Do I become a Dive Pro?
This is a question often pondered by divers, the world over!
Do I stay a diver who simply loves diving, do I complete a couple more courses, because I want to know a bit more or, do I simply go all the way and become a diving professional?
Many, many divers view the ocean as a playground- They love to look at all the pretty, colourful fish, stare at sharks from the security of a metal cage, swim through wrecks, admire the antics of marine mammals or whatever, takes their fancy.
Other divers see the ocean as a workplace, the love has become jaded and the "I come to work in the morning- do my bit, then go home!" syndrome, has set in.
Hopefully, not too many Dive Pros fall into this final category, but it can and does happen! Why?
Probably because the lifestyle was just that, a lifestyle!
For some Dive Pros, not a lot of thought went into the decision making process.
Did you weigh up the options properly?
Was your passion taken advantage of?
Were you given information that sounded, too good to be true?
Did your misguided ambition, overcome the plain sight of day?
The dive brochures never put in photos of Dive Pros filling scores of dive tanks, at the end of the day.
You never see, neck high boxes of dirty, wet, salty dive gear that has to be disinfected, washed and rinsed, ready for tomorrows' dive classes.
Carrying one dive cylinder to be filled is Ok, now double up and carry forty cylinders from the carpark to the tank filling area- separate the nitrox tanks, work out the oxygen contents, mix the gas and at the same time, fill the air tanks. Then when finally you are finished mixing and filling, carry all the dive tanks back up to the carpark and this time, reload the truck.
But hey! This is the reality!
It takes a special type of person to live this life.
Someone who is young, fit, able to multiskill, offload responsibilities to suitably trained people would be right at home here and true, the pay for effort, is not that great. In fact- some places I have visited, it is downright appalling.
That is if the Dive Pros, get paid at all...
When you complete a Dive Pro course with ProDive, all this is explained to you, right at the very start of your induction. You will be required to carry dive tanks, wash dive gear andf complete paperwork, all with a smile on your face, all the time.
We are in the business of making people happy, giving them have a good time.
Our mission statement is "Lets Go Diving!"
Then again, someone has to fill the empty tanks, someone has to wash the gear and someone has to load the truck!
Whilst some dive centres seem to run on the smell of an oily rag- they have a need for plenty of cheap staff, (Trainees, overseas travellers, or even non paid volunteers, working for lessons, etc)
These people are short term gain employees, they are paid no super, no workers compensation, no sick leave, more than likely, paid cash in hand. You get the drift!
Other dive centres run a very professional, schmick, tight handed operation. They can afford to hire good, well trained staff who do wash gear, fill tanks, do paperwork for the Dive Pro-
I haven't come across too many of these!
When you complete your Dive Pro program with ProDive- You will be trained in all aspects of running a successful dive centre including, running the compressor and gas filling station, servicing diving equipment and also retail sales.
You will also be responsible for supervising qualified divers and leading them on pleasure dives. You will dive on weekends and be trained to escort divers on local and intrastate dive getaways. Go on overseas dive trips, be qualified to run the ‘dive deck’ of a dive charter boat plus, teach people to scuba dive safely, on recreational dive courses.
To become an effective Dive Pro you will need diving knowledge. Below is a list of courses, we deem sufficient, for you to become a diving professional.
You will need to undertake Stress and Rescue training combining First Aid and Oxygen Provider, as a must!
Many dives may take place where deeper depths can be achieved, so the Deep Diver Specialty Course is amongst the mix tagged on with being able to navigate underwater correctly. Boating experience is a given, along with diving after dark in the Night or Limited Visibility course.
During the Science of Diving Specialty program, you begin to understand the mechanics of diving, how air changes underwater and what nitrogen does and how to avoid decompression sickness.
Oh! I almost forgot! Enriched Air divers like to dive longer, so the Enriched Air diver training, comes into its own.
Only after completing these courses, accumulating at least one hundred dives,
owning all your dive gear, should you continue on, to become a Dive Pro.
For the majority, the Assistant Instructor course sets the ground work for a great professional aptitude- Don't miss this vital step to becoming a very well trained, competent and professional Dive Pro.
So, after weighing up the options, leaving the security of following the crowd, considering the hard physical work involved, the long hours and the cost of training, not forgetting the loss of weekend leisure time.
Do you still want to become a Dive Pro?
Let's look on the positive side, for a start, you will be extremely well trained.
Your knowledge will be expanded into areas others only dream about, you will have the opportunity to transform peoples' lives. They will remember the trips, the meals, the fun times and they will forever possess a skill, that only you, taught them,
Your social skills, people management skills, time managment, risk analysis and hazard reduction abilities will be heightened. Your safe working situation awareness, will increase and your demeanour towards people, who require your special attention, that you alone possess, wiill be awakened.
The return should, but never will, be equal- But the gratitude will be boundless.
Gratitude doesn't pay the mortgage, doesn't pay the car repair bills either!
You will need to sit down and have a long hard think to yourself, analyse your worth, weigh that up against your ability to work hard and only accept what you believe, is to be fair and equitable, to both parties. Pay particular attention to your needs, wants and desires.
Are you looking to supplement your income, have a sea change or simply disappear over the horizon, to see where your travels take you. Some people do work for gratis, maybe getting cheaper dive travel, new dive gear or extra training in return for labour is your thing, so be it!
What do I love about scuba diving and teaching scuba diving?
The lifestyle definitely!
The long hours don't bother me, I do miss the parties and family events I cannot attend, because I am working, I do love the adventure and excitement of diving different places, I have travelled to over two hundred different countries, dived in six oceans and five seas. I have dived into shipwrecks, under ice, swam with sharks, photographed sea snakes, snorkelled with whales, swam into caves and lived, to tell the tale.
Would I experience all this working in an office, I doubt it!
Ask yourself, will you get to experience the joy of watching someone evercome their fears underwater, will you feel the warm waters lapping your throat as you lay in warm tropical waters, waiting to descend onto sunkem ships that have become living reefs?
You won't! If you don't put down your pen, your newspaper, your hammer, your whatever! Pick up your mobile phone, call Pro-Dive on 02 4389 3483 and start your Dive Pro adventure today!
I hope to see you working, somewhere in the world, sooner than later....