Unusual Career Options for Scuba Diving Instructors

Are you thinking about pursuing a career in the diving industry? Do you have a burning passion for diving but are not sure of how to turn it into a sustainable income? Do you love teaching but are not sure if you want to do it full time?


The greatest thing about working in the dive industry is the diversity of jobs and careers which are available if you take into account the many different facets of diving and ancillary services which go alongside them.

Most people who work in diving do so because they are passionate about it. So if you’re thinking about branching out of your current role, or taking on a new one entirely, think about what you enjoy doing and what skills you already have. After you complete your PADI IDC in Bali, the world is literally your oyster and your career possibilities are endless!

Utilising Other PADI Skills

Most PADI Divers have more skills than those they learnt when earning their core certifications. Can you take underwater photographs or video? Are you an excellent navigator, marine species ID expert or a PADI Public Safety diver? All of these additional skills can be turned into potential new careers or even business ideas. Just think how many Open Water students or Discover Scuba Diving participants would love to have underwater photos or video footage of their first dives.

Draw on Your Existing Skills

Most people have more skills than what they include on their diving CV’s because they don’t think they are applicable – but it’s not true! Dive instructors need to be versatile so it’s important to draw on ALL skills that you have. If you think about what you enjoy most (apart from diving) and combine your skills you will find there is a plethora of opportunities in the industry beyond simply teaching PADI Courses. Here are some examples of skill combinations and ways to diversify within the field of scuba diving…


So many divers travel for diving vacations and they all need somewhere to stay. If you enjoy, or have experience in hospitality, there are vast number of hospitality positions available in dive resorts, hotels, guest houses or even on board liveaboards and cruise ships. Divers love to eat, so if you have a culinary background maybe one day you’ll be creating the menu on one of Asia’s most exclusive liveaboards.


Dive equipment manufacturers make up a massive part of the industry and retail experience will always come in handy here. Many shops pay staff on a sales commission basis so the more you can sell, the more you can earn. If you want to be on the cutting edge of selling the newest and most innovative gear then a career in retail might be your calling.

Marine Science and Conservation

This is a huge area and incomes can vary enormously depending on whether you are working for an NGO, a government body or in the private or commercial field. Jobs range from research diving and field work through to scientific data analysis, marketing and even fund raising.

190514_MR_FREEDIVE-Pool-Ocean-Miriam-etc_DSC06784 copy.jpg

Water Sports

Are you certified to teach water sports? Many divers like to choose vacations which allow them to enjoy several different water sports – not just scuba diving. If you have additional water sports qualifications, make sure you keep them up to date and look into operators who offer certification courses in your field as well as diving. Have you thought about becoming a Freedive Instructor yet? Check out our PADI Freedive Courses to get you started.


Health and Medical Careers

Everyone is concerned about health and would like to know how to handle an emergency so if EFR is something you enjoyed, why not look into becoming an EFR Instructor or EFR Instructor Trainer. If you are already EFR Instructor certified why not rent a local venue and run a course in your community. If you’d like to be involved in diving health matters on a more hands on basis, you might want to look at training as a hyperbaric chamber assistant – ask your local facility if they have any suggestions or can give you more information.

Social Media and Marketing

Are you a Facebook, Twitter of Instagram user? Turn your posts into cash and your pastime into a career by side-stepping into social media marketing! Every dive operator wants to have a strong online presence across all social media platforms but it can be time consuming to maintain, especially in high seasons. There are a plethora of online courses which are extremely useful for learning the difference between using social media as an individual and for business purposes.

Fashion and Design 

Divers love to associate themselves with being a diver even when they’re not diving. There are now diving and marine life themed items for everyday life and accessories to match from coral print clothing, place mats and linens through to marine life silver jewelry and artwork. If you have an artistic flair, incorporate diving and marine themes into your work and ask dive shops to stock your items on a sales commission basis.


MR_ScubaSarah-SunriseShoot_FUJI5857 compessed.jpg

Diving and yoga are becoming an increasingly popular combination, especially around mainland Bali, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida where both are prevalent. If you are a yoga instructor, or are starting to think about setting up a dive resort with a difference, yoga should not be overlooked as a diving add-on.

Technology and Engineering

Scuba diving equipment is a highly specialised field which requires not only diving knowledge but an engineering and technology background. You may have thought you weren’t going to use that post-grad qualification again but if science is your thing you may be able to put it to good use in the industry after all.

Working in Film and Television

Have you ever wondered how the scenes from action movies such as Titanic were filmed? The actors were trained before hand and assisted by Instuctors and Safety Divers! Is your next career move going to be to Hollywood?

These are just a handful of examples of how the diving industry can lend itself to numerous different career paths and opportunities. There are extensive travel opportunities from working with agents to sales representatives and even airlines.

Whatever you decide, focus on what you know best and what you enjoy and keep trying to improve and develop your skill set. Put your best effort into everything you do and never overlook opportunities. Build yourself a solid reputation and network as much as possible at dive related events such as trade or consumer shows, Project AWARE events and PADI Member Forums. Having an arsenal of contacts is always useful and you never know who you are going to meet and what doors are going to open!


Check out what our most recent IDC review on TripAdvisor:

Exceeds expectations (5 Star Review)

I didn’t know where to do my IDC when I arrived in Bali but after enjoying all the evening activities and positive vibes at Blue Corner in Lembongan I knew it would be the best experience possible. Made and Cody kicked ass at making a fun Instructor Course worth every penny!

Reviewed by Travis O on TripAdvisor - June 2019

Are you planning to join us for your PADI Instructor Development Course? For more information, advice or to make a reservation, contact us today and we’ll get right back to you.

We look forward to welcoming you to your PADI Instructor Development Course in Bali soon!