Navy Diver Description and Qualification Factors

Navy diver wearing a MK-20 diving mask.
Stocktrek Images / Getty Images

Navy Fleet Divers (NDs) perform underwater salvage, repair, and maintenance, submarine rescue, and support Special Warfare and Explosive Ordinance Disposal while using a variety of diving equipment. They also maintain and repair diving systems.

Duties performed by NDs include:

  • Perform underwater maintenance, including propeller changes and hull repair, on ships and submarines
  • Use diving equipment including scuba and state-of-the-art surface-supplied diving equipment
  • Maintain and repair diving equipment and systems
  • Participate in research and development of new diving techniques/procedures
  • Underwater search and salvage operations
  • Act as hyperbaric chamber operators, inside tenders, and supervisors

Working Environment

The motto of the Navy Diver community is “We dive the world over”. Because divers may be assigned to any part of the world, their environment will vary as widely as water conditions: cold, muddy waters where underwater tasks can be completed by feel only, or warm, tropical waters clear enough to perform underwater photography.

A-School Information

  • Second Class Diver Training, Panama City, Fla. - 20 weeks
  • First Class Diver Training, Panama City, Fla - 8 weeks
  • Saturation Diver Training, Panama City, Fla - 8 weeks
  • Master Diver Qualification, Panama City, Fla - 2 weeks

After completion of Second Class Diver training, graduates are assigned to salvage or repair ships, Mobile Diving and Salvage Units, aviation water survival training, or to EOD/SEAL support. After as little as two years, Second Class Divers are eligible for First Class Diver training which leads to an assignment in a variety of jobs requiring advanced knowledge of diving systems.

ASVAB Score Requirement: AR+VE=103 -AND-MC=51

Security Clearance Requirement: Secret

Other Requirements

  • Must be U.S. citizen
  • Vision no worse than 20/200, correctable to 20/20
  • Must have normal color perception
  • Must meet physical requirements IAW MANMED
  • No history of drug abuse
  • Must be under age 31

Candidates may also volunteer for ND during basic training at Recruit Training Center, at A-school, or at any time during their enlistment prior to their 31st birthday. In-service recruiters (Dive Motivators) at RTC give presentations on the Navy's diver programs, conduct the physical training screening tests, and assist interested people with their applications. People who enter the Navy in the nuclear, advanced electronics, or other five or six-year enlistment programs are not eligible for diver programs. This course is physically and mentally demanding, but the individual who accepts the challenges is rewarded with extra pay for diving, parachuting, and demolition plus extraordinary duty assignments.

Advancement opportunity and career progression are directly linked to a rating's manning level (i.e., personnel in undermanned ratings have greater promotion opportunity than those in overmanned ratings).

Sea/Shore Rotation for This Rating

  • First Sea Tour: 36 months
  • First Shore Tour: 48 months
  • Second Sea Tour: 36 months
  • Second Shore Tour: 48 months
  • Third Sea Tour: 36 months
  • Third Shore Tour: 48 months
  • Fourth Sea Tour: 36 months
  • Forth Shore Tour: 48 months

Sea tours and shore tours for sailors that have completed four sea tours will be 36 months at sea followed by 36 months ashore until retirement.