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Job Description for a Diving Instructor

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Diving instructors teach scuba diving to people interested in recreational diving or becoming certified divers. Instructors may work in a variety of employment setting such as dive centers, resorts and cruise ships. These positions tend to have lower salaries, but for those with a love of diving, making a career out of your passion often makes up for low wages.


Depending on their employment setting, instructors may teach resort course diving for people on vacation or certification diving for those interested in becoming certified. In addition to diving, instructors tend to have a number of other responsibilities. For example, a dive center instructor may also take bookings, clean and maintain equipment, pilot and maintain a boat, provide guide services to customers and teach customers about reefs and marine life.


Instructor certification is typically required for this position. There are a number of certification agencies such as the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). PADI offers open water instructor and specialty instructor classes. First aid and CPR training may also be required.

Personal Attributes

Diving can be physically demanding and requires someone who is fit, a strong swimmer and in excellent health. Other personal attributes that suit this position well are friendliness, being outgoing, being able to remain calm in an emergency and being a good communicator.

Work Environment

A dive instructor may teach in a variety of settings such as a pool or open water. For example, a diving instructor on a cruise ship may provide initial instruction in the ship’s pool then do an open water dive when they reach port. Risks to your health may include drowning and health issues resulting from pressure changes.

Salary Information

According to, as of May 2010, the average salary of a scuba diving instructor is $36,000. This may vary greatly by employment setting however, and many instructors are employed on a part-time basis. For instructors working at a resort or on a cruise ship, the pay may be significantly less but they often provide lodging and meals. For example, reports that dive instructor salaries range from $1,700 to $2,400 per month.


Lisa Hall began writing professionally in 1998. In addition to freelance writing, she worked as a graphic designer for international nonprofit organizations for six years until she started a home staging business in 2009. She frequently writes about art, design and home improvement. She holds a Master of Science in European social policy from The London School of Economics.

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