Taking the plunge to learn to teach diving is rewarding in many ways!
The majority of certified scuba divers worldwide never venture further in their dive education beyond the entry-level certification (Open Water Diver or similar).
There are still quite a few divers that continue their training to more advanced levels.
If you keep at it long enough, and at one point you might find yourself asking the question, ‘should I go pro?’.
For those who answer ‘yes’ to that question, many take the Divemaster certification and leave it at that, thinking ‘I don’t want to teach diving, so why bother?’.
But the benefits of being a Dive Instructor, the next step up from a Divemaster, go beyond simply being allowed to teach diving.
For all of the professional levels of diving, from Divemaster and up, one of the main benefits is that it takes your diving to a whole new level.
Water comfort, water skills, and situational awareness are all increased many times over by the training and drills you go through to reach the professional levels.
And this is particularly true for the Instructor level, where you’ll find yourself challenged on a whole new level.
Read more about The 6 toughest PADI Divemaster skills -Tips and Tricks
When I did my Instructor training, one of the drills we did (over and over, it seemed) was to mimic a training situation (with certified divers as student stand-ins), where my “students” experienced various problems I had to help them solve.
From losing a reg to fixing a cramp. When you have four “students” around you at 20 feet of water, all needing your attention, trust me, everything else seems like a walk in the park.
Finding yourself in charge of the safety and learning of prospective scuba divers, all of whom are new to the underwater world, with a few of them perhaps somewhat nervous about it, is a great chance to step up and take responsibility.
It's on you to make sure they’re safe, that they learn the skills needed to make them good divers, and that they have fun doing so. And that definitely helps you grow as a person and as a diver.
Better dive skills
There’s an old saying: if you really want to master something, you have to teach it.
When you find yourself in a situation where you have to demonstrate or explain a skill to someone who is completely new to it, you will yourself have a greater understanding of how to master it.
So even though you teach, you'll definitely also be learning.
Learning how to teach
Unless you’re a professor or school teacher, you’re unlikely to have received formal training in how to best teach.
And yet many of us find ourselves in situations, private or at work, where we need to convey information to another person in the best way possible.
The principles that dive courses and dive teaching are based on are very sound and applicable teaching principles, and this is one of the few situations where you get to learn them.
I’ve taught at universities, and the most useful teaching skills I’ve accumulated, I’ve gotten from my dive instructor training.
Turn a hobby to a profession
Your increased diving experience, and your ability to work in the industry, opens up a wide range of doors.
From diving more advanced dives to working as a dive instructor, you can still benefit from the certification without making a full-on career change.
Many dive instructors teach in their spare time, using it as a way to dive for free or make a bit of money doing what they love.
Here is an interesting story: I’m Taking the Step: From Normal Life to a Scuba Diver Life
Others take working vacations or sabbaticals where they spend anywhere from a few weeks to months living somewhere exotic and teaching diving.
In any case, a Dive Instructor certification can be a way to turn your passion from something that costs you quite a pretty penny, to something you might actually be able to make some money from.
Not a bad deal!
Have you gone pro or are you considering? tell your reasons for doing so?