View Full Version : Considering becoming a SCUBA instructor. Any instructors here? Questions!

04-30-2013, 10:23 AM
So, the title of the post kinda says it all. I'm a certified Divemaster (PADI), thinking about doing the IDC. I've been tossing the idea around on and off for a couple years now. Initially I didn't think I'd want to go as far as instructor...mainly because I hate demonstrating mask skills :P I've always had a huge problem with getting water up my nose. But now that I'm getting more and more into mermaiding, I'm really wanting to tackle that problem. It seems that practicing these skills diligently could benefit both my diving and my mermaiding.

I did all my dive certifications while I lived in Australia (I did my master's degree in Queensland) and that was AWESOME, but my visa eventually expired and I had to move back to the states. I had to get a job fast and ended up working at a zoo...in Oklahoma :( While I'm grateful for the full time pay and benefits, I definitely feel like a fish out of water here. Not a whole lot of opportunities for diving here (though surprisingly, there ARE two dive shops here in Tulsa! Whodathunk). I've spoken to the instructor/owner at one of the dive shops and he is very experienced and knowledgeable. So, while the only places to dive nearby are some lakes, the course itself is waaaaayyyyy cheaper than any other instructor course I've ever encountered. I wouldn't be able to afford another $1600 course like my DM course :p So....what I'm thinking is this. Maybe it would be a good opportunity to gain my Instructor certification while I can afford it, get some experience, and then be able to use that experience when I eventually move elsewhere. Thoughts?

05-01-2013, 05:33 AM
I'm an instructor and I can tell you I've never regretted it. However, I will tell you this...if you went through a divemaster program and you haven't mastered mask skills at demonstration quality and you still have a problem with water up your nose, you may want to fix that problem NOW. As a divemaster, you are expected to be able to demonstrate all the basic skills. During your IDC, you will be expected to demonstrate it several times. The course director shouldn't be giving you tips on how to do it...you should already be able to do it and he/she should only have to see it done. After you've tackled that problem, do the IDC, it's a great course if you have a course director willing to make it a great course.

05-01-2013, 10:35 AM
Eh, I know all that :P I can DO the mask skills demonstrations, I did them well enough to pass my DM, I just don't LIKE doing them. Hence why I am unsure. But I want to become more comfortable swimming underwater without holding my nose anyway, which means finally conquering my aversion to getting water up my nose, I guess. I used to swim underwater all the time when I was a kid, and I never had to hold my nose. But then one day I went underwater and suddenly got a ton of water shooting up my nose and I've had a problem with it ever since. I don't know what happened, my nose got so big it lets all the water in or something :P

05-02-2013, 12:23 PM
Hi Theobromine,

I'm not instructor because I don't wish to teach others.

As far as I know in Instructor course tackles how to teach both theory and skills to your students but not to yourself! Also you won't believe how easily an OW instructor lost accidentally his/her mask. They keep a spare mask in BCD pocket and some of them even two :doh:

When you're instructor, your dive insurance is more expensive and you will have the public liability of the country where you're diving. That's the other reason I am not getting more scuba licenses. When you're girl, not all the men accept your leadership and there're the ones who'll give you troubles. You should considerer this point as well.

On the other hand, I think you're mixing things and the dive centre might be tackling your issue on a sensibility way. What's your goal? teach? or be more confident with mask and water in your nose? or both?

Apart of this, and hopefully other scuba divers here will tell you that:
Once you're OW diver you should be able to refresh all the skills and theory with scuba buddy of your same level.
Some scuba-diving org offers refresh courses and one to one training for the ones who hasn't buddy or prefers a DM or Instructor.

You don't need to do an Instructor course to learn or refresh a skill or being a great scuba-mermaid. Do it only if you want to teach others


Mermaid Melanie
05-04-2013, 01:38 AM
Hey Theobromine -

I just wanted to give you some encouragement as I am a female in the dive industry and have had no trouble being accepted - sometimes i get an older male who thinks he knows it all but truth is you are the pro and you know best its what your trained to do so dont let that idea effect your decision .

In my IDC I had awful trouble with my hover - my legs were so buoyant and i couldnt control them at the time - it meant that I hovered in a slightly off position but I worked on that through the course and got much better with the help of the staff instructors ... the course IS there to prepare you for the exam and the course is usually much harder than the exams. I love being a mermaid and an instructor and doing both has given me a lot more skill and confidence in the water ! if you want to teach and share the magic that is diving then sure go for it more power to ya!

If you just want to brush up on your skills you can take the PADI Scuba Review course - usually done in the pool. you go over all 24 skills that were covered in the open water and you can tell your instructor that you want to focus on mask skills if thats your weakness ! - i use to hate water in my eyes so mask skills were an obstacle i had to overcome and i wear contacts ! So dont let anything hold you back from what you want to do. x

05-04-2013, 09:47 AM
Melanie, thanks for such an encouraging reply! I'm actually not at all afraid of being a female dive instructor, and it makes me kind of sad that there are those out there who think that would be an issue. But I guess someone out there thinks everything's an issue. It's also encouraging that mask skills were also an obstacle for you that you managed to overcome. I wear contacts too! That's been an issue for me, I've always been afraid of them floating out of my eyes. During my DM, my instructor let me keep my eyes closed while doing mask skill demonstrations just as long as I did them well enough to teach the students/pass the exams. May I ask what you do with your contacts when you open your eyes underwater? Do you take them out or do they stay in well enough?

Also, if I do go for the IDC, I want to find an instructor who will let me do the course internship-style like I did my DM. I got to do that over the course of three months and got a lot more experience than I would have if I'd just blasted right through the course, and I would want to do the same (and even more so) if I was becoming an instructor. I just....I wish I was still in Queensland!!!! It was SO much better there :( Only upside to here is the course is quite affordable, and the instructor does seem very experienced (dunno what the heck he's doing in Oklahoma). And I'm not staying here any longer than I absolutely have to.

So, do you really enjoy being an instructor? What is your favorite part of the job? Thailand certainly seems like THE place for what you do, I'm jealous!

05-09-2013, 12:38 PM
Hi Theobromine,

One option you might think about is getting a mask that lets you install prescription lenses? One example is the Seacsub Extreme ( http://www.scubastore.com/scuba-diving/seacsub-extreme/3472/p ) you can get the lenses and stick them in yourself ( http://www.scubastore.com/scuba-diving/seacsub-extreme-lenses/3713/p ) rather than going the expensive route of ordering a prescription dive mask from an optometrist.

Then, when you have to take your mask off in the water, you don't have to worry about losing your contacts, and, experience has show that shortsighted people actually see better in the water anyway, so you would see better with your mask off than people who don't wear glasses or contacts.

Also, I have to ask. Did you chose your Mer name after the special molecule in chocolate? Cool science geek name! :thumbs up:

05-09-2013, 01:16 PM
That's a good idea for doing scuba and instructing. I will have to look into that. But the problem with just going mermaiding is GETTING there and back if I'm not wearing my contacts. I hate wearing my glasses.

And yep, theobromine is my favorite molecule!!

05-09-2013, 03:56 PM
yep, theobromine is my favorite molecule!!

Well, you'll have to make sure to eat lots of chocolate to get your supply :)


05-09-2013, 04:01 PM
Oh, I do :)

Mermaid Melanie
06-08-2013, 12:05 AM
hey sorry for the late reply! - I still wear my contacts when i dive so i can see but when i teach skills like the mask i just close my eyes ... i brief my students on closing eyes with contacts etc so they know to stay close to me when i do this skill - DIVE ASIA in phuket has a great course director and IDC program you can do it over an extended period of time if you have work commitments or have to travel back an forth etc for mermaiding i dont wear contacts i just open my eyes without - but next month im getting laser eye surgery at last. i know soooo many instructors with contacts - if you dont wanna wear contacts while diving you should check out prescription masks - I sell all sorts of Dive Equipment so for any enquiries please feel free to contact me :) x

06-08-2013, 01:06 AM
Thanks for the tips! I'm practicing opening my eyes underwater without contacts, but it's weird because I haven't done it since I was a kid! I will definitely check out prescription masks though.