Beyond the IDC: The Next Steps After Your Instructor Course

Instructor training is just the first step towards becoming a fully fledged instructor.

So you are finally a dive instructor? Congratulations! You have just made a huge step in your diving career!

You’re probably hugely excited and relieved it is all done now. You may even be a little worried. What am I going to do now?

Some of you may be lucky enough to have a job as a dive instructor all lined up already. If so, that’s great! You are going to be awesome! But some of you may not know what to do next. This can be quite a scary prospect. But, lucky for you, we are here to make the way of your diving career a little clearer.

First, take a deep breath and give yourself a big pat on the back. The hardest part is over now. You deserve to be proud of yourself for everything you have achieved!

Next, you need to choose between two paths in your diving career. Are you going to continue with your dive education or try and jump straight into a job?

For many people, continuing their education makes the most sense. Education makes you more likely to be employed as a dive instructor. This is especially true in areas where the job market is very competitive, like around Indonesia. It also allows you to gain a more exciting or better-paid position. For example, many dive centres here in Indonesia only hire foreign MSDT instructors instead of foreign Open Water Scuba Instructors because there are many local dive instructors available.

Furthering your education also allows you to gain experience as a dive instructor in a supportive environment. So maybe the better option for those of you who are nervous about going straight into an instructor role.

So what are your options for furthering your dive education after a PADI IDC?

The first step is to become a speciality instructor. Becoming a speciality instructor helps you to gain experience teaching already certified divers. This builds your confidence as a dive instructor. It also allows you to go beyond the “standard” courses a dive instructor can teach. This not only makes you more desirable as an employee, but it also expands your knowledge of different dive practices. With over 25 specialities, there is guaranteed a speciality course that you like!

By taking your speciality instructor course, you are taking your first steps towards your master scuba diver trainer (MSDT) qualification. You need to have five speciality instructor qualifications before you can start your MSDT internship. This means that you can teach five different Speciality courses on top of the regular three PADI courses (Open Water, Advanced, and EFR/Rescue course). The next step will be the MSDT internship!

If you do not like to become a speciality instructor and instead like to team-teach the regular basic PADI courses with one of the senior dive instructors of Scuba Center Asia, that is also possible. There is no extra benefit other than you build upon your teaching skills from the regular courses. Great if you are lacking time and want to continue your travels around Indonesia for example. During this so-called basic dive career internship, you get the opportunity to teach in front of real students; the downside is that you do not get certain credits build-up like with your MSDT internship.

Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida offer a wealth of underwater life. Nudibranchs are abundant here

The next step on the dive education ladder is the MSDT. Becoming a Master Scuba Diver Trainer sets you apart from other dive instructors. This is because it shows you have experience teaching the standard PADI courses and speciality courses. By taking part in this internship at Scuba Center Asia you are guaranteed to have at least 25 certifications and five speciality instructor qualifications by the end. As well as a lot more confidence in your abilities as a dive instructor. Also, who wouldn’t want to spend some extra time during their MSDT internship in the paradise of Nusa Lembongan?

Following your MSDT you may wish to become a PADI IDC staff instructor or even a PADI Course Director. These courses aim to teach you how to teach the next generation of instructors. This is a highly respected role and looks great on your CV.

The next step after becoming a Master Scuba Diver Trainer is the IDC Staff Instructor course!

Your dive education is the key to finding a good job. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t also be a lot of fun

Finding your perfect dive job as a dive instructor

Finding a job as a dive instructor is like finding any other job. You may have to work very hard to find the perfect job. On the other hand, it may fall into your lap straight after completing your instructor development course (IDC).

Here we outline a potential course for finding your perfect dive job.

First, do your research. Where do you want to work? In the same country or region, you took your IDC? Somewhere close to your family? Somewhere like Indonesia with incredible diving? Or would you be happy to work seasonally in different areas? Do you want to work for a big dive resort or a small family-run dive shop?

Second, work for it; if you like to work for a diving company, make sure they know you are interested. Don't wait until somebody asks you; You are the director of your dive career, so make sure you get that Oscar (read: that dive instructor job).

Third, do not expect a high salary as a starting dive instructor, but trust the process! If you invest in and are loyal to a diving company, that dive company will reward YOU! If not, then there isn't a match. Again, give it some time, and it will work.

Finding a job as a dive instructor is not easy, but there are lots of different options in approaches. A great opportunity for you is an online dive career session with our PADI Course Director Kim. She gives either online or real face-to-face consulting sessions about this topic! Even better: A free job consulting session is included if you do your PADI IDC with Kim! So shorten that learning curve and get advice from Kim! She can genuinely help you to become successful.

The next step is to either go to the place you want to work and scout out potential dive shops you may want to work in. Or as a budget-friendly alternative, you can turn to the PADI employment board. This will show you the jobs available in your area, as well as jobs all over the world!

Third, apply, apply, apply! Put together a killer CV that states all of your experience to date. Don't forget to include experiences not directly related to diving that highlight your ability to work in customer care. In the end, being a dive instructor is as much about customer care as teaching.

Make sure to check and recheck this many times before sending it out. No one will want to employ you if your CV is full of spelling mistakes! You may also want to write a generalised cover letter that you can adapt for each dive shop (this reduces your overall workload).

Now keep applying to every position that you think would be a good match for you. The more shops you apply to the better your chances of getting an interview are!

Huge schools of fish greet you as you dive into the waters of Nusa Penida
The sun sets for another day at secret beach in Nusa Lembongan


Once potential employers have seen your killer CV they won’t be able to resist inviting you to an interview.

Interviews can be a daunting prospect for many people, but the key is to relax. Go into the interview with a good attitude and a lot of enthusiasm, employers appreciate this. Also, make sure you are well dressed – so broken flip flops and ripped shorts may not be the best option.

It is best to prepare some general answers to questions you think the interviewer may have and think of a few questions you can ask them. Nothing is worse than not having any questions to ask them at the end of the interview!

Above all else, be yourself. There is no point pretending to be someone you’re not, as you might end up in a shop that doesn’t fit your personality. Better to be rejected a few times than be miserable in your job.

Finally, get that dive instructor job!

Once you have aced the interview, the only thing left is to wait for that YES!

And it will come even if there are a few (or a lot) of no’s beforehand.

Everyone here at Scuba Center Asia wishes you all the best, and we know you will go out there and be the best dive instructor ever!

Remember, contact our PADI Course Director Kim, for that one-on-one dive career session.