Frequently Asked Questions
These are the most commonly asked questions that our divers have (not neccessarily in this order). If you have a question not on this list and can't find the answer on our website, please feel free to e-mail or call us.
- How do I become a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor?
- If I am a certified Divemaster can I DM before my IDC in order to get more experience?
- How much are monthly living expenses on Utila?
- I've no diving experience, can I still enrol on a training program?
- Is it possible to find work as an Instructor after my Instructor course and exams are completed?
- How and how much do you pay an instructor for his/her work at your club?
- What are the tourist seasons in the Bay Islands?
- Do I need a work permit to take my internship and train?
- When is the rainy season?
- Are you affected by hurricanes?
- What do I do about accommodation?
- Is equipment rental included in the price?
- How do I reach Utila from the mainland?
1. How do I become a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor?
In order to enroll in the PADI Instructor Development Course, you need to have been certified as a diver for at least 6 months, have 60 dives and CPR/1st aid training within the last 24 months, and be in good medical health. In addition to being certified as an Open Water Diver, you will also need to hold the following certifications;
PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or a qualifying certification
PADI Rescue Diver or a qualifying certification
Emergency First Response CPR/1st Aid training (valid in the last 24 months)
PADI Divemaster certification or a qualifying professional rating
Once you are certified as a PADI Divemaster, then you can enroll in the PADI Instructor course. If you hold one of the above recreational certifications, you can also read more on our 'Career Packages'.
After completing the PADI IDC, you can then attend the Instructor Exams. Unless you have taken your training in a PADI Career Development Center like UDC, you will need 100 dives to attend the IE. At Utila Dive Centre, we offer complete training packages and you can start any day all year round because we have monthly Instructor courses scheduled!
2. If I am a certified Divemaster, can I DM before my IDC in order to get more experience?
We do allow certified Divemasters who are taking their IDC with us to work in return for dives and experience. We will also place you on a 'free' IDC preparation program in return for assisting us. This is an excellent opportunity for you to spend time on Utila prior to your IDC, gain more diving experience, learn about the local dive sites and refresh your Divemaster theory and water skills by sitting in on our Instructor's classes again, from Open Water to Divemaster. Please note that these pre-IDC internships are limited spaces and we have to give priority to those candidates who book in advance for their IDC.
3. How much are monthly living expenses on Utila?
On average, most of our trainees budget between $400-600 per month (after apartment has been paid) on food, drinks and miscellaneous expenses. There are 2 supermarkets on the island and groceries are very affordable, though you'll often find yourself eating out in cafes and restaurants with other trainees and divers. To give you an idea, a regular meal costs $4-6, a soft drink $0.75 and a beer $1-$1.25. Utila is the least expensive of the Bay Islands, with more affordable options and great choices, as well as having access to some of the best diving in the Caribbean - you'll have a great standard of living.
4. I've no diving experience, can I still enrol on a training program?
We provide training of all levels, from beginner to Instructor. In fact, we specialise in customised programs, regardless of your certification level or experience. If you contact us and let us know if you want to become a PADI Divemaster or Instructor and approximately how many dives you have, your certification level (if any) and what dates you would be looking to take your training, then we will get right back to you with specific information. You can start any course at any time with us, with the exception of the PADI Instructor course and MSDT program, (these are on scheduled dates, though for maximum flexibility and convenience