You love being in the water and spend most of your life diving, so becoming a certified diving instructor seems the next logical step. The good news is that the dream is completely achievable, and your experience will hold you in good stead. As long as you’re willing to put in the effort, there’s no reason why you can’t become a driving instructor in no time!
Consider the Path Seriously
Before exploring your options to enter this field, it’s important to make sure that this is the right path for you. For example, you might love scuba diving on holiday and spending time with friends, but your role as a driving instructor will be completely different. Before doing anything else, make sure that your heart is in it. Do you love diving? Or do you love the freedom of being on holiday and making memories with loved ones? Don’t let this put you off; just consider the path seriously and make sure that you’re motivated to succeed before you spend time and money making the dream happen.
Gain Experience as an Open Water Diver
Once you’re sure, the first step is to become a so-called ‘Open Water Diver.’ If you aren’t a competent diver yourself, how can you expect to pass the expertise onto your students? As well as academic sessions, you’ll also receive practical sessions in a controlled environment. Even if you have lots of experience as a diver, make sure you take this course to set off on the right foot. Assuming you took local swimming classes, you shouldn’t have any issues with the skills and four open water dives required to become an Open Water Diver.
Get Onto the PADI Ladder
With the foundation in place, you’re ready to get onto the PADI ladder. In case you didn’t know, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is a worldwide organization that trains scuba divers both to enjoy the hobby and become an instructor. If you want to achieve the latter, PADI is the best route. Generally speaking, it’s best to start with the Advanced Open Water course to start. As the name suggests, this will take everything that you learned in the first step and move it up a notch. You’ll need to perform a deep dive, a navigation dive, and then three additional dives of your choosing. With five advanced dives done, you can move onto the Rescue Diver course.
Here, you’ll complete the EFR (Emergency First Responders) course while assisting both instructors and divemasters. After this section of the course, you’ll know how to deal with compression sickness and other diving-related ailments. Then, as you head back to the pool, you’ll learn additional skills and progress on the path. Next, you’re ready for the Dive Master course. At this stage, you’ll have lots of experience and plenty of hours in the water. Therefore, even those with little experience now shouldn’t be deterred from this career path. For the first time, you’ll learn more about the actual instructing side of things. This includes leading a dive trip, running a dive boat, and teaching diving to inexperienced individuals. Once you have accumulated sixty dives, you’ll achieve your Dive Master status.
Now, all that’s left to do is take the Instructor Development Course. Typically, this takes up to three weeks with the various sessions, mock exams, and final exams. Once you’ve passed, you’ll be an Open Water Scuba Instructor, and you can flash your qualification to all those who want to see it!