The Job of a lifetime – Being a scuba professional
Being a scuba professional is one of the most incredible jobs out there. You can explore the world and its many wondrous places and get paid doing it. However, there is always a reality check with everything wonderful in the world. So here are some of mine for this amazing profession. Don’t let it put you off becoming a scuba professional. Just remember to go in with your eyes wide open.
1)You won’t become a millionaire as a scuba professional
Yes, you can make money and travel but can you fill you coffers ready to settle down in the future? Not likely. The majority of us do it as we love it. If you decide to make a real career out of scuba diving then you will definitely have to broaden your skill set. Instructing in the water is just a small part of what a scuba professional can do and the more you can offer as a career candidate, the easier it will be for you to find that good paying position. You will be able to move your way up the ranks to managerial and beyond, or even look into of the many other scuba industry jobs, for example working with manufacturers. My advice, find you niche and carve out your perfect position. Be innovative and you’ll make your mark.
2)Never stop learning
As a scuba professional you can never stop learning. I will try and take a new course every year. This could be extending my scuba skills, for example in the tech world, maybe doing some new equipment maintenance on a brand, of even learning some fish biology. Not only does that keep it interesting for you it ups you own skill set. The more you know, the more you can bring to your own classes. And when you are learning, don’t always go to the same place, learn from different people as they will always put a new and exciting spin on things.
3)Nobody is perfect – you can and will make mistakes
Having been training scuba professionals for almost 15 years there is one thing that a lot of good scuba instructors have in common when they start out. They are extremely nervous about making a mistake. It is a huge responsibility to teach others and guide them underwater. What if you do something wrong? The thing to remember is that nobody is perfect. Yes you will make mistakes as you negotiate your way through different course, clients and conditions. Just remember to always try your best, be humble and learn from you mistakes. Always make the most conservative decision when it comes to teaching and do not be afraid to speak up if you don’t feel comfortable. If you are feeling overwhelmed with students or conditions then reach out for help and don’t be pushed into something you don’t feel you can handle. All good dive centers will gently let you learn the ropes and there should always be more experienced instructors on hand to give you advice. If you are thrown in and don’t feel comfortable doing what you’re doing then maybe it’s not a good place to be working.
4)You are never too good – be humbled by a Discover scuba
It’s really important to teach a wide variety of courses. This will certainly keep your scuba and teaching skills fresh. If you are constantly teaching the same discover scuba diving program over and over again it is very easy to get burnt out. This is very much where you want to encourage your divers as well, to move on with their training. You can take them through their open water and then onto their Advanced. That is a change up for you as well and it is fun to see you students improve and learn with their skills. Once you have been teaching for a while don’t ever think you are too good for something. I have seen instructors in the past that will only teach Divemasters or specialties. Great if you are in a center that can allow you to only teach those courses. But remember, taking a discover scuba or an open water student out every so often will keep you on your toes. I have learnt some amazing lessons from teaching beginners scuba diving even though a lot of my classes are now at a professional level. Some of the best and most passionate instructors I know after many years, still teach all levels of training.
5)Dive for yourself and remember, its supposed to be fun
Whilst training and guiding as a scuba professional it’s very easy to forget why you are scuba diving in the first place. You are so focused on working in the water you forget to have fun. Take a fun dive every so often. With people you do not have to watch. You can relax in the water, blow bubbles and then really let go. Explore new parts of the dive sites you have never been too before, learn some new interesting routes. Look for new and awesome underwater inhabitants and most importantly, relax and have fun!