Whether you’re already an experienced scuba diver, or a newbie with a passion for diving, you might consider pursuing an exciting career as a certified scuba instructor. A scuba instructor works with new divers on a personal level, teaching the safety and mechanics of scuba diving.

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Becoming a certified scuba instructor isn’t easy and requires proven experience, knowledge, college training courses and certification exams.

Minimum Requirements 

There aren’t any minimum college requirements to become a certified scuba diver, but it will be necessary to complete an instructor class at an accredited college to become a certified instructor. In order to become an instructor, you must be a high school graduate and at least 18 years of age. Additionally, you should be in good health and not have a heart condition or ear problems.

Most importantly, you need to be a good swimmer, experienced and completely comfortable plunging into deep water with aquatic life. If you meet those basic requirements, you’re ready to pursue a career as a scuba instructor. If you’re completely new to scuba diving, you’ll need to start from the beginning and achieve the open water certification first.

Pass an Open Water Course 

Contact a local dive shop and get details about their scuba diving courses. If there isn’t a dive shop nearby, contact the nearest college and see if they offer a scuba class. Dive shops, and scuba classes through a community college, are usually linked with the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), the largest scuba certification agency in the United States.

Taking a scuba course through a dive shop is best because a shop has better training and equipment than a college. If needed, inquire about an open water course and take one if you’re new. During a scuba course, you’ll learn all about diving equipment, identifying defective gear, safety and troubleshooting equipment.

To get the open water scuba certification, you must complete a total of five confined dives, five academic dives and four open water dives. The certification training will take no more than a total of 35 hours to complete. A scuba course includes a mixture of diving, classroom videos and brief testing.

Pass a Scuba Instructor Course 

After achieving the initial first level certification, you will need plenty of scuba experience to purse a career as an instructor. You are required to have 50 and 100 recorded dives to be eligible for an instructor college course. After you have the required experience under your belt, find an accredited college offering a scuba instructor course and pass the required exams to get certified.

Being a scuba diving instructor means you need to dive all the time with new students or experience ones. Some volunteers will also take scuba diving courses to make sure that they can be qualified for some level of rescue programs.