The money that a Dive Instructor can make varies widely by location, your professional level and skills, the institution you work for, and so on. So if you want to know if you will be able to make a career as a Diving Instructor, or how much the average dive instructor salary is, you’ve got to take several things into account.
Of course, it is an important decision if you want to change your routine, or your life, to become a certified dive instructor. You will have to take the Professional Association of Diving Instructors PADI) Instructor Development Course (IDC) if you want to be an official PADI Diving Instructor.
There are Dive Instructors that are making as little as US$600 per month whereas other instructors can make up to US$5000-US$7000 per month. Most certified instructors, though, are making something in between and the average annual salary is around US$38.000.
As said, how much a Diving Instructor will make depends on some important factors, for example, is it a commission-based income or a fixed salary; the location, as compensation varies widely across the world; is the employer a dive center, a dive shop, a school, or a resort. As stated before, the instructor’s skills and education level play a role and then there are more ways to earn extra money for Dive Instructors.
Fixed Instructor Salary or Earn As You Work:
In many lines of work, fixed salaries are common. In the Diving Industry, however, they are not that common. Fields where sometimes fixed salaries are paid are diving instruction jobs on big Cruise Ships, big holiday resorts, or at Liveaboards like in the Maldives. Be aware, though, that usually, these fixed salaries are very modest at some US$1000 to 1500 per month. On the other hand, in a lot of places, dive instructors can make some extra money by selling extra courses, diving equipment, or some non-diving activities like jet skiing, wakeboarding, or snorkeling and the way of life is making them a lot fitter.
They often can also make extra income through selling tickets for land-based activities such as visiting the cinema or opera and restaurant recommendations. The good thing about a fixed salary is financial security and stability, but the downside is that an instructor’s income could well be much lower than a fully commission-based income. Take also a look at what it will cost to become a certified diver.
“Earn As You Work” means that a dive instructor gets paid per diving student or fun diver. This way of getting compensation is common in touristic areas like the Indonesian Gili Islands or Koh Phi Phi and Koh Tao in Thailand. It will depend on where the instructor works, but on average, the commission for a diving student or a fun diver is some US$50-60.
So the earnings really depend on how many divers or students the instructor reigns in. Herein lies the reason that the income one dive instructor makes in those parts of the world is so different from what another instructor makes. Some make decent money, others just don’t. See also this article about becoming a certified diving instructor in a Career Development Center.
If you are interested in becoming a Diving Instructor from whatever your present qualification, just contact an official PADI dive center and let them know your requirements and the dates and they will supply you with information for the package that best suits you.