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  1. #1
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    Which agency would you choose to become an instructor?

    Hi,

    If you decided to become a recreational diving instructor which agency you would opt to do it through? Perhaps present PADI instructors or BSAC instructors for example would choose an other agency if they were to choose their agency again to become pros? What are the benefits and disadvantages of your agency over others? Would it depend where you teach? Would you choose one agency in the UK but another in Asia the Americas or Egypt for example?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    If you want to earn a living by instructing, forget about BSAC. BSAC training is very thorough but very labour intensive and in terms of return on investment doesn't compare with PADI. Speaking as a BSAC instructor, I feel more comfortable with this style of training which is not time limited where you can take things very much at the trainees pace rather than the sausage machine approach which commercial training organisations require in order to make an acceptable profit. That is not knocking the likes of PADI or SSI, it is simply a matter of being realistic as to what is required for running a viable commercial business.

    It all depends on what you want to get out of instructing - earning a living or simply enjoy training new divers and introducing others to the underwater world.

  3. #3
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    It would depend why.

    If I wanted some "working holidays" to drink beer and chase tail in the sun somewhere, PADI.
    If to do it for the love of it doing more interesting stuff, IANTD.

    Whichever I did I'd probably get BSAC as well (they are reasonable about crossing over where PADI adhere to the usual spam can rip off model) as I quite like the craic with the club.

  4. #4
    Established TDF Member Chrisch's Avatar
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    PADI is the obvious choice for any commercial activity and BSAC is the better choice for doing it for your own personal entertainment. Little really to choose between the two (despite the internet wars) as both have "quirks" and issues that you might have to contend with (snorkels and arse about face AAS).

    I have long felt that (many) people either like diving or training and the two don't cross over all that much. GUE is the obvious other choice that might be a better compromise.

    I agree with WFO the start point is why would anyone want to be an instructor? The answers are as diverse as the possibilities. I had hoped to teach my nephew. The situation did not facilitate that and I have zero interest beyond that. The BSAC OWIC is worth doing in its own right, the PADI courses IMHO add nothing to your personal diving very much (maybe DM a little teeny weeny bit).

    The agency wars are so yesterday....
    We give 350m a week to the EU. Let's give it to Dido Harding instead.

  5. #5
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    Think a lot depends on where your target working region/country/resort is...

    I'll agree that BSAC (or CMAS) instructor has it's benefits to accompany a PADI or similar.

    You could also consider SSI (owned by HEAD - who own Mares diving kit, so discounts could be available).

    A greater benefit is to be reasonably fluent in a couple of languages as well as English (or American).

  6. #6
    The swimming rodent Treerat's Avatar
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    All down to location, I'm a BSAC instructor that only teaches in the voluntary sector. when looking for centres to base club or family trips at I look for those with BSAC instructors as we use trips for qualification dives -and so much easier to hand them over.

    So if the centre / location you want to be uses BSAC instructors go with them, in Croatia it was all SSSI, so you'd have to be with them.

    It's a cheaper route too as I see it, so you have the ability to teach and then expand to the others.
    Andy
    www.budediveclub.co.uk
    www.gafirs.org.uk
    If it moves - canoe it, if it doesn't dive it!

  7. #7
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    As a stepping stone to other things, as a BSAC instructor that has been sufficient for me to step to IANTD, TDI, SDI and IART relatively easily. It was only PADI which would have made me jump through hoops. SDI Has a relatively similar program to PADI and was well supported where I was. Id hate to teach diving for a living though


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  8. #8
    Gone diving back later Vanny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1w View Post
    As a stepping stone to other things, as a BSAC instructor that has been sufficient for me to step to IANTD, TDI, SDI and IART relatively easily. It was only PADI which would have made me jump through hoops. SDI Has a relatively similar program to PADI and was well supported where I was. I’d hate to teach diving for a living though


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    Be interested to hear how you went about moving to other agencies. Pm if you like.

  9. #9
    Established TDF Member Chrisch's Avatar
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    Most of the technical agencies require you have a basic recreational ticket first. So BSAC OWI is adequate for you to start with IANTD or TDI. If a person was interested in teaching with these agencies a BSAC OWI is not a bad place to start as it is much cheaper to get than a PADI OWSI (although more long winded).

    When I was looking at the various options when we were in France you needed a CMAS 2 star instructor ticket for several things (one of the Belgian quarries asked for this as the level to book dive parties) The PADI ticket(s) have limited value if you are working in the CMAS system as the PADI program is non deco. (This has changed now with the PADI DSAT integration).

    Like Dave I would not wish to teach as a revenue source - seems like an immensely hard way to make very little unless you are running a centre. From what I have been told the best ticket to use for a working holiday and drop out for a while is actually DM. You need half a dozen languages and a boat ticket and blenders ticket and so on as well, but you can have a long break from a real job if you want until your savings/parents run out. If I was 20 again I might take a break.
    We give 350m a week to the EU. Let's give it to Dido Harding instead.

  10. #10
    Established TDF Member MikeF's Avatar
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    There are BSAC dive centres overseas that you can work in as a BSAC instructor. I did it for a couple of years when I was in my early 20's. I rapidly realised that unless you had the seed money and local contacts to enable you to setup your own dive centre for whatever agency you were never going to buy a house or retire. It's fun but the centres know there's an endless queue of dreamers and rich kids willing to work for next to nothing to do some diving for their gap year experience, so wages are basically beer money.

    The money is, or was, for the dive centres in tourist try dives not instructors teaching proper courses

    As an instructor you can do three or 4 try dives / day with say 3 or 4 punters a time if your centre is a busy one.

    Average it out at say 30 / a head x 12 try divers / day / instructor so 360/day for try dives vs spend 5 days with two punters doing a course and charge them 300 each. Try dive's brings in 1800 / instructor if you have the volume, course brings in 600 / instructor in the same period. I reckon I did over 100 try dives for every course I taught. Wages wise out of that 360/day for try dives I was lucky to see 30 / day plus accommodation.

    As a centre why do courses? If the customer is really shit and your instructors haven't been able to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse the pressure is on to give them the certificate or the customer may not pay. Dilemma time.

    This never happens of course agencies and centres have standards to maintain. yeah right. I failed someone after 5 days of a course and advised him to take up croquet as diving clearly wasn't his bag. Customer has a whine to the owner and goes out the next day with another local instructor for an assessment who then signs him off for the qualification and signs him up for the next course. Customer is delighted, boss is delighted, local instructor grins knowing how much better he is than the rookie kid! Take that whippersnapper! Trouble was the customer would never be a diver as long as he had a hole in his arse. I just prayed he gave up before he killed himself or someone else.

    I had a great time but after a couple of years I learned the lesson, woke up, had a think and went back to college.


 
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