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Tipping your dive instructor

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by LawyerScubaGirl, May 6, 2013.

  1. vincent54

    vincent54 Solo Diver

    It absolutely does. One of the reasons Unions were created for workers, was to gain fair wage and thus respect . A good example of money being used to disrespect someone, is the infamous 1 cent tip. So yes, money can be a form of respect or disrespect. Tip until it hurts. Cheers
  2. Austino

    Austino Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: ATL
    You wouldn't happen to be in the Jax/Kings Bay area, would you?
  3. WheelsUSN

    WheelsUSN IDC Staff Instructor

    Yes, I am.
    CharlotteJacket likes this.
  4. Austino

    Austino Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: ATL
    Awesome. I'm from the Kings Bay area (dad was DoD Civil Service at Trident and KB). I think there's a dive shop across from The Crossings (Diver's Den, maybe?) on Kings Bay Road.

    What do you know about the dive shop and trips they offer? I stopped by when I was in town last weekend to say hello and get some info, and they seemed pretty awesome. It'll be a while before I can afford the Spearfishing experience they touted to me, though.
  5. daniel f aleman

    daniel f aleman Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Austin, TX
    Rule: tip anyone who does anything for you in the amount that you would want to be paid if you did it. With that said, if you want to tip an instructor for service beyond that which is included in the course price, put a respectful amount of cash in an envelope, hand it to him/her, and just say thanks.
  6. Mustard Dave

    Mustard Dave Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Manchester, UK
    I cannot comment towards what is the norm where the OP is going but to answer the question, 'what is appropriate?', the answer is nil. An instructor is certifying you to say you have met the standards defined by the agency and in my opinion, taking anything above the stated fees is unethical.

    When I use the services of a dive operator, I generally tip the hired help. I do not tip the owner of a business.

    It depends on the circumstances. I do not tip the checkout girl - it doesn't mean I don't have any respect for her. If I am buying the service of a business, it is their duty to provide a living wage to their employees. If a dive operator pays its staff a pittance, it is the employer showing a lack of respect - not the customer.

    It's interesting you mention trade unions. We all know how poorly paid dive 'professionals' are paid, however, there is no union campaigning on their behalf for a fair wage. Perhaps somebody could set up some sort of organisation? They could name it the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, or something to that effect.
    Seaweed Doc and BDSC like this.
  7. Austino

    Austino Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: ATL
  8. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Replying to an old thread because I found out something interesting today. Our shop does not allow instructors or DMs to accept tips from classes. The interesting part is DMs aren't paid (they get some sort of credit) so they are really just awesome people doing it for the love of diving.
    Angelo Farina likes this.
  9. travlbum

    travlbum Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Bangkok
    i wanted to chime in with my experience in southeast asia and general philosophy.

    the Pros here make very little money and the prices are very cheap for us divers. the way i look at it, the price we are charged doesn’t include pay for the diving staff. in some cases, the service they provide and their experience should provide them a real vocational living wage, at least $40-50/hr. so in some cases i try to make up for that.

    i generally will throw $5-10 into the tip bucket for the support staff. if i’m just doing a day or two of fun diving, or if i’m on a proper trip but am bouncing between DMs then i usually won’t tip. if they have a system for tip sharing i’ll throw in $20 at the end of the trip. in all cases i pay for all drinks for the Pros i dive with, and if we go out to eat we cover their food.

    if i take a course and have a good experience or if i’m on a liveaboard and am assigned a DM who takes care of us, then i will tip 20-40% of the total cost of the trip/course. especially if the Pro has a lot of experience.

    i have tipped $400 on a $1000 liveaboard with an excellent, experienced DM who really looked after us.

    i also discuss how much i’m going to tip with my group before doing so we’re all on the same page. recently took a course and the DMT assisting went above and beyond, so the other students and i decided to pay for the DMT to join us on a rather pricey fun dive.
  10. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    Since the thread is revived, I'll add my usual about DMs assisting courses without pay. IMO they are NOT awesome. They contribute to the situation that rarely do DMs get paid ANYWHERE. Like me deciding to play my clarinet in a group or teach lessons to youngters for free because I'm awesome....Or just because I like music and it's fun--like diving.
    I mentioned on page one I've never seen an instructor get tipped on a course. But I certainly don't think it would be unethical, unless perhaps they are also the shop owner. That leads to all the "Instructor salary" jokes....

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