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Major career change !

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by jonhoodpms, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. jonhoodpms

    jonhoodpms Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Fort Myers, Florida
    9
    0
    0
    Hi,
    I have (in the past 3 years) made some major life changes ! I have left a good paying job in Louisiana, moved to Fort Myers Florida, bought a Home watch, handyman, cleaning business, and sold that business in March of this year.
    I have always loved diving and considered getting my instructor license 10 years ago, but didn't because there were only 2 dive shops where I was and both were family owned.

    Now, I am 52 years old and would like to get an instructors license but I am worried I may have a tough time getting a job because of my age - any thoughts or recommendations would be greatly appreciated! :wink:
     
  2. MrChen

    MrChen Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Stuart, Florida
    1,064
    679
    113
    My instructor was probably in the upper 50's. I'd say you probably need more dive experience though, a lot more before you could be an effective instructor.
     
  3. GrandpaScuba

    GrandpaScuba Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Seattle, Puget Sound
    831
    54
    0
    Age isn't a problem. If you are fit enough to pass the course. But experience is important. Most instructors that I know don't teach to make money. Most teach because it's fun. As they say... "The way to make a small fortune in the Scuba business is to start out with a large fortune." In our area, scuba instructors are paid very poorly. All the Scuba stores are fighting to be the "cheapest scuba class in town" and it means the instructors get paid very little and DM's don't get paid at all.
     
  4. Dirty-Dog

    Dirty-Dog Frequently Censored ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Pueblo West, CO, USA
    1,989
    1,008
    113
    Your age shouldn't really be a problem. The fact that you have less than 50 dives, however...
     
  5. GrandpaScuba

    GrandpaScuba Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Seattle, Puget Sound
    831
    54
    0
    I don't know about PADI, but in SSI 50 dives doesn't meet the minimum requirements to take the ITC.

    For SSI you must have at least 75 logged dives with a minimum of 50 hours bottom time to start the ITC. Before you can be certified as an instructor, you must have at least 100 dives with a minimum of 65 hours of bottom time.
     
  6. Dirty-Dog

    Dirty-Dog Frequently Censored ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Pueblo West, CO, USA
    1,989
    1,008
    113
    That was kind of the point. The idea that you can be an instructor with 100 dives is just silly.


    Sent from an old fashioned 300 baud acoustic modem by whistling into the handset. Really.
     
    JohnN, Diving Dubai and James R like this.
  7. DivemasterDennis

    DivemasterDennis DivemasterDennis ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lakewood, Colorado
    3,530
    1,542
    113
    I agree age is not a disqualifier. Your limited dive experience is. My recommendation- get on at least part time with a shop and while working there go through the progressive training culminating in an instructor certification. Take a while to get it done, meanwhile diving regularly and building up your skills and competence and breadth as a diver. You are old enough to know the difference between being and doing. Being a dive instructor and doing the work of a dive instructor as a vocation are two different things. But if you have the skills, the competence and the credentials, and are willing to assert yourself, you can make a living in the dive industry. You will have to fill tanks, sell masks and snorkels, teach, and run a register, but it can be done. No one will hand you a job or a career, but your can work for it and achieve it. Don't listen to granpascuba. There are about 3 dozen shops in the Puget Sound area. Somebody is making a living, even though the water is a lot colder there than in Florida. . Go for it.
    DivemasterDennis
     
    Blyslv and nolatom like this.
  8. Wetsuit Pirates

    Wetsuit Pirates Angel Fish

    12
    2
    0
    +1 on the more experience required. Most instructors I have had were in their 50s and 60s but they have done hundreds of dives. If you are going to get serious about this career change, I would be in the water as often as possible learning new skills and gaining experience.

    Maybe get some advanced or technical certifications while you work on getting more bottom time as well. Being an instructor is all about the experience so the more you can show, the better chance of you being successful at it.
     
  9. jonhoodpms

    jonhoodpms Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Fort Myers, Florida
    9
    0
    0
    Thank you all for the input!
    I realize my amount of dives are far short of the requirements and that it would take quite a bit of time to achieve the instructor level od certification.
    I have considered attending one of the dive academies in the keys to get through the certifications in about 16 weeks ( i.e. - Halls diving academy)
    Then returning to Fort Myers and trying to work at a dive shop or on a dive boat ( or any other dive related job I could find)
    it is not that I JUST want to be an instructor - I would like to get into the dive business as a whole.
    Any more comments would be great! THANKS AGAIN!
     
  10. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    8,907
    7,272
    113
    Start documenting your time at sea now so you can get your captain’s license in case you want it someday. ATBE, a dive master or an instructor that also holds a USCG Master’s License is more employable than one without.

    Eventually they will change the their web site so the links above will be broken, but you “should” always be able to find them starting here:
    US Coast Guard Home
     

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