A Scuba Diving Instructor Salary Explained - How much do Dive Instructors earn?

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kensuf

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@kensuf,

While I will admit that I am pulling this from a dark orifice, I do believe that one reason why some people do not continue diving is that they subconsciously know they are not skilled enough to dive autonomously. At least in areas with dark, cold water like the Puget Sound. My basis is that my retention rates have flipped from the times that I taught on the knees and followed agency guidelines for dive planning versus teaching neutrally buoyant/trim and augmenting the dive planning information.

I do believe that 5 hours of pool time and 4 OW dives is sufficient to create competent, confident open water divers if they are taught properly.

I agree that a 3 day course could develop competent divers, but only under ideal circumstances. Students that are already comfortable in the water and have an aptitude in the activity, and minimal ratios (1:1 or 2:1).

Having personally taught literally hundreds of 8:1 and even 10:1 pool sessions to college age kids during my 10 years of teaching scuba at UF, there's no way I believe I would be capable of consistently getting all of the required skills to mastery and develop competent divers with just 5 hours of pool time while keeping 8:1 ratios. BUT, at UF we always had 12 weeks of pool time.
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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I agree that a 3 day course could develop competent divers, but only under ideal circumstances. Students that are already comfortable in the water and have an aptitude in the activity, and minimal ratios (1:1 or 2:1).

Having personally taught literally hundreds of 8:1 and even 10:1 pool sessions to college age kids during my 10 years of teaching scuba at UF, there's no way I believe I would be capable of consistently getting all of the required skills to mastery and develop competent divers with just 5 hours of pool time while keeping 8:1 ratios. BUT, at UF we always had 12 weeks of pool time.
Oh yeah, not those kind of ratios. I should have specified. I'm talking 1:4 with an assistant (so 2:4).

There are those not comfortable in the water, not experienced with swimming/snorkeling. They'll take more time to address that.
 

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Learning to dive in a warm, clear, benign location where everything in the OW+AOW arsenal is easy because of the conditions does not prepare you for the day you drop into cold, dark, low visibility conditions.

A serious eye opener.

The benign conditions encourages short-circuiting of course standards. Definitely not the same in cold, poor conditions.
 

kensuf

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Oh yeah, not those kind of ratios. I should have specified. I'm talking 1:4 with an assistant (so 2:4).

There are those not comfortable in the water, not experienced with swimming/snorkeling. They'll take more time to address that.

Exactly. But there are plenty of dive shops where a person can walk in on a Friday and wind up with a scuba certification by Sunday in a class with 6 or 7 other students. Those shops bank on stacking the students in (quantity).
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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Exactly. But there are plenty of dive shops where a person can walk in on a Friday and wind up with a scuba certification by Sunday in a class with 6 or 7 other students. Those shops bank on stacking the students in (quantity).
Though I still like to split confined water into multiple sessions. The way I teach now, I have much more flexibility with confined water. As I believe that divers learn to dive in confined water (we test/confirm in open water), I like to have sufficient debrief sessions to ensure my students are comfortable, building confidence, and are acquiring the skills. If they are not, I have to adapt my teaching methods to better suit their learning styles (obviously I have conversations prior to figure out how to adapt my teaching methods before we even start).
 

kensuf

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Maybe I wasn't clear in my previous posts. I dislike the 3 day program for the majority of scuba training. Loathe may be a better word than dislike.

I dislike it for a number of reasons. Here are 4:

1. Ability to develop skills to mastery may be insufficient.
2. Insufficient time to let things "sink in".
3. The rush to push through in a short window opens up opportunities to skip important/critical steps.
4. I believe the mindset behind the economic business model that pushes these programs is unhealthy to the industry because frequently the students that develop from these programs drop out of the activity due to a lack of comfort and when they tell their friend about their ****** experience, it turns their friend off from ever trying the sport.
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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@kensuf

Absolutely agreed. I'm against the resort style courses. When I was teaching at a shop, I had 2 3-hour pool sessions. I typically had time left over where I'd have my students do various finning/buoyancy games that involved some task loading, but in a fun way that my students always loved. All dives are on weekends. Now being independent, if a student regresses in any way, we take a step back. That's a luxury of being independent, as it isn't a race. Stress is after all a major inhibitor to learning. My model for teaching is not viable for instructors teaching for shops.
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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club model instruction (bsac/cmas), nobody gets paid :gas:

Does that scale? Is is sustainable in the tropics? While I like the idea of a diving social club, I am not sure it can meet the demands of the market. Otherwise there wouldn't be any PADI/SSI/etc. in Europe.
 

runsongas

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would require a certain number of active local divers with sufficient disposable income to contribute club dues (or a high number of expat divers) and sufficiently low insurance cost requirements

could scale it if more instruction was local rather than destination.
 
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