How To Become A PADI Dive Instructor

How To Become A PADI Dive Instructor

PADI dive instructor prepares student

- Yuri Arcurs

Do you dream of diving all the time, diving all over the world, and becoming a pro-diver? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions then becoming a PADI dive instructor could be for you!!!

Teaching others to dive and giving them an exciting underwater hobby is such an amazing feeling.

It will literally change your life forever. As a scuba instructor you get the chance to:

  • Travel and work all over the world
  • Meet and work with many different people and cultures
  • Dive every day
  • Dive in the most amazing places
  • Enjoy a career in diving

Know more about the Benefits Of Being A Dive Instructor.

Who Can Do It

Anyone can take the PADI instructor course as long as you are at least 18 years old. If you are younger, don’t sweat it. Make becoming a PADI instructor one of your goals when you do reach 18. If you really want it, you can do it!

Before becoming a Dive Instructor you need to be:

  • Open Water Diver
  • Advanced Open Water Diver
  • Emergency First Responder
  • Rescue Diver
  • Divemaster

After taking all of the courses you will need to log at least 100 dives to build up and gain experience.

A PADI dive instructor min age is 18

A dive instructor having fun teaching children - Credit: Yuri Arcurs

How to

  • To become a PADI instructor contact a PADI center. You will need to enroll in and complete an Instructor Development Course also known as IDC.
  • An Instructor-trainer who runs and teaches the IDC leads the course.  Other staff instructors and assistants also help with the IDC.
  • During the IDC you will learn all about the educational part of diving. You will learn to use PADI’s proven teaching methods and how to follow their training standards.
  • You will learn how to use their material to shape divers and to make sure they know all they need to know before sending them off and allowing them to dive on their own.
  • The IDC will take about two or three weeks. At that time the course will wrap up with a couple days of taking tests. These tests will make sure you know all the standards and also how to conduct and teach PADI diving courses.

Here’s an interesting change from a Normal Life To A Scuba Diver Life.

How to Find An IDC Center

The Dive centers that run IDC’s would be a:

  • 5 star PADI IDC Center
  • Golden Palm IDC Resort
  • Career Development Center

You can find these types of PADI Centers all over the world. In fact, anywhere you can dive you will find a dive center running an IDC.  You might not find a Palm Resort everywhere in the UK, but then there certainly will be another kind of IDC center.

When looking for an ICD Center, do a lot of research. Check out forums and read what other students are saying about this dive center. Getting good feed back from others who have done it before helps a lot in deciding which center is right for you.

Read more about Choosing A Diving Center: What You Need To Know.

Find dive shops to become a PADI dive instructor

Looking for your dive center requires a lot of research until you find a comfortable match - Credit: SandiMako

Remember…the better quality IDC you get will make you a better quality Instructor. Choose a center with a course director that you will feel comfortable spending time with for the weeks it takes to complete the IDC.

Make sure he/she has a solid reputation and you also feel is a good match for you. So it’s up to you to find the perfect one…think location, person, and of course, price.

Student learns from PADI dive instructor in a pool

A dive instructor teaches student in a pool - Credit: Lars Christensen

You might get more for your money in another country. You might get warmer water for the diving there too. But keep in mind what language is spoken in the country you choose and also what language you will be teaching in.

For example, if you are not native English speaking but plan on teaching in English, taking the course in English is recommended.

Learn more about those Living The Dream.

Tell us about your diving goals and dreams! What are your plans for becoming a Dive Instructor?

If you’re already an instructor, tell us how you became one! Let us know about your thought process on choosing an IDC center.

Leave a comment below!

About The Author

Torben Lonne

Torben is a top skilled PADI MSDT instructor. He has worked several years with scuba diving in Indonesia and Thailand - and dived most of his life in most of the world. He is also the co-founder and chief-editor of you can always catch him here [email protected]


  1. Danny

    Are there any good job boards for instructores looking for work out there?
    Want to start my instructor education in the spring next year, but unsure if there are jobs to get in this economy?

    • Torben Lonne

      hi Danny, thanks for asking. PADI has a quite good job board. But you need to be pro member. There are some different scuba forums taht have job treats they could also work. In general there are jobs to get. But there’s many instructors out there so you need to work for them. The problem for new instructors is always experience. If you have further questions fell free to comment again. Good luck.

  2. Richard Youell

    Good article, however- I am struggling to find a job as a Divemaster- Everyone said “become a DM and get some work” why would I want to spend the money only to find I still cant get a job

    • Torben Lonne

      I’ve found it hard to get a job as DM, simply because you can get an Instructor for almost the same price as a DM. The Companies can use the Instructor too much more. I think it depends where in the world your are planning to be working? There are many instructor jobs out there, but there’s also many instructors trying to get the jobs. That is the biggest issue being the working man in this industry :) Though once you get the job, you’ll love it! Guarantee!
      My best advice is go for the Dive instructor, it WILL enhance your chances for job.
      Hope for the best and feel free to check back in and leave us a comment with your future decision, and where in the world you landed.

  3. Richard Youell

    Catch 22 though- Need a job to pay for the instructors course! Looking in Europe but open to suggestions- Maybe could help??

    • Torben Lonne

      We’d love to help! What do you have in mind? We are “unfortunately” not running a dive center, so we can’t hire you as a Divemaster.
      Are you looking for DM work in Europe? I’ve never as an instructor in Europe, so I don’t know how exactly it works. Where the tourists are, the work is! But in Europe this will only be a summer job then. There is diving year round in places like Egypt, Caribbean and many places in Asia. Hope it helps a bit!

  4. Richard Youell

    Yes, looking for DM work in Europe to begin with. Maybe Dive.In could publish something on the main web pages to try and help get me a job?

    • Torben Lonne

      Well we are in the progress of making a “moving oversea” article series. send me an email [email protected] and lets see what we can figure out.

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