Spending your days exploring the underwater world, diving to the bottom of the ocean and witnessing marine life wonders, seems like the dream for any diver that’s ever blown bubbles. No wonder it seems like everyone who’s ever scuba dived before has at some point considered the possibility of making the dream of diving every day a reality – to have scuba diving jobs.
As PADI Instructors, we are constantly talking about how incredible of a profession scuba diving is and how much joy we receive from having the ocean be our office. We all know that lives can be changed through teaching and sharing the beauty of the big blue world. While being a PADI Instructor is one avenue that allows you to earn a living under the sea, today we want to talk about other types of diving jobs that aren’t directly related to teaching courses. To offer you some insight, we have chosen 9 people with different scuba diving jobs around the world to tell us about their journeys.
Krista Shoe – Diving to Save Corals Reefs
(United States / Panama)
“I‘ve combined my love of diving with my love of conservation and today I am dedicated to saving coral reefs. I learned about coral restoration at 45 when I moved to Panama in 2017. I dedicated myself to working on a project to restore them for three years, and after spending hours diving, restoring and planting corals, I decided to take this message globally and I started my non-profit organization, Mother of Corals. My mission is to empower local communities around the world to rebuild their reefs.”
Mara Galatas – Marketing the Dive
“While I was studying communications and marketing in the United States, I took my OWD course and became very passionate about it. After graduating, the opportunity arose to work at Casco Antiguo Diving in Madrid [and] to create and develop the marketing department. I changed the computers for fins and focused on learning and improving the marketing of the dive shop along with the development of online sales, organizing campaigns, recruiting ambassadors, doing social media advertising, organizing with suppliers, and managing public relations and communications with the customers. It is very nice to be able to constantly work with people who love the ocean as much as I do, and whenever I can I escape to dive.”
Charlotte Young – Ocean YouTuber
“I am a marine scientist, diver, expedition leader and communicator. I am passionate about inspiring people to take care of the ocean, that is why I have a YouTube channel where I am constantly educating my audience and creating content to raise awareness. In addition, I also create content for social media partnering with brands and organizations to address different environmental issues and inspire change.”
Viviana Bravo – Scientific Research Through Diving
“I work as a scientific research technician [at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama]. I help scientists specializing in marine biology to develop research projects. Diving, collecting data in the field, [and] carrying out protocols that are replicated in many places on the planet. I love my job because it allows me to spend almost 80% of the time at sea, which is my favorite place in the world. In addition, there are always new things that I learn and I am pleased to be able to do my bit to take care of nature, animals and the ocean.”
Jack Fishman – Working to Keep the Oceans Clean
“The purpose of my work [as Conservation Officer at PADI AWARE] is to inspire, support and create conservation action in PADI diving communities around the world, as well as advance the conservation goals of PADI AWARE. When I started this job my role was 60% outside the offices. I worked to help realize the actions of Dive Against Debris® and increasing support for our main programs such as “100% AWARE” and “Adopt A Dive Site™” program. We focus on working as a team with the different diving communities to promote conservation and change in a more efficient way.”
Mariano Rodriguez – Photographing the Sea for Science & Inspiration
“As an underwater cameraman I work in education and conservation. As a scientific diver I work at the Institute of Polar Sciences, Environment and Natural Resources of the National University of Tierra del Fuego. I am the Director of @argentinasubmarina, my personal blog where I share all my work to create awareness. My main objective with my photographs is to show the biodiversity of the Beagle Channel and other sectors of the Patagonia Argentina, both marine and freshwater. Underwater images are a fundamental tool to educate children and adults, not only about the species that live in these environments but also about the problems that endanger them. I firmly believe that by making the beauty and problems of these environments visible, we can take actions that lead us to conserve and protect them.”
John DeBuysser – Teaching University Students Through Diving
“I work as a Diving Safety Officer at the SFSC [School for Field Studies Center for Marine Resource Studies] conservation school in the beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands. My job is to ensure all college students who come to school that water activities run smoothly and safely. My job is to be a dive and snorkel guide so students can learn about and observe marine life. Teaching PADI OW and AOW courses, handling boats for faculty-led research projects, and also sometimes I have to be in the office processing paperwork. Every day is a unique experience. We often see sharks, eagle rays, snappers, groupers, parrotfish, etc. It’s great to have the ability to show students the wonders of the underwater world and foster an attitude of respect and appreciation.”
Megan Denny – Writing About the Ocean
“I‘m a PADI instructor and ocean writer. I blog for PADI and DAN, and write articles for magazines such as Alert Diver, Sport Diver, and Undersea Journal. I feel very lucky to earn a living as a freelance journalist and scuba diving is one of the topics that I enjoy writing the most. Typically, I submit ideas for articles, and the most frequently chosen topics answer questions like: ‘Can you dive if you wear contact lenses or glasses?’ or fun things like ‘Does your pet have a diving style?’ I also sometimes write about ways to protect the ocean and environmental issues. This last topic is the one I am most passionate about.”
Sarah Wormald – Digital Marketing Consultant
“I’m a PADI Master Instructor and a Digital Marketing Consultant. I also write for PADI, but I work primarily with dive centers and resorts to build or update their websites, provide content, strategize their social media and email campaigns, and overhaul and maintain their online presence. I feel extremely privileged because what I do is definitely a niche area. The dive operators that I work with don’t just get digital marketing assistance, they get input and content from someone who really understands the industry and loves everything scuba and ocean-related!”
How to Become a PADI Instructor
While we definitely recommend all of the above scuba diving jobs, one of the most popular options is still to become a PADI Instructor. If you would like to embark on a career as an instructor, you will need to take the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) followed by the PADI Instructor Exams (IE).
To take part in a PADI IDC, you need to be a PADI Divemaster with at least 60 logged dives. You need to have taken the Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and First Aid) training within the past 24 months (or a refresh), and you need a medical statement signed by a physician within the last 12 months. You also need to be an Emergency First Response Instructor, but you can earn this rating during your instructor training.
Written by Martina Alvarez @oceanomartina, Scuba Diving Instructor & Environmental Journalist.