Frequently Asked Questions 1. What does the NUPI Marine Technology Diving Program train for? The program is designed to provide a basic commercial diving certificate which enables a graduate to seek entry level employment as a professional commercial diver. 2. Does this program qualify for Veterans Affairs benefits? Are there military discounts for these courses? Students can apply to receive Veterans Affairs Benefits for this program. However, there aren’t military discounts for the courses. 3. Does this program qualify for financial aid? Yes, financial aid is available for those who qualify. 4. Are there recommended clinics or doctors for the medical certification? How much is an exam? A commercial diving physical examination can be done by any licensed physician; however it is always best to have the physical examination done by a physician who is trained in diving medicine or hyperbaric medicine. The NUPI commercial diving physical examination packet includes a list of physicians who are approved to conduct diving examinations. The cost of the examination can vary from $275 to $600 dollars or more depending on if the physician finds the need to run additional tests. 5. Are there recommended locations for the scuba certification? Are there specific requirements for the SCUBA Training? It is recommended that you have already completed a basic SCUBA course prior to enrollment; however it is not a requirement. You will be required to enroll in SCUBA during the two months of the course and complete the SCUBA course before entering the water. Basic SCUBA training is provided by many dive shops in the San Diego and Los Angeles area. NUPI will accept any SCUBA course that is accredited by the industry – An open water certificate is the basic requirement. The most recognized programs are from NAUI, PADI, SSI, SEI, (also European agencies BSAC and CMAS). Former military members that have graduated from military SCUBA training course are also accepted. Each of the SCUBA training agencies have pre-set requirements which can easily be found online. 6. What equipment will I need for the diving program? Like any class, you should have the standard classroom equipment and you will be expected to come to class prepared. You will also need a wet suit, a weigh-belt between 20 to 30 pounds, a mask, knife, fins, etc. You will be instructed in more detail on what equipment to purchase upon enrollment. 8. Where can students buy equipment? Upon enrollment you will be given several recommendations on where to purchase student supplies from. Based on our experience, we will recommend the least expensive and best quality equipment needed. 9. How much does the program cost? In addition to the tuition, which can be located on National University’s website, there is a program fee of $2,000 for this certificate which covers student materials provided through the institution. 10. Does Extended Learning offer any type of job placement assistance? While National University Polytechnic Institute does not offer any job placement, the National University Career Center offers career and employment resources to help students identify and fulfill their career goals. During Dive Administration information will be provided on how to write a diver’s resume. 11. Can certain courses be waived because of experience? If so, what’s the process to have them waived? Some students do arrive with previous skills, such as welding, EMT, or military diving courses; unfortunately, our program is structured in such a way that no courses can be waived. 12. What are the diving jobs available after graduation from the program? Most graduates from the program seek employment in one of the major diving companies that support the off-shore oil development in the Gulf of Mexico. The work is seasonal, traditionally from May to November which is considered the wet season. Initially employment wages are low and there are long hours during a break-in period while serving as a Tender. Tenders usually take about two years to become a full time diver, or break out, the wages for positions such as these can be found on salary websites. Other divers work at inland diving companies doing dam inspections, bridge work, underwater construction, etc. 13. What is the difference between professional commercial diving training and Sport SCUBA or Technical diver training or public safety divers? Professional divers must be able to dive not only SCUBA but in surface supply helmets and be able to perform work tasks underwater. Recreational sport divers and technical divers are not trained in surface supply which is the primary mode of diving for performing work underwater. Additionally, commercial divers are given in depth training on medical aspects of diving, diving physics, chamber operations, rigging and seamanship, diving systems maintenance, helium gas diving, cutting and welding. Public safety divers are police or firemen trained in SCUBA to perform rescue or criminal investigations in shallow water. SCUBA is a very limited mode of diving with a maximum allowed depth of 130 feet for 10 minutes using air. Information on Recreational SCUBA Training There are some SCUBA courses which will teach the course in a couple of hours – under such names as “Discovery of SCUBA”. These are not acceptable. A course with at least four open water dives is the minimum level of training. If the student has completed other more advanced courses such as Rescue Diver, Dive Professional, SCUBA Master, etc. these will be acceptable. PADI The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is by far the biggest and most recognized SCUBA dive certification agency in the world. It's usually possible to find a PADI instructor in any diving destination and more beginning divers are certified by PADI than by all of the other agencies combined. PADI is very active in marine conservation through their Project AWARE operation, as well as being the biggest promoter of diving through advertising and sponsorship. They are also involved in technical diving training. SSI Scuba Schools International (SSI) has more than 2000 authorized dealers and 225 Regional Centers can be found in 90 countries around the world. SSI's diver education system is very similar to PADI's system. Headquartered in Colorado, USA, SSI training facilities are in particular abundance in North America and South East Asia. NAUI National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) was founded in 1959 and is one of the biggest global certification agencies. NAUI's diver education system is very good and is considered better than SSI and PADI and has high standards. NAUI has also had a technical diving division since 1997. NAUI dive centers can be found primarily in North America. SEI Scuba Educators International (SEI) was formed when the YMCA closed its SCUBA program of 50 years to continue along similar standards. BSAC British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) was formed in the United Kingdom and is still one of the most popular agencies there. It is also possible to find BSAC training facilities in other countries, particularly those that are frequented by British divers. Known for having very high standards of training, BSAC was always known for requiring extreme levels of training to achieve certification. In recent years BSAC has implemented courses that have bought it into line with other agencies training requirements CMAS Confederation Mondiale des Activates Subaquatiques (CMAS) is the world's oldest SCUBA certification agency. Originally founded in Brussels, Belgium, CMAS is now headquartered in Rome, Italy. CMAS has quite a different rating system than other agencies that is based on star levels. CMAS can be found in many countries around the world but is primarily active in Europe.