Starting your PADI IDC journey

Are you a passionate diver dreaming of turning your love for the underwater world into a career? Becoming a PADI instructor could be the adventure of a lifetime. To become an instructor you’ll need to complete the PADI IDC (Instructor Development Course).

But before you take the plunge, it’s essential to understand the costs involved. So, is doing your PADI IDC worth the investment?

Let’s dive into the details and find out.

How much does it cost to become a PADI Instructor?

Total Estimated Cost for your PADI IDC

About internships

Finding a job after your PADI IDC

How much will you earn?

What if it is not a lifetime job for me?

So, is it worth the investment?

PADI IDC summer deals

How much does it cost to become a PADI Instructor?

Becoming a PADI instructor involves several courses, each building on the previous one, ensuring you’re thoroughly prepared for your PADI IDC.

Prerequisite Courses

To start, you’ll need to complete these diving courses:

Open Water Diver
Advanced Open Water Diver
Rescue Diver

These courses vary in price depending on location and dive center, but you can expect to spend between 1.500 and 2.000 euros.

Instructor Development Course (PADI IDC)

The IDC is the heart of your instructor training. This comprehensive program, which prepares you to teach others how to dive, typically costs between 1.000 and 2.000 euros depending on the location and options that you choose. You can have a look at the options and packages that Asia Scuba Instructors offers here.

IDC Materials

To complete the IDC, you’ll need specific PADI materials, including IDC slates, EFR Instructor eLearning, and IDC eLearning. These materials are crucial for your training and typically cost around 700 to 800 euros.
Check our prices here.

Emergency First Response Instructor (EFRI) Course

An essential prerequisite for the PADI IDC is the Emergency First Response Instructor course. This course normally costs about 200 to 300 euros and teaches you how to teach CPR and first aid skills. The EFR Instructor course is included for free in all our packages.

PADI Instructor Application and Examination Fees

After completing the IDC, you must pass the Instructor Examination (IE). This is a comprehensive test of your diving and teaching skills.
To apply for your instructor rating and teaching status you need to pay application fees. Both Examination fees and application fees are paid directly to PADI and are consistent worldwide. You can check the current fees here.

Travel and Accommodation

These expenses can vary widely depending on your location and the duration of your stay so it is difficult to put a number on it. However, at Asia Scuba Instructors we offer some awesome “all-inclusive” deals that include accommodation during your course. One less thing to worry about!


It’s highly recommended to have your own set of diving gear. Anyway, when you start working after completing your PADI IDC, most dive centers expect their staff to have their own equipment.
Obviously, cost can vary greatly depending on the brands and types of equipment you choose. Don’t forget that you also need 2 signaling devices (audible and visual), a cutting tool, and a compass.


Although not mandatory in all countries, professional liability insurance is a must-have for diving instructors. During your PADI IDC, you’ll be covered by our dive center insurance but when you start teaching this insurance protects you in case of accidents or legal issues arising from your professional activities. Annual premiums are around 200 – 300 euros.

Total Estimated Cost for your PADI IDC

The total cost to become a PADI instructor varies a lot, depending on the options and location that you choose. Not counting prerequisite courses, travel and accommodation, and dive equipment you should expect 3.000 – 4.500 euros. This estimate includes:

Prerequisite courses: Varies widely
IDC: 1.000 – 2.000 euros
IDC materials: 700 – 800 euros
EFRI course: 200 – 300 euros (free in our IDC’s)
PADI examination fees: 685 euros (2024)
PADI instructor application fees: 400 – 500 (including membership)
Equipment: Varies widely
Insurance: 200 – 300 euros annually
Travel and accommodation: Varies widely

padi idc - dive-teach-inspire

About internships

Can you do your PADI IDC for free? Simple answer: No.

But there are many internships where you can work off your course. Isn’t that a great deal?? Again, simple answer: No.

First of all; it’s not free. You’ll have to work without getting paid for two or three months. During this time you’ll have to pay for accommodation and food. This will probably add up to more than what you would pay for your course.

The dive center will probably not provide you with a work permit for this short period. Working without a work permit is illegal in all Asian countries. It can get you in a lot of trouble with immigration authorities and more importantly, no insurance will cover you and your students for accidents that happen during these ‘illegal activities’. Your diving career could be finished before it even started.

Dive centers that run these “work to pay off your course” schemes are trying to save instructor salaries. To say it politely: It usually are the less reputable and ‘low-budget’ dive centers that offer these schemes. I would simply stay far away from them.


Finding a job after your PADI IDC

And why would you do such an internship? It is not difficult to find a job as a diving instructor. At Asia Scuba Instructors we can help you with that.

We have a large network of dive centers around all Asia that are regurarly looking for staff. We can help you with your CV and get you in touch with dive centers that are searching for new team members.

Have a look at our job-board here.

PADI IDC summer deals

How much will you earn?

The salary you can expect as a PADI divng instructor varies quite a bit from country to country. Even within the same country the dive instructor salary varies a lot between different locations and dive centers.

But it also depends on yourself. The money you make as a diving instructor will increase if you have more to offer to the dive center. Booking customers or selling equipment can give you commission. When you can teach more courses, you can negociate a higher salary and additional (non-diving) skills like marketing, compressor repair, boat driving license, etc, etc, can aslo make you more valuable for a dive center.

You can read more in my post about “What is the best place to work as a diving instructor?”

What if it is not a lifetime job for me?

Many young people work as a PADI Instructor for a couple of years and then return to a ‘regular’ job.

You may wonder if your experience as a diving instructor will help you to find a job in the corporate world. Does PADI instructor look good on your CV?

Yes! Absolutely! Your experience as a PADI diving instructor can show that you posses some of the most in-demand skills employers want to see on your resume. Things like communnication skills, teamwork, and leadership skills. These skills are highly valued by employers, making you a strong candidate for a variety of roles. Experience as a PADI instructor looks great on your CV!


So, is it worth the investment?

So, is doing your PADI IDC worth the investment? That, of course, is very personal. I would say: “Absolutely!”

All together, your courses, equipment, accommodation, and travel is quite an investment. But it’s wise to make that investment. Free work-off schemes are not a good idea.

Once you’ve completed your IDC it is not difficult to find a job. PADI Instructors are in high demand. How much you can earn as a PADI Instructor can vary a lot and also depends on your personal preferences for location, dive center, courses you teach, etc.  If you want, you can earn back your investment in 2 – 8 months.

But for many, becoming a PADI Instructor is about much more than money. You’ll have the opportunity to work in some of the world’s most beautiful locations, meet fascinating people, and share your passion for diving. And that’s priceless!

On top of that, you’ll gain skills and experiences that are valuable for the rest of your life and that can really help you to find a job in the corporate world, if you decide to make a switch.