There are so many different Diving Instructors. They all have different backgrounds. Some dive teachers are university students who want to fill a gap year before going back to their lectures, others are retired military personnel, and so on.
Some others again, just like the guy who’s been writing this post, were in an earlier life business professionals with ten years of IT career in their pockets and one time just thought something like: So this is what it’s all about? This is what there is to life?
When you can, just always complete your college or university education. It’s also a good idea to have some years of work experience, and maybe you should already have some cash in the bank, just as a precaution, you never know.
Becoming a scuba dive instructor is definitely not going to get you on the wealthy Forbes list, and there’s hardly any chance that you’ll be able to save enough cash to buy a shiny new Porsche, but when you’re a good dive instructor, you certainly will be able to make a nice and comfortable living, and put some money aside for your next flight to a next diving destination.
Well, think it over, and if you feel you’re the one who’s ready to bear the responsibility for other people’s lives, when your health is reasonably good, if your brain is working properly (as far as you can tell), and if you’re ready to make the move and accept the challenges, this professional path might be just your ticket!
To become a good scuba dive instructor you really don’t have to be a sun-tanned superhero or heroine and there’s also no need to be a little crazy, but you need to understand and be willing to deal with the fact that sometimes you’ll need to perform in line with the (weird) expectations of some divers, and from time to time you will be confronted with sometimes extreme demands from quite a few new divers.
When you’re a dive instructor you’re active in a service-related industry. The divers are your customers, they pay your income, and there will be times that you’ll have to deal with their sometimes funny demands!
You are required to have also developed a strong personality and you must have the ability to function well in a customer-facing, very social, environment. When you are a dive instructor, you’re also required to function as an entertainer.
The majority of recreational, full-time, dive instructors are working at locations where other people come to enjoy their holidays, to relax and have a good time in a tropical setting. When people set out on their vacations, they don’t want to get bored by a person who can’t spare a smile or crack a joke. They are there to enjoy themselves.
You must be able to socialize with groups, and your customers are definitely expecting you to be knowledgeable, trustworthy, confident, and above all, highly passionate about what you do, your dive job!
More than anything, you must be committed and passionate. If this is not you, the life of a dive instructor is definitely not for you. You really must love the water, the ocean, the fish, the coral. You need to be fascinated by the idea of floating high above deep chasms just like you would be soaring slowly above the world’s highest mountains.
You also must be able to pass your skills and expertise on to other persons. You should be very enthusiastic and passionate about safety as well, knowing that your trainees will always remember your instruction and be loving it in the same way you do it. Your trainees will apply safety measures just as you told them to! There may come a day that your pupils will come and join you and your colleagues in the ranks of dive instructors.
Living the life of a dive instructor and being able to make a living out of it, has its challenges. If you really want to dive for a living, remember that you absolutely Must Love It. For locations that are certified instruction sites, check out the numerous PADI Career Development Centers (CDC’s). They are located in the most beautiful settings across the world, such as Thailand, and on the beautiful island of Roatan, just off the Honduras coast.