“My name is Greg Macaulay and I’m 30 years old. I live in Greenock which is in the west coast of Scotland. I’m married – no kids yet! My hobbies are SCUBA diving, playing and watching football, and playing the guitar. I also like to travel and go places when I have time off work, which is great as now that I work as a commercial diver I can pick my days when I work or when I need off, so get to do some travelling whenever I need to.”
Starting with Scuba
“I went to Wellington Academy in Greenock and started working on building sites at the age of 16. I have worked for several construction companies for over 10 years, and went to college to do my NC in bricklaying and construction. However my father had done a lot of Scuba diving when I was young, and I had always had it in my mind that I would love to do it. When I was about the age of 25 I started to find out more about scuba diving and did some research online. This is where I came across The Underwater Centre and became really interested, as I never really knew much about diving as a career.
“It was luck then that when i joined the local diving club in Greenock the branch instructor was a commercial diver of 30 years. He has dived all round the world and the stories he had told me just made me more determined to become a commercial diver. I dived with the local club to get my confidence, and get some knowledge of diving, before I went ahead with my commercial diving Premium Industry Package.”
Attracted to the Subsea Sector
“What attracted me to the subsea sector was the shifts and also the money. You can be home for weeks at a time getting paid spending time with your family which is a positive thing in my opinion. The money is great, and if you get to work abroad enough you will be tax free and the weather is great as well!
“I found out about The Underwater Centre from websites and also asking friends who are in the industry. I also came to the Introduction to Commercial Diving Careers Day to see around the facility and do a dive in surface supplied kit which I really enjoyed. The staff are really friendly and are full of knowledge which helped me to pick The Underwater Centre from any other dive centres.
“I did the Premium Industry Package which lasts 13 weeks. Every day was a great learning experience and I have also made some great friends with students and also staff.”
Working as a Commercial Diver
“I was very lucky as I finished my course on the Friday and started work the very next day. I’ve been working on several different dive sites now, diving in unlimited visibility to absolutely zero: having to work with your hands and sense of touch is just one of the great things about the job. There is something different every day and it keeps you on your toes. Also I’m getting to see different towns and cities that I have never been to before which is great.
“I plan to keep doing civils (inshore) diving to get more experience then get myself into the offshore sector, or even wind-farms which is well paid too. My aim in the industry is to go to the very top to get my saturation diving ticket. The career has its ups and downs as everything has: the ups for me is that I’m seeing the world doing something I love, the money is fantastic (I have paid my course back), and I have met some great people. The downside to me is it can be cold in the winter (just wrap up), with long hours in the water, and if you’re pouring concrete it can get boring.
“From my experience, and from what I have heard in industry, earning potential is £1000+ per week on civils diving jobs within the UK. Offshore UK, this increases to nearly £600 per day. So a very lucrative industry – all you have to do is work hard and what you put in you get out 10 fold.”
Could you be a commercial diver?
“Anyone can do this for a living if you have the head for it. It can be claustrophobic to some people, but it is a very safe job if you are trained properly and are competent. The Underwater Centre does this; training you up and doing lots of safety drills, making sure you are ready in case of an emergency.
“I would encourage anyone who is thinking about becoming a commercial diver to go to Fort William for the Introduction to Commercial Diving Careers Day – you won’t be disappointed. That’s what I did and I haven’t looked back.”
This is taken from the original post on The Underwater Centre. Greg Macauley graduated as a commercial diver from The Underwater Centre in Fort William earlier this year. He tells us about the change from working in construction, and diving recreationally, to a satisfying and lucrative new career in commercial diving.