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Padi costs to the instructor

Discussion in 'Business of Diving Institute' started by Anj1204, May 14, 2017.

  1. Anj1204

    Anj1204 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Navarre Florida
    18
    1
    3
    Hello all,
    I am a newly certified OWSI and I am trying to figure out all the ins and outs of the costs to the Padi Instructor. What have been your best and most economical ways for you to teach ie: do you prefer book and video over elearning, or is it worth it to have the students do the elearning? I feel that for all of the things I have learned, this is the part of IDC they don't really go into depth about.
    I am not affiliated with a shop yet, and not sure how or when I will be. My goals are to retire from the military in the near future and work with wounded veterans through a few different organizations, and then finally get to work with a shop in my area hopefully. That being said, I would like to teach a few courses between now and then and would just like a little more education on the process' .
    Thanks for the help
     
  2. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,635
    17,070
    113
    A lot of what will work best for you depends upon where you live. I live in Colorado, but I spend part of every year in South Florida. The two are as different as night and day in the steps you would be best advised to take. In Colorado, if you want to teach OW students, you almost have no choice but to become an employee of a dive shop. In South Florida, you can easily work as an independent instructor.

    The primary difference is equipment inventory and other overhead considerations. If you are going to teach students, they have to have gear, and you have to get access to pools and to gas fills. In South Florida, there are dive boats and operations looking to rent gear. They all support the independent instructor because they want that instructor's business. The instructor and students can get discounts on gear rental and diving fees all over the place. In inland locations like Colorado with not much local diving, the dive shops do everything in-house and view the rare independent instructor as unnecessary competition. You won't get any rental deals, and you won't get into their pools. If your students are going to have dive equipment for their classes, you are going to have to supply it and maintain it.

    In either case, you have to find students, or rather the students have to find you. That's the nice thing about being a shop employee--you just show up and teach the students they bring you. If you are independent, you have to find them yourself.

    The worst thing about being a store employee is that you get paid diddly squat for what you do. The shop takes nearly all the money in exchange for providing both the students and the overhead. You will make a lot more money per pupil as an independent if you can deal with the overhead costs effectively--a lot more.

    As for the e-learning (etc.) choices, I would not want to limit my options if I were an independent OW instructor. I would take them any way I could get them.

    Finally, if you are really looking to make a living solely as an instructor, well, it can be done, but it isn't easy. In most cases, the people who are making money through scuba (and lots of people are making money through scuba) are doing a lot more than instructing. They are involved in multiple phases of the entire business.
     
  3. Anj1204

    Anj1204 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Navarre Florida
    18
    1
    3
    Thanks for the reply. I will be retiring from the military soon so this will not be my sole source of income by far. In fact, I am really looking at just using my teaching funds to pay the bills for itself ie: pro dues, insurance, and boat payments. Hence the reason for inquiring on least exspensive courses of action to the instructor. Would rather not give all my money away if I can teach it another way. I will be relocating to the panhandle of Florida within the next few months.
    Thanks
     
  4. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,635
    17,070
    113
    I had a students who had military benefits, and he did really, really well. He sought out training programs that worked with those benefits, and most of his training was covered. He went from a beginning diver to a tech diver to an instructor to a commercial diver in only a couple of years.
     
  5. Cap335

    Cap335 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Houston
    457
    227
    43
    If you end up in the panhandle area you need to look into cave diving, you may not want to teach cave for several years if you get your full cave then you would be on a path that would lead to year around income. A lot of cave instructors are not impressed with PADI Cavern you could pick up some cavern students when they come to the coast and it's rough offshore. You said you have or will be getting a boat as soon as you can get your captains licence it adds one more income stream.
     

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