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The advantage of a PADI certification is that it’s the most recognized in the world. In other words: it will increase your ability to get a job. You’ll find a PADI dive center in almost every corner of the world. Also, other agencies will allow a PADI Instructor to cross over with little additional training. PADI, on the other hand, requires instructors from other agencies (SDI, SSI) to go through the full instructor development course. I think that tells you a lot about who has the highest quality program.
Regarding the timeline: six months is the absolute minimum it will take you to become a scuba instructor – I think that’s a standard worldwide. You must have at least 100 dives to start an instructor program, and while you’ll accumulate a few dozen through training, there are still a lot you’ll need to log on your own or while working as a divemaster (the step before becoming a scuba instructor).
Regarding where to get trained – it sounds like you have a good perspective on this. The company with the cheapest price or shortest program isn’t necessarily the best. This is nothing against Thailand, but I went to one of their instructor farms and had one of the worst dives of my life. My guide was a divemaster who, four months prior, had never been diving. Yikes, I would never hire this guy.
Before choosing what instructor school to go to, I’d consider where you want to end up. Locations like Thailand, Florida or the Caribbean lend themselves to doing tons and tons of intro dives. You’ll hold a lot of hands and deal with a lot of freaked out people who (in the end) usually relax and have a great time. Your instructor credentials also might be taken as seriously if you do all your training in the tropics. Folks in the industry tend to think that instructors who trained in tropical waters have it easy. Training in cold water or in an environment with some hazards like (surf entries in California, for example) make you a tougher more experienced instructor. Again, this depends on where you want to go with your dive career. If all you want to do is teach people in the tropics, you might as well learn to be an instructor where you’re going to end up teaching.
Get your captain’s license and you’ll open up your job opportunities a lot more. There’s a place in Hawaii called Dive Oahu, that can help you knock out both of those.
If you want a career in commercial diving, the Pacific NW is a good location. For Public Safety / Forensic Diving consider Malibu Divers in California.
Whatever you decide, definitely ask about job placement opportunities and check those google reviews before putting money down. One last idea: the instructor exam fees will be around $500, so it’s important to pass the first time. Asking about the candidate “IE Success Rate” is would be smart as well.
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Proper Search Engine Ettiquette
I don’t know anything about a “Sonic Shark Repellent”.
However, when you are diving in the Keys you should pay special attention to “current” and “wildlife”.
Ocean currents can behave erratically when you are diving, especially around certain reefs. Just keep your “bearings” straight and you will be fine.
DO NOT “handle” the wildlife. At some reef’s the fish and “wildlife” will be quite “friendly”. BE CAREFUL! Unless your qualified diving partner says its “OK” use the “LOOK BUT DON’T TOUCH” principle.( I don’t want you to lose a hand or finger.)
DO NOT touch the reef it-self. It is “un-cool”( and even illegal on some reef’s), to “take a souvenir”. Be happy with the experience of “the dive”. Years ago my brother made the wrong decision to take some “cool looking red coral” as a souvenir. He wasn’t wearing gloves. His hands swelled up like a balloon. Apparently, it was “Fire Coral”,( that’s what our guide told us later).
Just make sure ,when you are in the water, to be aware of your surroundings; don’t wear “flashy” watches or jewelry, and LISTEN TO YOUR GUIDE.
Obviously, you will want to wear appropriate “gear”. And you should ALWAYS wear “booties” or “wet-shoes” when swimming,(coral can “eat” your feet up! Besides, you don’t want to “kick-up” a Ray!)
You are going to have a blast! WISH I was going! Good Luck!
Proper Search Engine Ettiquette
Scuba is a very rewarding career choice in many ways.
1. The amount made depends on several factors; what type of diving being done, amount of training required to complete the job and amount of local competition. If you work in a retail dive shop and can function in the many roles expect to make 30,000 – 50,000 per year. If you do salvage work the going rate in my area (Texas) is 200.00 to show up and for 1 hour after that 150.00 an hour to complete. There are commercial divers that work on oil rigs and other underwater sites that make well over 100,00 per year.
2. things divers can do; teach , guide tourists, inspect dams and underwater structures, research and science, exploration and documentaries, photography, video and much more.
3. A basic complete set of scuba gear might run anywhere from 1500.00 to over 3000.00.
4. If your goal is to be a scuba instructor or guide I would recommend following the PADI program starting with Open Water and follow thru Master Scuba Diver Trainer to ensure the best chance at success and potential money earnings. If you are interested in commercial diving there are several excellent trade schools to learn the business of commercial diving.
5. Your education could be as short as 1 year or more likely several years. I personally consider myself as always learning and taking classes to stay up to date with the latest trends.
Try to pick up as much education as you can now. Some things that might be useful later on include; good understanding of science and physics, multiple languages is a huge plus learn spanish along with any other languages spoken in the region you might want to live. Having knowledge of engine repair can really come in handy and make the difference when competing for a job. Spend time on boats and lean how to handle them as well as the rules for water craft. Log the time you spend on boats in case you decide to get a captain’s license.
Good luck with your pursuit of a diving career.
Proper Search Engine Ettiquette
Pennecamp park in the Florida keys is gerogeous. Been there before plenty of times. Lotsa fishies and reefs. Was nice, clear water when I went there last. : ) I havent been scuba diving for awhile as well. Floridia’s the best place for it.
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