Underwater Welding School - Divers Institute of Technology
Divers Institute of Technology

Established 1968 – Veteran Owned & Operated

How to Become a Commercial Diving Instructor

“Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.” ― Aristotle.

The great thing about commercial diving is that every day there’s a new challenge.

From the moment students set foot into the classroom to the last day of a diver’s career, a  commercial diver will constantly be trying to find solutions to different challenges.

While the individual career paths for those involved in commercial diving vary considerably, some divers choose to become an instructor in order to pass on their valuable experience and wisdom to others. 

Around the world, hundreds of commercial divers graduate every year. And guess what, somebody needs to train them.

Up steps the commercial diving instructor.

From Commercial Diving to Diving Instructor

Becoming a commercial diving instructor takes years of hard work, training, and experience.

But how exactly do you become a commercial diving instructor anyway?

Well, believe it or not, becoming an instructor starts from the very first day of training to become a commercial diver.

During their commercial diving training, students usually discover a passion for a particular field. 

While some students discover a love for deep ocean saturation diving, others may discover a talent for often-intuitive underwater welding.

Before they have even left the classroom, students will already be embarking down different roads in regards to their future careers.

And many end up wanting to become instructors.

Experience, Experience, Experience

Before they can become an instructor, a commercial diver is expected to have gained at least 3 to 5 years worth of real-world experience. Typically, this will involve numerous different jobs from all over the world.

One of the reasons that veteran Navy or ex-military divers make such good instructors is that they have a vast amount of experience working in different environments and undertaking different roles.

If your goal is to become an instructor one day then the name of the game is experience, experience, experience.

The more experience an instructor has, the more the students will benefit. 

As Jim Bernacki, an instructor at The Divers Institute of Technology highlights, “One of the greatest benefits of the students here at DIT is their exposure to the instructors and the diversity of the instructor experiences. It gives them so many different perspectives of the industry.” 

Hard Work Isn’t Easy

Being an instructor is not easy.

Having to train students that may have very little experience underwater requires patience, understanding, and, of course, dedication.

Unlike more relaxed scuba diving instructors, commercial diving instructors spend a huge amount of time designing and refining the courses that they teach. 

Trying to cram student’s brains with so much information in such a short space of time definitely requires lots of hard work.

It’s Who You Know

Being social is part of the territory when it comes to commercial diving.

Fortunately, since commercial divers place their lives in the hands of their fellow divers on a daily basis, strong bonds quickly form between everyone in the profession.

Such bonds are useful when it comes to the future.

The commercial diving community is relatively small. Currently, there are just a few thousand divers working in the United States.

This means you quickly get to know people who know people. And, it’s likely that one day, one of these people will be able to help you get that dream diving instructor job.

Beef Up Your Skill Sets

Last but not least is the skills that you can bring to the job.

You might be the ideal teacher, have lots of experience, be hard working, but still find yourself passed over for someone with more skills.

Throughout your working life, you should always take every opportunity to gain new skills in the trade.

Other than on-the-job training, the best way to do this is to undertake advanced training courses such as the ones offered by DIT.

The  Diver Medic Technician Course, Kirby Morgan Hat Technician Course, and other specialty courses, allow divers to specialize their skill sets. 

Not only can these courses help them boost income while working as a diver, but they allow you  to offer more skills to schools as an instructor later on.

Aran Davis, Writer for Water Welders

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