Waxahachie’s Ashley Czene Reep recently graduated from the Ocean Corporation of Houston, receiving her ultimate diver training certification.

Reep began the ocean program in September 2006 and graduated April 13.

The Ocean Corporation has operated as a commercial diving training organization in the United States since 1969.

Graduates are trained for what most people would consider a very unique career. With job placement assistance provided, graduates go to work for professional dive companies performing underwater welding and cutting, underwater construction, search and salvage, inspections and repairs and various other tasks below the water’s surface.

Reep’s certification will allow her to inspect bridges, dams, pipe lines and perform other underwater construction tasks, as well as dive in Sea World-type aquariums and water towers.

A 2006 graduate of Waxahachie High School, Reep said she decided to take a different career approach from what she considers a standard, “9-to-5 job.”

“One thing I like about this career choice is that it is very challenging and also that it is not your typical desk job,” she said. “You can explore the world and get to do all types of underwater or inland inspections.”

During her 7-1/2 months of hands-on training, Reep traveled to Galveston to learn scuba, basic diving intending and offshore safety and survival. Part of the training included working on three to four cylinder-shaped tanks that were located partially above ground and partially below.

“I traveled to Galveston for some training but most of my classes were in Houston,” Reep said. “Some of the classes were liquid penetrant I and II, which is dye testing for inspection; magmagnetic particles, which is an inspection course in association with magnetization; ultra sonic I and II, which is the inspection of metals; ridging skills, which is learning to tie pipes; and ROV, which are remotely operated vehicles.

“I also learned CPR, about hazardous materials and underwater welding and cutting,” she said, saying learning that type of material wasn’t at all difficult.

“Everyone was very helpful at the school. The instructors all worked with you until you learned the material. It was basically one-on-one training,” she said. “We were also trained to work using our minds and not our eyes because in certain situations, you have to mentally picture the area, without actually seeing it.”

The Ocean Corporation features one of the largest commercial diver training facilities in the world and includes an elaborate training complex — a permanently installed medical decompression chamber facility, a portable decompression chamber and a 400-foot rated wet lockout diving bell system.

Other occupations a person can launch with this type of certification include that of testing bridges, dams and basically anything pertaining to metals.

The career offers inland jobs ands underwater jobs, with Reep saying she prefers to work inland.

Reep is employed by Icon Subsea in Houston, where she helps in piloting, rebuilding and testing ROVs.

She is the daughter of Elizabeth and Donald Reep of Waxahachie.

E-mail Chicarra at chicarra.dense@waxahachiedailylight.com