If you are lucky enough to have recently become a PADI Instructor, whether here or in one of the other exciting PADI IDC centers, then right now you probably feel like a bit of a scuba super hero? Am I right? The world is your oyster and you are looking to stride out into it and teach the world to scuba dive. Good for you, but one thing you will discover pretty quick is that it doesn’t end here. If you really want to make a career out of scuba diving then yes, it is absolutely possible, but in order to do so you need to take a lot of other things into consideration. One of the first of these, is that you are not the only super enthusiastic instructor out there. You have some serious competition, so you must set yourself above the rest. You need to stand out, not just with passion but with a true skill set. For this reason I thought I would give a bit of an insight into what can set you apart, get your foot in the door and well on your way to a fabulous scuba career. Much of this, I will be fair, is what I look for when we are looking to employ someone new in our center.
First things first, what can you teach? As a new open water scuba instructor you can teach only three specialties, PPB and coral reef along with project AWARE. They are not the most popular specialties to take so I will be looking for someone that can teach other specialties, especially the biggest one, EANx. I make it easy enough here at Go Pro by including it for free with the IDC package so that automatically makes you more employable instructor at our center. My advice is to aim for your MSDT and get 5 specialties, focusing on your interests. If you are passionate about the subject matter then your students will want to learn it from you. Another biggie for me is equipment maintenance. You should at least have basic equipment fixing skills or learn them at least at Divemaster level internships are a great way to do that. Nothing grates me more than coming in to find a pile of regulators on a table with “BAD” written on them, when all they needed was a simple o-ring. You can learn this very easily and how to make a quick fix.
When looking to hire scuba instructors I will also look for additional skills, maybe not thought of in a general scuba set. Marketing, design or computer skills can be very desirable. There is so much more to being an instructor now. The internet is our way of communicating with the outside world what we are doing and can do, so we need to be able to keep up with the constant moving and changing world of the consumer. Whether it is pinning pictures on instagram, writing blog entries or communicating directly with clients who have contacted you, all of these skills that you can offer will increase your chances of finding that perfect scuba job. In all fairness, it’s not too hard to write about something you love right?
So, Congrats on becoming a scuba instructor, you rock, but keep going and keep learning, the world is at your feet!!