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lozzin
September 8th, 2005, 10:43 PM
about how much an hour does a divemaster or a similar position make?

av8er23
September 8th, 2005, 10:47 PM
somewhere around $2.37 an hour.....jk

I have no idea but I bet it is just enough to get by. I think most of them do it for the enjoyment.

wetrat
September 8th, 2005, 10:51 PM
Not sure about working as a divemaster on a boat. But my son is looking into being a commercial diver/welder. This is what the American Welding Society says....

An average salary vs. grade index would be interesting to look at if there were one, but the truth of the matter is that salaries for welder-divers cover a wide range. We know some welder-divers earn $15,000 per year while others earn in excess of $100,000. Because the majority of welder-divers are paid on a project-by-project basis, salaries are subject to the same variables as work availability. In addition, other factors such as depth, dive method and diving environment affect pay rates. The company with whom you gain employment should be able to tell you the salary range you can expect to earn.

av8er23
September 8th, 2005, 10:57 PM
Exactly how dangerous is underwater welding?

mike_s
September 8th, 2005, 11:00 PM
The fact that most DiveMasters who work on dive boats "survive" on customer TIPS should indicate how low they are paid. Maybe the ones who are on liveaboards do a little better, but I assume that's mostly because their room and board is included and that allows them to save more since they aren't spending it on rent, car payment, etc.

wetrat
September 8th, 2005, 11:02 PM
Well,

I was hoping may son would be a sky diving instructor, but he chose the more dangerous profession of underwater welder !

Check out this article av8r: http://www.underwater.com/archives/arch/026.01.shtml

roturner
September 9th, 2005, 02:42 AM
Well,

I was hoping may son would be a sky diving instructor, but he chose the more dangerous profession of underwater welder !

Check out this article av8r: http://www.underwater.com/archives/arch/026.01.shtml


After he's done it for a while you may wish he had decided to become a crash test dummy instead.

As for your income as DM: outside of the big tourist zones your income is usually measured in losses, not profits.

R..

av8er23
September 9th, 2005, 10:56 AM
I think some places pay you with water and ramen noodles..

RonFrank
September 9th, 2005, 11:42 AM
about how much an hour does a divemaster or a similar position make?

I'm not exactly sure what an INSTUCTOR makes, but at our LDS here are some numbers.

So out of 27 *professionals* at this LDS

8 work FT (or own) the LDS on TOP of teaching. So not ONE is JUST Instructing as they all have other FT responsibilities.
19 Have FT jobs outside of the diving industry.

To sum it up, not ONE of the 27 instructors at this LDS actually make a FT living through just instruction, however 8 are FT in the Diving Industry.

To be fair, we are land Locked.

gangrel441
September 9th, 2005, 12:15 PM
I'm not exactly sure what an INSTUCTOR makes, but at our LDS here are some numbers.

So out of 27 *professionals* at this LDS

8 work FT (or own) the LDS on TOP of teaching. So not ONE is JUST Instructing as they all have other FT responsibilities.
19 Have FT jobs outside of the diving industry.

To sum it up, not ONE of the 27 instructors at this LDS actually make a FT living through just instruction, however 8 are FT in the Diving Industry.

To be fair, we are land Locked.

Related question, then...a DM working through an LDS assisting courses and teaching refreshers on the side, working a non-industry full time job: how often would one need to teach in order to break even financially with professional insurance premiums and other related costs? Then same question, except substitute "instructor" for "dm".

Edit: Got here from the hot topics menu, and just noticed this is in "Women's Views". Any particular reason?

Louie
September 9th, 2005, 12:19 PM
about how much an hour does a divemaster or a similar position make?

Depends on where you are and who you work for.

For example, if you work on a posh resort or liveaboard - you can make reasonable tips.

But there are those places where dive pros are dime a dozen and DMs will find it difficult to find even menial work. I noticed this in Northern Australia where instructors clean toilets and scrub floors. DMs work for the privilege of free dives - yep, a bad deal but there's enough takers to keep the industry going.

My last place of work (Thailand), the going rate for DMs were about $15.00 Cdn per day.

Don't ring up your local dive shop and ask them: they'll just try to sell you the IDC.

sharky60
September 9th, 2005, 01:01 PM
Exactly how dangerous is underwater welding?


Fairly dangerous, think about it, your doing underwater construction in usually little to no visability. You usually have to make the dive regardless of weather conditions because a ship sinking or not may depend on it. It's hard work and not as glamorous as it sounds.

The main dangers are physical health, you can work long hours with lots of decompression. This makes you old really fast. In the old days they used to just bend you and throw you into a decompression chamber. I'm sure nowdays it's a lot safer than it was 20 years ago when I was thinking about doing it, but it's still a hard physically demanding job.

At that time they paid $28/hr. and you got paid for a full day as long as you got in water at least up to your waist. In other words, if for some reason the dive got canceled early on you still got paid for the full day. Lots of overtime and double time and half for holiday work. Pretty good gig, but the physical toll on your body may or may not be worth it.

I was going to become a Navy hard hat diver and the training included 2 1/2 years of welding school and 2 years of hard hat training. I went to Pearl Harbor to take the test and got to dive the MKXII hard hat system. I decided that I didn't want to make a career out of the Navy, so I didn't follow through with it.

There are several hard hat schools througout the country, I don't think their programs are as long as the Navy's but they also may not be as involved either.

Ron Brandt
September 9th, 2005, 01:42 PM
about how much an hour does a divemaster or a similar position make?

Divemasters and instructors for the most part do it for love of the sport. Personally,I have made very good tips doing some freelance work while on vacation. I do not get paid from the LDS owner that I personally work with. He is the only full time owner/instructor in the city. There are some good perks though.

He personally does commercial work,and a group of use often assist. He gets paid VERY Well ! Most is work is on intake systems for dams farm yards and golf courses.. Vehicle recovery also(under ice) pays extreamly well.

Most people perceive welding as the primary commercial task but that is far from the truth. Most is actually nuts and bolts work as well as salvage operations.

Ron

Ron Brandt
September 9th, 2005, 01:51 PM
Divemasters and instructors for the most part do it for love of the sport. Personally,I have made very good tips doing some freelance work while on vacation. I do not get paid from the LDS owner that I personally work with. He is the only full time owner/instructor in the city. There are some good perks though.

He personally does commercial work,and a group of use often assist. He gets paid VERY Well ! Most is work is on intake systems for dams farm yards and golf courses.. Vehicle recovery also(under ice) pays extreamly well.

Most people perceive welding as the primary commercial task but that is far from the truth. Most is actually nuts and bolts work as well as salvage operations.

Ron

I forgot to mention that a friend of mine in Coz pays his DM's and boat captains very well compaired to the average wage earner there plus tips.

Ron

Shawn95
September 9th, 2005, 02:21 PM
To sum it up, not ONE of the 27 instructors at this LDS actually make a FT living through just instruction, however 8 are FT in the Diving Industry.




Maybe thats because there are 27 instructors. We have the same issue in our shop with about 9 instructors.

Scuba65
September 9th, 2005, 02:33 PM
My older brother is a u/w welder for the navy. He loves his job..even though he doesn't do it that much u/w anymore since he's getting too old he say's. but, he still does it and he likes it alot. ya, it can be dangerous. and i don't know how much he makes either.

papps953
September 9th, 2005, 02:42 PM
I ran into a guy in his mid 30's who was getting out of it. He told me many of the people he started with were dead from accidents on the job.

Bill

mike_s
September 9th, 2005, 02:43 PM
I'm not exactly sure what an INSTUCTOR makes, but at our LDS here are some numbers.

So out of 27 *professionals* at this LDS

8 work FT (or own) the LDS on TOP of teaching. So not ONE is JUST Instructing as they all have other FT responsibilities.
19 Have FT jobs outside of the diving industry.

To sum it up, not ONE of the 27 instructors at this LDS actually make a FT living through just instruction, however 8 are FT in the Diving Industry.

To be fair, we are land Locked.


Colorado (being a non ocean state) has a shop large enough to
employ 27 instructors/dive-professionals? wow....

If I had to guess, would this be A-1 scuba?

tedtim
September 9th, 2005, 03:15 PM
Divemasters and instructors for the most part do it for love of the sport. Personally,I have made very good tips doing some freelance work while on vacation. I do not get paid from the LDS owner that I personally work with. He is the only full time owner/instructor in the city. There are some good perks though.

Ron

I too do the DM work because I enjoy it. It also allows me to go back to the basics of the skills rather than just go diving. So, in a way working with an instructor on a course is a skills refresher.

My LDS does offer some perks. They offer equivalent credit at the store for the amount it costs for the insurance and a much better price on equipment. Aslo, as a DM for a course I don't have to pay for the charter.

Ron Brandt
September 10th, 2005, 05:17 AM
I too do the DM work because I enjoy it. It also allows me to go back to the basics of the skills rather than just go diving. So, in a way working with an instructor on a course is a skills refresher.

My LDS does offer some perks. They offer equivalent credit at the store for the amount it costs for the insurance and a much better price on equipment. Aslo, as a DM for a course I don't have to pay for the charter.

I wish I could get my insurance paid for.....

If you are a real DM with a number you are entitled to "Key Man Pricing" most if not all manufactures offer this and is NOT a store perk !! You have earned this.

Ron

xSandman3
September 10th, 2005, 11:09 AM
Related question, then...a DM working through an LDS assisting courses and teaching refreshers on the side, working a non-industry full time job: how often would one need to teach in order to break even financially with professional insurance premiums and other related costs? Then same question, except substitute "instructor" for "dm".

DMs at my LDS (very large multi-store sporting goods chain) are actually paid by the instructor when assisting with classes, etc., usually around $20.00 per student diver. They also get boat charters paid for, and pro deals throughout the store, not just on scuba stuff. The biggest perk is that the store pays your liability insurance as long as you are renewed and current.

Basically, it's enough to cover expenses and dive for free.

mason
September 10th, 2005, 12:24 PM
This might be a dumb newbie question, but, I'm guessing the costs of the courses and dives to obtain DM is pretty expensive, along with the time it takes, and then since a DM, in essence, only works for the privilage of free diving, do most, in retrospect, just wish they'd spent all that time and money on resort diving instead?

mason
September 10th, 2005, 12:29 PM
I'm asking because I retire in a couple of years, and was saving for one of the IDC things, and trying to break into the industry. I was hoping this would be a second income, but if I'm probably going to have to get another job anyway for a real second income (college for my girls), would I be better off just enjoying the money saved for IDC on resort diving?

xSandman3
September 10th, 2005, 03:35 PM
This might be a dumb newbie question, but, I'm guessing the costs of the courses and dives to obtain DM is pretty expensive, along with the time it takes, and then since a DM, in essence, only works for the privilage of free diving, do most, in retrospect, just wish they'd spent all that time and money on resort diving instead?
The total is pushing 2 grand or so to get from Rescue to OWSI, including instructional materials. I'd say it depends on your personal situation. 2 grand for one person may be nothing, but could be a large amount for another.

papps953
September 10th, 2005, 03:58 PM
Instructors at my LDS are paid by the student. In the summer months they will have enough students to cover costs and make up for winter months. During the winter they usually do not have enough students to make any money, if they can cover their costs.

Bill

cnctina
September 10th, 2005, 04:38 PM
When I was a dive guide 20 years ago I did it for free diving and free air. Back then it was $35 for a two tank dive with air. so I suppose I was paid $35 per trip. I think some people get the dive guide and dive master jobs confused.

Iruka
September 10th, 2005, 05:38 PM
It varies a lot by region, of course, as well as varying by individual dive shop. Here on Guam, when everything's going well economically and there are plenty of tourists, instructors can make decent money. Most of this would be through the "intro" diver traffic (like PADI Discover Scuba.) Normally DMs can not lead intro groups unless they go through an extra short bit of training, so the numbers here refer mostly to instructors. A lot of instructors prefer to do intro diving....the reason is that they can do 1~4 dives per day, and a ballpark figure would be $100~120 for 2 dives (maybe work 7AM to 1PM) and close to $200 or even more for 4 dives (work about 7AM to 5 or 6PM). So, it's decent pay for intro diving, but it's not as interesting (limited sites, max depth 12m/40') and more stressful (a lot higher "panic" percentage) than boat diving. For boat diving, however, the going rate here is $100 for 2 dives....which would be about 7AM to 2 or 3PM. So, for the (to quote Tom Cruise, for whom I'm constantly mistaken, ha ha) "show me the money" instructors, they prefer to do beach intros all the time, because they'll generally make more money. (If they work on the boat in the morning doing "regular" boat divers, they're usually not available to do any of those PM intro dives, thereby missing out on another $100 or so.

So, busy season, a reliable, popular instructor/guide can make decent money. I've know some who've worked...oh....30 days or so in a row because they're in demand. I should have mentioned I'm mostly referring to the "on call" instructors, who work as needed for any shop that will take them. If it's a full time, ie. employed directly by only one shop, they make less per day (maybe $100 or so for a full day, no matter how many dives they do) but are usually guaranteed a salary, even during slow seasons. I know some instructors who have been offered that sort of employment, but they (if they can keep busy) might make the same amount of $ in 2 or 3 weeks, with more scheduling freedom as an "independent" than working a month as a regular employee. The big drawback is, when they tourists don't show up (post typhoon, SARS in Asia, whatever) these independent instructors aren't needed, and might not get any work.

That's sort of the basics here in working with tourists, primarily...I'm not as familiar with what people make when mostly teaching locals and/or military. Instructors probably make the best money if they can independently teach a group to dive....but that's not real regular work.

del_mo
September 10th, 2005, 05:47 PM
Another newbie question...the liability insurance spoken of I assume is scuba specific. Not to be confused with a liability umbrella policy. Typically, if there is such a thing, what would this insurance cost per year?

gangrel441
September 12th, 2005, 12:31 PM
DMs at my LDS (very large multi-store sporting goods chain) are actually paid by the instructor when assisting with classes, etc., usually around $20.00 per student diver. They also get boat charters paid for, and pro deals throughout the store, not just on scuba stuff. The biggest perk is that the store pays your liability insurance as long as you are renewed and current.

Basically, it's enough to cover expenses and dive for free.


Thanks. Enough to cover expenses and dive free is good enough for my plans. Full time job covers the income side. Just want to make sure I don't get DM and wind up making an already expensive pastime even more expensive.

Looks like I am probably going to do DM as an internship with a local club. Won't cost as much for the course, but won't get in-store perks because no LDS. Might have to see if I can get a break with any local charter operators for doing freelance DM work on their boats. Whole point of this pursuit is to find excuses to get wet more often, right? ;)

riddler
September 12th, 2005, 01:42 PM
I work as a DM in a land-locked state. I lose money teaching and DMing.

outback
September 12th, 2005, 02:01 PM
Another newbie question...the liability insurance spoken of I assume is scuba specific. Not to be confused with a liability umbrella policy. Typically, if there is such a thing, what would this insurance cost per year?
Current rates via PADI are

DM & Assistant Instructor $315
Instructor $588

These rates are for US based professionals or for those training US citizens outside the US - insurance rates for other countries are cheaper. This is US litigation hell at work.

It is possible to get cheaper insurance, I'm insured through my LDS for about $90, but it means that I'm tied to working only for them, which to me isn't a problem at the moment. They get cheaper rates because they're buying in bulk.The insurance looks equivalent to PADI.

DivemasterWill
September 12th, 2005, 09:33 PM
Thanks. Enough to cover expenses and dive free is good enough for my plans. Full time job covers the income side. Just want to make sure I don't get DM and wind up making an already expensive pastime even more expensive.

Looks like I am probably going to do DM as an internship with a local club. Won't cost as much for the course, but won't get in-store perks because no LDS. Might have to see if I can get a break with any local charter operators for doing freelance DM work on their boats. Whole point of this pursuit is to find excuses to get wet more often, right? ;)

The question of breakeven really has to include what value you put on your time. DMing is more than just being at the pool / checkout dives / leading a group on a dive. You're there before class, you're there during the classroom sessions, you grade the papers, then you get to load the gear up and drive to the pool / open water site / shore and jump in. A lot of weekends when I've staffed, I've gotten to the shop at 7 am, and gotten home at 4 pm. At the end of that day, I've probably made somewhere on the order of $20.00. Take gas off that at $3 or so a gallon, and there's not much money there.

The upside, you can make some coin on scuba reviews - one LDS at which I worked actually had the people doing the review pay the DM directly. Doing that, there were weekends where $500.00 was not out of the question.

At the end of the day, it all depends on how the shop you work with will compensate you. You'll likely be able to cover your insurance costs, and make a few bucks on top of it. Hopefully you'll make enough for your accountant to tell you it's ok to write off your mileage against what you make, so you can net out to zero or a minimal profit for tax purposes. But DMing is not going to make you any appreciable money. You should do it because you want to help people learn how to dive and because you love it. If those aren't your motivations, you may want to reconsider.

~Will

BurBunny
September 12th, 2005, 11:54 PM
Colorado (being a non ocean state) has a shop large enough to
employ 27 instructors/dive-professionals? wow....

If I had to guess, would this be A-1 scuba?

The surprising thing is that Colorado, a land-locked state, has the highest number of certified divers, per capita, in the nation, and the third highest overall. Lots of dive shops here, and VERY competitve.

almitywife
September 13th, 2005, 12:51 AM
for the first time in 7 years, hubby's tax accountant tells us he actually made money this year! damm... will have to some new gear to depreciate to get a tax break

when hubby was a DM, all he got was free fills and boat dives but only when on course - so it ended up he was working a full weekend for about $4.37 per hour in goods before you take into account wear and tear on gear, fuel, insurance etc.

hubby became an instructor, and loves it, but he cant make a living on it, well - not the living we currently live that is. but then again, he didnt become an instructor to make money either.

gangrel441
September 13th, 2005, 10:21 AM
At the end of the day, it all depends on how the shop you work with will compensate you. You'll likely be able to cover your insurance costs, and make a few bucks on top of it. Hopefully you'll make enough for your accountant to tell you it's ok to write off your mileage against what you make, so you can net out to zero or a minimal profit for tax purposes. But DMing is not going to make you any appreciable money. You should do it because you want to help people learn how to dive and because you love it. If those aren't your motivations, you may want to reconsider.

~Will

And that was what I was looking for. I don't care if it makes me $0. What I am worried about is becomming a DM and having my insurance costs mean that diving with added responsibilities and more experience costs more than it does now with my MSD cert. I can live with putting in a 7 hour day without pay (for all practical purposes) diving with and helping to instruct newbies...I do that for fun now. ;)

Just an added note for some insight: I have been teaching karate for over a decade. Never made a dime doing it, and still pay tuition to my dojo without complaint. Whether I was instructing or not, I would still be there and still paying tuition. I just wouldn't be happy if I found out when I became an instructor that my tuition rate went from $50/month to the special intrcutor rate of $80/month. See my point?

RonFrank
September 13th, 2005, 11:04 AM
Related question, then...a DM working through an LDS assisting courses and teaching refreshers on the side, working a non-industry full time job: how often would one need to teach in order to break even financially with professional insurance premiums and other related costs? Then same question, except substitute "instructor" for "dm".

Edit: Got here from the hot topics menu, and just noticed this is in "Women's Views". Any particular reason?

The first question I can not answer other than to say that the Instructors I know get their insurance, CRP certs, and other requirments paid through the LDS. In general the Instructors at our LDS are fairly busy. They teach at LEAST two full weekends a month, and four to eight weeknights per month as well. This varies based on student load. That may not sound like a lot, but on top of a FT job, you bet.

Most instructors and above I KNOW make cash on the side. But I think the real perk for them is that most go on at least two big Dive Trips a year paid in full via the LDS. These trips are to places like Fiji, so big money trips for those instructors who have the seniority, and work hard.

DM's are not generally well paid in our Area. If you are a DM here, you are doing it on the way to becoming an Instructor. I'm not sure they even get paid other than free air fills, and trips to the Crater and Blue hole paid. They may get discounts on REAL dive trips, but they still pay.

I do NOT think the LDS pays their costs for being a DM, but I could be wrong about that. At our LDS, if you are not an Instructor or better, you are really not bread and butter. Often the DM's assisting on OW training are NOT DM's but DM's in training and they are not even comped for their expenses, so they are PAYING the LDS to aid in OW instruction. :11:

The two DM's in training that were assisting our OW class drove down in their own cars, and were complaining about gas and hotel prices, so I KNOW they were paying the costs.

IMO there is little point in stopping at the DM level as ANY AI, or Instructor will beat you out of any potential job every time.

gangrel441
September 13th, 2005, 11:22 AM
The first question I can not answer other than to say that the Instructors I know get their insurance, CRP certs, and other requirments paid through the LDS. In general the Instructors at our LDS are fairly busy. They teach at LEAST two full weekends a month, and four to eight weeknights per month as well. This varies based on student load. That may not sound like a lot, but on top of a FT job, you bet.

Most instructors and above I KNOW make cash on the side. But I think the real perk for them is that most go on at least two big Dive Trips a year paid in full via the LDS. These trips are to places like Fiji, so big money trips for those instructors who have the seniority, and work hard.

DM's are not generally well paid in our Area. If you are a DM here, you are doing it on the way to becoming an Instructor. I'm not sure they even get paid other than free air fills, and trips to the Crater and Blue hole paid. They may get discounts on REAL dive trips, but they still pay.

I do NOT think the LDS pays their costs for being a DM, but I could be wrong about that. At our LDS, if you are not an Instructor or better, you are really not bread and butter. Often the DM's assisting on OW training are NOT DM's but DM's in training and they are not even comped for their expenses, so they are PAYING the LDS to aid in OW instruction. :11:

The two DM's in training that were assisting our OW class drove down in their own cars, and were complaining about gas and hotel prices, so I KNOW they were paying the costs.

IMO there is little point in stopping at the DM level as ANY AI, or Instructor will beat you out of any potential job every time.

Good info. Thanks Ron!

I, too, see DM as a stop on the way to becoming AI, then instructor. But since neither of those is in my immediate future, the costs of being a DM are what are crucial for me to understand now...

wreckchick
September 13th, 2005, 12:17 PM
I can't speak for the landlocked, but in tourist destination, being an instructor can net you a nice pile of cash in season. There is the wrinkle of off-season, however. The good news is you can pick up another job to see you through the winter or move to another area where it is season and basically globetrot your way around. This is pretty impractical for some people, but the single and unencumbered could easily find it a great way to see the world.

Another wrinkle on the DM card, I got mine because I was already supervising divers and needed the liability insurance to feel comfortable and it's not available for the boat mate who just dives.

Rachel

P.S. I got my DM for free plus books, but that was because I was pretty much a slave to my instructor during training.

gangrel441
September 13th, 2005, 01:43 PM
Rachel

P.S. I got my DM for free plus books, but that was because I was pretty much a slave to my instructor during training.

Yet another reason to become an instructor... :D


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