Life as a PADI Instructor

What will i do, what will i earn, where will i live as Scuba instructor?

It’s hard to find a job that has as much variety and opportunity to travel as being a dive Instructor. One day you’ll be introducing a group gap year travelers to the otherworldly realm of the underwater world with the PADI Open Water diver course. A few days later it may be a family that you guide through one of the most unique multi-sensory experiences they can ever engage in.  In doing so you will create a connection with them, they will never forget the instructor that introduced them to this awe inspiring environment.

On another occasion your daily duties may involve mentoring  PADI Divemaster program students who are making a career change similar to the one you may be considering right now. They may be people from all walks of life, accountants, police officers, veterans, software developers or farmers. Regardless of their backgrounds, your knowledge of the underwater world and working at a tropical dive resort will be invaluable to them as they embark on their own new careers.

Scuba tanks lying on the beach

Writing about the typical day of a dive instructor, is basically impossible, there really is no such thing as a typical work day as a PADI Instructor!  Your office is ever changing, you colleagues and clients too.  Rain or shine you are spending time with people who are enjoying the experience of lifetime, people who are forgetting their every day worries, and you are their guide. Some days you will have a busy schedule many days you’ll find yourself enjoying two morning dives and then whiling away the afternoon in a hammock between two palm trees on the beach, or relaxing in an island beach restaurant sharing stories with colleagues on their most recent encounters with bizarre sea creatures.

The go pro caribbean dive boat, Bottom Time

It is rare that you will not enjoy a sunset drink perhaps hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive green flash as the sun finally blends into the azure Caribbean sea. Perhaps in the cool of the late afternoon, you will prefer to play beach volleyball or try your luck catching dinner. The evening then brings the decision on what to eat, with whom and where. It may be a bar snack and one of the lively beach bars such as the famous 'Sundowners', or perhaps you will gather with friends for a BBQ at someone’s house poolside. Many of those friends may be new to the island or just visiting for a vacation. Many of them might have been living on Roatan for years, but arrived as vacationers planning just a few days visit.  The huge number of Roatan’s residents who planned only a short stay pay testament to the addictive qualities of life in a tropical beach destination!  There are a lot of Canadian, European and North American ex-pats living on Roatan new exciting dining options are frequently emerging as talented chefs pass through. The supermarkets are surprisingly well stocked with international foods when you crave that taste of home. Sports bars allow you to keep up with your favorite team showing every game you would expect to be able to see in the US or Europe. Apartments are cheap to rent and well equipped.

Dive instructor taking time off on the golf course

On days off from work, you can tour the island, have a round of golf at the award winning Black Pearl Golf course, rent a jeep and explore the off road tracks that end at deserted beaches, kayak through mangrove canals, paddle-board along the islands coast in the sheltered inner lagoons, kite board or charter a sailboat to the nearby islands of Utila, Cayos Cochinos or even Guatemala or Belize.

The cost of becoming a dive instructor is small compared to many other professional qualifications. You should find that it takes less than three months to recoup the initial investment you make. This can of course vary from operation to operation and island to island.  Many places experience significant seasonal highs and lows. Roatan for example is quietest during the months of September and October, during these months earning enough to meet your living expenses can be hard, however December and January are boom months allowing you to put plenty of money aside. Depending upon the time of year, finding a job should not be overly difficult. With the huge number of dive centers and resorts in Roatan and the neighboring island of Utila, it is rarely long for opportunity to come knocking. Globally the opportunities are boundless. An instructor with an open mind toward travel should have little difficulty finding the job that is right for them.  Speaking more than one language opens even more doors of course. Perhaps you will find yourself doing more than just dive instructing, managing an island resort in some out of the way corner of the globe perhaps.