This program allows children starting at age six to go underwater and sample the different ways they can explore the aquatic world around them.
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There are many dive professional levels waiting for you. Explore your options while experiencing a new lifestyle and worldwide career opportunities worldwide!
Do you love scuba diving and want to make your passion your career? By becoming a dive professional you really can live the dream. You have the opportunity to live and work in the most beautiful corners of the world, meet new people every day, and help new divers to gain confidence underwater.
But how exactly do you become a dive professional? There are a few steps to take before you can start teaching. To make it easy, we have made a step by step guide to becoming a professional SSI scuba diver.
The Try Scuba program does exactly what it says on the tin, it allows new divers to ‘try scuba’! If you have never tried scuba diving and you are not sure that you want to commit to a full certification course, sign up for the Try Scuba program.
You will learn the basic theory behind scuba diving, including safety and equipment. An instructor will be close by the whole time as you take your first breaths underwater and dive to a maximum depth of 12 meters (40 feet).
The Open Water Diver program is the first real step on your journey to become a dive professional. This course involves a mix of theory, confined water, and open water sessions.
You will learn in-depth dive theory and safety, including how to be a good dive buddy, how to plan your dives, and how the equipment works. By the end of the course you should be confident to dive independently with a buddy or in a diving group, up to a maximum depth of 18m/60ft deep.
As an Open Water Diver, you will be able to take part in guided dives and enjoy scuba diving anywhere in the world!
Now that you are a certified Open Water Diver, you can start to learn more about the areas of scuba diving that you enjoy most. Whatever your passion is, there is an SSI Specialty that suits you.
You can choose from over 20 individual programs, and when you complete a certain number of specialties you will also automatically earn the SSI Specialty Diver, SSI Advanced Open Water Diver, and SSI Master Diver ratings.
Some of these specialties include:
Becoming a dive guide is the first step where you get to interact with students in the water. As a dive guide you will give dive briefings, perform dive site evaluations, and lead the dives! This means you will be in charge of navigation under the water, and showing people cool marine life along the way.
You can begin your career here or continue learning to become an SSI Divemaster, so you can work as an assistant to dive instructors when they are teaching courses. This is often paid work, and you can stick as a divemaster and find work guiding dives around the world.
However, teaching courses will provide you with more money and more work opportunities. Since instructors can guide dives as well as teach courses, they are more valuable to hire.
The next step you can take is to become an assistant instructor. You will gain experience not only assisting dive instructors on courses, but by teaching students yourself under the supervision of an instructor.
This is a valuable experience before becoming a dive instructor and starting to teach alone. Observing different instructors allows you to observe various teaching styles and practice what yours is, with help and advice on hand if you need it.
Now, you are ready to become a scuba diving instructor! The first part is to complete the Instructor Training Course (ITC), and then you will enroll in an Instructor Evaluation (IE) to finally qualify as an SSI Open Water Instructor.
This is a ten day training program which will certify you to teach various key SSI programs independently, including: Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver, Enriched Air Nitrox, Diver Stress and Rescue and Dive Guide.
After gaining experience as an Open Water Instructor you can progress to become a Specialty Instructor and start teaching the SSI specialties. Once you have taught enough specialties you will automatically qualify to be an Advanced Open Water Diver Instructor. After this you can become a Divemaster Instructor and help Divemaster trainees achieve their Divemaster status.
The final step is to become an Instructor Trainer, then you can teach the Instructor Training Courses and perform Instructor Evaluations to qualify brand new Open Water Instructors.
Before you can do that though, you must work as an Assistant Instructor Trainer and help the Instructor Trainers on the courses, while learning from them and gaining experience.
Being an Instructor Trainer is a huge responsibility, it would be your job to decide if someone is ready and trustworthy enough to become an instructor!
There are prerequisites to all these programs, so it is a good idea to check that you have all you need before signing up. For example, check the minimum number of logged dives or minimum swimming ability. You can find these prerequisites on SSI website before you sign up for a program. You will also need to sign a medical questionnaire to ensure you are fit to dive.
Once you have achieved your status as a dive professional, the next step is finding work, and we would love to help you out: