Skills you need to become a scuba dive instructor

Skills you need to become a professional SCUBA dive instructor

It takes much more than just a scuba qualification to become a professional dive instructor. In fact, there are quite a few things to keep in mind before taking on this challenging profession. There are higher qualifications and experience involved, as well as a few personal and interactive work skills. Take a look at these essential skills you need to become a scuba dive instructor.


You’ll be teaching something new to people who might never have had any diving or snorkelling experience before. Be prepared to answer some simple questions and to spend a lot of time on specific diving and safety principles. If you’re an impatient person, it won’t do you any good to make your future dive students feel bad about not keeping up. Learn to work with each person’s work pace. You will have to help them understand brand new concepts that apply to the underwater world.

Think fast under pressure

During your teaching sessions, especially in the water, students might start panicking or acting unexpectedly. As their instructor, you need to be able to remain calm, think quickly and take the best course of action to help in that situation. You would be responsible for your students in their training period. Therefore, you need to ensure their safety at all times.

Communication skills 

Person to person communication is very important if you’re going to be teaching people important principles that will allow them to scuba dive. Be a people-person. Always be friendly, open and approachable. If you’re already a good communicator, teaching others to scuba dive will be easier.

Athletic/general fitness

You don’t have to be super fit to be able to scuba dive. However, you do need to know that it will take some physical exertion to be underwater as much as is necessary for a scuba dive instructor. To become an instructor, one fo the requirements is that you’ll already have spent a considerable amount of time underwater.

First aid and rescue techniques

This is a given for any scuba dive instructor. To be a rescue diver or divemaster, you need to have a certification in first aid training. Since you’ll be teaching others to scuba and might find yourself in high-risk environments, it’s valuable to have skills that can enable you to give medical help where needed. 

Understanding and practical application of equipment

You will know all of the equipment essentials for scuba diving as soon as you have your first scuba qualification. Being able to understand how the equipment works is one of the skills you need to become a great scuba instructor. In addition, you can educate yourself on practical applications of how to maintain and even fix the equipment where needed. Having this skill will place you in high regard as an instructor.  

With these skills and the necessary scuba qualifications from PADI or another dive institute, you’ll be equipped to become one of the best scuba dive instructors out there. Check out Blue Wilderness’s Scuba Professionals Internship and take the first step to become a pro scuba instructor with PADI.

In South Africa, the two most renowned coral reef dive locations are Sodwana Bay and Aliwal Shoal. Here you will find professional SCUBA diving operations, such as Blue Wilderness, that specialist in both client based SCUBA trips and SCUBA training. At Blue Wilderness, we run a 6 month internship program to take aspiring SCUBA professionals from the non-qualified level to an experienced dive master with speciality training in underwater photography, citizen science, underwater videography and shark diving. This program is a great way to quickly gain the qualifications and skills to build a career as a SCUBA diving professional and open up all the possibilities of a career of fun, travel, passion and adventure. 

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