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Don Wray
03-25-2008, 00:01
There seems to be a misconception in the community regarding the cost of scuba education. The common misconception is that the agencies set the prices of the courses. The truth is, the agency charges the instructor a set fee dependent on their buying level, for materials and cert fees. The instructor is taught business courses to recoup the cost of pool fees, instructor training and cert fees, insurance etc. This figure is commonly divided by the number of students estimated for the year. I know of no instructors that became instructors to lose money or use the government theory of giving to the masses. If you go to work, you expect to be paid, not what it cost you to go to work, but what it cost you to work, plus provide an income. Regardless of the agency, an instructor wants to be paid. Dependent upon the expenses, an instructor needs to show a profit or why bother. We have our certs to dive. Why does the majority of these questions revolve around, "how come my Instructor is charging me ?? Try to remember, it cost a lot of money to get our rating to teach. Should we not be entitled to recoup our expenses? Would you go to work everyday if you weren't making some profit? I just don't understand the "whimper" mentality of those wanting instruction and not wanting to pay. Help me out as to why we should not be allowed to recoup our expenses. My insurance alone is $588 annual and cert fees $175 plus the roughly 4 grand to obatain my cert.

texdiveguy
03-25-2008, 00:10
I have never heard anyone say...'gee Mr. Instructor why are you charging me a fee for this scuba course'...?

I can tell you that unless you teach a **** load of students for a number of years you will do good to break even! Your cert. number indicates you may be new at instructing.....teaching done for pleasure and enjoyment....not to make loads of money.

Not really sure the reason for your thread....but it makes interesting reading.

:)

ReefHound
03-25-2008, 00:14
You have the right to charge whatever you want. The customer has the right to question or complain about it. If no one is willing to pay the amount you want/need then your only choices are to lower your prices or find something else to do. The world does not owe you an ability to make a living teaching scuba.

So the short answer to your question is no, you are not "entitled" to anything.

fireflock
03-25-2008, 00:15
No one is not 'allowing' you to charge whatever you want for a class that you teach.

Your problem, as an instructor, is that there are other instructors out there who are perfectly willing to teach for little or no financial compensation. Those people are competing with you for students. Students are just responding to what they see offered by other instructors in the marketplace.

Teaching recreational scuba is just not a decent way to make a living. There are too many instructors out there who are willing to teach for reasons other than money. Shops try to keep course prices low to encourage gear sales.

Don't blame your students. The problem (if you want to call it a problem) lies with your fellow instructors and the people who keep training more and more instructors.

Rich

emalebiga
03-25-2008, 00:18
There seems to be a misconception in the community regarding the cost of scuba education. The common misconception is that the agencies set the prices of the courses. The truth is, the agency charges the instructor a set fee dependent on their buying level, for materials and cert fees. The instructor is taught business courses to recoup the cost of pool fees, instructor training and cert fees, insurance etc. This figure is commonly divided by the number of students estimated for the year. I know of no instructors that became instructors to lose money or use the government theory of giving to the masses. If you go to work, you expect to be paid, not what it cost you to go to work, but what it cost you to work, plus provide an income. Regardless of the agency, an instructor wants to be paid. Dependent upon the expenses, an instructor needs to show a profit or why bother. We have our certs to dive. Why does the majority of these questions revolve around, "how come my Instructor is charging me ?? Try to remember, it cost a lot of money to get our rating to teach. Should we not be entitled to recoup our expenses? Would you go to work everyday if you weren't making some profit? I just don't understand the "whimper" mentality of those wanting instruction and not wanting to pay. Help me out as to why we should not be allowed to recoup our expenses. My insurance alone is $588 annual and cert fees $175 plus the roughly 4 grand to obatain my cert.

You seem to be angry... and doesn't padi stand for Put Another Dollar In?

I am on the road to being a scuba instructor so I can get the responses I will get when people realize that their Cognitive Psychology Professor also happens to be the resident scuba instructor as well.

I am also not sure if I know any scuba instructors that are actually full time scuba instructors. They all have other full time jobs such as a dive shop, or HP server specialist.

Don Wray
03-25-2008, 00:42
My question was in response to other threads regarding the cost of courses. They all want to blame the agency as in Put Another Dollar In. PADI charges me a set fee, according to the tier I'm on, for materials and cert fees. I determine the course fee. I'm not saying I expect anything from anyone. I am saying to the prospective students, stop blaming the agency for the course prices. They have very little to do with the cost. If you or anyone else wants to teach for a loss, more power to them. I expect to be paid for the service provided. No, I'm far from angry. I have a decent living without teaching. My point is from other threads complaining about what "X" agency charges for a course. I am just trying to explain, it's not PADI's NAUI. SSI
S pricing, it's the instructor who sets the price, or the LDS the instructor works for. When I get angry, I'll hide behind a moniker and not include my identity or credentials.

Don Wray
03-25-2008, 00:51
I have never heard anyone say...'gee Mr. Instructor why are you charging me a fee for this scuba course'...?

I can tell you that unless you teach a **** load of students for a number of years you will do good to break even! Your cert. number indicates you may be new at instructing.....teaching done for pleasure and enjoyment....not to make loads of money.

Not really sure the reason for your thread....but it makes interesting reading.

:)

Read some of the questions posted on this forum. There are many wondering if the cost of their course is too high, or within the norm. It depends on how many students the instructor has and the number of sessions given for a course.

Don Wray
03-25-2008, 00:54
No one is not 'allowing' you to charge whatever you want for a class that you teach.

Your problem, as an instructor, is that there are other instructors out there who are perfectly willing to teach for little or no financial compensation. Those people are competing with you for students. Students are just responding to what they see offered by other instructors in the marketplace.

Teaching recreational scuba is just not a decent way to make a living. There are too many instructors out there who are willing to teach for reasons other than money. Shops try to keep course prices low to encourage gear sales.

Don't blame your students. The problem (if you want to call it a problem) lies with your fellow instructors and the people who keep training more and more instructors.

Rich

It's not a problem for me as I work for an LDS. They set the fees. My thread is in response to other threads questioning the cost of courses. Mine is an appearently feeble attempt at an explanation. We have plenty of students, I get paid a set amount for teaching so it's no sweat off my.....forehead. I just thought I'd explain, again, the agency does not set the course fees, the instructor/LDS does.

Don Wray
03-25-2008, 01:03
There seems to be a misconception in the community regarding the cost of scuba education. The common misconception is that the agencies set the prices of the courses. The truth is, the agency charges the instructor a set fee dependent on their buying level, for materials and cert fees. The instructor is taught business courses to recoup the cost of pool fees, instructor training and cert fees, insurance etc. This figure is commonly divided by the number of students estimated for the year. I know of no instructors that became instructors to lose money or use the government theory of giving to the masses. If you go to work, you expect to be paid, not what it cost you to go to work, but what it cost you to work, plus provide an income. Regardless of the agency, an instructor wants to be paid. Dependent upon the expenses, an instructor needs to show a profit or why bother. We have our certs to dive. Why does the majority of these questions revolve around, "how come my Instructor is charging me ?? Try to remember, it cost a lot of money to get our rating to teach. Should we not be entitled to recoup our expenses? Would you go to work everyday if you weren't making some profit? I just don't understand the "whimper" mentality of those wanting instruction and not wanting to pay. Help me out as to why we should not be allowed to recoup our expenses. My insurance alone is $588 annual and cert fees $175 plus the roughly 4 grand to obatain my cert.

You seem to be angry... and doesn't padi stand for Put Another Dollar In?

I am on the road to being a scuba instructor so I can get the responses I will get when people realize that their Cognitive Psychology Professor also happens to be the resident scuba instructor as well.

I am also not sure if I know any scuba instructors that are actually full time scuba instructors. They all have other full time jobs such as a dive shop, or HP server specialist.

I know several instructors who are primarily instructors....even so, does that mean they should not be compensated? It's that mentality that keeps the wages down in this industry. People who are want to be's working for free. Trust me, that will pass.

Don Wray
03-25-2008, 01:15
I have never heard anyone say...'gee Mr. Instructor why are you charging me a fee for this scuba course'...?

I can tell you that unless you teach a **** load of students for a number of years you will do good to break even! Your cert. number indicates you may be new at instructing.....teaching done for pleasure and enjoyment....not to make loads of money.

Not really sure the reason for your thread....but it makes interesting reading.

:)

You're correct, I DM'd for over a year and just finished my IE...That had nothing to do with this post. It arose out of another thread concerning a nitrox course and what was being charged. I felt that I should let students know that the agency is not responsible for the course fees. Personally, I'm not overly concerned with profits, but I'm lucky. As long as the stock market stays viable, I have no worries. Lately, I have worries, but don't expect teaching to make up the losses. It's just irritating that PADI, SSI, NAUI, YMCA etc., gets blamed for the cost of courses when they have very little to do with it. That was my point. I became an instructor to be the best I can be to introduce people to Scuba. My bills will be paid if I have no students. There are others however that threads like those disparaging the cost of the courses who do depend on the fees to live and make their bills. They deserve to make a living just like those who pull electrical wiring, install telephones, run cable TV etc. We all gotta eat.

mitsuguy
03-25-2008, 05:44
I have never heard anyone say...'gee Mr. Instructor why are you charging me a fee for this scuba course'...?

I can tell you that unless you teach a **** load of students for a number of years you will do good to break even! Your cert. number indicates you may be new at instructing.....teaching done for pleasure and enjoyment....not to make loads of money.

Not really sure the reason for your thread....but it makes interesting reading.

:)

You're correct, I DM'd for over a year and just finished my IE...That had nothing to do with this post. It arose out of another thread concerning a nitrox course and what was being charged. I felt that I should let students know that the agency is not responsible for the course fees. Personally, I'm not overly concerned with profits, but I'm lucky. As long as the stock market stays viable, I have no worries. Lately, I have worries, but don't expect teaching to make up the losses. It's just irritating that PADI, SSI, NAUI, YMCA etc., gets blamed for the cost of courses when they have very little to do with it. That was my point. I became an instructor to be the best I can be to introduce people to Scuba. My bills will be paid if I have no students. There are others however that threads like those disparaging the cost of the courses who do depend on the fees to live and make their bills. They deserve to make a living just like those who pull electrical wiring, install telephones, run cable TV etc. We all gotta eat.

Well, in this day, there are a lot of people who want to trust their local businesses to do them right. But, we now have the internet, so, it is easy to check up on your local businesses and compare them against a broader spectrum of similar shops.

I believe the intent of that post was "not to get screwed" How would you feel if you paid $300 for a course that was being offered 10 miles away for $150.

For instance, The shop I am doing my AOW class with (if the damn lake will ever warm up) has reasonable prices for the AOW class, but their Nitrox class is $200. To me, thats overpriced. Especially for something that I've already learned myself. So, paying $200 for someone to show me some tables and how to use a tank analyzer seems pretty silly. Many shops offer this service for $75 - $125, which is ok by me if it includes two dives.

So, you are right, you have the right to charge whatever you want, and, honestly, if you are the best instructor in the world, you might get more than other places, or, if you are the only scuba shop in an area, then, you might get more than other places. HOWEVER, beware of the internet - it has allowed us to all be interconnected and "gossip" with a whole lot more people than we used to, which really means, if you are charging too much, someone will find your service elsewhere...

Don Wray
03-25-2008, 10:01
I believe the intent of that post was "not to get screwed" How would you feel if you paid $300 for a course that was being offered 10 miles away for $150.

If the course for $150 is a 3 day minimal course and the $300 course is 6 weeks with 6 3 hour pool sessions, etc. it is easy to see why the difference. The are the questions to ask when comparing the courses. You are correct in matching the market in your area.

ReefHound
03-25-2008, 10:30
Don, I think it's perfectly fine that you "explain" to new and prospective divers the time and money an instructor has in a class and why a particular fee is warranted but your initial post came off to me as a "rant".

The newer diver does not know the ins and outs of the industry, who works for free or gets paid, who does it for a hobby or for a living, how the pot of money is divided between the shops and agency and instructor, what the wholesale costs of books and equipment are, etc. I think it's perfectly reasonable for them to question fees especially when they see differences in fees. I must have missed a few threads because I haven't seen any evidence divers think agencies set the fees. If that were the case divers would assume the course costs of a given agency are the same across all shops and that simply isn't the case. Divers are comparing prices shop to shop, not agency to agency.

It's certainly true that good consumer shoppers should ask more questions than just what is the price. But newer divers don't necessarily know all the right questions to ask. Those of us that have been doing this awhile tend to take for granted the things that seem obvious to us.

As for the idea that the days of people willing to work for free or for perks will soon pass, don't hold your breath else you'll get a professional embolism. As long as scuba is "fun" and shops are churning out DM's you will have an ample supply of people willing to work on the side for peanuts. Supply and demand rules. Have you seen any reduction in the number of DM's, AI's, or OWSI's being certified?

No one is "entitled" to anything. If you choose a career that pays peanuts then you only have yourself to blame when you get paid peanuts.
The only way I see to make a living instructing other than as an adjunct to gear sales or shop ownership is to find a niche and establish a reputation instructing higher level classes. Exceptions may apply in some circumstances, of course.

frogman159
03-27-2008, 19:17
As a new diver I can offer some perspective. Some shops try to hook you into your training costs.

Joe Newdiver walks into a dive shop "Hi I'd like to scuba dive but I'm concerned but it seems like an expensive sport"

LDS "Look we've got a class starting next week, 6 weeks 3 hour classes for a mear $150, and after you have gear, your only paying for $5 fills, and if can't afford to buy gear you can rent anything you need."

Joe Newdiver now has the impression scuba is reasonsble. But he shows up for class with his $150, and is told he has to pay another $50 for registration, $25 for books, $30 for c-card- Ok no problem, Second class he has to have personal gear..how much could that cost? The offer him a "packages" that includes everything for $200 to $300.

Now its time for the OW portion of the class...BTW you have to rent gear now at $100/day, but well give you a deal for $150 for both days. Joe NewDiver is now in $700 and didn't even realize it.

shop 1 offers PADI lessons for $150

Shop2 offers NAUI lessons for $400 but includes all gear rentals and books straight up.


Joe NewDiver may be very ignorant about SCUBA diving in general and ask the question Why are lessons at shop #2 so expensive? Is it cause they are NAUI? Must be.....

It has no reflection on paying the instructor but the root of his question lies in the price desparity among LDS

Joe Newdiver would likely be better off taking lessons from shop 2, but shop 1 out sold them with witty business practices creating the illusion of value.

It is likely this is where these questions come from, I sure its not people questioning paying someone for a service, most of us do this everyday.

mm2002
03-31-2008, 09:59
Sounds to me like Joe Newdiver should have done a little more research before choosing a hobby. You have to know how to ask the right questions, such as "So....what is the total cost to get my cert?"

I do know that my LDS doesn't make any money giving classes. They pretty much depend on gear sales to show the profit, which isn't a lot. Also, everyone who works there, including the owner, have "other" jobs. I think an instructor rating is in my future, but I know it's not going to be a career.

mentalmarine
03-31-2008, 10:07
Sounds to me like Joe Newdiver should have done a little more research before choosing a hobby.


Isnt that the truth! You should be an informed consumer, no matter what you are buying. Call around, ask other people. If Joe Newdiver is blindly jumping into a sport or anything else as blindly as this, he has only himself to blame. Plus his brother John Doe...man....thats just a different thread all together.