Scuba dive jobs can come in many different forms. One of the most common, and probably one of the easiest to obtain, is a job in a dive shop. This is where many people start their career in scuba diving, especially on the mainland.
(Click on this link for our complete guide to scuba diving jobs.)
Dive shops typically hire people who are certified divers to work in the retail portion. Sales experience is thus an advantage, though not necessarily a requirement. Besides sales, responsibilities at a dive shop could also include renting equipment, filling tanks and repairing and/or maintaining equipment.
This is a great place to go if you are an instructor or want to become one. Many (if not most) people take their book and pool portion of their dive certification at home and most dive shops offer certification courses. So there is alot of opportunity for teaching here. Teaching opportunities also include specialty courses as more people are going beyond the basic open water certification.
Retail Scuba Dive Jobs: Advantages
One perk (IMHO) is that dive shops typically offer scuba diving trips. Instructors usually are able to travel for free if a certain amount of divers sign up for the trip. We got certified in Manhattan, New York City and our instructor went on several of these trips a year for free. Several years after we were certified, we ran into her in Cozumel while she was conducting one of these trips. Not a bad gig at all.
While working in a dive shop, you will also gain business experience. Answering phones, doing inventory, ordering merchandise, etc. is all part of the operation. If you are thinking of running your own business one day (be it a dive shop or other type of business) this is invaluable experience to have. It is also a stepping stone to managing a shop. While these skills may seem mundane, it can pay off in the long run depending on what your goals are.
Retail Scuba Dive Jobs: Disadvantages
Of course, all is not ideal working in a dive shop. The hours can be long, the pay is not stellar and you have to deal with all sorts of customers - some of whom may not be happy (to put it nicely).
Being in the retail industry and, on top of that, teaching courses, you can expect to work some nights and weekends. Many dive courses are taught on nights and weekends to fit into the schedule of the students. Of course your hours will all depend on what you can negotiate with the shop when you are applying for the scuba job. But in the beginning anyway, I would count on night and weekend hours.
Retail Scuba Dive Jobs: Salaries
As a general rule, you can probably expect to make in the range of $20,000, give or take a few thousand depending on the factors above. This would include commission and is for a dive shop in the states. The Pro Dive school website (www.prodiveusa.com) quotes management position salaries start at $25,000 and up. It won't make you rich but the experience can make it worthwhile. Not to mention the opportunities for dive travel.
For more information, check our other pages on dive jobs:
Here's to a great dive job!
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