Depends where you want to work. Are you planning on working internationally or only in the U.S?
It would be best to go to a school that gives you an IMCA recognised certification, that way your options won't be limited.
Also, how long do you want to be in school? Courses range from 3 months to almost a year.
Most, if not all, of the U.S. schools that issue an IMCA recognised cert actually give you a Canadian Dive cert from the Diver Certification Board of Canada (DCBC).
There are also schools in Canada and with the exchange rate may end up being cheaper.
One of the best is the Canadian Working Divers Institute in Ontario. Course cost includes room and board, it's a 3 month course and is known to be one of the best around. IMCA cert as well.
Hey Nate, i found myself in the same dilemma recently too. I am currently a student at The National Polytechnic College of Science in Wilmington Ca (http://natpoly.edu/Locations/Wilmington.html). This school is aprx. one year in length and is definitely on the pricey side. I hear from a lot of people that when it comes to school just do whatever is the quickest so you can get out into the field and start learning hands on. I personally found that i wanted myself in the best possible starting condition i could get. This school really does cover everything that you could possibly want to know about the commercial diving industry as well as letting you choose a major in either dive medic, wet welding, or NDT. The school is very hands on and is sure to give you a lot of time to practice all useful knowledge. Not to mention that the staff is very knowledgeable with a lot of information that doesnt always pertain to the curriculum but will save your ass given the right situation. If you got any other questions feel free to ask. Good luck with the search Colin
When I went to that school (in the early 80's) it was known as Commercial Diving Center (CDC) and the main two diving courses were;
a) Air/Mixed Gas Diver
b) Bell Saturation Diver
Both courses were 4 months long, were very hands on and I thought it was a pretty good school during that time. Now I heard that they pretty much broke up all the course (to charge more) and no longer offer the Bell Sat course.
Anyway, just my two cents to this forum. Have a good one guys! Good luck!
DIT is a good school. It is just horribly expensive. If you intend on working in the GOM, no school will give you a competitive advantage over any other that can justify the costs. Different story if you are aspiring to go to Singapore and hunt for a job.
Yes the big companies recruit students from the large dive schools. The reason for this is the huge turnover rate of tenders. Why the high turnover rate? This job is not for everyone. If you come to the GOM, expect long hours, hard work, heat and humidity, and weeks or months offshore at a time, board off your ass.
Just flip a coin and choose a school so you can get down here and join the fun. My advice: Young Memorial for a career in the GOM. That Canuk school, if you really believe you can work internationally.
I've never tried work in that part of the world and it's been many years since I worked in the Indian Ocean. But, from what I've heard, a Yank may have a tougher time finding work than a Ausy or Kiwi in their own backyard. I'd do a lot of research, maybe even contact a dive company or two before handing over 20 large for a piece of paper.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Either go to school at DIT or overseas. I'm attending school overseas right now that's almost a 3rd cheaper then going to any US school with DMT and accommodation and my flight. Look up the school in Norway or PDC in south africa where I'm at.. Full IMCA and DMT for only 1,100.. Do DMT at any other school in us and bring out the wallet.. (cda wants 4,500)
You sir are a newbie informational idiot! IMCA DMT is no more than an 80 hour first aid course. The U.S. scheme requires at DMT to be both a Nationally registered Emergency Medical Technician and and Board certified DMT through the National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine. One of the few IMCA certs not recognized in the GOM is IMCA/DMT and for good reason-it isn't worth a s***! If I need a DMT I want one that spent the time (250/hr) and yes the Money to to be an emergency provider not a first aid administrator. You'll learn boy-keep you mouth shut and listen alittle not all of any one scheme is the best.
Rat HAt Diver
Thanks for posting the info here guys. With all the different schools, certs, countries and companies all having a seemingly different answer, it's difficult to piece together what you really need to work.
We're putting together a resource that will sort all this out, so we love the input. If you have any thoughts/opinions that you feel need to be included, please share.