August 4, 2017 – Arlington, Va. – The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 7 million Americans were unemployed in June, while at the same time 5.7 million jobs remain unfilled in America. This jobs gap exists because millions of prospective employees lack appropriate career education, training and skills.
While the end of August suggests the end of swimming for many young people, the calendar has no impact on commercial divers. While a unique and small profession, it is incredibly important. Commercial divers inspect, repair, remove or install equipment as well as conduct tests and rig explosives underwater. With a median salary of $49,090 as of May 2016 coupled with the rapid growth rate projected for the next few years, students training for a career in this field will be entering a promising profession. Schools in our sector are essential to get them there.
Commercial diving will be one profession where the demand is expected to grow significantly by 2024. BLS projects a high growth rate of 37% by 2024, resulting in 1,600 new jobs. According to data from BLS and the U.S. Department of Education, nearly all of the completions in commercial diving programs come from our sector. Private sector career colleges and universities had a 90% share of completions in commercial diving programs in 2016 – 855 out of the 948 completions that year. Between 2011-2015, our sector produced 4,557 completions in commercial diving. Most commercial divers have postsecondary education, with 72% holding postsecondary degree certificates and 12% holding associates degrees.
“Commercial diving offers trained professionals a challenging career option that has a good outlook,” said John Wood, president of The Ocean Corporation. “Programs like ours are the gateway to getting the credentials needed for such a career.”
The field of commercial diving also employs many veterans. Diving attracts veterans because of prior training and experience, as well as mental and physical ability gained from their years of service. Due to its mission-oriented work with a high degree of activity and teamwork, veterans find that working as a commercial diver aligns well with their skills and challenges them in a similar way to their military training.
“Commercial divers are overwhelmingly trained in schools in our sector,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities. “The profession is projected to grow quickly in the next few years, and we must ensure that students seeking a career in this field have access to commercial diving programs at our institutions in order to meet that demand.”
About Shortage of Skills
Each month CECU will profile America’s “Shortage of Skills” (SOS) in one key industry. We will examine industries that are critical to America’s economic advancement and explain how a well-educated and well-trained workforce can address these issues. See previous SOS releases here.
About Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU)
Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) is a membership organization of accredited institutions of higher education that provide postsecondary education with a career focus. CECU’s work supports thousands of campuses that educate millions of students.