What is life really like as a dive instructor?

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Well, as the PADI commercials say it is a lunch break on the beach, you walk around and tell people what to do, you take divers diving every day…how great is that, and really we mean it, being a dive instructor is GREAT.  But there is far more to it than just hanging on the beach for lunch and meeting people.

Dive Instructors become Instructors because they have a passion for diving, they want to share their knowledge and they want to see lots of different things underwater.  Most are young, and many travel, so they have seen a lot.  But being a dive instructor means responsibility for people you dont know, patience for many different types of personalities and a vast amount of knowledge about teaching, how people learn and ultimately they are the key to someones success in diving.

The responsibility is more direct than any CEO I know, and Instructors have direct, on hands responsibility for people.  CEO’s have a responsibility to their employees, their customers and the health of the company, but it is less personal.  The direct eye to eye contact that a dive instructor has makes their liability much greater, more personal and n the end far more rewarding.  CEO’s have a tough job, dont get me wrong, but it is not on the level as what these people do and will never be.

At the Abyss Dive Center we are lucky, as many of our divers are repeat clients so we know them, we know how they dive, in most cases we did their open water certification and have been with them as they have increased their diving certification and knowledge.  This makes our job a bit easier.  When new people come, you will see that we ask a lot of questions, we take a lot of care, as we know the responsibility of taking a person to depth when they are a new customer.  There are many instructors or dive masters worldwide who take people diving and have no idea what their diving is like and take new customers each day.  Wow that is a huge responsibility and though most divers have their certification, if they are in new diving conditions, using new equipment or have not dove for a while, the instructors job is a bit tougher.  They are trained to deal with this, but it does not decrease the reality of liability.

This feeling of confidence in your dive instructor is what gives these people such an uncommon bond that can last for years with a diver.  Many people get very attached to their instructor because they have in many instances overcome a fear with the help of this person, or gained a new level of self confidence due to the patience and knowledge of their instructor.  Scuba diving is an ever learning sport and your instructor is the window of opportunity  to the new learnings.

The beach breaks are incidental when it comes to the self satisfaction a dive instructor gets when they see the bright eyes of a new diver who has just surfaced.  This is what most dive instructors live for and continue the long days just for that “wow’ that one gets from a diver.  The locations where dive instructors work hardly suck either, but there are pay offs, but the payoffs are worth it.

Next time you go to see your instructor, think about what they really do, and how they do it and why they do it.  Their passion for diving is probably why you are back and very few companies can say that about what they do.

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