In addition to the typical specified tasks that commercial divers perform, some will have a higher job qualification than just an underwater crew worker. CDiver.net recently profiled Appledore Marine Engineering, a company that uniquely trains its engineers for full underwater activity. This means that the engineers are able to maneuver in a variety of locations and do so while wearing both "self-contained air tanks and surface-supplied air," as the source notes.
Because the dive teams are highly skilled with engineer knowledge, the company prides itself on the way its tightly controlled teams are able to focus solely on construction underwater. They can perform both basic cleaning and maintenance tasks to prepare a structure for a certain project as well as more complicated tasks like checking underwater supports for strength. The engineers are able to commit for longer and communicate with staff that have remained topside while they're submerged.
In other dive outfits, the divers and engineers have to work together to make sure they understand a job before diving. Noah Elwood, Appledore's president, says that his company tries to avoid having any information get "lost in translation."
"All our engineers are divers," he said. "We make the effort to hire the best engineers, then we invest heavily in training them as divers." The company has signed a contract with the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine and says that working with them "fully galvanizes our relationship with the shipyard for the next five years."
All divers, no matter what their role in a project is, need to be covered by commercial diving insurance that works for the company and industry. When a high-valued employee is performing intensive work, they pose an even greater risk if injured.