Scuba diving opens up an endless world of possibilities from your first dip into the water. Not only do your PADI certifications provide a passport to global underwater freedom, but they can also open up doors for paid work abroad and possibly give you the lifestyle you’ve always wanted – full of passion and adventure!
There is an abundance of possibilities leading to paid work abroad with diving. You could take the route of gaining your certifications yourself and then searching for dive shop work as a Divemaster or an Open Water Scuba Instructor (or beyond!). Or, you could go the internship route where you can complete your professional-level certifications in return for accommodation and work at the dive shop. If working as a Divemaster or Instructor isn’t the job for you, you may be able to gain enough experience to become a paid underwater photographer!
What Can You Be Paid to Do as a Diver While Abroad?
A PADI Pro certification provides the ability to work as a scuba diver anywhere in the world; you’re not limited to working in your home country or where you completed your certification. However, before we dive into the types of jobs you can have as a scuba diver abroad, it’s important to note that you’ll always want to check local visa regulations and ensure you have the legal right to work in your desired market. Some countries do not allow foreigners to hold paying positions, while in other countries, it’s relatively easy to get a work visa as a scuba diving professional.
At the most basic level, as a PADI Divemaster, you can assist instructors worldwide and lead certified divers underwater. And, as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, you can teach PADI courses to others who want to learn to dive.
In more detail, as PADI Divemaster, you can be paid to do the following anywhere in the world:
- Guide certified divers
- Teach the Discover Scuba Diving experience
- Assist PADI Instructors with their students
As a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, you can be paid to do the following anywhere in the world:
- Teach the PADI Courses to students (including Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, Emergency First Response® (if certified) and the Divemaster course)
- Teach any additional PADI Speciality courses you’re certified in
- Guide divers
If you’re not sure how to become a PADI Pro, you might find the article below useful.
Alternatively, PADI Pros can even take their careers further to become underwater photographers or even star in movies as stunt doubles! Read on if these alternative scuba diving careers abroad appeal to you.
Alternative Paid Work Abroad as a Scuba Diver
There are so many ways divers can make money abroad from working in the movie industry to become social media influencers. But, one of the most popular ways for divers to make money that doesn’t mean leading or teaching other dives is to become an underwater photographer. Avid divers often want to share their passion with the rest of the world – whether that’s through social media or with friends and family. They might be prone to snapping a few photos with an underwater phone camera case, or have developed skills by investing in an underwater camera and housing. After a course or two (like the PADI Underwater Photographer specialty course), and by practicing on numerous dives, many hobby photographers hone skills that others will pay for!
How To Make Money as an Underwater Photographer
First things first, it’s best to gain as much experience underwater a possible by becoming a PADI Pro. Next, you can create an online (or physical) portfolio of your underwater photography work to present to customers or brands in need of photographers.
Want to Travel While Studying to Become a PADI Pro? Consider an Internship Abroad
Some PADI dive shops offer internship opportunities to prospective PADI Pros enabling them to learn while working on the job. This might include gaining your PADI Divemaster certification in return for working at the dive shop during your course (for example, in the reception office). Internships often offer pro training for little or no money, and in some cases, also include accommodations. Scuba internships are an easy way to stay abroad while studying to become a PADI Professional.
How to Get Started
To get started, check out the PADI Job Board for internship opportunities around the globe. It’s also a great idea to join PADI Facebook groups, like Divers Around the World and Dive Travel where dive shops might post internship opportunities. Additionally, get in touch with dive centers in your ideal locations – the worst they might say is no! You can locate dive shops using the PADI dive shop locator.
Ready to Make Money Abroad?
Unlock your new career abroad by starting your PADI Pro courses now. Completing the courses may land you a job as a PADI Instructor in paradise or kickstart your journey to the underwater photographer career you always dreamed of, or land you a job as a PADI Instructor in paradise. If you haven’t yet become a diver, you can get started online with the Open Water Diver Course with eLearning and then work your way up to the professional-level courses!