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Virgin diver needs to go from no experience - employed ASAP

Discussion in 'Going Pro' started by @Therealmattpinkarts, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. iamrushman

    iamrushman Great White

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: ft. lauderdale, florida
    3,197
    874
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    it is because these people care.......not that they are mean or elitist...but working in the scuba diving field is a lifestyle not an occupation.....
     
    Coral_Reefer and Murky Waters like this.
  2. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    9,057
    5,553
    113
    Utila Dive Center (www.goproutila.com) sees a more or less a continual stream of people arriving on the island, learning to dive, then progressing up through divemaster and even instructor, over the course of, say, six months or a year. Utila and Roatan in Honduras--of the so-called Bay Islands--are one of a few regions in the world known for this kind of training. What they charge is as cheap as it gets in our hemisphere. If you want to venture further afield, say, to Thailand, you can find something similar that may cost less. In the end, the cost of the training will be the least of your costs. You need lodging, food, etc., for six months or a year or more before you have even a remote chance of getting paid as an instructor. In Thailand, maybe you could get a job on the side teaching English or something. As others have mentioned, having some other skill that might be of value to the dive industry, such as being able to repair regulators or diesel engines or something like that might help. However, in some places foreigners are not permitted to take certain jobs, such as boat captain--those are reserved for locals. A "boating cert" as you referred to it won't do you any good in such places.

    I will put my cynicism and skepticism aside in favor of an anecdote. A friend of mine quit his day job to do what you're considering and ended up spending several years as an instructor, living the dream in a rented house by the water's edge on a tropical island. It CAN be done. Living on a shoestring budget, eating ramen noodles, hoping a need for major medical care doesn't arise, digging into your savings now and then to deal with the unexpected. Last I heard, my friend has since moved on to a more conventional career. If this is what you dream of doing, then go for it. Show up on, say, Utila or Roatan, rent a room somewhere, enroll in the basic course, and you're on your way. You'll know soon enough if this is for you.
     
    Coral_Reefer likes this.
  3. @Therealmattpinkarts

    @Therealmattpinkarts Angel Fish

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Thousand Oaks Ca
    14
    2
    3

    Thank you for this type of response. I've looked at their website and it looks really good, what with them helping with job placement etc.
     
  4. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    3,410
    1,275
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    there is a difference between taking up a hobby and expecting to turn that hobby into a job and means of supporting yourself
     
  5. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,635
    17,070
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    I am not going to be as pessimistic as everyone else. I live in Colorado, far from serious diving, yet I have seen several people work their way into the industry while starting with next to nothing and without going to some big training center for 6 months. What the ones I saw do was get a job in a dive shop, basically a pretty low-paying one where they work the retail counter and do a number of other odd jobs. While doing that, they worked on their certifications through the shop a little at a time, eventually reaching the point where instructing was one of the things they did for the shop. I am thinking of one right now who started that way and is now primarily a fairly well paid member of the shop's dive travel department, but she does a number of other things as well. She is very much earning a living.

    I think the key, as some others have said, is to come into it with a variety of skills, be willing to do a lot of stuff while starting at the bottom, and look for every opportunity to develop skills that make you a more valuable member of the business.
     
  6. dfx

    dfx Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Binbrook, ON
    1,834
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  7. nolatom

    nolatom Captain

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Orleans
    1,153
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    I think he was talking about a USCG-issued commercial captain's license, not a yacht license, which is a private certificate and won't get you a captain's gig on a US-flag dive boat. Some other governments may accept it, though.

    the Coast Guard will require two years'(of 8-hour days) service in the deck department of vessels, plus the usual physical exam and knowledge exam. You would want the license for Inspected vessels, which means the ones carrying more than six paying passengers. check here: NMC Charter Boat Captain
     
    kelemvor likes this.
  8. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Largo, FL USA
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    Yes, I was talking about a USCG captain's license. I didn't realize they required 2 years service to become a captain. I'm guessing that will be a problem for the hero of this thread.
     
  9. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    9,057
    5,553
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    That's actually pretty slick. Having that kind of training might be helpful to getting hired. If you know your way around a boat, that's one more thing you can offer. Whether this particular course is the way to go, I have no idea.

    Like kelemvor, I was thinking Coast Guard license--to skipper a boat. It looks like the course you linked to is a sort of circuitous training route that may or may not get you to that stage.

    Anyway, take your training one step at a time. Learn to dive first. If you like that, then continue on.
     
  10. cerich

    cerich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Georgia
    6,562
    3,307
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    you need to stretch your money... look into Thailand or other places where you can live while getting teh certs, best case you are looking at 8 months for your zero to hero.

    Other option, look for a job in a dive shop that will pay you min wage and also agree to train you thru instructor, get a CONTRACT. Then understand you will be there a couple years
     

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