Every year, thousands of new dive professionals enter the industry looking to turn their passion into a career. When exceptional dive skills and a love for the sport are the standard, successful Divemasters and Instructors find a way to make themselves indespensible to a dive store, boat, or resort.
Who Trained You?
Where you are trained makes a difference. While the industry is not small, it is closeknit and most dive professionals can easily find out the type of program you went through to earn your professional certifications. You want a professional development center with experienced staff and a reputation for producing exceptional dive professionals. The easiest way to figure out what type of center you are dealing with is asking them how they handle professional level certifications. For some dive shops, making dive professionals is a small part of the program and they focus on entry level divers or tourism. There are dive centers that focus on professional development. A specialized program built around developing dive professionals will yield much better dive professionals and can include career mentorship that helps young dive professionals navigate a complex industry.
Can You Only Teach Open Water?
Dive professionals who have the ability to teach specialty courses are much more valuable to a dive center than those that can only teach the basic certifications. Divers have specialized interests and dive centers want to cater to their customers’ interests. If you can teach courses such as Digital Underwater Imaging and Wreck Diving, you can help your divers explore many more facets of the sport.
Can You Handle Challenging Conditions Safely?
Where you learned to be a dive professional tells a dive resort a lot about your skills and experience. Divemasters and Instructors who did all their training in warm, clear, and calm water tend to struggle when first teaching in more challenging climates. In California, we frequently see dive professionals trained elsewhere struggle to control their classes through the surf, while wearing a 7mm wetsuit.
Repair and Service Skills
Dive professionals who have experience working with gear are better at instructing students and make themselves much more appealing to a dive center. Ask yourself: would a dive center rather hire a technician and a Divemaster or a Divemaster who is a technician? While learning to service regulators can be a challenging process, dive professionals with enthusiasm and work ethic are able to learn the process and begin helping dive centers relatively quickly. Manufacturer certifications are required to service gear, so talk to the dive center that trains you about what gear they service and carry.