Advice for a New Scuba Instructor

We asked PADI Staff to share their best piece of advice for a new scuba instructor. You can read their responses below, but we’d also like to hear from you in the comments section.

Alan Jan PADIAlan Jan – Supervisor, Instructor Development
Start your teaching career by working with an experienced instructor for the first few courses. This will cut your learning curve in half.

Jon Coon – Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager (retired)
Be fun to be with, and live the lifestyle you are trying to sell. Value education, (yours and theirs) and keep students comfortable and help them become confident and competent.

Mary Kaye Hester – PADI Training
Never forget what it was like to breathe underwater for the very first time. It’s astounding!

LeRoy Wickham –  Southwest and Central U.S. Regional Manager
Take the time to really prepare and organize yourself before starting to conduct any course or program. The number one rule in being a dive professional is to always look good by being prepared!

Randy Giles PADIRandy Giles – Regional Manager / Directeur régional PADI Canada
Take ownership of who you are and what you do; the tooth fairy isn’t going to tap you with her wand and make you an excellent instructor … that job belongs to you 😉

Gary Joyce – Midwest Regional Manager
Present with confidence!  Remember, you know more than your students and they are looking to you for guidance!

Nancy Fisher PADINancy Fisher – Executive Assistant to the President & CEO
Observe different instructor’s classes and take-away great ideas that will work for you.  And ‘practice teach’ before your first real class so sessions flow smoothly, especially confined and open water skills.

David Scanlan – Graphic Designer, PADI Asia-Pacific
It is the students that don’t master everything the first time that are the most rewarding to teach – a good balance between patience and persuasive encouragement will be the key to success in these cases.

Doug Bingeman – Sales Consultant, PADI Canada
Be professional and provide value for what you do.  You never know where your diving career will take you!

Andy PADI TrainingAndy Kunig – Training Consultant
Work with experienced colleagues to get your feet wet for your first few classes.

Budd Riker – Training Consultant
Never forget what it was like the first time you experienced being underwater; that is what you are sharing!

Brigit Jager PADIBrigit Jager – Training Consultant, PADI Asia-Pacific
When applying for a job, if at all feasible, make the effort to visit your potential employer in person – look and be the enthusiastic dive professional they would like to employ, and don’t forget to highlight any additional skills or experiences you bring, e.g. in boating / engineering / technician / IT / sales / multiple languages, etc. Choose only an employer you would go dive with or learn to dive with yourself.



Kristina Leadbeater PADIKristina Leadbeater – Sales Consultant
Always, always, always take the time to educate your students about our beautiful ocean and its creatures. Approach every situation calmly and patiently- most people are terrified to breath underwater at first.

Also, having snot dripping from your nose after a dive is totally unacceptable – take care of that will ya?


What would you tell a new instructor to help them on the path to greatness?

6 thoughts on “Advice for a New Scuba Instructor

  1. Make your lessons fun for the students. Teach them what you have learned thru your own career. Pass on to them your love of diving. And always remember to be patient with the students in the pool.

  2. All of the above advice is very good and I agree with all of it. The only thing I would add is don’t forget diving and teaching people to dive is fun! Please don’t loose your enthusiasm for diving and teaching diving!

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