Already a Divemaster and considering becoming an Instructor? The first thing you need to do is find a great PADI Course Director!
While we don’t offer PADI Instructor training ourselves, we’re thrilled to recommend John Lumb, the Course Director that taught our own family of instructors all the way from Divemaster through to Master Scuba Diver Trainer and has served as a mentor to us all along the way.
We’re also happy to talk shop about what being an instructor’s really like and share our own experiences with the process.
You’ll want to talk to John about specifics, but here’s a quick overview of what’s involved.
To become a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, you must complete an Instructor Development Course (IDC) and attend and pass the PADI Instructor Examination (IE).
The IDC has two parts – the Assistant Instructor (AI) course and the Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) program. Most Dive Pros complete the entire IDC and go on to attend an IE, which is the final step to earn a PADI Instructor certification.
Successfully completing just the AI course results in a PADI Assistant Instructor qualification. When an AI is ready to progress, attending an OWSI program allows entry into an IE to earn a full PADI Instructor rating.
If you’re already an Instructor with another training organization, you might be eligible to enroll directly in the OWSI program.
If you’re already a PADI Divemaster who has been a certified diver for six months, you can enroll in an IDC. To attend an IE, you’ll need to complete 100 logged dives, Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and First Aid) training within the past 24 months and provide a medical statement signed by a physician within the last 12 months. You also need to be an EFR Instructor, but you can earn that rating during your instructor training.
The IDC will teach you how to conduct all PADI core courses. You’ll be able to organize and present information, conduct skill development sessions and control open water dives. Key topics include:
- PADI Standards and Procedures for courses you can teach with in-water workshops
- learning, instruction and the PADI System
- risk management and diver safety
- the business of diving and your role as an instructor
- marketing diving and sales counseling
Be an instructor because you want to teach others and help them grow into the best version of themselves.
Don’t focus on your number of dives – think more about the quality of your skills both in and out of the water. Not all practice is equally helpful and not everyone starts from the same place. Rushing through is not the way to go.
Be a strong confident Pro, who’s knowledgeable about the industry, equipment and required standards and who understands the responsibilities we have to our real-world students and customers.
Seize every opportunity to intentionally push yourself out of your comfort zone. We all start somewhere and many of us have been told we didn’t belong and that no matter what we did, we’d never be good enough. It’s flat out not true.
Age, sex, strength – none of these are actual barriers, although you might have heard otherwise. Everyone brings a different skillset to the table. Now’s your chance to make a difference.
Be a mentor that is kind, compassionate, respectful and inclusive. Cultivate diversity and equality. Earn an Adaptive Techniques certification.
Lifelong learning is a necessity. Like most things scuba-related, we only get better by doing the job. We truly do have the opportunity to change lives!
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Master Scuba Diver
Divemaster and DSD Leader