So you have made the decision to live life in paradise and be a PADI scuba dive instructor. But how long is it going to take you to be a great one? How long until people come into the shop and think ‘I want to dive with you!’?

We are going to break it down for you!

Qualities of a great Dive Instructor

Before we put a length of time on this feat we need to break down the qualities that make someone a scuba dive PADI instructor vs a great PADI dive instructor!

Not just anyone can be a PADI instructor. There are specific characteristics you’ll need, especially in the diving industry, and especially while diving in the Nusa Islands, Komodo or anywhere in Indonesia.

Patience as a Dive Instructor

Let’s face it, teaching someone a new skill is hard! No matter how you look at it. People have different learning styles and different personalities.  Some students may take longer than others. Specific underwater skills just don’t click right away.

This is where patience comes into play. You have to repeat the same skill multiple times. You could have three other students impatiently waiting but you have to have patience with yourself. This is when you have to get creative and think of a new way to teach a skill. Keep it fun, interesting and be understanding and have that patience. Think back at yourself every now and then to understand your students and become that great dive instructor.

instructor in pool - scuba center asia

Confidence as a Dive Instructor

Fake it until you make it, right? Well, wrong, when you are a PADI scuba instructor. In the beginning, you may still feel out of your comfort zone showing other people how to breathe underwater for 60 minutes, but this will change. Many practice and team teaching is by far the best thing to get you started as a new Dive Instructor. Scuba Center Asia Lembongan has this unique team teaching opportunity while you are training to become a Master Scuba Diver Trainer!

You have all the underwater skills needed, otherwise you would not have successfully completed the PADI Instructor Development Course or passed your PADI Instructor Exam!

But it is still the beginning of a new chapter for you as a

instructor giving briefing

Time management as a dive instructor

A full PADI open water course takes approximately four days to complete if you do it on a paradise island like Nusa Lembongan. Time management is the key because don’t forget your students are also on holiday at the same time!

Throughout the PADI open water course, a student has to complete a variety of different tasks.  This includes five sections of knowledge review, underwater skills in a confined area and four dives in the open water plus an exam! These are the minimum requirements. You can imagine as a great dive instructor there is more to that. Let us know what is important to you to have as a scuba instructor?!

Instructor assisting with BCD

We believe as a PADI instructor, it is your responsibility to keep things moving, make sure your students master their skills and have fun at the same time.  But, you also need to make certain the student feels safe, comfortable and ready to start scuba diving in Indonesia at the end of the fourth day. Time management than comes in hand.

Skills for a dive instructor

The skills for a dive instructor don’t end by the minimum requirements of the PADI standards. No, they are the beginning! Proper additional skills for a dive instructor start with your personality and yours believes. Some dive instructors are maybe a bit lazy and stick to the minimum PADI requirements, but luckily if you look around more and more dive instructors have a passion and take their duty of care more seriously and want to make the best divers out of their students!

It’s more than just completing your PADI open water and the Advanced open watercourse. If you make those courses fun for your students, guaranteed they will continue to the Rescue course. And believe it or not, the Rescue course is one of those courses where you can be the artist of teaching! Once you get a bit more experience as a scuba instructor you may coach Divemaster candidates during their divemaster!

Passion as a dive instructor

Once you reach that level as a PADI instructor. It’s all YOU! Your responsibility, Your smile that will make their day beautiful, your assistance, your patience and your knowledge that you can share with the new divers. If you do it well, your student will perhaps call you up someday and say, “Hey! I am now also a dive instructor, thanks to you, you were my inspiration”. Now if you hear that! That is what it takes to have the skills as a great dive instructor.

The difference is being passionate for yourself versus being so passionate you feel the need to cultivate your love for diving in others. There is nothing better than a PADI dive instructor with more than 6,000 dives being giddy about a dive. It creates indescribable energy.

Kim UW blowing kiss

Is there a timeframe to be a great dive instructor?

The short answer is no. There is not an exact amount of time where all the items listed above are completely done. You basically never stop learning. Only than you are a great PADI dive instructor. But you can start with choosing the right IDC (Instructor Development Course). This is an investment and it should not involve picking the IDC that is the cheapest. Instead, it should involve quality and the vibe you get with talking to the PADI Course Director. Are you willing to learn from him or her?

After completing the IDC grab that chance to team teach! To give you an idea, after the IDC with Kim you will get that chance. Once you start feeling comfortable the number of students you have certified grows. Your knowledge of the industry grows. Slowly but certain you will grow into be that great scuba instructor.

And most importantly you realize not every single time you are going to be the most patient, or demonstrate every skill perfectly, or feel the most confidence. If that is about to happen, take a day off, rest or seek help with your senior instructor to talk things through. Why? Because we great dive instructors do not have ‘bad days’ and need a day off as well! ?

And before you know it, whether it is in six months or three years, you will be sitting in a dive shop and a new client will walk in and you will hear them say, ‘Hi! I want to complete my open water with (insert your name here)! I was recommended to you because you are a great PADI dive instructor!’ How stunning is that?!

Come dive with us at Scuba Center Asia where we have many great instructors who all provide their own energy and passion for diving!

And more importantly, if you want to become that great dive instructor. Sign up for the IDC with Kim! She is the first PADI Course Director of the Nusa Islands and extremely knowledgeable, passionate plus fun!

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

So you are finally an 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 already 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 have any idea of what to do next. This can be quite a scary prospect. But, lucky for you we are here to make the way 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 so far!

Next, you need to choose between two paths on 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 an instructor. This is especially true in areas where the job market is very competitive. It also offers you the opportunity to gain a more exciting or better-paid position.

Furthering your education also allows you to gain experience as an instructor in a supportive environment. So may be 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?

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 an instructor. It also allows you to go beyond the “standard” courses an 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 sure to be something to take your fancy!

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 for your MSDT.

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 an MSDT sets you apart from other dive instructors. This is because it shows you have experience in teaching both the standard PADI courses as well as specialist 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 of it. As well as a whole lot more confidence in your abilities as an instructor. Also, who wouldn’t want to spend their MSDT on the paradise of Nusa Lembongan?

Following on from your MSDT you may wish to become a staff instructor or even a 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.

You may also wish to look into courses that teach you how to repair dive gear or fill tanks as these are very desirable traits for dive shops. A skipper’s licence is also hugely desirable to potential employers.

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

Finding a job as an 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 of action 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?

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 an instructor is as much about customer care as it is about 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 making applications 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

Interviews

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 as well as thinking of a few questions you can ask them. There is nothing 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 job!

Once you have aced the interview the only thing left to do is 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 is wishing you all the best and we know you are going to go out there and be the best instructor ever!

So you are a Divemaster or Assistant Instructor. You are ready to take the next step in your dive career and become an Instructor. Maybe you have already decided where you want to take your Instructor Development Course (IDC). Or maybe you have even booked your place already. But, you are feeling a little nervous because you aren’t sure what to expect once you get to your dive center.

Never fear, our lovely Bria is here to answer all of the questions you may have.

IDC Lembongan With Kim

First, can you give us a little break down of how the IDC is structured?

Sure! So the IDC is divided into two sections. The Assistant Instructor component and the Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) component. These have both have wet and dry segments that develop your ability to teach other divers. At the end of the IDC, the PADI Instructor Examination (IE) is held by one of PADI’s own examiners.

What do you learn in the IDC?

As an Instructor, you are able to teach many different dive courses. So, first you have to review all of the dive theory that is covered in these courses. You have to have an understanding far beyond that of a Divemaster. You then learn effective strategies to relay this information using the PADI model.

In water, you practice and perfect all skills “to demonstration standards”. You learn what common problems students have with each skill. And how to detect and correct them to ensure each student’s success. You practice this in both confined and open water.

IDC Bali

Do you need to be an Assistant Instructor (AI) first?

Nope! I was an Assistant Instructor before I took my IDC. But, you only need to be a Divemaster to be eligible to do the IDC / IE. Being an AI sets you up for what to expect during the IDC but it’s definitely not a must. The reason most people choose to be an AI before becoming an Instructor is because they don’t have a Course Director available.

How is it different from the Divemaster (DM) or AI courses?

In your Divemaster course, you learn how to set up and help supervise students and fun divers. But, you are restricted in the number of courses you can supervise. In the IDC you learn how to actually teach the various PADI courses. As a PADI Instructor, you are eligible to teach many dive courses. You are also able to independently supervise student divers.

The IDC is much more focussed on teaching. It actually isn’t too different from the Assistant Instructor course. It’s more like the AI course on steroids. Everything you only do once or twice in AI you do ten or fifteen times in the IDC!

What does a typical day on the IDC consist of?

We usually arrive in the classroom between 8 am and 9 am and chat with Kim about that day’s plan over coffee. Some days are spent in the classroom, reviewing theory, taking practice exams, or giving mock presentations. Other days are spent in the pool or ocean, practicing skills and teaching skills to “students”. We also learn strategies to correct skills to ensure that our students perform them up to standard. Most days are a mixture of both dry and wet learning. Between Kim, Bas, and the rest of the staff you can always expect to laugh and have a good time!

The classroom may sound boring BUT IT ISN’T! Kim is great at finding strategies to engage different learning styles in a fun and interactive way!

What is the exam like?

You usually take your IE with IDC candidates from a number of other dive centers in the area. You are examined by PADI examiners (not your course director, although they are there to support you). On the first day you arrive, you are given a piece of paper with all the information about the next two days. This includes what your presentation topics will be, and what skills you will have to perform in the water.

IDC Nusa Lembongan Scuba Center Asia

Day 1: Dry (theory and presentations)

In the morning you take two exams. The Standards Exam (which is open book) and the Theory Exam, which is broken into five equal sections. These sections include: equipment, dive physics, physiology, general skills & environment, and recreational dive planning (RDP). You then take a one hour break to prepare your presentation. After that, you present what you have prepared in front of your examination group.

Day 2: Wet

Confined Water: you start the day in the pool where you have to “teach” two skills to mock students. You must be able to teach the skill and correct any problems that the students face when demonstrating the skill. You then have to demonstrate five skills in a skills circuit.

Open Water: in the afternoon you repeat the skills circuit, performing each at a demonstration standard. You then go onto demonstrating rescue scenario seven. Everyone’s favorite!

Almost everyone I have talked to has said that the IE was nowhere as difficult or scary as they expected it to be.

What will I be able to do after my course?

After your course you can teach Discover Scuba Diving (DSD), Scuba Refresher, Scuba Diver, Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue, Divemaster and Project AWARE courses. There are probably more I’m forgetting as well.

You are also eligible to become a specialty Instructor and work toward your Master Scuba Diver Trainer certification.

Any tips for someone thinking about starting the IDC?

I mean… JUST GO FOR IT! You really have nothing to lose!

For those that have decided to go for it and are preparing for their IDC – study study study your theory! If you have that down before arriving it really cuts down on the amount of time the course director has to lecture in the classroom and makes the whole experience more enjoyable for everyone (you get to sleep in longer and get out of class earlier!).

Familiarise yourself with the Instructor Manual as you will use this A LOT both during and after your IDC. But more importantly, do your best to understand all of the five sections of the theory exam like the back of your hand. Kim provides a really nice PADI study guide, so you can be sure to study all necessary topics ahead of time.

IDC With Kim

Finally, what makes the IDC with Kim different?

You really have to meet Kim (and Bas) to understand. They are so fun and engaging. They want to make sure you aren’t just learning how to certify divers. They want you to learn how to certify divers who learn to love diving. They want you to get other people excited about diving!

Most importantly, they make you feel like family. It may feel scary to do your IDC if Lembongan is far from wherever you call home. But, once you get here you will realize you ARE home. Kim and Bas surround themselves with amazing people who bring you into their circle and treat you as one of their own.

As you can see the IDC isn’t nearly as scary as you may think. Kim, Bas and the rest of the team here at Scuba Center Asia are here to make sure you have the best experience possible.

So what’s holding you back?

Did you know that just 30 minutes away from Sanur lies an island paradise?
That island is Nusa Lembongan and it is one of the three islands that make up the Nusa Penida Archipelago. Nusa Penida is the largest of the three. Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan Island are the other two and connected by a famous yellow bridge.

Nusa Lembongan will seem like a world away from Bali. It has beautiful golden beaches, phenomenal sunrises, and sunset viewpoints. And world-renowned scuba diving sites and magical marine life.

So now you know this paradise island exists you may be asking yourself, “How do I get there? And what should I do with my time on the island?”

We have answered all the essential questions below for you.

nusa lembongan

HOW DO I GET TO NUSA LEMBONGAN?

The island of Nusa Lembongan is around a 12-mile journey from mainland Bali. The only way to reach the island is via boat. Most boats depart from Sanur, which is just east of Denpasar as it takes only a short 30-minute journey from this harbor.

There are several different areas on the island where boats arrive to drop and pick up visitors from. Scuba Center Asia is located in the Mushroom Beach area. We tend to use and recommend Marlin Fast Cruise, as they drop off and pick up from Mushroom Beach and have a fast boat.

lembongan bridge

Three important things to remember:

  1. If you book scuba diving in Lembongan with us here at Scuba Center Asia, we can make your boat reservation for you, so all you have to do is show up and pay for your ticket!
  2. Anywhere you stay in Bali should be able to organize your boat for you as well as your transport to the port.
  3. If you happen to make a mistake and get dropped off on the wrong part of the island, do not worry. Transfers are usually included in your hotel/homestay in the price of the boat ticket or a very small extra charge. Always double check when booking.

Okay, so you made it to island. Now what!?

SCUBA DIVING COURSES WITH SCUBA CENTER ASIA

Nusa Lembongan has a lot to offer, and one of the things that we recommend as a must-do experience is scuba diving!

Scuba Center Asia caters to all experience levels. From newbie to experienced to wanting to take on an instructor course and turn scuba diving into a career, we have got you!

The waters around Nusa Penida contain world-famous scuba diving sites, like Crystal Bay and Manta Point. These locations can have crystal clear waters and a huge diversity of marine life. They are also one of the few spots in the world where you can see the mysterious mola-mola fish or manta rays socialize around a cleaning station. There are also more adventurous dive sites to the north where you can drift dive with currents.

Here is a list of the different scuba programs we offer at Scuba Center Asia:

  • PADI Discover Scuba Diving
  • PADI Open Water
  • PADI Advanced Open Water
  • Emergency First Response
  • PADI Rescue Diver
IDC Lembongan courses

If you are already a certified diver and interested in developing further, Scuba Center Asia also provide Go Pro courses:

  • PADI Divemaster
  • PADI IDC
  • PADI Speciality Instructor
  • MSDT Internship
  • PADI Staff IDC Instructor
  • PADI Master Instructor

Here at Scuba Center Asia, we are proud to have Kim, the only female PADI Course Director and dive resort owner on the island. #IDCwithKim

Get in touch with us for more information on any of the above.

ACTIVITIES IN NUSA LEMBONGAN

Okay so scuba diving might not be your thing, so what else is there to do with your time spent on the island? The answer is, a lot ?

Here is a list of 12 alternative activities in Nusa Lembongan to spend your days:

surfing IDC Lembongan
  • Wake up early to catch the sunrise
  • Rent a moped or bicycle and explore the island
  • Drive across the famous yellow bridge into Ceningan Island to explore
  • Take a surfing lesson and catch some waves
  • Relax at one of the many beach clubs around the island and enjoy beautiful pools and views
  • Take a tour of the mangrove forest (yes, the island has a mangrove forest)
  • Go Scuba diving!
  • Visit the famous Devils Tear to watch the waves crash against the rocks or to enjoy a stunning sunset
  • Relax on the beach with a book and a drink
  • Swim in the ocean
  • Take a yoga class
  • Explore all the beautiful beaches the island has to offer

It is important to know the island of Nusa Lembongan has two main villages, Lembongan village, and Janu Batu village. It takes roughly 15 minutes to get from Mushroom Beach (Lembongan village) to the other side of the Jangut Batu village. So make sure you plan your activities so you have enough time to spend at the things you want to see.

RESTAURANTS IN NUSA LEMBONGAN

There are a good variety of restaurants in Nusa Lembongan. On the island, you will find options ranging from local ‘warungs’ to burgers, Italian restaurants, resorts that cater to all taste buds. Some you have to drive to, others will arrange pickups and drop-offs from your accommodation.

If you are looking for local ‘warung food’, for ease we recommend two places. One near Mushroom Beach, the other in Jangut Batu.

Warungs:

  • Warung Kevin is located about a 5-minute walk from Mushroom Beach. You can ask for directions from us, or most locals should be able to point you in the right direction.
  • Warung Nyoman is a warung located just outside of Jangut Batu towards the mangroves.

Restaurants that pick up and drop off:

  • Le Nusa Beach Club
  • Hai Tide Restaurant
  • Cafe Pandan @ Dream Beach
  • Oishi Japanese Restaurant
  • Mama Mia Bar and Grill
  • Lemon Grass Restaurant
  • Mahagiri Restaurant and Resort – one of the biggest resorts on the island.
  • Sandy Bay Beach Club
  • Suka Nusa
  • Ohanas
  • The Sampan
  • D’Paon

Finally, what would a list of places to eat be if we didn’t let you know where the best pizza on the island is! This can be found at the Hai Tide resort. Only a minute walk from Mushroom Beach / Scuba Center Asia in the Lembongan area.

We hope this complete beginner’s guide to Nusa Lembongan has helped shed some light on this magical little island. If you already know about the islands and want to come and experience some of the world-renowned scuba diving the island has to offer, get in touch with us today for more information.