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What do you do once you become a Scuba Instructor

So now all the hours of study and pool skills practise time and courses have paid off, you are now a PADI Scuba Instructor (PADI OWSI), but what happens now?

diving-lifeYou have probably been working and studying so hard to get to this point that you probably haven’t thought much about what you are going to do with this new qualification you have achieved.

Firstly congratulations, you should take time to reflect on your hard work and time and money spent in getting to this stage, you are now in a trusted and envied position and should ensure that you live up to PADI’s standards of teaching in every way. The example you set will be copied by others who in turn will influence others who in turn could influence others. So its important that you do things the right way from day one. PADI have given you the tools to be able to go out and have the most rewarding time teaching other people about the thing you obviously love doing, but wait what if you decide one day to throw an empty bottle overboard your dive boat as you were fatigued from a day’s diving and one of your students saw this?

On its own it is not going to cause much environmental damage but what if the student has just spent a year with you going from their first Discover Scuba Diving course to Divemaster? then you will be, in their eyes, a very influential and impressive individual who has guided them to a state whereby you can almost do now wrong. Seeing you throw this bottle may turn this person to think that perhaps this and other things PADI teach are ‘just for the sake of it’ or ‘box ticking’ and that they don’t really matter in real life.

Role Model

That student could then leave you and go on to repeat your environmentally unfriendly behaviour as well as ignoring most of what you have taught them, and as they themselves are a PADI professional they will be mimicked and copied by others. So that stupid and lazy act of discarding a bottle overboard may lead to hundreds of others repeating the action and breaking PADI and ethical guidelines whilst diving.

You are now a Dive Professional, a role model to students and other divers – Act Responsibly for the sake of Diver Safety and for the environment.

How do we know this matters? IDC Guides has seen Instructors standing on coral heads only for the Instructors Students to repeat this, coral in this case was mildly damaged but coral is alive and takes years to grow. We do not have the right to stop this growth by an act of stupidity and if we all stand or touch coral then eventually it will die, leaving the reef a place of no beauty, colour or marine life.

Career

Broadly speaking IDC students that go on to pass the Instructor Examination at the end of their IDC fall into the following categories

  • Fun Divers that like the challenge of the many PADI courses (normally 35 years or older with no desire to teach)
  • Divers that have worked as Divemasters in their local club and now feel they are ready to teach part time.
  • Divers that decided to take a sabbatical or break from their job and do their IDC away from their home country.
  • Divers that decided they need a career change and have taken redundancy or quit to begin a new career, normally abroad.*
  • Internship students that have spent time in a dive resort working their way through the PADI education system.
  • Gap year students.

*common locations Thailand (Phuket, Koh Tao, Koh Samui, Phi Phi), Vietnam (Nha Trang) Egypt (Sharm el sheikh, Hurghada), Australia, Caribbean and Florida

Whatever category you fall into you have many choices and options open to you once you have passed your Instructor Examination.

Documentation

Once you pass your IE you get a paper certificate and if you have filled in all your paperwork correctly the Instructor Examiners will take your forms back to the regional headquarters of PADI to get your OWSI certification card processed and sent off to the address you specify. Obviously if you intend staying in resort and working then ensure that your address is your resort address, if you have no fixed address then ask if your Course Director minds taking delivery of it and putting their address on your forms.

Anything else?

All working instructors have a SMB and a reel, you don’t get taught these or given them so buy a set and become familiar with them.

Create a Diving CV to give to potential employees

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