Why You Should Become A Dive Instructor & My Top Tips How!

Do you remember your first dive instructor? Or maybe another one that taught you something during another step of your dive training and left a lasting impression?

Whether they were male or female, 19 or 55, from Russia, Indonesia, or Canada, they all had one thing in common: they loved diving and they loved talking about diving.

If you are thinking about becoming a dive instructor, surely you have already answered the call of the ocean and found out it is a magical place. Turning your passion into a job can of course sounds like a great idea, and for most people it is! However, there are a few things to consider before doing so.


It’s Hard Work

Yes, it is! Long hours, physical work, being in charge of other people. If you think you will be sipping coconuts all day on a tropical beach, you might be mistaken. However, it is also a great lifestyle and better, in my opinion, than spending long hours sitting in an office.


It’s A People’s Job

You will teach people and take people diving. If you hate people, talking to them, and answering questions, you should probably reconsider.


It Will Not Make You Rich

Depending on where you work and who you work for, you will be more or less comfortable with what you are making as an income. I am yet to meet, however, a dive instructor that bought a Porsche from teaching diving.

If you are happy with all of the above, then becoming a dive instructor might be what you want, need, or are meant to be!

Now before you go ahead and do so, here are some tips to help you succeed at your dive instructor course.


Select The Right Course For You

There are plenty of Instructor Development Courses (IDC) out there. Location can be one factor in your choice, depending on where you live and where you are willing to travel. As a first step, research the areas you have shortlisted, gather info about the courses, read reviews, maybe send a few emails to selected dive shops and see what sort of feedback you get.

Like most things in life, the cheapest options are generally not the best. You should compare what is included or not in the course, such as materials you will need for the course, speciality instructor ratings, lunch, etc.

Another very important point (I cannot stress this enough) is to contact the Course Director or one of their staff and have a chat with them over the phone if possible. It will give you a better sense of who they are, what they stand for, and the sort of learning environment they offer.

Feeling comfortable with the person teaching you is crucial in my opinion. Ask away all the questions you have to clear any doubts you may have about requirements, schedule, extra costs, etc.


Do Your Homework

While diving and teaching are a big part of the instructor course, another one is the dive theory. You will need to sit through some dive theory exams to pass the Instructor Examination (IE). This is one of the easiest parts of the course to study by yourself before the instructor course starts.

Brush up on your dive theory, ask your Course Director for study materials or mock exams. Mastering the dive theory as you start the course will give you more time and brain space to absorb and study the rest.


Dive, Dive, Dive!

While the requirements to enrol in the course will slightly vary depending on which agency you go with, there is one thing that I can tell you for certain: the more dive experience you have before you become a dive instructor, the better for you.

Not only in terms of your number of dives, but also different areas and conditions: cold or warm waters, currents or quiet, fresh or salty, different experiences like night diving or wreck diving, there are so many different dives you can do that will make you a better diver.

Divers have different abilities and someone with 150 dives might be more comfortable and efficient in the water than someone with 300. Be honest with yourself: if you are still feeling uncomfortable flooding your mask, maybe this is too early for you.


Soak It In

In my experience, you learn as much from the course itself as from the people on it with you.

You will be surrounded by people with different dive and life experiences, that are older or younger than you, that have different strengths. You can learn a lot from observing their techniques, the way they explain or teach, or just sitting down for a chat over coffee and picking their brain.

Once you have made your choice, then get ready for a few weeks of intense training, good laughs and a steep learning curve. Doing my Instructor Course certainly changed my life and I hope it will change yours!

So if you are ready to dive headfirst (pun intended) into your new career, start researching and making a plan!


Written by By Hélène Reynaud

PADI Course Director


Hélène is a PADI Course Director and the co-founder of Purple Dive on Nusa Penida, Bali. When she is not busy teaching diving or running the dive centre, she can be found writing about diving and taking macro photos underwater.

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