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going pro

Discussion in 'SSI: Scuba Schools International' started by Dave Kay, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. Dave Kay

    Dave Kay Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Indiana
    Hi, I recently retired and might want to be a dive master or instructor to enjoy my time off and pass along what I love about diving. What I'm wondering is why people do these 6-8 week internships. Is that required to be a divemaster?? Can I skip all that with just doing SSI training?

    Also, once an instructor, are you expected to help lugging tanks, filling tanks or taking care of the boat, or just do the teaching. I'm no spring chicken any more.

  2. kmarks

    kmarks Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    I did my DM training in SSI about a year and a half ago. There was no internship. I think people just do that for experience because it is not required by SSI standards. My training was three weekends, and one of them was optional (helping out with the pool sessions of a OW course), plus the SSI e-learning. The training for SSI DG/DM and instructors is pretty minimal, really. You don't go over a bunch of new skills or learn new ways of diving because you are required to have taken several courses (Science of Diving) or have the logged experience in those areas (Night and Navigation) as well as have a minimum number of dives and hours under water. It's really more of an evaluation than training. They want to make sure you are going to represent yourself and SSI well and that you have the necessary skills underwater, then they teach you a little about the SSI teaching process.

    What you are required to do depends on who you work with. I live a few miles from the shop and have to drive right past it on my way to the quarry that we do check out dives in, so I tend to haul out the O2, first aid, AED, etc., as well as grab gear for students who can't or forgot to pick it up beforehand. With some exceptions for age and disability, we require students to haul their own gear once we are on the site. I have occasionally filled tanks between classes that I was teaching if we had a lot of students or classes going on simultaneously and swapping without refilling on demand wasn't an option. Otherwise, I just teach - I'm not even required to clean up after my classes. I just have the students drop all of their COVID soaked rental gear (hopefully I'm just joking) into the decon tank and the shop's retail associates take care of the rest.
  3. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    there are some locations that offer an internship for a much lower fee or even free. so basically you are working full time in order to cover the costs. and yes, you will do everything they ask of you. you will be involved in all aspects of the operation.
    you can also just take the required training at your local shop.
    most people will recommend doing your pro training in the area you want to work. so for example, it doesn't make much sense doing your pro training in roatan if you want to work in canada.
    as stated above, obviously the conditions of that job will depend on the employer. make sure you understand what is involved in getting to your pro level, and what is expected of you as a pro. get it in writing.
    my case is a bit unusual in that i worked as an "intern" (intern = free labor) for about 2 years. i was lied to multiple times about how the process worked, how long it would take, and what it would cost. it was a real sh*t show. so this is why i recommend getting everything in writing.
    i am an ssi instructor but in all honesty, i would recommend going through padi if you plan to travel to work. besides.....it is much easier to cross over from padi to ssi if you decide to. not as easy the other way around. although i read recently that this is becoming easier.
    but if you have an ssi shop locally you want to work with, by all means, talk to the owner and see what you can work out.
  4. Dave Kay

    Dave Kay Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Indiana

    Hi thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.

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