Top 5 Dive Instructor Jobs

Written by Megan Denny

Transforming lives, helping others and traveling the world are just a few of the reasons people choose to become PADI Pros. But your PADI Instructor card is also a passport to dozens of careers that don’t involve teaching people to dive.

Over the years, we’ve done a series of scuba career interviews with PADI Pros around the world. Here are the top five most popular:

5. Hollywood Stuntwoman
Since 2008, PADI Course Director Szilvia Gogh has appeared in movies, TV series, commercials, music videos and even video games – using her diving skills to help tell stories on screen. Even her actor colleagues are jealous of her job. “Most everybody is envious, as we often get to do the coolest things on the movie set,” Gogh says. “At the end of the day, we get to play in the water all day AND get paid to do that.” Read more…

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4. Cirque du Soleil “O” Artist Handler
“During the show, there are 14 divers in the water, including four artist handlers and two divecomms,” says PADI Instructor Robert Soncini. “The divecomms are on full face masks and relay information about the show to a platform called the crow’s nest that overlooks the pool, and to stage management which maintains the continuity of the show nightly. The artist handlers are responsible for swimming them either on or off stage underwater or to their next cue.” Read more…

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3. Underwater Criminal Investigator

More and more law enforcement agencies need highly trained Underwater Criminal Investigators (UCI) to respond when their investigations lead to the water’s edge. A UCI Diver is trained to recover anything from a bullet, knife, handgun, rifle, body, or vehicle. When they locate their target, they market it, triangulate its location, photograph it, document their involvement, then package it all while using proper evidence handling and chain of custody procedures. Read more…

2. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Scientific Diver

Scientific divers take the plunge in the name of research to learn more about the oceans and how to protect them. Spending the day exploring an underwater environment, monitoring changes and collecting data – that’s just another day at the office. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has nine dive teams, and each one averages more than 100 dives a year in conditions ranging from freshwater quarries, lakes and rivers to salt water bays and the open ocean. Read more…

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1. Scuba Diving with Astronauts at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab
Of all the environmental changes the astronaut will experience, perhaps the most significant one is weightlessness. That’s where professional scuba divers come in – preparing astronauts for space missions through underwater training. Read more…

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Read more scuba career interviews including: working on the FBI Dive Team, underwater archeology, what it takes to be an underwater model and more. Or, learn more about the PADI Instructor Development Course and the top skills for aspiring PADI Pros.

PADI Master Instructor “Scuba Zac”: Living the Dive Life He Loves

Guest Blogger: Jo Walters

PADI Elite Instructors are among the most accomplished PADI Professionals in the world. This blog series explores what it means to be an Elite Instructor; what drives their passion for diving and how they inspire others to “keep diving”.

“Scuba Zac” Araneta – so popular a PADI Member that his students added “scuba” to his moniker – recently achieved the PADI Master Instructor rating and has earned Elite Instructor status for the past two years. Today, he lives the dive life he loves as he inspires divers to keep on diving.

Scuba Zac’s Backstory

Originally from the Philippines, Scuba Zac, grew up with an enduring love for outdoor adventures and a fascination with the creatures that inhabit the aquatic realm. So, it’s no surprise that he became a diver and then chose a career as a PADI Pro. “I was inspired to become a diver because I loved exploring the underwater world and I was amazed by the discoveries I made there. The possibility for travel was also part of the attraction.” His decision to become a PADI Instructor was simply a continuation along the same path. “I grew passionate about the Pro lifestyle and developed a burning desire to live the dive life – to do what I love for a living!”

Eventually, Zac came to own his own dive shop in the Philippines – an experience he found both challenging and rewarding. He learned to ensure customer satisfaction by consistently exceeding their expectations. His favorite aspect of the business was the time he spent diving with his customers – and camping, hiking and cycling, too! “Through these experiences, I formed an amazing bond with my customers – relationships that went beyond mere business transactions; many turned into true friends and all became loyal customers.”

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Zac has lived and dived in many places around the world, but he now calls California home. He simply loves it. “California offers divers so much: amazing kelp forests, an abundance of wildlife (including my personal favorite, nudibranchs) as well as the California sea lions, who enjoy scuba divers and ‘play’ with us when we’re underwater.” He has also found a new family in California among the network of PADI Pros and student divers he now calls friends.

However, the move to California wasn’t all sunshine and orange groves. Zac had to overcome many obstacles. “My biggest challenge was immigration. Also, I was separated from my family back in the Philippines and I had the financial hurdle of supporting myself while advancing my career as a PADI Pro.”

…And advance it he did, eventually climbing the ladder from PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor all the way to PADI Master Instructor! PADI Pros who earn the Master Instructor rating are recognized as top dive educators who have proven to be dive industry leaders through dedication and hard work. Compounding this great accomplishment is Zac’s recognition as a PADI Elite Instructor – two years in a row!

Zac is honored – and thrilled – that he earned PADI Elite Instructor status for his accomplishments in the years 2014 and 2015. The Elite Instructor Award brought him recognition from his fellow PADI Pros, many of whom look at him as the kind of leader they aspire to become. “The Elite Instructor recognition has established my credentials within the diving community worldwide,” says Zac. “Many former students who have become PADI Professionals themselves contact me for advice on teaching and on managing their careers,” he says.

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The Secret to His Success

One of the traits Elite Instructors have in common is their deep love for teaching diving. Scuba Zac is no exception. He loves seeing the transformation that takes place when a person learns to dive. “At the beginning, student divers are often nervous, excited, and anxious – all at the same time. Then, throughout their PADI Open Water Diver course, I see them slowly transform into confident divers with big smiles on their faces. This fuels my passion for teaching and keeps me coming back time and time again to introducing people to the sport!”

The secret to Zac’s success as a dive instructor is simple: “When I teach, I put the most emphasis on fun, safety, and maintaining neutral buoyancy.  When these three ingredients are combined, I know I am going to turn out divers who truly love the sport and will come back for more!”

Zac also loves seeing his student divers climb the PADI certification ladder. “I am so happy when my students continue their diving courses. Taking them from Open Water Diver all the way through to PADI Professional makes me so proud! Throughout my career, I have certified more than 40 PADI Divemasters, who are now living their own dive life dreams… wherever they are!”

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Transformative Power of Diving

Zac has such big dreams that he sometimes has a hard time choosing which to follow first. He definitely plans to pursue his PADI Course Director rating, but deep down he harbors a heartfelt goal to return to the Philippines – not to live, but to share the wealth of knowledge he has gained as a PADI Professional. “I want to organize a trip to train local people to become PADI Divemasters, so they can support their families and save their dive sites.” Fueling this goal is the knowledge of just how transformative diving can be:  Before he left the Philippines, Zac took three local fishermen from Open Water Diver through to the PADI Divemaster rating. Now all three are employed as Divemasters at a local dive shop and their families have been elevated from poverty.

This isn’t the only time Zac has witnessed the transformative effects of diving firsthand. Another notable case is a former student diver who became a best friend – Jason Jue. When Jason discovered his true twin passions, diving and underwater photography, he quit his office job in the US, sold all of his belongings and moved to Bohol, Philippines to work at the dive shop where Zac used to work. Jason lived the dive life he loved for many years until he passed away from Leukemia last year. “Jason lived a fulfilled life, following his heart and taking the risk to do what he loved for a living,” says Zac. “Looking back, I believe I was the one that influenced him to live his life to the fullest, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to do so. None of it would ever have happened if I weren’t a PADI Pro.”

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My PADITM

“Diving has changed my life, allowing me to develop an independent, flexible and fulfilling career and bringing an amazing group of people into my life – both divers and pros. The accomplishments I am most proud of are achieving my PADI Master Instructor rating, becoming a PADI Elite Instructor and taking so many of my students through continuing education courses all the way to PADI Professional. But more than anything, I am honored to be a leader within this amazing organization. After all, PADI Professionals are truly the best in the world because they create the best divers in the world!

To me, My PADI means…  My passion… My lifestyle…..for life.

Visit mypadi.padi.com to hear more My PADI Stories.

 

2015 Elite Instructor Christopher Adams Finds Inspiration in Teaching Diving

Guest Blogger: Jo Walters

2015 Elite Instructor My PADI Challenge winners share the secrets to their success in this series. Read on to see how PADI Course Director Christopher Adams went from a child listening to his dad’s diving adventures to living his dream as a PADI Pro, why he loves teaching people to dive and how he finds fun, adventure and a spiritual connection to our ocean planet through diving.

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Describe your inspiration to become a diver.

My father has been a PADI diver since 1981. He was in the Navy for 28 years and traveled to exotic locations all over the world, returning home with stories of diving and seeing all the beauties of the marine environment, such as turtles, sharks, mantas and coral reefs. Eventually, I was able to obtain my own certification, and since then my father has been my dive buddy as often as our schedules will allow.

Tell me about your decision to become a PADI Professional. What or who inspired you?

I took a trip to Key Largo with my father in 2006 and received my Advanced Open Water Diver and Enriched Air Diver certifications through PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center Rainbow Reef. From then on, I wanted to become a scuba instructor, but went home to finish my degree in Marine Biology first. My father and my daughter, who is also a now PADI Instructor, pushed me to follow through with my plan to become a PADI Pro.

How do you think you’ve changed personally and professionally as you’ve moved up the ranks from Open Water to Elite Instructor?

I have always had a strong personal and professional drive to achieve whatever I set my mind to. I also believe in having fun in life – and I have had fun! As an Elite Instructor, I crave the satisfaction of seeing the achievements and accomplishments in my student divers as they, too, climb the ranks of PADI.

What do you consider your greatest achievements in your diving career?

My greatest achievements were obtaining my PADI Course Director rating and also creating VA programs at Rainbow Reef, so our United States military servicemen and women can use their hard-earned and well-deserved educational benefits to become PADI Instructors.

What is your next goal related to scuba diving?

I am determined to obtain my PADI Platinum Course Director rating!

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Everyone has a certain style of teaching. When you’re teaching someone to dive, what do you put the most emphasis on?

Fun and enjoyment is my absolute number two priority for my student divers. Safety is always paramount for me. I teach my students how to be safe divers by teaching them to read conditions, giving them proper training and building their confidence.

Tell me what you enjoy most about teaching people to dive.

The thing I enjoy most about teaching people to dive is that it changes them. Body image goes out the window, self esteem and confidence goes through the roof. It creates an inner drive and a huge sense of accomplishment that allows them to tackle other obstacles in their lives. Also, when we teach people to dive, we create more conservation-minded stewards of our ocean planet who want to protect and save the things that they love… that I love.

Describe some of the encounters you have had along the way that inspire you to keep teaching.

There are many encounters that inspire me, most have come in the form of letters and thank you cards from students. I also created the VA programs that we now offer at Rainbow Reef. The gratitude I receive from our veterans is immeasurable — and truly satisfying.

What does diving give you that nothing else does?

Diving is my meditation; it is my church, my fortress of solitude. Diving creates within me not only the sense of adventure, but of peace. Diving also brings me a sense of oneness, a spiritual connection to our planet and a keeps me in a constant state of awe of all the amazement that is our ocean.

How has diving changed your life?

I was in school to become a pediatric internal surgeon when I visited Rainbow Reef in 2006 and got my Advanced Open Water Diver certification; I left there intent on a degree in Marine Biology and a desire to become a PADI Instructor.  Now, I live a life that most people only dream about as a full time PADI professional. I get to travel to exotic locations all over the world and see the amazing creatures that share this planet with us.

Do you believe that you change others’ lives through diving?

I certainly believe that I change others’ lives through diving. Not only are they acquiring this wonderful skill that allows them access to our sport and our planet, but I see the sense of wonderment that crosses their faces when they have their first encounter – whether it’s a sea turtle, octopus, hammerhead, eagle ray or a historic wreck.

Describe in a few sentences how you would convince a non-diver about why they should learn to dive?

Have you ever wondered what mysteries lie beneath the sea’s surface? Imagine moving in three dimensional space – like flying– through water. You see fish, rays and turtles you have never experienced, except for those few glimpses on your television.  Would you enjoy an adventure encompassing your whole body? Dive, as adrenaline courses through your body with the excitement of the sport all while being fully relaxed in a personal space of meditation and tranquility. The stresses of life slide off your body as you slip beneath the waves, and you are free – to explore, to enjoy, to wonder, to be a child again, at heart and in spirit. Unencumbered by weight, you move freely through the water while being tantalized by the amazing two thirds of the planet beneath the waves.  Come dive with me.

Walk me though your most memorable dive experience.

I was doing my Master Scuba Diver Trainer preparation training with Rainbow Reef and my Course Director, Ken Wilhelm in 2008.  We were diving on “Hens and Chickens” in Islamorada with my dive buddy, Eric Billips. When we dropped down, we found a nurse shark. So we followed the nurse shark. The nurse shark took us to a sea turtle so we followed the turtle. The sea turtle took us to a reef shark, so we followed the reef shark. The reef shark took us to an eagle ray, so we followed the eagle ray.  Then, in the distance I saw a thick grey mass coming towards us. It made me nervous at first because it was a large unknown. Then, all of a sudden, there was a pod of 12 wild dolphins swimming and playing with us; from little juveniles to large bull males, all the members of the pod were playing with us! They stayed for about 45 minutes. It was amazing!

What does ‘My PADI’ mean to you?

PADI has changed my life and provided me with a very enjoyable, comfortable career in an amazing industry that I dearly enjoy. PADI has always been there with a very personal touch to assist me in ensuring the very best training for my students. PADI feels like my scuba family – especially since my fiancée, my father and my daughter are all PADI professionals! “My PADI” feels like mine. It is the personal touch that we PADI Pros put into our industry and our sport.

Difference Between Master Scuba Diver Trainer and Master Instructor

Master Scuba Diver Trainer: Just What it Says on the Tin | Master Instructor: Elite, Experienced Dive Professional

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By John Kinsella

As a PADI professional, you’ve likely had more than a couple of conversations about “mastery.” As a diver, you demonstrated mastery of the skills required for the various courses you took. Now you help others master those same skills in your role as an instructor or instructional assistant. Mastery is a key component in a performance-based system of education. You know it’s not something to be taken lightly, and it’s no accident that the word also appears in two instructor ratings: PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and PADI Master Instructor.

The first of these, Master Scuba Diver Trainers, as the name implies, have the qualifications and experience needed to train PADI Master Scuba Divers: the ultimate recreational diver rating. This is a reasonable and attainable short-term goal for all newly qualified PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors.

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MSDTs are Open Water Scuba Instructors with five or more specialty instructor ratings and at least 25 diver certifications. This rating helps them stand out as instructors who take continuing education seriously, looks great on a CV and it’s a prerequisite for IDC Staff Instructor and many TecRec instructor ratings.

PADI Master Instructor is arguably the most respected dive instructor credential in the world. It takes commitment, drive and experience to earn the rating, making it a worthy long-term goal.

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MIs have extensive experience with the entire PADI System of Diver education. They have been PADI Instructors for at least two years and have issued 150 or more certifications for a variety of levels. They use the entire PADI System, including all appropriate PADI training materials. They are IDC Staff Instructors (qualified to assist on Instructor Development Courses and certify PADI Assistant Instructors) who actively support the PADI organization.

In short, PADI Master Instructors are elite scuba diving educators who, through dedication and hard work, have become de facto dive industry leaders. Their next stop? Course Director, but more about that later…

Now Hiring PADI Instructor Oahu, Hawaii

PADI Instructor Wanted
Oahu, Hawai’i

PADI dive shop Surf N Sea has been a surf and dive shop on Oahu since 1965.  We are your North Shore Ocean Sports Headquarters.

Surf N Sea is currently looking for a PADI  Instructor with specialties in a minimum of Deep, Wreck, and Night Dives.  We need an instructor who is committed to safety and adheres to PADI Standards.

There are many Open Water Scuba Instructors out there, but we want a little more.  What can you bring to the Surf N Sea team?  Send us a Resume.    Instructors are paid per customer, $30-$40 per certified diver, $40-$48 per intro diver.  Salary range depends on 1 or 2 tank dives.

We only do PADI 3 Day Certification classes at $50 per day per student.  There is no minimum amount of divers on our tours and we limit ourselves to 6 certified divers and follow PADI standards of no more than 4 introductory divers per instructor.  Applicants should be current with their PADI membership and insurance with the ability to work in the US..

Interested applications, please contact Eric at:
1-800-899-7873 or eric808 at surfnsea dot com

Jobs for PADI Instructor or Divemaster: Seattle and SoCal

Underwater Sports, a PADI Five Star IDC in Seattle, WA is looking for a PADI Instructor – OWSI or higher (EANx specialty rating a plus). Cold water diving experience is strongly preferred; must be a US citizen. Please email resume to ken at underwatersports dot com.


Pacific Wilderness, a Five Star IDC Center in San Pedro, CA is currently hiring a highly-motivated PADI Divemaster or Instructor for a full or part-time position. Here is their job description:

“We are a leader in the dive industry and one of the largest dive shops in the United States. We offer competitive pay, extensive training, employee benefits, commissions and much more. This is a “family style” big shop.

THE FOLLOWING ARE A MUST: -US Citizen or Resident
-Two year employment commitment
-English speaking (Spanish or Japanese a plus)
-Must be able to lift tanks into a fill station
-Must have beach diving experience in California

JOB DESCRIPTION:
• Sales is a primary job / work sales floor selling equipment also checking in orders and restocking.
• Teaching opportunities are available to full-time employees with instructor rating.
• Repairs and Hydrotesting (training available)

The position is either full-time: primary work at our San Pedro location and a day per week in Orange, OR part-time in San Pedro only.

To apply: please email resume to jeff at pacific wilderness dot com DO NOT CALL.Emails will be responded to in a timely manner.


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Now Hiring PADI Instructor – Catalina Island, CA

Instructor Position Available for 2010 Season –  Two Harbors on Catalina Island

Two Harbors Dive and Recreation Center is a full-service PADI Dive Resort. We rent snorkel and scuba gear, sit-on-top ocean kayaks, mountain bikes, paddleboards, beach chairs and umbrellas, volleyballs and other beach sports equipment. Our air fill station fills to 3500psi (241bar). We lead kayak tours, including kayak dive or snorkel tours. We also have our own 45’ (13m) catamaran that we use for dive and snorkel excursions around the island as well.

The majority of the PADI courses we teach are Discover Scuba Diving and Open Water. We do not have a pool so all of our confined water work is done in the shallows of our beach. Our classes are primarily 1-3 people and never more than 6.

Seasonal Position

1. The position runs from May through September, and maybe through the end of October. These dates are flexible.
2. The position requires a willingness to perform a variety of jobs, i.e. work in both the rental and retail areas, divemaster or crew on the boat, teach discover scuba diving as well as all other PADI courses, fill tanks, carry tanks to and from the boat, and general housekeeping (cleaning gear, sweeping, dusting, etc…).
3. Pay rate depends on the job being performed and experience.
4. We will reimburse instructors for their insurance, prorated for their period of employment with us.
5. Good work ethic and ability to be a team player a must.

If interested or have questions please contact Hilary at (310) 510-4272.
Go to visittwoharbors.com for more information about Two Harbors Dive Center.