Teaching diving and leading dive trips is a thrill. Every dive you’ll see different underwater life, experience different conditions, meet different people from around the world. You’ll spend your days in the water and the sun. You’re business suit will be flip-flops and a swim suit. If you’re ready to shed the shirt and tie and leave the concrete jungle where you work now, then head to the ocean to “live the life.” You’ll likely never work 9 to 5 again.
Dive shops are located all over the world. They can be individual business or part of a greater resort like Beaches. Life and work at a dive shop is awesome no matter where you work.
Working at a dive shop is the easiest way to find work as a diver. There are so many dive shops out there and so much work that you can choose your job. Plus, it is a great way to have legitimate employment anywhere in the world. The basic skills to be employable are easy to come by too. Overall a certification by PADI is the easiest route to employment.
PADI’s lowest working certification is dive master, which can be obtained with only 60 logged dives and passing through the simple lower certs. After dive master, the next step is dive instructor and then master instructor. Dive masters can easily find jobs all over, but being a dive instructor or higher offers more job options and better income.
Dive Instructors certify everyone up to dive master. A master instructor is able to teach all the specialties, like wreck, deep, and navigation diving. Being able to speak multiple languages or having other water skills like boat captain will make you more employable.
As a dive shop employee you will be responsible for all sorts of fun things. A typical day might include, filling all the air tanks, preparing gear for your clients, leading a dive over a beautiful coral reef, getting a tan and entertaining guests during a surface interval, diving at another dive site, returning to shore, cleaning equipment, teaching indoor classes or pool sessions for new dive students, and getting ready to do it all over again the next day. Not a bad way to spend your life. It sure beats a cubicle.
One of the most important things about working at a dive shop is being a people person. It’s important to be friendly and helpful. It’s important to keep a smile on your face and speak positively even if your dive student can’t set up her own gear. It may be as easy for you as tying your shoe, but it may be hard for her. Even after a long day, your job is still to keep the guest happy and sometimes it takes patience.
Wherever you do choose to work, remember to check on their safety record before you commit. You want to be sure you don’t dive more than you should or have an unsafe amount of bottom time. Your health should be your utmost concern. Ask around at all the dive shops, they all have a reputation. You don’t want to get bent.
The money doesn’t compare to that of an accountant, but the island living lifestyle makes up for it. Expect to make around $10,000 to $40,000 U.S. a year on average. It varies based on where you work, a low cost of living in a foreign country, means a lower income. If you work in the right places, you can expect to see a tip every once in awhile. If you work at a resort, there is a good chance that your room and board will be included.
Kicking back in the sun, getting a tan, hanging out with friends, going diving, enjoying a tropical sea breeze, meeting cool people, exploring coral reefs and wrecks – sounds nice, right? If you want that reality, it’s yours for the taking. That’s the dive shop life.