How Long Will it Take for Me to Be a Great Dive Instructor

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!