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Tech training advice

Discussion in 'Technical Diving Specialties' started by divefordays, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. divefordays

    divefordays Angel Fish

    Hello everyone,

    I have been keen on getting into tech for quite awhile now and would like some advice as I plan. Some details about me. I have been diving 6 years now and have ~1300. Most of these were working as a DM in the Philippines and doing reef surveys. I am currently located in Guam doing my masters in coral transcriptomics and would like to pursue a PhD studying mesophotic coral population genetics. There are very few scientists in the world doing this level of diving and I need to be one of the next ones! I would like to get as much Tech training done as possible so that I am a competitive applicant to some of these top notch research labs. I would likely do my training in the Philippines as I know there are some great instructors and courses are usually pretty cheap. As a graduate student in biology, my budget is limited to say the least. I would like to try to bundle some of these tech courses and save some cash. Are there major differences in the tech course prices between agencies like there can be for rec? Is this mainly a function of the specific dive shop?

  2. leadduck

    leadduck Barracuda

    The instructor effectively charges you for his time and hence course prices strongly correlate with the number of dives, number of training days, classroom hours, required for the class. Gas costs are the same, books, and agency fees differ a little but not so much. Some agencies split courses into smaller packages and so it looks cheaper. You can expect a 3 day class to be about 25% cheaper than a 4 day class in general even across levels and agencies.

    So when you compare course prices between agencies such as GUE vs TDI vs PADI, then always sum up all the courses you need to take to achieve the level you want, and consider how many training dives/days/... you'll get for your money. Then you'll see that some still charge a premium but not as much as you might think, and that some very experienced instructors don't charge more than average per day.
    divefordays likes this.
  3. almostDIR

    almostDIR Barracuda

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Finland
    I am not a tech diver (yet) but most people will want to know your target depth and dive lenghts before answering how much would probably be enough and which courses could be easily bundled and at which point you would need a practicing period before advancing further. If talking about deep scientific diving you may for example need a rebreather and training for it but it might necessitate doing OC hypoxic trimix training first.

    a normal approach is to first do "deep" like 40m or so on regular air with light deco on 50%. then doing the same with light rec trimix on depths less than about 50m. then normoxic trimix up to 60m and then hypoxic close to 100m. then rebreather if needed. I have understood that the deep air light deco + light trimix + normoxic trimix is pretty common to combine to a one course but after it one needs practice before advancing to hypoxic to manage the added risks.

    aaand helium is pretty expensive in most parts of the world which will add to the price tag of your training (here in Finland the only local manufacturer of scuba grade helium gives huge discounts for scuba diving purposes which shifts the OC vs. Rebreather price difference a lot and makes trimix diving more possible here)
    divefordays likes this.
  4. QLD_Diver

    QLD_Diver Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Queensland, Australia
    There are some great instructors located in Guam as an option if you wanted to save money on travel. The best piece of advice I was given when starting down the tech path was you need three things: be physically ready, mentally prepared and third was financially ready. It gets expensive and tech and budget don't often go together. Just my two cents.
    divefordays and almostDIR like this.
  5. almostDIR

    almostDIR Barracuda

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Finland
    the deco obligation is a big difference to regular diving. past 45 or 50m there is pretty much no point to try to stay within NDL limit because your bottom time would be only some minutes maximum. no point to go there in the first place without accelerated decompression
  6. taimen

    taimen ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Europe
    I would try to contact people in the scientific diving community for advice on what kind of prior training they expect. With your strong diving resume you should already be a strong candidate. If someone is looking to hire a diving scientist, they may want to train you by themself for the type of diving done. Recreational tech ratings do not necessarily translate to professional scientific diving anyway.
    rjack321, Lorenzoid and divefordays like this.

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