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Thread: Scuba Diving Internships

  1. #1
    Guppy
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    Scuba Diving Internships

    I was wondering if anyone on the forum has partaken in one of these? Whether it be to become a dive master or an instructor. I would want to go the instructor route. I have seen them advertised and tried to do a little research on them but couldnt really get a solid answer. If I was to choose to do one of these I dont want it to be just a production line type experience where they take my money and give me the minimum experience and certs I would need. I would want to go to one where they take the time to give me all the skills and experience I can use for the rest of my life.

  2. #2
    I did an intern at a local dive shop for my DM. I'd fill tanks, chat up students (try to get them to buy stuff), bring discover scuba diving (DSD) gear to the pool, help with DSD and Open Water (OW) classes. I learned a lot from watching a good instructor teach students. I wasn't formally taught what they were doing but I'd notice patterns and ask questions.

    The current shop I work at is better. At the end of the night, if we finish before they close the pool, the Course Director (CD) would have us practice skills (demonstration quality), goof around so we can get more comfortable in the water, talk about what to expect as an instructor, etc. She is actually a good teacher as well as a great diver.

    We get guys looking to pick up a spare buck working for the shop but generally speaking the CD is hesitant to take on professionals who she did not train. I had to run a few DSDs before she would hire me on.

    There are places in the Caribbean and Thailand where you can go from zero to instructor in a few months. Some will put you to work and teach you a lot about the industry. Some will just rush you through the course, tick off all requirements and move on. If you are going for Divemaster, someone from the shop certifies you as a DM. If you are going for a full Instructor or higher, at least with PADI, you need to pass an instructor's exam (with practical) with someone from PADI. In other words, the shop has to get you ready for a real test. I know there are some places that pump out DMs because they can but to become an Instructor you actually have to do more than fill out the paperwork.

    Where are you thinking about going for the internship? Local, Caribbean, South Pacific? Like with picking an instructor, some are better than others. I'm sure there are people on here who can recommend who is good but it depends on the area.
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  3. #3
    Guppy
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    Most of the ones I was able to locate were in Koh Tao Thailand. For instance this one Koh Tao scuba internships - Gap year Thailand dive instructor internship It seems to be advertsied well but then again what isnt today? lol The reason I am looking at this is because I am out of college for a year now and some of the places I appled are not able to hire and some of the other ones I am still in the hunt. So this isnt something I plan on leaving for next week. I only plan on doing this if nothing else works out and I could do it for the life experience as well as have this to be able to use on the side when the economy stabilizes and I get my career on track. I love helping people and diving and I am very good at teaching and find it to be very rewarding so this isnt something that will be done poorly on my end either.

  4. #4
    Grouper
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    I do know that Chris Brown, Owner of Silent World in Key Largo occasionally has interns, filling tanks, helping in the shop and on the boat. Might give him a call...
    Rick

  5. #5
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    I kinda did this for my DM. It was at a local shop. I helped with classes at the pool and then in the quarry during the summer. Took a few months to do my DM but I was able to do it around my schedule. For a few months I basically gave up every other weekend but I was having fun so it didn't matter to me. Still do the DM thing with the shop on occasion. Don't make any money but it gets me in the water and I enjoy it.

  6. #6
    I got my DM the same way as comet24. I have a full time job and lots of commitments. Did my DM on weekends but that is when the shop was the busiest and needed the help.

    If I had been into scuba diving when I was twenty something I probably would have considered going to Thailand and doing the Open Water (OW) Diver to Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) thing. Essentially, looking at it today, I see it as going to Thailand for a 7 month working vacation. For around $10,000 you spend 7 months in Thailand. You see new things, experience different cultures, maybe take a week here and there to go somewhere local to Thailand but different.

    At $10,000 for 7 month you are looking at around $360/week plus a little hard work. That sounds like a good deal to me. I just cannot afford the time right now.

    If you are going to do it, find out when high season is. If it is going to take 2 months before you get to DM then you want to start the program around 3 months before high season. This way when you are doing the instructor training there will be enough students to give you a good experience. Or you could see when high season ends and make sure you finish your training before high season ends. Then you might be able to pick up a little work before you come home.
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  7. #7
    Shark
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    A couple of years ago, a forum member named Mitsuguy and his wife packed up and went to Utila for such an internship.

    It worked out pretty well for them. He hasn't been on the forum for awhile, but you might PM him anyway, in case he signs in.
    You can search for his posts about his experience, they are very interesting.

    http://forum.scubatoys.com/scuba-sto...-states-21148/


    You might also PM the forum member Quero. She lives in Thailand, and teaches PADI there.
    "Time's fun when you're having flies." -Kermit the Frog

  8. #8
    Guppy
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    Yea I guess there isn't really a whole lot of info out there except for what the websites are saying. I checked out Mitsuguy's blog and he hasn't updated it since 2009 so I feel that could be a dead end. This sort of feels like something that if I do decide to do it I may just have to get all the answers I need from the dive op and then bite the bullet and be the guinea pig for anyone else that wants the info. The only problem is the price could be a big bullet to take for young guy like myself if I turn out to be unsatisfied with the program and am stuck in a unhappy place for 7 months.

  9. #9
    CooperGR,

    I think if you go into this worried it might not work out, it won't work out. There is enough work in Thailand that you'll get something out of it. Spending time in Thailand. Meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. Learning about how business works on the other side of the planet. Just keep an open mind and have fun. You have your whole life ahead of you. Work it backwards. If you retire at 65 and you spend 25 years doing what you love. You have until you are 40 to figure out what you love.

    I made a living doing HVAC, roofing, graphic arts, sales (door to door and retail), customer support, programming, teaching and finally settled on test automation. I've tried flying airplanes and racing motorcycles. I left everyone and everything to move to a different country. Didn't work out (immigration kicked me out) but I had fun and made some friends along the way. Go, have fun while you have time to make mistakes.

    If you are risk adverse, play it safe. But if you are going to do this, do it whole heartedly. If you read messages from Mitsuguy's (use advanced search and search for posts from him and tag = Utila or second search would be him and tag = St. Croix), you should find a picture of all his luggage at the door of his place in the US. He just left everything and went to the Caribbean to be a scuba instructor. A lot of people were jealous of him and envied him.

    If you want to do Thailand, talk to Quero. She should be able to tell you who to avoid in Thailand. She might be able to make some recommendations as well.
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  10. #10
    Shark
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    Florida Keys Community College offers an Associates in Dive Business, DMT, etc.

    I don't know if you've already spent time in college, but that might be a cool way to find out if that is what you want to do, while satisfying your Gen Ed requirements, like Comp I&II, College Algebra, History, etc.
    "Time's fun when you're having flies." -Kermit the Frog

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