“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the
experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”
Douglas Adams (Author)
“The only source of knowledge is experience.”
“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”
Paulo Coelho (Author)
When one starts down a new professional career path, the urge to jump right in at the deep end is sometimes overwhelming. In most professions, this works very well but when it comes to SCUBA diving and teaching SCUBA diving, when you have peoples lives in your hands, it is so very important to know what you are doing.
The PADI system of learning gives a number of opportunities to increase your experience, depending on your level of certification and your timeframe. Initially the PADI Divemaster course sets you on this path. Then during the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) we show you how to find, use and apply the PADI standards to general diving situations.
However, when it comes to teaching a entire course on your own it can be tricky co-ordinating all the various elements necessary to make it an effective course whilst keeping your customers satisfied by delivering the course in a timely manner.
Experience can be gained in a number of ways. Firstly, working as a PADI Divemaster before doing the PADI Instructor Development Course. This will develop you underwater observational and organisational abilities.
You will also gain an insight into how do deal with unexpected problems that certified divers tend to have. If you are in an environment that dives daily then you will also get a good opportunity to see how water and weather conditions can change unexpectedly.
Secondly, after your IDC, if you are not in a position to do the PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer program (more later) there are positions available on liveaboards around the world that involve dive guiding. In the main, companies look for new instructors who are willing to work in a Divemaster role with the occasional teaching opportunity typically involving PADI Speciality diver courses.
Again, here you will gain valuable insight into problem management with certified divers whilst developing your control and organisational abilities.
Thirdly, after your IDC you can enrol directly into the MSDT Internship program. Within this PADI program you will gain knowledge and skills to teach a number of PADI Speciality diver courses of your choosing and then you get direct hands on experience teaching entry level divers. Initially you will be observing an experienced Instructor and seeing what decisions they make to accommodate different situations that arise during SCUBA training.
Typical key learning points include student diver positioning, problem solving, structure and organisation for the courses you teach.
Your experience develops during this program at an exponential rate and you will be acting as a sponge, absorbing all this knowledge, and further developing your professional abilities.
The Internship culminates with you conducting courses, on your own, with an Instructor close on hand to lend any assistance or give any advice as necessary.
When a new Instructor looks for work the main question asked by potential employers is ‘What experience have you had?’ and the quality of your answers typically dictates the ease of the decision made.
In a nutshell, experience as a PADI Dive professional is absolutely crucial. A solid Divemaster Internship or Instructor Internship program as part of any PADI Professional level training program is highly recommended.
For more information on the scuba diving internships we offer check out our Divemaster Internship, Instructor Internship & MSDT Internship.
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
Henry Ford (Entrepreneur)
“Experience is one thing you can’t get for nothing.”
Oscar Wilde (Author)