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Old 12-15-2016, 02:40 PM   #1
CDMdeepbreather
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Any current or ex-SCUBA instructors out there?

Hi all,

Reaching out to see if anyone here has experience as a SCUBA certification instructor. Did you enjoy it? Was it your sole source of income? What were the proís/conís?

Would be interested in seeking some feedback, and asking a few additional questions via a phone call if any of you with SCUBA instructor experience are willing.

Thanks fellas!
-Matt
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:09 AM   #2
TheWatchman
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Re: Any current or ex-SCUBA instructors out there?

I instructed in the early 90's for SSI. It was not lucrative to say the least. You are going to have to keep your day job.

Certified through NAUI and PADI to start, then worked for Lynnhaven Dive Shop in Virginia Beach for a year. The perks were great, cost on gear, free trips, etc. But the income was pathetic.
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:37 AM   #3
Smash
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Re: Any current or ex-SCUBA instructors out there?

I've been an instructor for 16 years. Both with PADI and SSI. I've had a lot of fun and made some money, but never enough to quit my day job. If you have more detailed questions send me your phone number vis PM and I'd be happy to talk to you in greater detail.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:08 AM   #4
AlexN
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Re: Any current or ex-SCUBA instructors out there?

I have been a PADI instructor for about 15 years (only do a few certifications now to stay current) and have taught in CA, FL, and Honduras. Definitely not the most lucrative sideline but sharing your passion and seeing the amazement in students who "get it" is incredibly rewarding. Money wise, it's usually nothing more than break even when you factor in all of your costs. Teaching abroad in a tropical locale was the best but definitely good when you are young. Other positives are teaching those with disabilities or injuries, travel opportunities, free and discounted gear, and actually getting paid to go diving.

Negatives - dive shop owners' need to sell gear, completely out of shape students' expectations, litigation concerns (everybody gets sued when a diver dies even the instructor who taught them years before), pure exhaustion (being responsible for 8 students on a beach dive in cool water with limited visibility is tough enough - but throw in emergency ascent training, weight belt loss, inability to pick themselves up while waves are crashing down on them, etc.), paperwork, etc., etc.

Still, I would say the rewards far outweigh the hassles if you are a "water" guy or gal. I have met incredible people, traveled to places most people don't even know exist, taught vets with lost limbs, and dealt with enough underwater "emergencies" to make my diving better than it ever would have been. In Honduras, I was making 25-30 dives a week for nearly a year and probably got in what would amount to a lifetime of dives for the average avid diver. We had people coming from all over the world to learn to dive. Teaching in California is far more challenging but even more rewarding.

Lastly, as far as making any money just remember everyone is looking for the cheapest cost of getting certified and you have to factor in your agency dues, insurance, costs and time of instructor level classes, and lots more. My best dive masters who went on to become instructors all shared the same passion. If that's you I would say go for it.
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Old 12-18-2016, 04:06 PM   #5
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Re: Any current or ex-SCUBA instructors out there?

I took most of my PADI certification dives in the cold, murky waters of the central Atlantic region. I have to say that doing training in tough conditions prepares you well. After collage worked as an instructor in the US Virgin Islands for a few years. I worked with a "cattle boat" operation, but once I became the senior instructor I got to do more advanced teaching and private charters, which I found far more rewarding. The money was not bad for just out of college but just wouldn't cut it now.

I agree with the others comments. AlexN summed it up well.

Go for it and go somewhere warm with clear waters...at least for a little while.

If you PM me, I can get into more specifics if you like.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:49 PM   #6
CDMdeepbreather
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Re: Any current or ex-SCUBA instructors out there?

Thank you guys for the thorough input. Am gathering info from some other sources as well, and once I've got my thoughts (and some better questions) organized, I will likely be reaching out to you guys via PM. Thanks again!
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:49 AM   #7
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Re: Any current or ex-SCUBA instructors out there?

Navy Diver a great adventure no better training. See the world put 20 years in and be set for life, If you can hack it. You appear to be somewhat fit in appearance from your avatar.
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