To live your dream and teach SCUBA Diving around the world! Well, I guess that is what most dive instructors who travel and work at a holiday destination would say.

After becoming a divemaster and maybe even working as a divemaster you might think of going for the next level in scuba diving: Open water SCUBA instructor.

Are you thinking about becoming a SCUBA dive instructor? Wondering where to do your do your dive instructor course? Than you 'just' need to find the best dive instructor course offer for you! Where to get started?

There are hundreds of options for you. Not only are you about to invest a lot of money, it also takes up time, maybe you need to spend a full holiday on it or you are quitting your office job to make this dream come true.

Dive instructors might recommend the place where they did their dive instructor course, but they have done this course only once (hopefully). SCUBA diving centers and dive instructors will try to sell you their dive instructors course, and that is their business. How to figure out what is the best dive instructor course offer? Here are a few tips to narrow-down the best dive instructor course for you!

dive instructor course


Start with thinking about the location you want to do your dive instructor. For the classroom it does not really matter where in the world you are, but for the swimming pool and open water sessions you might prefer a warmer climate. Are you going to teach SCUBA diving in cold water with visibility less than 10 meters or thinking about teaching SCUBA diving in the tropics? It might be better to learn teaching SCUBA diving with similar conditions. During your dive instructor course you probably do not have a lot of time off since you will be studying and preparing a lot for days to follow (expect long days!). Where would you like to do that? At home? On a tropical beach?

It might be cheaper to do your dive instructor course abroad. Calculate travel expenses, cost of living, accommodation, course price, etc.


Other than just finishing the dive instructor course as soon as possible you probably want to get the most out it. Especially if you have saved-up money for a long time. An enthusiastic dive instructor (course director / instructor trainer) with a lot of first-hand experience can make a huge difference. Some dive instructor work permanently in one dive center, others travel around and work with different dive centers to teach dive instructor courses, sometimes even in different countries. Think about language differences/barriers and ask for average group sizes. Do you prefer a small intense course or a bigger group to learn more from others?

Spend time on the websites of the potential dive centers and dive instructors and send an email to ask the things you would like to know. Think about asking how often they teach dive instructor courses, for how long they have been teaching, references of (RECENT!) previous students, etc. Ask about potential accommodations that suit your budget and check how you can get around with local transport. Think about your previous SCUBA dive instructors, what did you like most about their way of teaching? Also know what kind of learner you are, do you need direct military-style assignments or do you like an approach with more freedom and self-thinking?

Are you getting a standard copy-paste list or a personal note and additional info with that? Are all your questions answered or just the ones regarding the dive instructor course? Do you get a fast reply, etc. Find out who replies the way you want him/her to reply. You do not want to end up in a dive instructor course for weeks with a teacher that does not match your learning needs.

dive instructor course


To be honest, this is a SCUBA diving course that is going to cost you at least thousand US dollars, so it is important to make the right decision! The price you pay for the course itself varies, plus you often need to pay for teaching materials (books/e-learning/underwater slates), a fee for the dive organization, maybe boat fees, your certification fee and more. Prices vary due to location, swimming pool and classroom rental, teaching materials, provided food and drinks, salaries of the people involved, etc.

Some dive instructor packages courses come with 'FREE' courses while others give you a number of free fun dives, free re-take in case you fail an exam, free accommodation, unlimited house reef dives, etc. Many dive centers offer different packages like the Silver/Gold/Platinum or Basic/Premium/Elite options. Sometimes the difference between those dive instructor course packages is that materials are included (that you need to purchase anyway!) sometimes you get extras like other dive courses, T-shirts and discounts (things that can be really nice but are not necessary to become a dive instructor), compare this carefully if you are on a tight budget.

If you are comparing dive instructor course offers in different countries you are likely to compare with different currencies and also different costs of living and the price to get there! If you are looking for the lowest price, as mentioned before, it might be cheaper to fly somewhere for your dive instructor course then to do it close to home.

The length of the Instructor Development Course can vary. Are you a slow learner? Choose a dive instructor course that takes a few days longer or with days in between or ask if there is time for extra lessons if you can not catch-up. Have you done your divemaster course years ago and no guiding experience in between? You might want to schedule in some extra time to brush up your theory and maybe even your demonstrating SCUBA diving skills in the pool.

Would you prefer a big and busy dive center with many experienced dive instructors around and a lot dive courses going on or a more personal set-up at a slower pace? All is possible!

dive instructor course


Would a Dive Instructor Internship be Worth it for You? There are SCUBA diving centers and dive instructors that offer the dive instructor course for free in exchange for work, as a dive instructor internship. Often this is not completely free, you still need to pay for at least the materials and certification fee..

One of the most important things with free dive courses in exchange for work is that you agree on the details and deadlines beforehand. Agree on things like the duration of your 'free' work period and the date of your dive instructor course and exams.

Calculate if it is cheaper to pay for the course and start earning the investment back straight after certification or investing money for months (you still need a place to stay, food, dive gear, insurances, etc.) and postponing that first dive instructor salary. Also calculate what your hourly salary will be and what you think is fair, remember local salaries can be totally different from what you expect. However, if you find a good deal for an internship to do your dive instructor course for free, make sure to have a contract with the dive center to be clear on both sides about what to expect!

Not sure what to do? Ask questions and feedback in our Facebook group for Aspiring Dive Professionals.

We are proud to have a search engine to compare dive instructor courses on many of the important things mentioned above. This way you can narrow-down the best dive instructor course for you and contact the dive instructors and dive centers directly for more information!

Search and compare dive instructor courses and find the best offer for you!

Start with clicking on one of the buttons below to filter for PADI, SSI or All dive organizations.

Now you can search by (Google) Maps, around the Caribbean or South-East Asia for example, or simply select one or more Countries.

Select your Languages and preferred Starting months if you are not flexible.

At the Dive center features you can select various options regarding the dive center facilities and services:

  • Check what dive centers have a House reef (easy to get some extra dives under your belt and often saving you a lot of time).
  • If you (are thinking of) tec diving - select Technical diving courses so you can combine the two.
  • The same goes for Freediving courses.
  • For your career in the scuba diving industry Business related courses might be a great option.
  • If you want to contribute to protecting the marine ecosystems actively, select dive centers who offer Marine conservation courses and projects.
  • If a dive centers offers Internships you can find them by selecting the internships box, it could apply to a variety of courses (zero-to-hero).
  • We have also marked all active Green Fins dive centers with international standards for environmentally friendly diving and snorkelling.

We hope to help you find with the best dive instructor course for your needs, wishes and budget.

Message us at Dive O'Clock