Like diving? Love diving so much that you're thinking of making a full- or part-time career of getting wet?
The first step in a PADI professional dive career is becoming a PADI Divemaster by taking the PADI Divemaster course, which can be taught by any current and insured PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. To take the course, you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age,
- Have logged at least 20 dives,
- Be certified as both a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and a PADI Rescue Diver (or hold a qualifying certification from another training organization) and
- Be medically cleared by a physician.
During the two-week to three-month PADI Divemaster course, you'll learn dive leadership through classroom and independent study sessions, complete water skills and stamina exercises in confined and open water, participate in training exercises to test your organizational skills and problem-solving capabilities, and engage in either an internship or a series of practical training exercises.
The next two steps, the PADI Assistant Instructor and the PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor programs, make up the PADI Instructor Development Course, or IDC. You can take it as a single consecutive course that can range anywhere from seven days to three weeks or as two separate programs.
To begin an IDC you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age,
- Hold a PADI Divemaster rating or a qualifying certification from another certification organization,
- Have at least 60 logged dives, including night, deep and navigation dives, and
- Have been a certified diver for at least six months.
Additional criteria that must be met to engage in the PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor program include:
- Proof of CPR training within the last 24 months and
- Medical clearance signed by a physician.
The IDC doesn't teach you how to dive; it teaches you a thorough and proven method of passing on your diving knowledge to others in a manner that meets internationally recognized standards of training. The course includes knowledge development through self-study, preassessment exams, lectures and presentations, confined-water skill review and assessments, open-water workshops and assessments of your rescue and presentation skills.
Simply completing an IDC does not automatically qualify as a PADI Open Water Instructor. The final step is the PADI Instructor Examination (IE), which is an impartial evaluation of your teaching skills in the classroom, confined water (pool) and open water. A PADI Instructor Examiner from one of the PADI international offices conducts this two-day evalutation.
While PADI IDCs and IEs are conducted all over the world, many who are PADI Pro-bound complete the IDC and IE in destinations exactly like the ones in which they plan to teach and work. The Cayman Islands is one such destination, and PADI IDCs are being held this year at both Sunset House, on the West End of Grand Cayman, and at Ocean Frontiers, on the East End. It's a wonderfully exotic way to take what could well be a life-changing step for you.