divers that say how awful it is are still diving?...Sometimes i think you just have to do is short and hell regret will kill you...Im not sure what to think from what any divers say...I have heard good and bad...I was in the marines for four years and that sucked but was also the best time of my life...
Hey guys, everything is not just seems like that when you start, its up to us to weed out the nonstarters-(like boot camp in the old military) the reason for that being My LIFE maybe in your hands at any point on your learning curve on the job. 1=one futup and I could be dead, maimed or permanently disabled- its a good thing not to take chances on that account. So we insure as much as possible by your everyday comportment on deck that you know what the hell is going on. When you make the grade life is different. After I'd paid my dues I worked internationally and domestically for many years. I started sat work after I had been diving for 8 years, made more money in shorter time , but after sat a few years found I wasn't happy in sat all of the time -so with some experimenting found my comfort levels. It takes time to get it right.

Thanks Bill...I got your drift...any advice before I start school in May?

You are from Los Angeles, CA, with a wife and child on the way

Why would You spend 5 times the cost to go to a "school" in FL?

When the program at Santa Barbara City College Marine Diving Technology cost 25% of what You are planning to spend. And the Santa Barbara City College Program is MUCH Better Program and Certifaction.

As a resident of CA it will cost You very little to attend.

Review URL;

Ive been on the east coast working for a while and we kind of just figured I could goto the one in florida while i was here. We looked for schools in CA, but the one we found it took a year to complete the course and the cla**** were only like 2x a week, but I did not know about the one in santa barbara...I take it you get the same program and certifications as the commercial diving academy?...
CDA is very expensive. TOC in Houston is much cheaper and has a great track record.

Remeber this..1 in 10 graduates will still be "In the Field" a year from now. It's not about the $. In time it is, but you have to pay the piper first. Do Not expect an easy road or to have a potential employer say "sure you can go home every month while the rest of us work our nutz off till the job is done!" get real!
You have to want to be a Diver through good and bad. It's a life choice, not a career decision. good luck in you decision making
the only difference bottom line is the pricetag...
Outside of Chino where you have to be a prison inmate to go to dive school Santa Barbara
is the best damn school you can go to and your certifications outweigh any puppy mill out there and it runs about $2500.00 per semester so its less then 6 grand.
Santa Barbara graduates go on to be company owners and thats a fact.
remember the puppy mills are out to process the product as fast and as less costly to make a profet.and they will lie to you to do it.
If your not a journeyman certified welder for back up stick with what your doing.
If Thielst is still there, he'll teach you alot. I thank him for all he taught me, but that was on the job.
More excellent advise.


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