It's the end of your dive holiday and you just don't want it to end. You don't want to go back to the office; you don't want rush hour, your annoying boss, or bewildering supermarket excursions. Maybe, just maybe, you should consider a career change and become a scuba diving instructor... After all, why not, you are an experienced diver, you loooooove diving and you could see yourself doing this every single day. Or could you? Here are a few things to consider before you ditch your day job.
(But remember this blog is written by diving instructors who love their jobs and never looked back! ;) )
The job is not quite as chilled and easy as it looks
A dive instructor's job is to make things look smooth and relaxed and make sure you have an awesome time during your dive holiday. What you may not see are the hours of prepping the gear in the early morning, preparing the schedule for the next day in the evening, doing admin/ answering emails, and many other duties that often befall the dive pros on duty. A good way to get a real feel for what the job entails is to your Divemaster training in a busy dive shop and tell them you want to be treated like a trainee member of staff (some places do this automatically, some don't). This will give you a feel for how many tanks you'll need to lift or fill, the gear you'll wash, the social media posts you'll make and the long hours you put in before and after diving prepping everything. If you still love it after all that and want to continue on and become a teaching pro, then go for it!
It's physical, day in day out
As mentioned above, you'll probably be carrying a lot of tanks, and gear, lifting student diver's equipment to show/ help them, helping people get in and out of the water and many other very physical things, not to mention diving and teaching sometimes morning and afternoon as well as other duties. You'll get a few days off and are not allowed to be sick in high season. It'll get you fit, of that there is no doubt but can you hack it? If you feel up to the challenge and want muscly arms, get in there and study!
Do really you want to live here?
The deserted beaches and cool island life seem like a dream for two weeks but will you love them year around? Many top dive destinations are quite far from 'civilization' meaning your best options for a cultural life are often a bar or two where your dive instructor colleagues hang out and get drunk (when not diving the next day, of course) and not much else. There might not be much in terms of a nightlife, no museums, cinemas, galleries, live concerts or cool gigs. Can you live without culture or interesting and diverse nightlife? If you can, come this way...
You'll still have a boss and s/he might still be a pain
Chances are you will be working under a boss, certainly at entry-level jobs, and that boss might be just as bad as your bad boss at the office, probably for completely different reasons but still, s/he might really get on your nerves. The diving business still has a hierarchy and though, it's true, a lot of people in the industry are quite laid back, it's still a business and personalities still clash. You might want to make sure you have a probation period before you tie yourself down to a new job. And remember the pay is not always that great...
There are plenty of other jobs in diving
Working as a dive instructor is quite particular, you need to like teaching, like people, be patient, manage your time well, and be selfless in your diving preferences. After all, you are taking people out so that they can learn / have a great time ( which might not be exactly the same as what you would like to do on a dive). If you'd like to work in diving but not as a diving instructor, remember, there are plenty of other dive job like underwater photographer, videographer, archeologist, researcher, conservationist, biologist or commercial diving.
Remember there are also plenty of different places to work as a dive instructor: you could be teaching a lot in a busy dive school or guiding a lot on a popular liveabord dive boat.
Before you dive in (pun intended), think carefully about what you want out of being a diving instructor; but chances are, if/when you decide to do it, you'll have the time of your life.