How To Get Your Dream Dive Instructor Job Part II: Targeted Applications

How To Land your Dream Dive Instructor Job: Targeted Applications

In our last video, we went over how to prepare your resume and what to include versus what not to include in order to impress a potential dive center employer. In this article, we’ll go a step further and teach you how to hunt for, target, and secure your dream scuba diving instructor job.

Narrowing your search

First off, it is important to narrow your search so that you’re not contacting every dive center in the entire world. Also, having a smaller handful of dive operations you want to target allows you to take the time to put your best foot forward. Below are some tips for finding specific dive operations to target:

A good dive instructor is one that’s always learning. So, what do you want to learn next?

  • If you’re looking to do more technical diving, look for dive centers that support it.
  • If you want to do more with underwater photography, look for dive centers that have an underwater photographer working there, or at least have the facilities to help you develop your skills.

There are several different types of dive operations that all require a similar skill set, so it is important to identify which is most in line with what you want. This includes:

  • A traditional dive shop or boat charter operation
  • A resort-style operation
  • A liveaboard boat
  • An expedition ship
  • Private yachts

Make sure to do some research on each option and see what seems like the best fit.

Part of this is going to be financially constrained by factors such as where you can afford to get to and where it makes sense to spend money to travel to. Some other factors to consider include:

  • Where you can get a work permit
  • Where the languages you speak are beneficial. Also think about where people who speak your language go to dive. Ex. If you speak Japanese, you’ll want to focus your search on the Pacific Islands that have a lot of Japanese tourists.

This is where we turn to our good friend, Google Maps. Let’s use an example with the previous tips:

  • You want to further your underwater photography skills, particularly macro underwater photography. Additionally, you are interested in Muck diving.
  • You are interested in working in Indonesia, and qualify for an Indonesian work permit. (The Lembeh Strait in Indonesia is also world-renowned for muck diving and great photography – win-win!)

After narrowing your search area and typing in the simple phrases, muck diving and underwater photography, you will get a list of operations. However, how do you know which of these operators is reputable, and which one would you actually want to be a dive instructor at.

Time to Research: 

You can tell a lot about a dive operation from its website. Some questions that you can ask yourself to determine the quality and reputation of a dive operator include:

  • Is the website modern and up-to-date?
  • Does the dive operator have a strong social media presence?
  • What is the quality of their verbiage?
  • What is the quality of their photography?

If a particular dive operation hasn’t updated their website in a long time, it might indicate that the operators, owners, and managers are backward-thinking. A sleek, modern socially-integrated website highlights a more forward-thinking, attractive employment destination.

Dive forums, chat rooms, and ways to get in touch with past instructors can help you find people that have dove at a specific dive operation. Additionally, TripAdvisor and Yelp reviews can give a good high-level idea of how they are performing, BUT be aware that all of these external opinions can be biased so it is important to not read too much into them.

How to put your best foot forward

Now that you’ve narrowed your search and found a handful of reputable dive shops you want to apply to, how do you make a great impression?

First off,  you want to personalize your application to each dive operation. It is not a good look to attach an identical, unpersonalized cover letter to your resume and call it a day.  Examples of personalization include:

  • Find out who the hiring manager is, and use their name. You can find this through LinkedIn, Facebook, a phone call, or an in-person visit if the operation is close by.
  • In your cover letter, try to use verbiage that the dive operation uses to describe themselves. This shows that you’re paying attention.

Your cover letter only needs to have two paragraphs. Don’t overthink it!

  • Paragraph #1: why you are the right candidate to work for that dive center
  • Paragraph #2: why that dive center is right for you to work at

A short, sweet cover letter and a strong dive resume will make you a high-quality candidate.


Scuba diving is a transient industry, and dive centers are always hiring. If you don’t hear back, or don’t get the job that time, don’t be discouraged. Make sure to send the hiring manager an e-mail every couple of months with your resume attached to let them know you are still interested. If you can make the hiring manager’s job easy by presenting a professional applicant before they know they need you, you will land your dream dive instructor job in no time.




See our specific products used in the links above, and for a full list of the gear James keep in his dive bag, see his Gear List.
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Meet James Blackman

With a career in diving spanning twenty years, James has seen a thing or two in the dive industry. James grew up on the Southwest coast of Britain and learned to dive in the frigid waters of the English Channel. If your first dives were like being placed in a cocktail shaker full of cabbage soup and you come away with a love for the sport, then you know it’s going to be a life-long pursuit.

James spent his twenties in the British merchant marine which afforded him the opportunity to travel to and dive in far flung locales… 177 countries and counting. Between stints onboard a variety of vessels, James used his shore leaves to level up his scuba training… Rescue diver in Tanzania, DM in Indonesia, Instructor in Honduras, Tec Instructor in the French West Indies.

His last ship before moving to a shore-based life style was an expedition ship where he notched up some of his most impressive dives, including briefly holding the world record for most northerly scuba dive… 82 degrees north in the Russian arctic; diving the Amazon river; the Antarctic; and virgin reef systems in Papua New Guinea and Melanesia.

Moving ashore in his early thirties, James took on the role of General Manager for a luxury dive operator in St Martin and never had a dull moment! Hollywood visited the island and called upon James’ underwater skills for on-set safety. When Cat-3 hurricane Gonzalo devastated the area, James switched hats to salvage and public safety diver to help with the recovery.

Scuba Diving has given so much to James in his life… and first on that list is his brilliant wife Karina whom he met whilst teaching her AOW class! Yes, that old cliché! James and Karina are also business partners and co-owners of two power-house scuba brands. Miami Technical Diving has become the premiere scuba training facility in South Florida. Tired of seeing other dive shops compete in a ‘race to the bottom,’ James decided his model for teaching scuba would focus on keeping the quality as high as possible; using the best gear possible; teaching beyond the minimum standards on a 1-to-1 student-to-instructor ratio. The fullness of the MTD training calendar shows that people – student divers – prefer to receive premium, quality tuition, as opposed to cheap and fast.

James is the personality and knowledge broker behind ‘Divers Ready!’ a super influential Scuba Diving YouTube channelwebsite and brand. In just a year, Divers Ready! has become the fastest growing You Tube channel in the Scuba Diving niche, with 1000s of new divers joining every month. Their weekly videos range from Mouthpiece Mondays – where James shares his insider knowledge and opinions about controversial topics in the dive industry – to practical ‘hints & tutorial’ style videos, all with one simple goal in mind – to make you a better diver!

James and Karina started small group luxury dive trips for the Divers Ready! audience.

James and Karina live in Miami, FL with their rambunctious dogs; Ziggy The Husky and Bonham the Mutt, and their Maine Coon cat Foxy, who remains unimpressed.