What does it take to become a Scuba Instructor?
Strangely enough, becoming a Scuba Instructor takes a lot less than most of the general public might think.
Of course an initial investment is required for the training and the purchase of dive equipment necessary to attain the coveted rating, but in many diving careers the return of the capital outlay is normally yielded within a few years of teaching.
To be allowed to teach diving courses, you must be at least eighteen years old and have passed a medical examination ascertaining to the individuals fitness for diving.
A minimum of six months of experience in different types of diving techniques is required and a steady climb up the recreational ladder of certifications will eventually lead to the primary professional level of Divemaster.
From this rating, there are several choices to consider for a career in diving, and depending on whether you intend to work for yourself or for a dive school, the extent of your salary and earning potential may influence your chosen path.
The cost of setting up a company should also be in your planning as the initial outlay for equipment, advertising and insurance can be quite substantial.
With one hundred logged dives and a two week Instructor Development Course – IDC – the final hurdle to conquer is an independent examination by a Scuba Training Association to achieve the rating of Professional Scuba Instructor.
It is a cliché, but the ocean is a Scuba Instructor’s office and with more than 70% of the earth’s surface made of water, there are many different offices to work from.
You’ll find diving lessons available almost anywhere there’s water, the thriving Coral Reefs in The Caribbean, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the warm waters of Southeast Asia, the World class diving of the Red Sea, The Mediterranean Sea and the cold waters around the UK.
All of these diving destinations appeal to divers for differing reasons and the people who teach in these waters’ share a genuine passion that is for the benefit of their students.
Instructors love to teach, and their job satisfaction stems from taking a complete novice diving underwater for the first time and just a few days later certifying them as being eligible to dive independently of professional instruction.
OK so we do have off days too, but generally the leisure industry of sport diving is one of fun and enjoyment with just a hint of danger and trepidation. After all, if it was too easy then we wouldn't need Scuba Instructors!
It is estimated that around thirty percent of Instructors rarely teach scuba courses! So, why do they participate in the training and experience? Probably the best answer would be for personal achievement and to succeed a challenge that only a few people dream of.
Since PADI revolutionized the dive industry in the sixties, the opportunities for careers in scuba have become more available to the general public of all ages and backgrounds.
I have helped to train one of the youngest instructors aged 18 years - as well as many in their fifties with a general percentage of about 30% females to 70% males.
The days of macho ex-Navy Seals teaching scuba courses are very distant and although some may scorn at the ease of becoming an instructor, the fact is that each year a new batch of professionals enter the sport and bring with them a host of attributes and attitudes that carry them through the roles of dive leadership.
Many large career centers now offer intern packs where the candidate can enter the training without any diving certifications at all and then embark on a six month internship to reach the final goal – Zero to Hero.
If I have stirred a hidden passion to break the chains and become a scuba instructor, then how does it happen? First you need to become a certified diver.
Contact your nearest Dive Center and complete the entry level course and you’re well on your way. Assuming that goes well, complete an Advanced Diving certification and then a Rescue Diver Course which should also include a certification in CPR and First Aid.
This is followed by the Divemaster training and lots of hands-on experience with real students - working with a qualified instructor.
Within six months you could be taking your IDC and I.E (Instructor Examination) and already planning your new career as a Scuba Diving Instructor - checking the latest job vacancies for diving instructors.
The most popular Dive Professional Rating is the PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI). PADI Instructors are extremely sought after worldwide to teach and certify PADI scuba courses and diving activities.
With an absolute minimum of six months diving experience, the PADI Scuba Instructor has climbed the 'scuba ladder' of success from the entry level dive certification, through to more advanced diving techniques, with additional rescue diver training and through the professional entrance of Divemaster.
From this pre-requisite, the Instructor candidate receives up to two weeks of instructor level training and teaching presentations prior to the PADI Instructor Examination which is independently conducted by PADI Examiners.
A PADI license to teach scuba courses comes with maturity, patience and responsibility that are very often tested during the career of most instructors! Although these virtues can be acquired, I feel that the most popular and successful Scuba Instructor is one that has a genetic character and attitude for caring, helping and genuine satisfaction in the success of their students.
A career in Scuba Diving has become incredibly popular recently and the dream of travelling the globe to teach scuba is very attractive for many people with the urge to go places and meet other divers who have the same aquatic interests.
It's an old cliche now, but the warm clear blue ocean full of excitement and nature is very much a Scuba Instructors' Office!
Article Submitted 2012 by Scuba Steve