By Jennifer JACKSON
Are You Ready To Make A Living Out Of Diving?
If you live and breathe diving and just can’t wait for a free moment to dive into the bluest depths, then you may wish to go from amateur to pro, or make a complete career change, dedicating 100% of your time to diving. If so, it’s time to begin your IANTD Instructor Trainer Course, designed to hone your diving skills, but also to teach you to communicate with students and supervise them so you can lead a group in dives that are as safe as they are entertaining. If you are ready to take the next step, be sure you have all the requirements and equipment you need, and research further into what the life of a professional diving instructor is like.
What is so appealing about life as an instructor?
Diving instructors are able to live their passion daily while making a living. Being an instructor isn’t just about having fun, however. For many, one of its most appealing features is the challenge - the way it pushes you to adapt to new circumstances and to react quickly to both your own and your students’ needs. Diving is a profession that requires constant growth and further training. There are always new specialties to learn, and new needs to be met (both technically and in terms of safety). With diving, there is never a dull moment and no two days are the same.
What prerequisites will you need?
Current prerequisites for IANTD Instructor level are varied and include having completed a current First Aid course with AED + CPR; having a current Oxygen Administration rating; and Rescue Diver certification, to name just a few. Ask the team at Deep Fathoms for the full list of requirements. If you are lacking any of them, it may take a few weeks or months until you are fully ready. As an instructor, you will need to be comfortable in your chosen diving depths, and this means having to build up experience over a reasonable period of time.
Which course to opt for?
If you wish to dedicate your life to diving, continual training is key to avoid stagnancy and to offer your students a wider range of underwater adventures. There are an array of specialized courses you may consider depending on the type of dives you wish to lead. IANTD has a wealth of leadership and professional programs available, including those of Cavern Divemaster (for those wishing to safety guide professional cavern tours), Open Water and Open Water Nitrox Instructor courses, and the Technical Supervisor course, which recognizes one’s leadership qualifications. You might also wish to gain further experience in wrecks, caverns, or medical response (the Automatic External Defibrillator Instructor course is one focusing on saving lives).
What equipment will you need?
You will usually need to bring all your own full diving gear used by diving professionals, including a mask and snorkel, fins, an exposure suit, wetsuit, and semi-dry or drysuit, pressure gauge, diving computer, and more. The team at Deep Fathoms will inform you of the full list of items you will need to bring along. Ensure all your equipment is in tip-top condition and capable of withstanding the many hours of diving involved.
If you are ready to take your diving to the next level, become a fully qualified instructor by completing IANTD instructor level (as well as additional specialized) courses. Make sure you have the equipment and prerequisites you need to start. Finally, remember that completing an instructor’s course does not mean you have to give up your current job. Rather, it opens doors to the possibility of really taking the plunge and dedicating your life to helping others discover the wonder of the underwater world.
Jennifer Dawson is an experienced freelance writer who turned her passion for diving into a full-time career as an instructor, starting off during college and then full-time for several years after until she settled down and started a family.