How to become a PADI Instructor
PADI Instructor is a wonderful job. You can travel the world, enjoy the underwater world and share your passion with others. But as an instructor, you also have the responsibility to ensure the fun and safety of your students.
Becoming a PADI instructor with little or no previous diving experience is possible, but it requires some investment of time and money. To teach scuba diving – or any sport – you have to be an expert yourself, and you simply don’t become an expert just in a few weeks.
PADI Instructor Levels
PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI)
If you like people, have a passion for scuba diving and want an extraordinary life – become a PADI Instructor. Teaching scuba diving allows you to share your love of the aquatic world with others while doing what you enjoy – being in, around and under water. PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors and PADI Assistant Instructors are the most sought-after dive professionals around the world because they’ve completed the program that sets the standard for training dive professionals. You earn a PADI Instructor rating through hard work and commitment, but you’re rewarded with a job that lets you share incredible underwater adventures with others – transforming their lives for the better and enriching yours.
The way to become an Open Water Scuba Instructor is to enroll in an Instructor Development Course (IDC). After completing the IDC you can attend an Instructor Examination (IE), which is the final step to earn a PADI Instructor certification.
A PADI Divemaster who has been a certified diver for six months may enroll in the PADI Instructor Development Course. You also need:
- At least 60 logged dives and 100 dives to attend an IE.
- Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and First Aid) training within the past 24 months.
- A medical statement signed by a physician within the last 12 months.
- You also need to be an Emergency First Response Instructor, but you can earn this rating during your IDC.
PADI Specialty Instructor
PADI Instructors, and instructor candidates enrolled in an IDC, are eligible to enroll in certain specialty instructor courses.
Teaching Specialty courses allow you to share what interests you. You can choose from Specialties like Deep, Navigation, Wreck, Drift diving, Photography, Search and Recovery and many more. The best way to learn how to teach specialty diver courses is to take a specialty instructor course from your PADI Course Director. Specialty instructor courses provide teaching tips and hands-on experience that you can implement right away.
Some specialties have additional prerequisites and exit requirements – ask your PADI Course Director for details.
PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT)
The PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer rating sets you apart as a dive instructor who takes continuing education seriously and is committed to teaching a variety of courses. (Potential employers like this.)
All PADI Instructors who have certified at least 25 PADI Divers and have earned at least five PADI Specialty Instructor certifications can be Master Scuba Diver Trainers. This rating is the next step up the professional ladder and is a prerequisite for IDC Staff Instructor as well as for many TecRec Instructor ratings.
PADI IDC Staff Instructor
As the name implies, IDC Staff Instructors assist with instructor training and share their wisdom and experience with new PADI instructors. Taking the IDC Staff Instructor course provides you with in-depth knowledge of the instructor development process and prepares you to shape the next generation of PADI Professionals. It’s also a great career move. In many dive centers IDC Staff Instructors take on a roll as senior instructors or assistant managers.
Master Scuba Diver Trainers (MSDTs) who are ready to be excellent role models and agree to use the PADI System and components in their entirety may enroll in an IDC Staff Instructor course.