As you are either considering starting your journey to becoming a PADI Professional, or starting out on this exciting journey, no doubt you will be Googling the best way to change your life and start this incredible career. There is a lot of information out there on the Internet and to a lot of people, this can be both daunting and confusing.
What’s the difference between an Internship and paying for your Divemaster or IDC?
There are Dive Centres all over the world who will offer an “Internship” to complete your professional PADI Courses, you work for free, in return you gain the training to with a view to completing your Divemaster or Instructor Examinations at the end.
Why don’t we like Internships?
You are doing your research at home and you come across a Dive Centre offering for you to work in the sunshine, dive every day, live the life that you can only dream of and in return, you get to become a PADI Pro and qualify as an Instructor or Divemaster? Sounds Perfect right?
Very often, this is not the reality – for several reasons.
1. Becoming a Dive Professional is an important decision, you are taking people underwater every day, it’s not something to be taken lightly Yes it’s a lot of fun, yes it’s a wonderful job – however there is a VERY serious side; the training you receive HAS to be good, it HAS to be thorough, it HAS to be professional and it HAS to adhere to PADI Standards - in order to make you the best Scuba Diving Instructor you can be. When you are exchanging (in essence) free labour for learning, the focus is often unfortunately more on the free labour than the learning.
2. Free labour – Dive Centres will use you as a way of saving a salary, you will be expected to do the same as paid members of staff (often more as you’re the “intern”) – Working 12+ Hour days, doing the grunt work and for what? To eventually be signed off for your Divemaster or Instructor Exam. Becoming a PADI Pro is more than sweeping floors, cleaning rubbish and lifting tanks – yes this is all important, it’s a huge role – but learning to take people underwater safely and conduct quality courses has to be paramount.
3. Being a Divemaster or Instructor Intern – isn’t the same as being a Divemaster or Instructor! As a trainee in any program, you are exactly that – a trainee. Which means you are meant to be training, learning, and growing. It is against the Law, unprofessional and unethical to work as a Divemaster or Instructor – when you don’t hold the credentials. You are not qualified to take Students or Divers as a Divemaster or Instructor – you guessed it – until you are a Qualified Divemaster or Instructor.
4. Ethics – Countries such as Thailand (for example) have wonderful Local Divemaster’s, here at PKT Diving we have Thai Divemaster’s that know the dive sites better than the fish do! Why would we want to take work away from them and replace them with a Divemaster Intern? When our local community can benefit from reinvestment into local families and the local economy.
5. If you are doing an Internship, your Instructor or mentor isn’t getting paid to teach you – so how much time are they actually putting into developing you as a professional, safe and knowledgeable Divemaster or Instructor?
So now you are Qualified and ready to work?
So now you are wanting payment for a job you were doing for free? The Scuba Diving Industry is actually a very small , tight knit industry.
I for one, am very proud of the Professional Training I received, I know it sets me apart, I know that I take pride in my job, my customers are safe and happy and I have confidence in my own ability as an instructor.
Would I hire someone for PKT who had received their Divemaster or Instructor Development Course as an Intern? Probably not, I want Instructors here who have committed to their own education and made conscious choice of where and who they want to learn with., as I did.
I get a lot of enquires daily about Internships here at PKT Diving and I hope this article has answered some questions and given some food thought.
If you want further information about our Professional Course here at PKT Diving or any questions or comments about this article – please feel free to email email@example.com
Dive Centre Manager
Phi Phi Island, Thailand