Tip for OW classes?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by wahooinit, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. wahooinit

    wahooinit Single Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Texas
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    My girlfriend is getting certified and her instructor told them to tip the DM 20% of the course fee on the last day. Thats $60. She told me the DM has done nothing other than bring water to the dive. The OW dives are at a local pond about an acre in size and there are only 6 in the class.

    This seems a little strange to me. I worked as a DM through college and never got tipped on OW classes...
     
  2. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

    # of Dives:
    Location: Woodinville, WA
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    As a DM who assists in OW classes, I think that instructor has done something lovely.

    Maybe the students feel that the DM has only brought water. But is there an entrance fee for the site? The DMs have probably paid it themselves. Did the DMs help out in the pool? I'll bet they weren't paid for that. Did the DMs schlep gear for the students or instructors? Are they keeping records, and helping students put their gear together, and keeping a weather eye on things that aren't assembled right or that might cause trouble?

    Even the shore support DMs give up a day of their time to help. The students might not recognize all the things they do, and probably don't realize that it's likely that no one but the primary instructor for the class is getting any recompense for being involved.

    My husband encourages his students to tip the DMs. I don't care if they tip me, because I'm working on an agreement with my husband. But I think it's awfully nice to do something to recognize the other volunteers, whether it's money or a small gift or even a card.
     
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  3. Slater

    Slater Barracuda

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    When I recently took ow, dm went along on every cert dive & was there to overlook things for your safety while instructor focused on required drills.
    Thats not, "dm did nothing"
    Yes, I didnt tip but I didnt know any better..
    Just took advanced open water with same instructor & dm, we opted for a weekend at Catalina instead of boring La Jolla..
    I tipped both the instructor & dm as this to me wasnt just an ordinary class, if that makes any sense..
    They suggested, cordinated hotel, ferry, dinner plans, golf cart, ect...
    It wasnt by no means 20%, just a gesture of appreciation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
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  4. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    3,364
    526
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    I can think of couple of reasons why the instructor will require an extra pair of hands.
    1. Because he needs him in situation where he can't physically handle it.
    2. Part of the course for the dm candidate.
    When the class is more than couple of students, a smart instructor will always seek assistance just in case.
    I do not agree why the ow student has to tip the dm even though he is there to assist them.

    The instructor should had made it clear in the beginning of the course rather than on the last day!!!!
     
  5. ScubaBB

    ScubaBB Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Croatia
    640
    47
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    IMHO a diveschool/instructor gets paid to give a course. If a DM is needed to assist in giving this course, most likely because of the number of students, the diveschool/instructor should pay the DM for his work. The costs of this should be included in the price for the course. So like Centrals stated, asking for extra money at the end of the course is not appropiate.
     
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  6. Nitro91

    Nitro91 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Sydney, Australia
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    different for each country, i know in the USA, tipping is very common. tipping barely happens in australia, only in restaurants or cabs.
     
  7. Doc Harry

    Doc Harry Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Appalachia
    3,301
    547
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    $300 for OW certification?

    That's rather cheap, and no where near proper compensation for the time and energy that the instructor and DM have invested.
     
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  8. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood MSDT Staff Member

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canmore, Alberta
    6,043
    1,194
    113
    The instructor should pay the DM.

    Telling students (or anyone for that matter) they must tip and how much to to tip is not right.

    It is a different matter for the instructor to let the students know about all the work the DM has done (as TSandM stated) and encourage that the DM will welcome any show of appreciation.

    As a DM I did not get a lot of "tips". The occasional beer, sometimes a bit of cash, but the thanks and a round of handshakes and claps was most appreciated.

    I did work with some instructors who paid me a percentage of their instructor fees - that is the model that I now follow. After all, who asks the DM to help - the Instructor.

    My comments are in context of the the location of the OP and our tipping conventions in the US and Canada.
     
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  9. thirdcoastdiver

    thirdcoastdiver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Northern United States
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    I have tipped for all of my courses. In my courses,the DM didn't do anything,but every time I looked up he was hovering nearby....ready in case I needed help. it was very reassuring.
     
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  10. EastEndDiver

    EastEndDiver Photographer

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Long Island NY
    1,366
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    Being TOLD to tip a certain amount by the person who "hired" the DM is somewhat absurd.The Instructor should pay the DM if he feels so strongly about him receiving $60. per student or suggest tipping whatever amount a student decides on their own.

    Here in NY every Deli or corner store you go into they have a "Tip" cup on the counter it is ridiculous.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
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  11. Kourtjestr

    Kourtjestr Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Maine
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    I can't comment much on the tipping of the DM, as my OW class was a 1:1 with the instructor due to his inability to find other interested students in October in Maine. I will say, however, that even though I paid him for his time, I felt the class was so worthwhile and he did such a great job that I ended up tipping him in the form of a thank you gift (diving related, of course!) for everything he did. Not saying this is the way to go, either, but I felt it was a necessary gesture in my case.
     
  12. wahooinit

    wahooinit Single Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Texas
    3
    1
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    She is going to tip. Seems fair I guess.
     
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  13. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Murphy Cove, Nova Scotia (Eastern Shore-Atlantic)
    6,797
    996
    113
    My views on this are known. Hope to DM soon myself, but still feel:
    --Shop, not Instructor should pay DMs--not talking about tips
    --It was nice for the DM that the Instructor mentioned the 20%, but that's like a restaurent including the gratuity.
    It could be a little offensive to ask the student for another $60. Maybe a suggestion of a tip for good work would be more appropriate. As stated, tipping varies in countries, but a tip should be something the student thinks of or decides on.
    --In classes I've taken or DMCd I have never seen a tip at our shop.
     
  14. black_sea

    black_sea Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Tenerife
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    I think it is not proper to tip in a class environment - you paid for the class. Any and all expenses have to be discussed upfront before they ask you to pay for the class.
    During fun dives, tipping is up to you.
     
  15. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood MSDT Staff Member

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canmore, Alberta
    6,043
    1,194
    113
    Does the shop require DM's (as Certified Assistants, not talking about DMCs) to work with an Instructor during their classes? If so, I agree the shop should pay both.

    However, if an Instructor asks the DM to help, that shouldn't be the shop's issue, but rather the Instructor's issue.
     
  16. Nwcid

    Nwcid Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: NE WA
    394
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    As an instructor I guess I dont understand this. When I teach classes (medical stuff) I have a price for the class which covers all my cost including "helpers". My job (that I was hired for) is to give them the best information and hands on training to help them pass the class. Tips are not for doing ones job. Tips are for people who go above and beyond expectations. I would never dream of accepting tips for my classes but I have got cards and that is very much appreciated. Also the fact of knowing students pass there classes is the reward.

    Now if I was going way out of my way and putting in lots of extra time outside of class or similar I would consider taking compensation for that since that is not part of the actual class.


    BTW: PADI OW averages $300 around here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  17. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    3,364
    526
    113
    It is too good to be truth!!
    The instructor should know what to charge in the beginning!! I believe he has to "honour" his original quote even if he is losing money. He learnt his lesson and charge more next time.
    $60.00 as tip for the dm in this case is absurd.
     
  18. wahooinit

    wahooinit Single Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Texas
    3
    1
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    Well she tipped so no hurt feelings to you working DMs. But, surprise fees after a person has started a class does nothing but make that person feel like they were taken advantage of. We will be taking our business elsewhere from here on out. The fee almost doubled by the end of the course.
     
  19. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver Tech Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    13,799
    6,258
    113
    I never quite understand the US 'tip culture', where tips are seen as obligatory and can form part of staff's predicted earnings. I see a tip as something given voluntarily, if the service is above and beyond the what you expect (and have paid for).

    I wish I could "demand" 20%... or any anything... from my customers, it'd have a major impact on my income and subsequent quality of life. I rarely/occasionally get a tip circa 5-10%, but most customers prefer to buy a few beers or a meal. Personally, I'm just glad to get that feedback that they've enjoyed the course and value the effort I put into it.
     
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  20. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Murphy Cove, Nova Scotia (Eastern Shore-Atlantic)
    6,797
    996
    113
    Agree completely. If the ratios dictate there must be a cert. assistant the shop should pay the DM. If not, and the shop doesn't pay, the Instructor should pay his DM. It would say a lot for instructor, who would pay out of his/her own pocket to improve the class.
     

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