What's the salary for a scuba dive instructor?
Updated: Aug 11
As a mentor for professional level in the diving community, this is one of the questions that i most heard between my students. It is totally fair to ask yourself if this a possible career choice and if you will be able to sustain yourself.
I have experience working in 3 different countries (Thailand, South Africa and Brazil) and I could annalyze and answer it with my panorama, but I always thought it wasn't enough, so taking this in consideration I try to dig a bit deeper in the matter.
The first thing that come to my head was ask uncle google for some data and I find this series of reports from LifenDIve website, that congregate some interviews with dive professionals all around the world and look like a pretty solid information, but the data was from 2014 I was expecting something newer.
So at the beginning of 2019 (i know, it needs a update), I took a step forward and decide to ask this delicate question between my diving community. Using google research I get over 16 answers from people all over the world.
Analyzing the data from LifenDive and my network, I get around 30 reviews from different countries like, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Bahamas, Australia, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Egypt, Bahrain, South Africa and Oman.
Dive Professional Salary
The result wasn't so far from what I expect with my experience, the average salary comes in US$ 1400 monthly.
- Diving Instructor Average Salary: US$ 1300
- Manager and Trainer/ Course Directors US$ 1700
The highest end was in Australia with a monthly salary possibility reaching avarage US$ 3000, the lowest end it was in the Philippines at US$ 475 fixed mark.
Consideration for the scuba dive instructor salary:
#1 - It's a seasonal job. In the majority of places and it's going to reflect in your salary, so planning is super important. Use the high seasons to build a saving so you can ride along when the lowest months arrive.
#2 - Consider the cost of living, a lot of diving jobs are based in cheaper countries so sometimes the pure number doesn't say so much, analyze where you wanna work and go for it.
Also consider there is positions that you will be provide accomodation and food, so your salary is clean for savings, fun and other expenses.
#3 - Is it possible to maintain yourself?
For my personal life experience the answer is YES, but planning is essential. Me and my wife are keeping up living a decent island life in Koh Tao, even we are expecting a baby.
But to be honest you're probably not going to be rich but you're still going to have one of the coolest jobs in the world in my opinion. After 8 years I still stock with my life/ work experience.
So if the sea is a passion, you enjoy diving and connecting with people, this can be a useful career. Remember the instructor qualification doesn't need to be your main occupation, there is plenty of people that uses the training as part-time job, seasonal work, trip leader role, social activities and the list can go on.
I still can say it was one of the best decisions I ever made, so if you ever thought about becoming a professional recreational diver just contact me. I can help you along the way.