If you prefer melted snow warmed up in a working environment of tropical waters, then how does becoming a scuba diver instructor sound? There are two main qualifying bodies that are widely recognised worldwide. The first and nearest is BSAC (British Sub-Aqua Club), the UK governing body for scuba diving and endorsed by the Sports Council and the Heath and Safety Executive.
BSAC offers training for members through a branch, or intensive courses through a BSAC school. Click on the BSAC website (www.bsac.com/) to find the nearest course and dive centre to you.
The second, PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), is highly renowned in the underwater industry, and most dive resorts abroad use PADI to register their courses. You will have to go through a series of stages to get to Instructor level, from Open Water Advanced, to Rescue Diver, to Divemaster and then finally Instructor Development Course (IDC). This can become expensive, yet once you have logged enough dives and achieved your dive card, who can complain about diving every day into tropical waters of exotic coral and a biodiversity of marine life? PADI courses are scattered around the world – you only have to shack up at a dive resort such as Koh Tao in Thailand, Caye Caulker in Belize or the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and you will be inundated with dive resorts offering the opportunity to find more instructors (see www.PADI.com for a list of locations).
You can also check out ScubaSkool, a third branch of SportSkool Ltd. They offer a seven-week programme to train people from beginner to PADI Divemaster. Crystal International Academy also offers range of European scuba diving courses in partnership with PADI Career Development Centres, located in Egypt, Cyprus and Malta. As for working abroad, salaries are difficult to determine, it hugely varies depending on which country you decide to work in. Salaries are never particularly high; nevertheless, diving all day long for free, and free accommodation and often food and drinks in local bars and restaurants means the lifestyle and perks are second to none. Once qualified as a PADI professional, a whole host of opportunities opens up for employment worldwide: from a dive centre or beach resort, to the polar opposite of a live-aboard boat, where you can continually explore the depths of fantastic blue tropical seas and meet new people every day.