Bruce Hager

Inspiring Excellence and Passion in Commercial Diving and NDT

Bruce Hager, a March 1983 alumnus of The Ocean Corporation, has been a cornerstone of the institution since he joined the faculty as an instructor in March 2007. With a career decorated with certifications in Commercial Diver Training, Level II Magnetic Particle, and Level II Ultrasonic NDT Inspection methods, Bruce exemplifies the commitment to safety and expertise required in the diving industry. His certification as a First Responder and Operations Level Technician for HAZMAT Response Teams, along with his recognition through NASASPS for “Certified Higher Education Professional Excellence in Training,” highlights his dedication to maintaining the highest standards of educational excellence.

From Deep Sea to Deep Learning

Bruce’s journey into the world of commercial diving began with a passion for the water, starting his career as a deckhand on a deep-sea fishing boat out of Corpus Christi. His love for the ocean propelled him into more adventurous endeavors, including thrilling dives for sunken treasures in the flower gardens of the Gulf of Mexico. His transition from industry practice to teaching was fueled by a desire to give back to the community that had given him so much. “Wanting to give back. Plus, diving is a young man’s job,” Bruce explains, underscoring his decision to shift from active diving to mentoring the next generation.

A Philosophy Rooted in Safety and Fun

Bruce’s teaching philosophy is straightforward yet impactful. He focuses intensely on safety due to the high stakes involved in commercial diving. “Very direct. There is the safety factor of this industry,” he states, highlighting the non-negotiable importance of safety in his curriculum. Despite the seriousness of the subject, Bruce believes in making learning enjoyable. He strives to make his training sessions both educational and engaging, stating, “It is work, but you can make it fun.”

Cultivating Future Success

Bruce’s primary goal as an instructor at The Ocean Corporation is ambitious and nurturing: “I would like to see every student that enrolls graduate. No drops. Be successful in their chosen field and be glad they attended TOC.” He measures his success by the joy and satisfaction visible on graduation night, a moment that encapsulates the achievements of both instructor and students.

Engaging and Adapting to Industry Shifts

Looking towards the future, Bruce acknowledges the increasing role of technology in commercial diving. He prepares his students for emerging trends, such as the use of ROV units and drones, stressing the importance of developing skills in these areas. Excited about technological advancements in teaching, Bruce is looking forward to integrating more digital tools into his courses, like transitioning the UDT classes to laptops, enhancing the learning experience and accessibility for all students.

Personal Passions and Positive Influence

Outside of teaching, Bruce enjoys engaging in home projects, gardening, and swimming—hobbies that help him stay balanced and enthusiastic. His personal interests, while distinct from his professional duties, contribute to a teaching environment that values patience, persistence, and personal growth.

Bruce Hager’s career at The Ocean Corporation is more than a testament to his skills; it’s a reflection of his passion for diving and his unwavering commitment to teaching. As he continues to inspire and equip future divers and technicians, his legacy is characterized by a deep love for the ocean, a rigorous commitment to safety, and a heartfelt dedication to student success.