How will you become a PADI Instructor?

What path will you take?

If you are dedicated to diving and want to help others learn this amazing sport, then becoming a PADI Instructor is the perfect next step for you.

If you’re ready to help spread the joy of diving around the world, read on for more information on how to become a PADI Instructor.

How to become a PADI Instructor

You’ll need a current PADI Divemaster or Assistant Instructor certification. Logged 60 dives to start the Instructor Development Course IDC, and 100 dives that include night, deep and navigation dives to attend the PADI Instructor Exam. Proof of CPR training within the past 24 months, and a current medical certificate.  

You’ll also need a desire to help other people meet their dreams.

What exciting paths leads to being a popular PADI Instructor?

PADI Instructor training starts long before people realise! 

It’s surprising how much influence your previous PADI Instructors will have had in your preparation.

Your unconscious mind will have picked up signs right back from your initial training. You’ll have learned how some teaching techniques worked, and how others failed. 

Your unconscious mind will have picked up signs right back from your initial training. You’ll have learned how some teaching techniques worked, and how others failed. 

Instinctively these experiences will have an effect on the way that you’ll instruct others. 

Rescue Course

Awareness is crucial to your development towards being an instructor.

During your Rescue Course your awareness of others increases dramatically.

Naturally you learn rescue skills,  but much more than that is the development of your anticipation of what might happen in certain situations.

This awareness is so important as your professional training progresses. 

Divemaster Course

However, the first time that you realise that your training will make a big difference to other people’s lives is during your Divemaster Course. 

It’s on this course that you learn how to demonstrate skills clearly, give dive briefings, lead dives and brush up instructor level dive theory.

It’s also the course where you realise just how important it is to follow the guidance and standards that are in the PADI Instructor Manual. 

The groundwork gained on your Divemaster Course is crucial to being prepared for the next step. The IDC!

The PADI Instructor Development Course

This is the course where you learn to teach. 

You learn how to teach skill development effectively. 
Also you learn how to teach in the classroom. 

During your IDC, you will learn how to conduct all of the PADI courses, from beginner to professional.

You will also learn the safe and enjoyable diving techniques that make PADI such a successful organization, as well as how to market yourself as a PADI Instructor in today’s dive industry.

Click here to find out details of the latest PADI IDC. The 2020 PADI IDC explained

And here to find out What happens on a PADI IDC 

What are the benefits of becoming a PADI Instructor?

The biggest benefit is that you get to dive for a living! 

To do a job that you love, that motivates you on a daily basis and gives so much joy to yourself and others.

You meet like-minded people on a daily basis, and talk about the things that you love most. 

The Joy of Giving

Many PADI Instructors say that they love the look on their students faces when they reach a new goal. 


It’s so rewarding to be able to give others confidence, self – esteem and a brand new opportunity to enjoy life. 


Many PADI Instructors work in idyllic locations in some of the most beautiful places in the world.  

Places where most people only get a chance to spend a week or two in. 


New places in which to sample new foods, new customs and new outlooks.

It certainly is a job that broadens the mind. 


Divers are FUN people! 

Being with people that love the ocean, and love marine life is uplifting. 

We all learn from other people on a daily basis, and PADI Instructors learn from some of the nicest people on the planet – other divers. 

What do you need to do before starting your PADI IDC?

It’s essential that you’re fully prepared for your Instructor Development Course.

The IDC will teach you how to teach, and will develop your awareness of all PADI courses.

However, for you to be able to take in all of this new and valuable knowledge, you need to be fully prepared in several areas.

Dive Theory

If you’ve ever met anyone who’s told you that a PADI IDC is stressful, it is almost certainly because they were not up to speed with Dive Theory before the course started. 

The IDC is NOT the place to be revising dive theory in order to pass an exam. 

This only slows down the development process and causes stress. 

This only slows down the development process and causes stress. 

Brush up on all of your PADI Divemaster dive theory.

There are a few “gaps” in knowledge that you’ll need to fill in between Divemaster and Instructor knowledge. 

There are plenty of places that will help. 

I have a couple of options for you. 

If you want to learn everything from scratch, and make sure that you’ve covered every theory topic, then I have an online course for you.

The cost is US$ 79. 

There are videos, and quick tests along the way to make sure that you’re on track. 
It also includes 5 sets of Mock Exam papers. 

You can get it here:

PADI IDC Theory and Standards Preparation Course

If you already know most things. 
You can check your knowledge by only buying the 5 sets of Mock Exam papers. 

They’re close replicas of the exams that you’ll find on your final PADI Instructor Exam. 
The cost is US$49 for all five sets. 

5 Mock PADI Exam Papers

PADI Standards

Once you’re familiar with the layout of the latest PADI Instructor Manual, you’ll find answering questions about PADI Standards easier. 

You’ll also find the PADI IDC much more meaningful and easier to understand.

Both of the packages above will help with PADI standards as well. 

You’ll need the latest version of the PADI Instructor Manual to answer the Standards exam questions. 

So it’s great practice for your IDC and Instructor Exam.

Diving Skills

The more polished you are with your diving skills the better. 

Get into confined water as much as possible and practice as many skills as you can. 

The more fluid you are, the more you’ll enjoy your PADI IDC. 

I have another online course that will help.

It combines both of the above packages, together with much more help.

This course is the FULL IDC Preparation Course

The cost is US$ 99 and also includes everything above plus:

More videos

Skill Briefings
Skill De-briefings

How to Organise a Skill

Positive Coaching

Allow People to Learn

Plus more (it’s a bit like me teaching an IDC!) 

An ideal course to prepare to become a PADI Instructor. 

After the PADI Instructor Exam

Once you’ve successfully passed your PADI Instructor Exam, you’ll need to wait for PADI to confirm that you’re in teaching status. 

Depending on where in the world you’ll be teaching you might need to have liability insurance cover.

Still a Lot to Learn

Just like when you passed your driving test, you’ll still have a lot to learn.

Your students will teach you a lot! 

You’ll learn from every one of them, as you improve your teaching methods along the way.

How to become a PADI Instructor

Start by teaching courses to people who can already dive! 

The PADI Open Water course is probably the hardest course for an instructor to teach.

So start by teaching adventure dives!

Teaching people who already have confidence in the water is much easier than complete beginners. 

Also the courses are much shorter, giving you more time to reflect on your teaching skills between courses. 

What is your Future?

We only have one life. We need to live it. 

I hope that you will become a PADI Instructor. 

I know that your life will change, and that you’ll change the lives of other people. 

More information:

From Divemaster to PADI Instructor – a journey of passion

Last modified: 10th January 2023
Author: Steve Prior