View Full Version : Where are the best places to start a scuba career?
February 1st, 2010, 01:43 AM
merged cross posted threads and moved
February 1st, 2010, 02:48 AM
Hey everyone, this is my 1st post and it's long so please be gentle. I love to use the search button and I have read many and your very helpful threads already. Even though most people seem to tell others asking these questions not to do it. If you could go anywhere in the world to start your training for a career in scuba where would you go?
For years I've been a avid snorkeler and last month in Mexico I finally got my PADI OW. Since I was a kid I have loved the water and snorkeling but now I'm truly falling in love with scuba. This is still just an idea that I'm rolling around in my head. I have at least 6 months before I could start any training do to a recent shoulder surgery. Because of the injuries on my shoulders I am forced to sell my company and leave my trade.
Of course I planned to start another business in the future. But before I decide what I want to do with my life I wanted to travel the other 6 continents and take a few years off. The idea of doing something that I love and getting paid for it is something I've always fantasized about. I've done my research and spoke to as many people as I can about the subject. It seems that PADI IDCs and DMs get paid well enough to cover living expenses and a few extra beers. I know they don't make enough to save anything or pay for further travel. If you own the boat and dive operation you can make some decent money. Not to mention you can live in some of the most beautiful places in the world.
Sorry to ramble, back to my question. Where should I start my training? I couldn't start until sometime in July. It has to be somewhere tropical, the kind of place where the class room is outside under palm trees. I'd like to be able to live for around $1500 a month and have a great variety of diving. I prefer quality over quantity so the program must be very reputable with great instructors and personal attention. I'm open to anywhere in the world, I have over 400k FF miles so my options are wide open.
I love the Caribbean, especially Jamaica but I don't know much about the diving centers there. Even though I'm adding another dimension to my adventure around the world, I would like to follow one direction to avoid backtracking. This was the original direction I had in mind:
USA-Jamaica, maybe a few other islands
I will be taking a cruise to Antarctica leaving from Ushuaia, Argentina. I was planning on applying for a WHV in OZ and NZ. Not sure how long I will be spending in all the other countries, I guess however long my visas last. Now I just have to add scuba in somewhere. My basic plan would be to start getting dives and specialty courses under my belt in various locations near North America like Belize and or the Bay Islands. Then keep moving west until I pick somewhere exotic to complete a DM and IDC program. After that I can travel the world as I please and get some work experience. Eventually find the right place, buy a boat and hopefully live the dream. Thanks in advance for any advice and reading all this.
February 1st, 2010, 03:24 AM
As New Zealand is on your list, I will do a shameless plug - it is simply the most beautiful country in the world, and has some world class diving.
Since I moved here 7 years ago, every time I have a dive holiday overseas - I spend most of my time wanting to come home. The diversity of the diving here is unbelievable, whatever it is you are in to you'll find it.
My only word of warning would be to be prepared to stay longer than you plan - I came for a month, still here 7 years on and loving every minute of it. I can also recommend a good instructor for any training that you want to do (shameless plug no 2 - but hey, it's worth a try!).
February 1st, 2010, 04:47 AM
In what way? best place to train? Best place to be put under pressure and rapidly build your certs level? best place to really enjoy the diving and have a slow but steady flow of customers?
February 1st, 2010, 05:44 AM
:rofl3: Underwater :rofl3:
February 1st, 2010, 12:09 PM
Why don't you go some place like Commercial Diving Academy Scuba Diving Careers/Career in scuba diving, Florida scuba diving career instructor training (http://www.divecda.com/) in Flordia (still in the U.S.) and get it done right off the batt, then go tour the world. I also have a hard time trying to figure out how you are going to do all that travel on the typical scuba Instructor's wages.
February 1st, 2010, 01:42 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone. AndyNZ, don't worry, you don't have to plug NZ. I can't wait to get there. I had already planned on getting a WHV and staying for up to a year. My plans were to buy a car when I get there and drive around the country for a few months before I decided on a place to live. I will keep you in mind and if you have any specific tips you'd like to share please feel free to pm me.
Thanks Frogman, underwater was my first guest but I wasn't sure. I am looking for a relaxed beautiful place where I can enjoy my dives and take my time earning my certs. I've looked into and thought about commercial diving but it's just not for me. Not only do I have screws in both shoulders but I don't plan on working for anyone ever again unless I'm doing it to gain experience. I've been the boss for more than 2 years so I'm used to boss freedom and money. I have a large travel budget that I set aside for my around the world trip so I wouldn't be relying on an instructors wages to pay for my travels.
February 1st, 2010, 07:05 PM
So long as grampa or your favorite uncle leaves you a mill, who cares about the location? Otherwise you better get a day job. Lots of people have the same dream and dream it is.
February 1st, 2010, 08:30 PM
The bay islands would be a good place to start, you can live there fairly cheaply, diving is not too expensive, and you might be able to pick up some sort of a job if you need it. There are lots of people kind of in your situation that end up at Coconut tree divers in Roatan or one of the dive centers in Utila. One that I knew at CTD was a military officer just back from a lengthy Iraq deployment and was basically hanging out "decompressing" (pardon the pun) for a year before heading back into real life.
Diving is a great hobby. As a profession, that's probably a different story. Have a great time diving and picking up your certs, don't be too surprised if you decide after a while to just keep diving as a past-time.
February 2nd, 2010, 03:04 PM
Thanks mattboy, the more I read about the Bay Islands, the more I think it may be a good place to start. I can't wait to spend a week on a private island! Who knows where my path will lead, I have no expectations and rely solely on serendipity. All I know is I have been bit the by the scuba bug and the travel bug got me a long time ago. In the end I just want to enjoy my career. So many people wake up every morning dreading their day at work. I've done very well for myself but I'm only 25 so I can't exactly retire. Jobs like a charter boat captain, dive shop owner, guest house owner, adventure tour guide, etc are the types of careers that I am looking at. One thing is for sure, I will be diving the most beautiful sites in the world starting this summer.