Graduate Questions

We asked Ocean Quest PADI Instructor graduates who have taken our full-time training the following questions about the program and working in the scuba diving industry.

Question

  1. After taking the instructor course at Ocean Quest, how difficult was it to find work in the location of your choice?
  2. How would you describe your current level of income (living comfortably, just getting by, etc)? Are you happy with it?
  3. When you enrolled, did you intend to instruct locally or to go abroad? Which type of work was more readily available?
  4. Generally speaking, what was the course like? What do you remember the most about it?
  5. If you had it to do over, would you still take the intensive, comprehensive seven-month class again, or would you rather have taken each course separately, over a greater span of time?

Responses

Mara T.F. - Graduated 2014 - Currently in Mexico

  1. It was not difficult at all. As long as you have a decent resume and a good cover letter, expressing the want to work, then there is no problem. Knowing more than one language helps a lot.
  2. At the moment, I am living pretty good (ignoring the student loans from canada I have to pay back soon). The money I make here is enough for me to live comfortably, pay bills, save up, go out, etc and even save up. I am not short of anything. I am happy like this and i love it here!
  3. I intended to instruct abroad. I think that work abroad was more readily available. There are shops and companies everywhere posting job listings.
  4. The course was fun, I remember most the diving, I miss it a lot even. At times the course was intense with lots of little things to do, but its not anything you cannot handle.
  5. I would definitely take the 7 month course again. It is more efficient this way and you can reach your goals and actually be employed as an instructor almost immediately.

Lance Y. - Graduated in 2014 - Currently in Thailand

  1. As for finding work, I thought it was pretty easy getting a job here in Koh Phangan. I just looked on tripadvisor initially for different dive shops on the island and when I decided on Chaloklum Diving, Jim sent an email to Nick, the shop owner, to explain the program and in order to graduate we needed to complete the internship hours. I was lucky that I got along with Nick and the rest of the staff well and they all decided after my internship that they'd like to have me stay on as staff. I've also been doing some freelance work for other dive shops on the island whenever it got slow at our shop. All the shops work more or less together to help each other out and because I've been able to meet staff from the other shops its been good finding work.
  2. Income is okay. I've been getting by monthly paying off bills and such with what I make. At the shop, there's a priority for two staff members who've been with the shop for many years and live on the island but at the same time, Nick has been fair passing around the work to all the other staff as it comes in. I've recently started to do a little more freelancing and that helps quite a bit with income but at the same time it can get a little crazy having to decide which work to take and which ones to pass up because I could be tied up on a course for 3 or 4 days or be on the boat taking out fun divers instead.
  3. I knew from the beginning I wanted to come out to Thailand only because it's a place I've always wanted to come to. Mexico would've been nice but from Canada it's easy to get there and I could go anytime really.
  4. The course was amazing. I have to admit I was a little apprehensive at first signing up but as the program went on and I met everyone in the program it was really great. It was intense because we went through all the certifications really quick but we had the compressor and dive sites right by it was easy to practically apply the skills we learned right away anytime and any day. That's probably what I liked most about the program as well, because it was a diving program, we were able to dive all the time whenever we wanted.
  5. I'd still take the seven month program only because I don't think I could've waited say two years to get experience and slowly get the instructor rating. It did help a lot getting to know everyone in the class as well and becoming good friends.

I'm having a blast out here and everyday I meet amazing people from all over the world. I can't imagine going to back to Canada anytime soon.

Logan G. - Graduated 2013 - Currently in Australia

  1. Very easy. Too easy. Using Scuba Board or the PADI Employment pages are your best bet but pretty much every dive center I've contacted where I've wanted to work has been looking to hire.
  2. Yes, the pay is enough. Depending on what your involvement is at the dive center, your wage will vary. But as an OWSI, it was enough for me while I was in Mexico and Byron Bay. I've learned that wherever in the world you choose to travel and work, you'll be making an amount of money that correlates to the cost of living. i.e: In Mexico it wasn't great pay compared to Canada of course but it was more than enough because of such cheap accommodation everywhere, As I'm sure it would be the same sort of deal in Thailand for example. But in Australia, the pay is much higher, because it is much more expensive to live here.
  3. I wanted to instruct abroad. That was the main perk of becoming an instructor that I wanted to use; being able to travel pretty much anywhere you want to knowing that you'll have an awesome time working and outside of work exploring the world.
  4. I remember everything in the eight month long course. The most memorable parts of the course were 1, the first month where we just dove almost every day and just had a blast and 2, the IE at the end in April, just remembering the feeling leading up to the two day examination being anxious yet confident at the same time in my abilities to perform.
  5. I still think it's unreal that there's a course out there in which you can take having no diving experience to begin with and then just eight months later you become a dive king. Eight months that will change your life, and I would have changed nothing about it.

Jesse T. - Graduated 2014 - Currently in Mexico

  1.  Finding work was not too difficult, as I have found employment at another dive shop for the fall.
  2. Income here in Mexico is decent, depending on which season, you can make a good amount of money.
  3. When I applied I intended to work abroad, but working in Canada was always an option too.]
  4. The course was intense, but it was also very fun as well. Very rewarding.
  5. If I could take the course again I would still do the seven-month class. One of the reasons I enrolled was because I would be able to complete it in that amount of time.

Scott B - Graduated 2013 - Currently working as a show diver at Ripley's Aquarium of Canada - Toronto - Worked in Cayman Islands for a year

  1. After taking the course it was very easy to find a job, I have gotten two different diving jobs in different locations and my credentials and certifications from the course are what helped me stand out.
  2. I'm currently working part time (30 hours) and affording to pay rent and still save money on the side. In the Cayman's I made close to $3000.00 per month US with wage and tips.
  3. When I enrolled I planned on travelling for work, and using the PADI website work was always available.
  4. The course was the best balance of fun and education. There was always something to look forward to and something new to learn.
  5. I would definitely take the course again, it allowed me to eat, sleep and breathe diving and absorb a lot of information in that amount of time rather than possibly forgetting it if I took each course separately.