What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Diving Instructor?

scuba diving instructor

Did you ever wonder what qualifications you would need to become a diving instructor? One of the benefits of becoming a dive instructor is that it can give you the opportunity to work on exotic islands somewhere in the world and go scuba diving every day. So what qualifications do you need to be a diving instructor?

For starters, you will need to be at least 18 years old. Then you will need at least 60 logged dives that include experiencing a night dive, deep dive, and navigation dives. Along with that, you need to be certified as a PADI Divemaster or a PADI assistant instructor and be certified as an emergency first response instructor.

In today’s post, we will go through in more detail what qualifications do you need to be a diving instructor, so let’s get started!

Read more on common questions asked by divers

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Diving Instructor?

There are a number of prerequisites to becoming a dive instructor. These generally apply to most scuba certifications bodies. These are as follows.
  • Must be at least 18 years old or older.
  • Have been certified in Open Water Diver cert and advanced open water cert.
  • Most are certified as a diver for at least six months. This includes the advanced diver certification, rescue certification, and divemaster or dive leader certification.
  • Must have logged at least 60 dives which should include night, deep, and navigation diving.
scuba diving training

How Do I Become A Dive Instructor For Open Water?

To become a diving instructor you need to do the Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) course. This is broken into 2 parts with one part being Assistant Instructor (AI) course and the other the Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) program.

Remember the prerequisites that before doing the Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) course you need to have completed a number of courses and dives beforehand.

Can You Make A Living As A Dive Instructor?

This can very much depend on what country you are in and what type of diving that you are doing. For example, if you are a diving instructor in Southeast Asia. Where you can teach people how to scuba dive along with fun dives, you have the chance to make upwards of $1000 to $1400 a month. While if in the USA it can be around $2000+. It is still hard to make a good living.

While offshore divers in Australia can earn $1,500+ a day. While a construction diver can earn $400+ a day. In terms of making a living scuba diving, there is a big variance in pay between location and the type of diving.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Dive Instructor?

This can vary greatly depending on how fast you are aiming to complete the certifications before doing the dive instructor course. To get a reasonable estimate is to estimate how long each course will take. These are as follows.

  • To get the PADI open water which involves 4 dives which will allow you to dive up to 18 meters. Will take 3 to 4 days to complete.
  • Next, you will need the Advanced Open Water cert which you will do 5 more dives with an instructor, which includes 1 navigation dive and 1 deep dive. This will allow you to dive up to 30 meters. This will take 2 to 3 days to complete.
  • Next, you will need to complete the Rescue Diver course and the CPR and First Aid certification course which will take you 4 to 7 days to complete.
  • Next is the Divemaster course which you must have at least 40 dives to begin the Divemaster course, and reach 60 to achieve the certification. This can take anything from six weeks to six months.
  • Finally, now you can do the scuba instructor course that will take around 5 days.

In total it would take at minimum of over 2 to 3 months to get qualified to become a dive instructor if you do it as fast as possible. This time scale might be a little too ambitious. 

scuba diving

How Much Does It Cost To Become A Diving Instructor?

The biggest cost to becoming a diving instructor is the cost of the courses. A lot of the diving clubs include the cost of renting diving gear into the cost of the course. The prices can vary widely depending on location for example the USA is going to be more expensive than Southeast Asia.

The costs of the courses are as follows.

  • PADI Open Water – $500
  • Advanced Open Water – $480
  • PADI Rescue Diver – $530
  • EFR (Primary & Secondary Care) – $185
  • PADI Divemaster – $900

The cost of the courses, in general, can cost around $2500. But then there are the fun dives and the cost of traveling to the dive sites along with getting dive gear like scuba googles. The scuba diving gear can be expensive if you buy all the gear.

Is Becoming A Dive Instructor Worth It?

Being a dive instructor can be interesting and can be exciting with the chance to work on exotic islands but it can get boring and there is a repetitiveness to it. The biggest problem is that it can be hard to make a good living being a dive instructor along with feeling like that you are a tour guide.

What Is The Highest Diving Qualification?

The highest recreational qualification for scuba divers is that Master Scuba Diver (MSD).

Wrapping Up

Finally, becoming a dive instructor can be expensive progress. As you will need to complete a good number of scuba diving courses along with a minimum number of 60+ logged dives. You also need to be in physically good shape as this will be tested and you may need a doctor’s cert to prove that you are in good health.

And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on what qualifications do you need to be a diving instructor has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

Did you enjoy this post? Then don’t forget to pin it!

Qualifications Needed To Be A Diving Instructor

Recommended Posts