How much does the PADI IDC cost?

The new season is fast approaching, and we are all planning ahead.  With the world the way it is, many of us want to leave our lives behind and getting out to explore. Now is the time. Becoming a scuba instructor and being able to travel around the world scuba diving is a dream of many of us. But with it, comes a lot of questions.  One is what does a PADI IDC cost? It is a big investment and a big step. As part of a new series of blogs we thought we would tackle some of the most commonly asked questions to help you understand a bit more about the process and costs of becoming a PADI scuba instructor.

This cost breakdown is assuming that you have already filled out your necessary prerequisites and hold you Divemaster or equivalent certification.

One of the requirements of a PADI open water scuba instructor is to hold a first aid and CPR instructor certification. Many IDC packages include this but make sure you check. Depending on what materials are included this can range from $350 upwards. Expect to pay more as a standalone program.

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Part one

PADI IDC Course costs and Materials

The PADI IDC course, or instructor development course is the full scuba instructor training course. It is split into two parts, the AI (assistant instructor) and the OWSI (open water scuba instructor) but is generally taught as one.

The PADI IDC course has to be taught by PADI standards a minmum of 7 days after completing the online academic section.  Most courses are an average of 10 days. The days taught can have an effect on the price of the program you are enrolling for.

The PADI IDC in general includes the following; PADI IDC crew pack materials and online learning (mandatory), PADI IDC course. The course will consist of at least 2 open water training sessions and 4 confined water sessions. Again, this can effect the cost of the program. It can also include the EFR instructor program and sometimes an IDC prep program.

Suggested retail of PADI IDC materials and online learning: $995

Average PADI IDC cost for 10 day program: $1300

In general the PADI materials are packaged up with the course so can average out around $1900 for the course with the materials.

Add the EFR Instructor on top and you are looking at around $2200.

On top of the PADI IDC program you have the cost of the instructor exam. This is an independent exam, run by PADI, where they fly an examiner to your location to evalaute every candidate. The cost of this for 2021 is $725 per person. But when you think of the cost to fly someone down etc this is perfectly reasonable.

Other fees that need to be paid are the IDC fee which is a $175 fee (2021) payable to PADI at the IE. This is an independent fee for beinf enrolled in the IDC program.

PADI IE FEE 2021 $725

PADI IDC application fee: $175

If you complete the EFR instructor program as part of the IDC then there is an additional EFR application fee which is $125 for 2021.

So why the difference in costs?

When you start researching for your PADI IDC you are going to find a real variance in prices. So why is this?

Many of the PADI IDC programs have extra things included so that is something you will want to look at. PADI IDC programs ofter have IDC prep courses. This is the chance to get in the water, brush up on your theory and practice your inwater skills. In addition some may hvae extra workshops. These could be resort training, equipment maintenance or teaching practice. Really look into your extras.

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MSDT Prep and Specialty Instructor programs

The often included MSDT prep is the Master scuba diver preparation program. To clarify, a master scuba diver trainer holds 5 specialty instructor ratings plus has certified 25 students. The reason it is a prep program for many IDC centers is that they offer the specialty instructor training but not the chance to get the 25 certifications. Some offer the chance to team teach and gain experience teaching after the IDC which I think is very valuable.

The specialties may be set if they are included, they may be a out of a choice. Some centers don’t offer any, some offer one or two and some may offer the MSDT prep program completely.

Again, this is something that can vary the price of an IDC program greatly. If you can get some experience teaching after completing the IDC then for sure grab it. The first couple of certififcations are always extra nerve wracking and as an instructor we are always learning. So, learn from other instructors and get prepared for a fun career in scuba diving.

PADI MSDT prep program 2021 $500 upwards dependent on the Specialties included.

PADI specialty instructor application fee after completing the course with a Course Director: $74 (2021 price)

If you do not complete the specialty instructor training course with a Course Director you can apply directly for the specialty. However, you must show proof of experience in that level and only after certifying 25 students.

The application fee, if not completing the courses with a course director are $85 per specialty (2021 price)

I hope this has outlined the costs involved in the PADI IDC a bit clearer. When you are looking  for a course, look at the IDC course and the IE fees as well. Some courses will only list the IDC program and not the exam fees so it is important to be aware of this. The IE fees are standard throughout the world as are the application fees for any additional certifications.

Some will include all of the fees. With so many different courses available it is important to do your research and find something that works for you.