Leveling up from Divemaster to Instructor – What You Need to Know

January is a popular time to reflect on personal goals and hopes for the future. As a Divemaster, you may have thought about leveling up to PADI® Instructor. For some, it’s a foregone conclusion; for others, teaching people to scuba dive seems like a big step. Whether becoming a scuba instructor is at the top of your to-do list for 2019, or it’s your Plan B if you get tired of office life, here’s what you need to know:

The basics:
To enrol in a PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) you must hold a Divemaster certification and be a certified diver for at least six months. Other requirements include:

  • Current training (within the past 24 months) in CPR and First Aid from Emergency First Response©, or other qualifying organisation
  • A medical statement signed by a physician within the last 12 months.

Before taking the instructor exam, you need:

  • 100 logged dives
  • A CPR and First Aid Instructor certification from EFR® (or other qualifying organisation). Most people take the EFR Instructor class in conjunction with the IDC.


Frequently asked questions


How long does the IDC take?
The minimum length of an IDC is five days, but most are a full week. Some programs take place over three consecutive weekends.

How much does it cost?
Prices vary depending on location. Generally speaking, the cost is similar to what you’d pay to become a yoga instructor, and cheaper than becoming a ski or snowboard instructor.  

What if I don’t have teaching experience?
The PADI system of education was designed to help people with no teaching experience become instructors. You probably didn’t have experience breathing underwater when you became a diver, right?

The IDC focuses on teaching people how to conduct in-water training sessions, present information to students, and provide feedback. Many PADI Instructors tell us the skills learnt during their IDC made them better, more confident communicators.

Is it worth it?
Helping people experience their first breath underwater is an indescribable feeling – ask any PADI Instructor. In addition, PADI Instructors are the most sought-after dive professionals in the world. The job board on the PADI Pros Site is filled with job openings around the world, and a PADI Instructor credential opens doors to a variety of careers.


I’m not sure I’m ready…
Going from Divemaster to instructor may seem like a big leap. But the reality is, your experience and training as a Divemaster has you well-prepared.

What are you waiting for?

According to one study, those who made a New Year’s Resolution were ten times more likely to achieve their goal than people who resolved to make a life change at other times of the year.
Whether you’re the sort of person who makes New Year’s resolutions or not, why not resolve to take the first step towards becoming a PADI scuba instructor?

Step one is easy, use the PADI Dive Shop Locator to contact an IDC Centre. If you’re not sure whether you might want to do your training locally or abroad, look at the PADI Pros employment board to see where the job opportunities are.

This post is also available in: nl fr de it es