The PADI Assistant Instructor

Your first step to becoming a PADI Open water Instructor

What is a PADI Assistant Instructor? 

The PADI Assistant Instructor Course is the first half of your Instructor Development Course (IDC) and a required first step toward becoming a PADI Open water Scuba Instructor.

In addition to the responsibilities and duties you already have as a PADI Divemaster, as a PADI Assistant Instructor you can: Teach academic presentations under the indirect supervision of a PADI Instructor. During confined water dives, present initial skills training under the direct supervision of a PADI Instructor.

Dive Leader

PADI Assistant Instructors are role models, mentoring and motivating divers everywhere. Seeing the expressions of divers while experiencing the underwater world is something you will not forget.

You can participate in Marine Conservation Projects; a great way to get an insider’s view into the issues facing marine ecosystems. As a PADI Assistant Instructor you can choose to get up close and dive with marine animals or conduct research on the underwater environment. Either way this experience is sure to be life changing.

Being a PADI Assistant Instructor can open more doors and opportunities then you would have as a Divemaster. 

Many Dive Centres find PADI Assistant Instructors invaluble in handling large classes with the Instructor and allows the students to get more individualized attention than  with only the instructor available. 

Assistant Instructor Certification Course

Course Discription

You need to be certified as an Assistant Instructor BEFORE becoming a PADI Instructor, and that it’s included when you do the PADI IDC. 

Not many people realize that you can actually do the PADI AI course on its own, and you may have some very good reasons for this such as not having enough time, wanting to get more teaching practice, need a refresh as your Divemaster course was done years ago, want to find out if it’s really the right career choice for you etc.

Taking your PADI Assistant Instructor course as a stand-alone course is a great way of finding out if being an Instructor is really what you want to do. 

The full IDC Assistant Instructor+OWSI combined requires taking a longer period of work and a larger investment.

PADI is the way the world learns to dive

PADI Assistant Instructor
Assistant scuba instructor


The PADI Assistant Instructor course teaches you to be a dive educator and how to manage training activities along side the Openwater Instructor. Through knowledge development sessions, waterskills exercises and workshops, and hands-on practical assessment, you develop the skills to organize and direct a variety of scuba diving training activities. Topics and practical workshops include:

  • The role and characteristics of the PADI Assistant Instructor
  • Supervising training activities and assisting with student divers
  • Diver safety and risk management
  • Assistant instructor conducted programs and specialized skills
  • Business of diving and your career
  • Awareness of the dive environment
  • Dive setup and management
  • Evaluating and open water site for trainig
  • Conducting dive training briefings & debriefings
  • Assisting with Discover Scuba Diving and leading Discover Local Diving programs

Prerequisites & Requirements

Age Requirement

18 years or older

Course Prerequisites

Rescue Diver, Divemaster, 50 logged dives, CPR and First Aid certification within 24 months, medical clearance to dive

Time Commitment

Approximately 25 hours


As a dive professional, you'll want to have all your basic scuba equipment, including a dive computer, a dive knife, and at least two surface signaling devices. During practical skills exercises, like evaluating a training site you'll use a compass, floats, and slates. Your PADI Instructor may suggest additional gear that will be useful throughout your diving career.

Getting Started



Register with Scuba Careers and learn more about becoming an Assistant Instructor

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