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View Full Version : Looking at a possible career change. Is there work out there?



Brandane
19-01-2014, 02:36 PM
Hi all,

I did a scatter of years in the military before taking redundancy in 2012. Since then I've been running my own business doing property maintenance, bathroom fitting & home improvements among other stuff.

I enjoy it and it's going well but I'd love to do something different. I've been looking at the Professional Diving Academy website at some of the courses they offer. There's a huge variety and having not researched it fully yet I'm still learning what some of the codes and quals are.

My question to any commie divers on here is: is this a sensible and viable move. I've got the motivation and drive to complete the training and go looking for work and don't ever expect to just sit back and wait for the work to come to me. But is there work out there?

Also I'd probably look at just starting with inshore diving for the time being to gain experience in the industry before looking to move offshore. What types of training would I be best to look at completing to do the best in inshore diving?

Thanks

Dougie

Simon A
19-01-2014, 03:51 PM
You probably want to speak to some of the commercial divers, but my understanding is that it depends what other skills you bring to the table. Despite all the hype from the commercial diving schools, diving is just how you get to work, once you get there, you still need to be able to do the job....

londonsean69
19-01-2014, 05:35 PM
A guy I taught to dive went the commie route.

14k on courses and his first job was picking dead fish out of nets on a fish farm for 90 a day. That's not a good wage IMO, given he was self employed, so responsible for his PAYE, NI etc.
Over the course of around 3 years he worked fairly constantly, but never went offshore. Most of his work was in and around docks and harbours.

He is now back to truck driving, as there were too many people chasing too few jobs.

I looked into it myself, but working as an underwater labourer for 150 a day is not my idea of a good job.

Brandane
19-01-2014, 07:19 PM
Thanks both. I had a feeling that may be the case. I can remember a good few years back a couple of mates had looked into locksmithing. When speaking to the training providers they were assured that the UK was in dire need of more locksmiths and they could easily earn upwards of 1000 a week doing it. The reality when one of the lads took the plunge was that his area was saturated by other guys who were told the same story all fighting over one or two jobs.
I'd still like to hear from any others that are currently in the business to see what the situations is like. I enjoy welding at home (not qualified or anything) but would throw myself into a coded welder course if it would help me out too.
Any other thoughts?

GLOC
19-01-2014, 07:21 PM
Brandane,

Don't normally put people towards other diving websites but this is the one you want to look at.

http://www.longstreath.com/community/

Regards

MikeF
19-01-2014, 07:47 PM
not much call for wet welding these days. mostly it's inspection work or hydratighting flanges, matting and bagging, opening and closing manual isolation valves chasing blockages and leaks and changing out broken control modules and cables.

yes there are jobs out there and the prospects are better now for new entrants than at any time in the past twenty years, but (isn't there always a but?) to get work you need experience and to get experience you need work. therefore as ever you'll find yourself doing shit jobs for shit wages just to get experience, but that's not much different to any other industry.

so do the course take the pain, work in the gulf for diddly squat competing with every hopeful in the world to get experience, do your sat course, take the pain, try and get a job as a deck diver / rigger with a proper company, when someone says jump ask 'how high and when would you like me to jump?' and you'll be fine. people are still building new build DSV's, new companies are entering the industry and they need crews and a lot of the old guard are getting ready to retire, you just need attitude, experience and contacts. the first one you either have or you haven't, the second comes with time and the third comes with either time or birth.

Brandane
19-01-2014, 08:14 PM
Excellent Mike, thank you for your positive comments. What would you say is the best course to start with for the best chances of success? There are quite a few ranging from around 7K to 12-13K which cover inshore, offshore, saturation etc.

Brandane
19-01-2014, 08:14 PM
Thanks Gloc, I'll hop over to have a look at that site now.

MikeF
19-01-2014, 08:40 PM
http://www.theunderwatercentre.com/fort-william/diver-training/diving-courses/c_6/premium-industry-package/

i'd have thought that the stuff covered in this is what you really need if you don't want to be picking dead fish out of a net. the extra cost of the 3.1U is chickenfeed if it helps you get your first job. it's always harder to go back and do additional training when you have to take time off to do it, you may end up missing out on a good job just because you aren't available to get on a plane this afternoon or tomorrow morning. nobody will put you in sat if you haven't got a few years experience and some references from people they know so my advice would be do this or a similar course and get a couple of years of solid experience before parting with more cash.

once you've done the course bang on doors till you get that first job and don't take no for an answer. in this industry a no this week may well be a yes next week when people are stuck so keep at it.

just be aware before you start that it's a weird industry, most people are more than a little bit bonkers, you spend a lot of time away from home and divorce rates are astronomical.

MattJ
20-01-2014, 03:31 PM
I don't work in diving but I do work in the offshore O&G industry; I would second MikeF's comments above - we get guys keen to get into our sector and the ones that get brought on board are the ones who are keen, don't complain when they get given 24 hrs notice to mob and are professional. You will likely need to look at offshore survival and medical tickets (although the price is peanuts compared to your dive courses).

I imagine you will get picked up for the 'spot market' i.e. they need a body on deck and wont offer you a long contract immediately, therefore you need to make yourself attractive (no, not by wearing a dress - although that may work after 6 weeks offshore); have your tickets in date, be ready to go immediately, be helpful offshore, join in, be safe and graft.

May be worth doing other things that will help offshore (appointed persons courses for lifting inspections etc?)

Matt

Brandane
20-01-2014, 03:52 PM
Thanks Matt & Mike. Both sound very positive. I've been on both of the scottish diving schools websites just comparing their courses. Both appear very similar but neither have places until Oct/Nov. I'm going to give them both a call later and if possible pop up in the next few weeks to take a look at their facilities and have a good chat with them.
I'm used to the "Pack your stuff your going tonight" lifestyle having done 12 years in the military so that side of things will be no problem getting back into.
Thanks for your answers guys. I'll let you know how I progress with things.

danpayneuk
12-11-2014, 07:38 PM
Just wondered if you ever decided to do your training or what the outcome was.

Spirit of Guernsey
12-11-2014, 08:14 PM
http://www.baalink.org/sites/default/files/media/reggie-case-slideshow/mcd.JPG

heliumthief
25-06-2015, 04:46 PM
...what a difference 18 months make!

This time last year there was so much work around that I know of 2 separate Air divers who turned down the chance of their first Sat as they wanted to go on holiday instead.....now there are experienced Sat divers who would happily evicerate them just to get their Air Diving job!

MikeF
25-06-2015, 04:57 PM
yup

both operators and contractors are in survival mode. Projects have been cancelled wherever possible, chartered boats are being returned to the owners asap, owned boats are being stacked or sold, rates have been slashed, large numbers of people laid off, diving / ROV contractors are going to the wall and the pain is far from over yet.

the reality today is that the industry is, to put it as politely as possible, f*cked.

Baron015
25-06-2015, 08:22 PM
yup

both operators and contractors are in survival mode. Projects have been cancelled wherever possible, chartered boats are being returned to the owners asap, owned boats are being stacked or sold, rates have been slashed, large numbers of people laid off, diving / ROV contractors are going to the wall and the pain is far from over yet.

the reality today is that the industry is, to put it as politely as possible, f*cked.

Why, what's happened ?

Iain Smith
25-06-2015, 08:27 PM
Why, what's happened ?

Perhaps this (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-33268851)?

gpj
25-06-2015, 08:28 PM
Why, what's happened ?

I assume the collapse in oil price and the ending/cutting of subsidies for renewables

SWjames
25-06-2015, 08:29 PM
Not solely due to the oil industry but largely to do with it. The crash of the oil price a few months back has ha da huge knock on affect through out the entire commercial diving industry, and it is on its knees at the moment.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

jamesp
25-06-2015, 08:34 PM
Why, what's happened ?

Everybody was making a fortune at $140 a barrel, it hit $40 and is currently $55~60.
Suddenly oil producers are not even covering production costs.
A lot of people were used to charging what they liked because O&G would just pay: they have struggled with the concept of not having blank cheques waved in front of them.

If an O&G supplier knocks on your door at the moment looking to sub work, you probably want paying up front shall we say!

Baron015
25-06-2015, 08:41 PM
Why has the price collapsed from $140 to $40 ?

Increased supply from Saudi ?

jamesp
25-06-2015, 08:53 PM
Why has the price collapsed from $140 to $40 ?

Increased supply from Saudi ?

OPEC made no effort to cut supply.
In my opinion an exercise(in economic warfare) in driving the price down to cripple fracking and drive it out of existence.

The USA was becoming a net exporter due to shale gas(fracking), I`ve seen that quoted as having a viable production cost of around $70 a barrel.
A lot of US fracking has been shut down.........

There was an article last week where an O&G bod was suggesting that the industry needed to get itself used to being viable at $60 a barrel.

There was an item earlier this year/late last year that listed oil producing countries and what oil price their national budgets were based upon; some of the gulf states were north of $120, several were $100+ very few were sub $90.

They must be taking a huge hit as well, which reinforces my belief that it was a deliberate policy to counter fracking.

I honestly thought that the yanks would adopt a "FU Aaarab" approach and stick with home produced/fracked supply; but you can never underestimate an idiot.

Baron015
25-06-2015, 09:27 PM
Doesn't seem much evidence that the price is tending towards the marginal cost of production ..... I guess a lesson in the dangers of allowing a cartel to flourish. Or the dangers of a small number of massive producers who essentially control the market.

jamesp
25-06-2015, 09:35 PM
Doesn't seem much evidence that the price is tending towards the marginal cost of production ..... I guess a lesson in the dangers of allowing a cartel to flourish. Or the dangers of a small number of massive producers who essentially control the market.

It is for some of the North sea fields.

Just remember that Saddam invaded Kuwait when they refused to back lifting the price to $21, the USA was swamping the market with oil from it`s strategic reserve to surpress the price down from well over $21 after the invasion.

MikeF
25-06-2015, 09:57 PM
OPEC made no effort to cut supply.
In my opinion an exercise(in economic warfare) in driving the price down to cripple fracking and drive it out of existence.

The USA was becoming a net exporter due to shale gas(fracking), I`ve seen that quoted as having a viable production cost of around $70 a barrel.
A lot of US fracking has been shut down.........

There was an article last week where an O&G bod was suggesting that the industry needed to get itself used to being viable at $60 a barrel.

There was an item earlier this year/late last year that listed oil producing countries and what oil price their national budgets were based upon; some of the gulf states were north of $120, several were $100+ very few were sub $90.

They must be taking a huge hit as well, which reinforces my belief that it was a deliberate policy to counter fracking.

I honestly thought that the yanks would adopt a "FU Aaarab" approach and stick with home produced/fracked supply; but you can never underestimate an idiot.

you really need to look at lifting cost rather than gulf state budgets.

North sea is a hostile, high cost environment. send a DSV to the North of Shetland to open a manual valve on the seabed, thatll be @ $1M. send a pickup truck into the desert to do the same thing that'll be $10k. crew change an installation in the North Sea = fleet of helicopters. crew change onshore = scheduled flights and a bus. you get the picture

therefore lifting cost for the North sea is high, probably averages @ $65/bbl with some newer assets better than this. some of the older ageing assets are nearer $100+. fracking as has been said $70/bbl ish and at that US went from importer to self sufficient to exporter in a very short space of time. compare that to a middle east land based lifting cost of @ $10/bbl.

Do the arab states care if they take some short term reduction in profit while eliminating competition, stifling alternative energy development that will reduce the worlds dependency on a carbon economy (and may mean their oil in the ground is ultimately worth less long term) and taking the opportunity of refocusing the US on supporting the arab states that are effectively run as family businesses and are a source of 'cheap oil'? I don't think so.