Become a Scuba Instructor

Becoming a PADI Scuba Instructor?

PADI Scuba Instructors are some of the most highly-trained and experienced scuba diving professionals in the world. If you're thinking about becoming a PADI Scuba Instructor, there are a few things you should know.

First and foremost, being a PADI Scuba Instructor is a big responsibility. PADI Scuba Instructors are responsible for the safety and well-being of their students, both in and out of the water. They must be able to effectively communicate with their students and provide clear instruction.

In addition to being responsible for their students, PADI Scuba Instructors must also be able to handle difficult situations and make quick decisions. They must be able to remain calm under pressure and think clearly to solve problems.

Lastly, PADI Scuba Instructors must be passionate about teaching people to dive safely and professionally conduct themselves.

What attributes make a great Scuba Diving Instructor

You love to Dive
You love to share your passion for diving and the aquatic environment
You have very situational awareness
You love to teach and being around people
You are relaxed, calm and collected
You have a positive attitude and outlook on life
You're not afraid of hard work
You are interested in a lifestyle career

If you're thinking about becoming a scuba diving instructor, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First and foremost, you need to be a great scuba diver. Diving and doing things the right way. This might seem obvious, but it's important to be able to set a good example for your students.

Secondly, you need to be a good teacher. This means being able to effectively communicate information and providing positive and constructive feedback.

Third, you need to be patient and understand that everyone learns at their own pace and allow them to do so.

Fourth, you need to be organized, time efficient and able to keep track of your student's progress and paperwork.

Lastly, you need to be safety-conscious and always put the safety of your students first, and help them understand the same.

If you have all of these qualities, then you are on the right track to becoming a great scuba diving instructor!

What are the prerequisites to becoming a PADI Scuba Instructor?

divemaster course details

If you're interested in becoming a PADI Scuba Instructor, that's GREAT! Here are the minimum prerequisites you'll need to meet to be accepted into an instructor's course.

You'll need to be at least 18 years old and have a current PADI Divemaster certification. You'll also need to have completed first-aid and CPR training within the past two years. Additionally, you'll need to have at least 60 logged dives, including night dives, deep dives, and navigation dives to begin instructor training. (you will need 100 logged dives before you are certified as an Instructor)

Lastly, you'll need to submit a completed medical questionnaire.

So, if you meet all of the above requirements and are interested in teaching scuba, then you can begin the process of becoming a PADI Scuba Instructor.

Career Path from Beginner Diver to PADI Instructor

Some people just know they want to become Scuba Instructors. They have always loved the ocean, and love being in the water. If you have decided you want a lifestyle career being a scuba instructor provides, and you are not yet a certified diver below is the path you'll need to take. 

Step 1: Become an Open Water Diver! ...

Step 2: Dive! ...

Step 3: Complete your Advanced Open Water Course...

Step 4: Next complete the PADI Rescue Diver and Emergency First Responder (EFR) courses ...

Step 5: Dive some more and gain diverse diving experience by completing 5 specialty dive courses and becoming a Master Scuba Diver.

Step 6: Take your PADI Divemaster Course! ...

Step 7: Complete Your Assistant Instructor Course

Step 8: Get some experience working with a PADI Instructor

Step 9: Take Your PADI Open Water Instructor Course (OWSI)

From beginner to Open water Scuba instructor can be completed in one year with a minimum of 60 logged dives before you start your Divemaster Course and 100 dives logged dives before you can be certified as a PADI Instructor. 

FAST Track - (IDC) PADI Instructor Development Program 

Openwater dive instructor

The PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) is a combination of both the Assitant Instructor Course and the OWSI Course. The IDC is a comprehensive program and is the "Fast Track" to getting your Instructor certification. The IDC can be completed in 5-7 days. (Typically 7 days) 

Pros and Cons of the IDC path

The IDC Path or the Assistant Instructor to OWSI Path is a personal preferrence.

Doing the IDC you will become an instructor over a shorter period, thus saving time, if you are on a time crunch this is very helpful and you can start applying for Instructor positions as soon as you have completed your Instructor Evaluation.

The IDCs are taught by PADI Course Directors, (PADI's highest and most prestigious Instructor rating) with a vast amount of experience and knowledge.

However, the cash-out lay is substantial and is immediate.

With the Assistant Instructor/OWSI Path you can spread the expense out over several months and pay as you go, while diving and gaining more experience.


If you are interested in learning more about becoming a PADI Scuba Instructor and the employment opportunities worldwide, register for my monthly Scuba Career discussion sessions. 

Larry Wedgewood
Larry Wedgewood

Larry has been PADI Instructor for over 35 years, a PADI Course Director for over 25 years, and has been involved in business and information technology, and marketing for over 25 years. It's his mission to help the Scuba Diving Industry grow by educating, inspiring and supporting divers, dive instructors, and business owners with world class scuba training and business development solutions.