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How to become a Diving Instructor

As a dive instructor you’ll look after, educate, train and assess students or clients who want to become underwater divers. Your job could include teaching free-divers, recreational divers, technical divers and professional divers (military, police, commercial, public safety, and scientific sectors).

If you love diving, you’re passionate about the marine environment and you have the patience and understanding that’ll make a great teacher, then perhaps a career as a diving instructor could be for you.


About you:


  • Friendly and outgoing, with great customer service skills
  • Responsible, patient and empathetic
  • Enthusiastic with superb communication skills
  • Organised and confident
  • Respond well in emergency situations and when under pressure
  • Be a good role model in and out of the water
  • Physically fit and able to work long days
  • Passionate and well educated about the marine environment, organisms, laws and regulations
  • Willing to work long hours and do shift work
  • Knowledge of other languages could be a bonus


The job:


  • Care for and maintain your own dive equipment and that of your students/clients/organisation
  • Take bookings
  • Pilot and maintain a boat
  • Teach clients dive techniques and safety practices
  • Provide guide services
  • Teach customers about reefs and marine life
  • Be responsible for the safety of the diving party
  • Keep accurate running records of equipment, stock, dives, logs, engine and compressor running times
  • Take part in ongoing training programs


Lifestyle Impact: High


  • Part Time opportunities: Low – around 24% of Diving Instructors work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 49 hours a week, which is above average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • Diving Instructors’ salary (median) $34,000* per year (source: ato.gov.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Strong (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
  • You will be doing most of your work outdoors, so being physically fit and resilient, as well as being sun safe, is vitally important.
  • You might have to work on weekends and holidays, or maybe do shift work.


Diving Instructors are most in demand in these locations:


Demand for Diving Instructors is highest in Queensland. Most Diving Instructors work in the Education and Training, and Tourism industries.


How to become a Diving Instructor in Australia


You will need to have lots of diving experience and complete a certified qualification in order to work as a Diving Instructor.


Step 1 – Complete Year 10 with a focus on English and Maths.


Step 2 – Start diving recreationally. Consider taking a course such as PADI Open Water Diver.


Step 3 – In order to supervise others, you will need to complete a PADI Divemaster qualification. You will need to have lots of diving experience, as well as holding First Aid and CPR qualifications, and obtaining a medical statement confirming you are fit to dive.


Step 4 – Once you have been a certified diver for six months, you can complete a PADI Instructor Development Course to become a fully qualified Diving Instructor.


Step 5 – Consider upskilling with a PADI Speciality Diver course, and learn specialist diving skills, such as deep diving, night diving, and public safety diving.


Find out more here –




Similar Careers to Diving Instructor


Tour Operator

Marine Biologist






Find out more about alternative careers.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What options are there for career progression?


You can start out as a diving supervisor or assistant instructor, before moving into more senior or specialist roles. With enough experience, you might even like to branch out into other roles, such as construction diving, search and rescue diving, scientific diving, or Clearance Diving with the ADF.


Do I need to go to university to become a Diving Instructor?


No, but you will need to complete certified diving courses in order to be qualified to work as a Diving Instructor.


What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Diving Instructor?


If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Diving Instructor is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:

  1. Start diving for fun, and build on your fitness and stamina. Other things you might like to consider are getting a boat license and First Aid qualifications.
  2. See if you can find work experience with a local business. This will help you see if you might enjoy the work, and can help you start building important contacts for the future.
  3. Talk to a Diving Instructor to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about a career in diving.

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