How much money can I make as a diving instructor?


There are many reasons why people decide to become a diving instructor. For some, it is the opportunity to travel and explore new places while earning money in their spare time. Others may want to be at the forefront of marine conservation efforts or enjoy teaching others about something they love. No matter what your reason, you will need to take steps towards becoming certified as a diver before you can get started on this career path. The certification process varies depending on where you live but typically consists of taking an introductory course followed by either passing a knowledge exam or completing supervised dives with an instructor who has already completed these requirements themselves and has been approved by that country’s governing body for scuba diving instructors (PADI). Once certified, there are plenty of opportunities for new diving instructors to find work, both leading classes and participating as part of a dive team on excursions.

At first glance, it might seem like becoming a diving instructor is easy money but this is not necessarily true. Diving is an activity that requires some physical ability and because most dives are done in open water, the weather may play a part in how often you can lead a class. Additionally, most certification courses are only ten to fifteen days long, and once completed, the new diving instructor will need additional time to train with an experienced diver before leading a class on their own.

What is a diving instructor?

A diving instructor is somebody who teaches people how to dive and manage the equipment used in scuba diving. This person will also be responsible for leading classes to show beginners how to safely dive. Diving instructors are always working in the water so they need to be physically fit and have some sort of a swimming background. It also helps if they have a love for the ocean, marine life, and exploring new places because this career can take them all over the world.

How much money can I make as a diving instructor?

The specific earning potential of a diving instructor depends on what type of work they are doing and where they are employed. Generally speaking, the more experience you have, the more money you can earn. If you’re working in a resort town where there are lots of tourists who want to get certified as divers, then your salary will be higher. If you’re working with a dive team, your salary will be based on the number of dives you lead in a month.

Each lead you certified you may earn up to $100-$250 depends on the level of each certificate. For an open water course, you may get up to $150 per student. say you a certified average of 4 students per week and 20 per month, your monthly income will be $3000. A good month can get you $4-6000 depends which location you are teaching.

Requirements for becoming a Scuba Instructors (PADI)

The PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor Course is a 3-4 day course designed to prepare qualified candidates for instructing underwater scuba diving.This course is offered as one of the last 4 days in our Instructor Development Course (IDC), and it’s geared towards Assistant Instructors ready to progress and earn the full PADI Instructor Rating. Once you have completed the OWSI course and have passed, you can take PADI’s IE examination for diving instructors. If you want to use certification from another organization, then you may do so provided that it is made a seamless process by completing both AI and OWSI in one go.

PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors are qualified and able to conduct the entire range of PADI experience programs and PADI courses from Open Water Diver through Divemaster (except for specialties and Emergency First Response, which require specific Specialty Diver Instructor ratings).

To become a certified diving instructor, the candidate must successfully complete a two-day examination consisting of several subjects.

  • Dive theory
  • Academic teaching
  • Confined-water (pool) teaching and skills demonstration
  • Open-water teaching
  • General diving skills and professionalism

The PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor Course takes 3-4 days and includes at least 2 open water dives.

What are Prerequisites for Scuba Instructor

  • PADI Divemaster or other organization’s leadership certification.
  • CPR/First Aid training within 24 months.
  • Certified Diver for at least 6 months.
  • Be fit to dive and submit Medical Statement signed by your physician that is less than one year old.
  • 98 logged dives including experience in deep, night, and navigation diving (OWSI includes 2 open water dives)*
  • 60 logged dives including experience in deep, night, and navigation diving for our Career candidates*
  • Minimum Age: 18 years old.
  • Post Instructor Examination requirement: Proof of CPR/First Aid Instructor rating

What is the Course Materials needed

  • IDC Crew Pack
  • Recreational Dive Planner: eRDPml and Table, plus Instructions for Use booklet
  • PADI Adventures in Diving manual
  • PADI Rescue Diver manual
  • PADI Divemaster manual
  • PADI Open Water Diver Manual
  • Logbook
  • PADI Instructor Manual – Paper or Digital version. The paper version is included in the DM crewpack, while the digital version is available for free download by Divemasters on PADI’s website

What do i need to prepare for the course

  • Complete the required IDC eLearning course online
  • Review the Dive Theory in the Diving Knowledge workbook or take the Dive Theory eLearning
  • Become familiar with the PADI Instructor manual
  • Practice the skills demonstration

The certification process will vary depending on where you live but in most cases, it is required that you take an introductory scuba course followed.

Pros and cons of being a diving instructor?

As a diving instructor, you will earn more money than most other instructors. You can earn a lot as an instructor if you are teaching in an exotic tourist location that needs certification from PADI or SSI. The risk of getting scuba diving accidents is low and the danger factors are moderate when compared to other professions. You can earn even more if you become a diving instructor trainer or an examiner.

The downside of becoming a diving instructor is that you will need to travel a lot and live a nomadic life. You can’t really earn good money unless you are in an exotic location such as the Caribbean or the South Pacific. The pay is not great if you teach in Mediterranean countries like France, Spain, Italy, etc.

You also need to work on a holiday if you want to make a good living as a diving instructor. The work of the diving instructor involves travel and spending time in open water where conditions can get rough. You also need to dive underwater for hours at a stretch, which can cause fatigue and physical strain on your body. But you will be well compensated for it, if you are working in a tourist location.

What are the top-paying locations for diving instructors?

The top 5 highest paying locations for diving instructors are: Australia, South Pacific Islands, The Caribbean, Easter Island and Maldives.

The Bottom Line

The salary of a diving instructor varies depending on location and experience but generally speaking, can be quite good if you love marine life. The downside of becoming a diving instructor is that you will need to travel a lot and live a nomadic life. You also need to work on the holiday if you want to make living as an instructor which can involve being in open water where conditions are rough. If working in tourist locations though, then this job may just be for you!

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