How Much Do Scuba Divers Make? A Comprehensive Analysis of Salaries and Job Opportunities




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Are you curious about what a career as a scuba diver could offer? The average salary for a diver in the United States is $54,385 annually. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into diving job opportunities and potential salary ranges to help you understand more about this intriguing career path.

Dive right in, let’s explore what lies beneath!

Key Takeaways

  • The average salary for a scuba diver in the United States is $54,385 per year.
  • Scuba diving job opportunities include dive instructor positions and commercial diving roles.
  • Experienced diving instructors at resorts can earn around $23,000 per year, while new instructors typically start at around $20,000.
  • Commercial divers can earn anywhere from $36,200 to $111,130 annually based on their experience and seniority.

Scuba Diving Job Opportunities

A scuba diving instructor leads a group of divers in the crystal clear blue ocean.

There are various job opportunities in the scuba diving industry, including dive instructor positions and commercial diving roles.

Dive Instructor Salaries

An energetic diving instructor leads a diverse group of divers on an underwater adventure.

Scuba diving instructors play a crucial role in the exciting world of underwater exploration. They guide beginners through their first dive and help experienced divers enhance their skills. Here’s a detail of their salaries:

TitleAverage SalarySalary Range
Experienced Diving Instructor$23,000Dependent on location and type of employment
New Scuba Instructors$20,000Dependent on location and type of employment
PADI DivemastersVariesDependent on location and job responsibilities
Cruise Ship Dive InstructorsVariesDependent on location and job responsibilities

It’s interesting to note that the salaries differ depending on experience, location, and the type of employer. Although these numbers provide a general idea, actual earnings can vary greatly.

Commercial Diving Salaries

A commercial diver is seen inspecting underwater structures in a bustling atmosphere.

Commercial diving offers a wide range of job opportunities with varying salaries. The average compensation for commercial divers can range from $36,200 to $111,130 based on their experience and seniority. In 2021, the salary range for commercial scuba divers was reported to be between $36,000 and $145,000 annually, including bonuses. Salaries in this field can vary widely but generally fall between $54,750 and $93,910. So if you’re considering a career in commercial diving, keep in mind that your salary will depend on factors such as your skill level and the type of employer you work for.

Factors Affecting Scuba Diver Salaries

Several factors can influence the salaries of scuba divers, including their experience level, location, and type of employer.

Experience level

Your level of experience as a scuba diver can greatly impact your salary. Generally, the more experienced you are, the higher your earning potential. For example, an experienced diving instructor at US dive resorts can earn around $23,000 per year, while new instructors typically start at around $20,000.

Similarly, commercial divers with more seniority tend to receive higher compensation ranging from $36,200 to $111,130 annually. So if you’re just starting out in the industry, it’s important to gain experience and build your skills to increase your chances of earning a higher salary.


Where you work as a scuba diver can also affect your salary. Different locations have different costs of living and demand for divers, which can impact the pay rates. For example, in the United States, the average salary for a diver is $54,385 per year.

However, this can vary depending on where you are located within the country. In Missouri, for instance, commercial divers earn an average annual income ranging from $36,200 to $111,130 based on their experience level and job opportunities.

Keep in mind that salaries may differ between states and even within different cities or regions due to factors such as local economies and competition among employers.

Type of employer

The type of employer you work for as a scuba diver can have an impact on your salary. In the diving industry, there are various types of employers such as dive centers, resorts, shops, and even government agencies.

The salaries offered by these employers may differ based on their size, location, and the services they provide.

For example, if you work as a dive instructor at a small dive shop in Missouri, your salary might be different from someone working at a large dive center in a popular tourist destination like Hawaii.

Additionally, government jobs related to marine conservation or underwater inspection may offer different compensation packages compared to positions in the private sector.

It’s important to research and consider the type of employer you want to work for as it can impact not only your salary but also other factors like benefits and opportunities for career growth.


A scuba diver explores a vibrant coral reef in crystal clear waters.

In conclusion, scuba divers can earn varying salaries depending on their experience level and the type of diving job they pursue. Experienced dive instructors at resorts typically make around $23,000, while the national average salary for all divers is $54,385.

Commercial divers can earn anywhere from $36,200 to $111,130 based on their seniority. Ultimately, there are numerous job opportunities in the field of scuba diving with a wide range of potential earnings.


1. How much money can a scuba diver make?

The money a scuba diver makes depends on their job and place. Diving instructors, dive masters, or commercial divers like underwater welders have different salaries.

2. What jobs are there for scuba divers?

There are many diving jobs! You could work in dive tourism at a resort or on a boat, be an instructor teaching safety and how to use equipment, work in marine biology careers or even hazardous material (Hazmat) diving.

3. Does the pay depend on where you work as a scuba diver?

Yes! Jobs like working in dive resorts or shops might offer other perks besides your hourly rate like free accommodation. Commercial diving jobs sometimes pay more because they need special skills.

4. Do I need degrees to become a diver?

Not always. For some jobs, you might just need to be a good swimmer and know about safety rules under water but others may want you to have certain degrees.

5. Can one make lots of money by doing underwater welding?

Underwater welding is dangerous but it often pays well compared with other diving jobs since it calls for rare skills and handling risk.

About the author

Tony is a Scuba enthusiast and has published many works on Scuba Diving. He created ScubaDiveCentral to share fascinating insights into the captivating world of scuba diving from a place of passion and integrity.

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