Diver ... (Military - Enlisted)  What They Do

Just the Facts


Divers work under water. Underwater missions undertaken by military divers can be very dangerous. They perform such tasks as reconnaissance, demolition, ship repair, search for missing persons, and salvage in underwater conditions. They usually specialize in either scuba diving or deep-sea diving.

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster National Security pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Performs basic explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) related diving procedures, including bottom and hull searches, day or night, using SCUBA, surface supplied, and mixed or gas diving equipment
  • Tests, repairs, and adjusts scuba and associated underwater equipment
  • Recognizes and assists in the treatment of diving-related injuries such as decompression sickness and other forms of barotrauma
  • Performs diving, demolition, ordnance location and identification, EOD detachment operational support, and staff and logistics support to EOD commands
  • Supervises deep sea diving missions and dives conducted deeper than 100 feet in salt water
  • Formulates demolition plan for operational and training missions
  • Performs underwater work such as taking measurements, making templates and fittings, placing shores, pouring cement, using excavating nozzles, and removing and repairing ships appendages
  • Manages preventive and corrective maintenance on diving equipment, support systems, salvage machinery, handling systems, and submarine rescue systems
  • Conducts day and general underwater search, detailed ship-bottom search and routine inspections to a depth of 60 feet using underwater compass, depth indicators, and associated underwater equipment
  • Performs adjustments and field shop maintenance on SCUBA and underwater accessories

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 50 lbs., sometimes up to 100 lbs. You will need a lot of strength at this level.
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Using muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Seeing objects or movement to one's side when looking forward
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel