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Do you want to work as an underwater videographer?

  • Read about the most important info you need to decide on following this career.
  • ​Follow the 7 points below and search for a tertiary institution near you for future studies. If you already are graduated, you may also search through our list of Jobs in the main menu.
  • If you want to PLAN the way you need to prepare, then join our community in step 8 where you will learn everything, while chatting with other potential videographers and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!

CAREER MENTOR

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UPDATED: 24 August 2020

1. What is an underwater videographer?

An Underwater Videographer uses specially designed video cameras to film life under the sea.

Also known as:

  • Underwater Photo Shooter
  • Underwater Cameraman

History?

The first underwater video was filmed in 1940 by Austrian biologist and diver, Hans Hass

Cameras?

The Nikonos camera, invented in 1963, was one of the first commercially available underwater cameras

2. What do they do?

Category:

Media / Business / Education / Marine Conservation

Focus:

The primary focus of underwater videographers is to use special waterproof video cameras to film scenes in the sea.

Daily Tasks:

  • Discuss brief with clients/sponsor
  • Develop a storyboard to help the idea
  • Research species, travel requirements and destination
  • Ensure diving and filming equipment are functional
  • Travel to destination and film scenes
  • Edit video to ensure high quality
  • Present work to clients
  • Share work through social media
  • Add new work to a portfolio
  • Administration and filing

Where they work:

Environment

Underwater videographers work mostly outdoors, in the water, but they also need to work indoors, within an office or studio to prepare for the dive and the video.

Places of Employment –

Most underwater videographers work privately, under contract for various clients. They can also be employed by TV and film production houses to produce documentaries, marine organizations, government, research institutions.

Average Salary:

As most videographers are self employed, their income is based on obtaining contracts. On average the income per year is around $45,000. This will differ from country to country.

Difficulties:

Although divers are always cautious and prepared for a dive, there is still an element of danger when diving. Videographers may work long hours and over weekends and holidays to finish work within tight deadlines. They might also need to travel extensively and work with a tight budget.

​Future growth and Possibilities:

The growth of this career is slow, with very strong competition. Videographers focusing on environmental issues are greater in demand.

3. Which Skills are required?

The skills required for a career as an underwater videographer can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills:

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship

Career Skills:

  • Excellent diving skills​
  • Good business knowledge
  • Good handling of video equipment
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Excellent computer literacy (editing software)
Life Skills
40%
Career Skills
60%

4. Which Subjects must I have at School?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

5. What will I need to Study?

Minimum Requirements:

To become an Underwater Videographer doesn’t require formal training, but many do go on to study a College Diploma.

Focus:

As a diver you will definitely need to obtain a qualification in scuba diving. 

Major –

If you are thinking of further studies, you can focus on majors in photography, photojournalism and video editing.

Short Courses –

Courses in handling underwater cameras, as well as those in scuba diving are important.

Duration:

The duration of College and Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 3 or 4 years. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

Possible Career Preparation Paths:

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Possible Combined Career Paths:

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Stepping Stone Career:

Being an underwater videographer can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach (sometimes due to things like high fees etc).

You can begin as an intern diver after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.

Some of the possible paths:

Training and apprenticeship:

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as a cartoonist will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions (or junior cartoonist positions) require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior videographers.

Join the Underwater Videographers Group in STEP 8 to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education of those entering the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

6. Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills.

Learn more about requirements by joining OZT in STEP 8.

Professional Associations:

7. Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards diving and camera work.

Underwater Videographer Career_opt

8. Join the OZT community

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an underwater videographer.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being an Underwater Videographer, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.

Other interesting Careers

Career Profiles and Resources

Career Mentors are Members who assist by volunteering to keep each Career Page factual and current, while mentoring Students in the related Career Group.

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Contributions by expert members are always appreciated to allow the Students to make informed decisions. Please add your contribution through the attached Form:

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List of Career Mentors/Educators who have contributed to this Career info:

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