History of CDA Technical Institute (CDA), formerly Commercial Diving Academy

Gulf Coast Commercial Diving Academy was established in 1995 in Orange Beach, Alabama, in order to provide training and employable skills in the profession of commercial diving.

The school was established by Captain Ray Black in answer to the need for trained commercial divers and the rare-existence of schools of this type. CDA is the realization of his dream of sharing his 31 years of experience and training with others. Captain Ray Black was born in Alaska (raised in Alabama) and dedicated his life to working with the industry for almost two decades. He has been associated with worldwide commercial diving companies.  

In 1999 CDA relocated to Jacksonville Florida changed the name of the school to Commercial Diving Academy and began the process of building both the facility and the program into the world’s premiere dive training institution. CDA created a master plan for dive training education. This included a unique training schedule delivered in a contained campus that encompassed housing, meals, open water diving and state-of-the-art training tanks to support instruction in underwater construction techniques. In 2007, they acquired a Deep Water Training site in central Florida, and in 2009, CDA became the only school in the nation to offer Deep Water Training accredited by the Diver Certification Board of Canada and the Association of Commercial Diving Educators and recognized by the International Marine Contractors Association. The name then changed to CDA Technical Institute to reflect the expansion of new programs and future plans, including closed bell/saturation diving training.  Please contact our Admissions office for details.

In 2014, CDA Technical Institute of the West Indies (CDAWI), Inc. was formed to provide access to commercial diver training for international candidates. This campus is intended to service the Caribbean, South America, Africa and the Middle East. Access to quality education resulting in internationally recognized certification is one of the primary goals of CDA.