If you’re dreading the thought of going back to work after the summer holidays, maybe it’s time to think about a career change. Life’s too short to spend five days out of seven slaving away at a desk; and too short to know exactly how your week will play out before it’s even started. If you’re looking for an escape from routine and a way to make each day count, consider taking your passion for diving to the next level by becoming a PADI Instructor.

On February 9th, Aliwal Shoal Scuba is starting a new Instructor Development Course (IDC), giving you the chance to turn your professional diving dreams into reality. The course is split into two separate parts: the Assistant Instructor (AI) section, and the Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) section. It takes between five and seven days to complete both – after which you’ll be eligible to sit your Instructor Examination (IE).

The IDC is challenging, exciting, sometimes nerve-wracking and always worthwhile. You’ll learn how to teach the theoretical and practical aspects of every core PADI course – including Open Water Diver, Adventure Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver and Divemaster. You’ll learn how to present information in a way that your students can understand, and how to teach each skill according to PADI’s global standards.

You’ll also be taught how to turn your qualification into a marketable career, with lectures on diver safety and risk management, as well as business strategies and sales techniques. The IDC involves both classroom and in-water sessions, during which you’ll get to practice teaching with your fellow candidates posing as simulator students. If you aren’t yet qualified as an Emergency First Response (EFR) instructor, you’ll become one during the IDC.

Once you’ve completed the IDC, you’ll be put forward for the Instructor Examination, a two-day assessment of all the skills you’ve learned. There are theory exams and practical assessments involved, and if you pass, you’ll gain access to the global community of PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors. Becoming part of this elite club is a heady achievement, and one that gives you a valuable qualification recognised and respected all over the world.

There are countless reasons for investing the time and effort into becoming a PADI Instructor. If you’re already Divemaster certified, taking this next step increases your employability exponentially – especially if you’re thinking of applying for diving work overseas. Often, dive centres try to employ local divemasters, but will happily consider foreign applicants for instructor positions. By becoming an instructor, you become instantly more valuable to a potential employer.

If you want to travel, the possibilities as an instructor are endless, from working on a private superyacht in the Mediterranean, to guiding dives on an Indonesian liveaboard or teaching students at a dive centre in the Caribbean. Even if you don’t necessarily want to teach, having your instructor’s qualification makes you stand out from the crowd – putting you at the top of the list for that conservation job or volunteer leader position.

Wherever your instructor’s qualification takes you, you’re guaranteed job satisfaction. Although there will be tough days when the conditions aren’t right or your students are struggling, the opportunity to spend every day in the water is one that should appeal to any diver. Unlike your desk job, nothing is routine. There’s always the potential for the unexpected – whether it’s a rare animal sighting, or simply the excitement of meeting new people as part of your job description.

Above all, being a PADI Instructor gives you a sense of self-worth. The IDC is certainly no walk in the park, and success is something that you can be proud of for years to come. Teaching gives you the chance to pass those feelings on to others, too, and to watch as they experience the magic of the underwater world for the first time. Helping new divers to overcome fears or problems is not only rewarding on a personal level, but could make a real difference in their lives, too.

There are several prerequisites for taking the IDC. You need to have been certified as a diver for at least six months, and must be qualified as a PADI Divemaster by the time of enrolment. You need 60 logged dives to start the course and 100 logged dives to finish it, and you need to have had EFR training within the past 24 months. You’ll also need a statement of medical fitness signed by a physician within the last year.

If you’re interested in changing your life for the better, get in touch today to find out about joining our upcoming IDC on February 9th.

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