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How much do you earn as an instructor in NZ?

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by jmcd16, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. jmcd16

    jmcd16 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cairns, QLD, OZ
    I've scored a working holiday in NZ -- I'm wondering approximately how much dive instructors make over there. I was earning an hourly rate of about 16-24 (depending on the company) in Australia -- plus commissions. What can I expect from a NZ job if I land one?

    Cheers for the help,
  2. AndyNZ

    AndyNZ Instructor, Scuba

    Hi Jen,

    It depends on where you go, what time of year and so on. Some shops are notioriously bad payers - in fact, some expect their instructors to work for free!!! Go figure!

    It also depends on whether you are working full time or are a part time/casual instructor. I've only ever worked as the latter - generally the pay is comparable, but the conditions aren't always as good as a casual. It's rare to get the courses that run on liveaboard trips, for example.....!

    Typically, a casual instructor will earn somewhere between NZ$100-150 per day. Everywhere I have worked uses either a daily rate or a course rate, rather than hourly. For some courses, the hours in a day aren't enough!! On a big OW course in summer, I would typically start work at 6am getting the boat ready, split my 8 students into two groups, do 2 dives with each group, drive home, wash the boat etc. I'd get home around 8pm. $100 / 14 hours = $7 p/h, less than the minimum wage.

    Some shops now pay a course fee and a per-student top up, e.g. $200 for an OW course plus $50 per student. This is a bit more fair than a daily rate for large courses.

    Commission??? As a casual instructor, not a chance. Even for full timers that would be rare..... also don't expect tips (if you work for a charter), NZ is even less of a tipping culture than Aus.

    When are you thinking of coming over? We are headed in to winter now - a lost of casual work will dry up and the chance of getting a full time job is slim.

    Don't be put off, though - the diving here is spectacular and whilst you wouldn't necessarily earn that much it is a fabulous country to be in. You just need to make sure you shop around and get a position that suits.

    Feel free to drop me a PM if you want some insider info on where and where not to work.
  3. supergaijin

    supergaijin Dive Shop

    Have fun in NZ but don't expect to make too much money!

    Both seasons I worked there I was making around NZ$10 an hour or a flat rate of $115/day. depending on how regularly you're working makes a big difference at the end of the week.

    When the weather closes in you're a bit stuffed unless you're doing courses in a pool/lake. The Pacific is a bit of a beast and the Tasman sea can be fierce as well.

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