Our Commitment to our Divemasters and Instructors
Our commitment to you doesn’t end at the end of the course. If you are looking to find employment in the dive industry, we will do our best to help you. Our staff and facility have a high standing in the dive industry worldwide and can try to find suitable work for you. Please bear in mind though, in other dive centres on Utila and in resort destinations around the world, most centres use Divemasters in training for guiding divers or have certified Divemasters who are willing to work simply in exchange for experience. If you are really looking for a paid position within the dive industry, you need to be at least a PADI Instructor. After the Divemaster program, you are welcome to stay with us for as long as your time frame allows, and you can assist our Instructors and certified divers in their dive experiences. For our candidates who are training be Instructors, we can never guarantee that you will pass the Instructor exams 1st time (it would just be marketing talk, arrogance and false promises – even the most gifted of us can have an off day!). We will, however, advise you if you are not quite ready and should wait a little longer before taking your Instructor Examinations. Though it doesn’t happen often, if we do advise you to wait before taking the IE then we will give you a 2nd IDC for free, no gimmicks. If for some reason any of our candidates was to have a ‘bad day’ and become unsuccessful at the IE first time, then our Course Directors will put their hands in their pockets and pay for your 2nd IE. However, in 2016 not only did all our Instructor candidates pass the IE, but we assisted all those that stayed on Utila or in the local area secure credible and worthwhile employment, which is our real measure of success. After the Instructor Examinations you have approximately 10-14 days before you get your teaching status activated. During this time, with our MSDT internship we can mentor you with one of our resort’s experienced Instructors and you can follow, observe and shadow them as they teach their courses (Open Water to Divemaster), so that you get to put into practice what we taught you during the IDC about real world teaching. This gives you valuable experience and a work reference from our PADI Career Development Center, making it easier for you to find your own Divemaster/Instructor position. This is another unique advantage that we offer you at Utila Dive Centre that other IDC facilities are unable to offer (due to a much lower number of Instructors and students at their school and a lack of resources).
With many dive centers throughout the Caribbean and Central America it doesn’t take long before a vacancy arises, and we will do our best to help you with resume preparation, placements and a reference. In 2016, we trained over 60 Instructors and helped 100% of all those who have stayed in the local area find suitable employment. Through our placement service we have also secured positions for our Instructors in the Caymans, Costa Rica, Panama and further afield globally. We always try and encourage our candidates to gain additional qualifications, as this will better prepare you for teaching through our internship program and will make also make you more valuable as an employee.
If you plan on traveling to other dive resorts in the world, then it’s possible our Course Director and IDC Staff Instructors, through their own experience of working all around the world, can help/advise and counsel you on teaching in differing environments and help guide you in the right direction to secure employment. As part of our commitment to you, we send regular newsletters keeping you informed of changes on Utila and (most importantly) you become part of a professional network of divers (Divemasters/Assistant Instructors/Instructors) that have all trained at Utila Dive Centre. In addition to having our Staff who have worldwide contacts and teaching experience, we can use this network to place you in touch with other professionals who are working all around the world to help you find employment or get advice from.
If you’re still not sure of the location of where you’d like to ‘GoPro’, then ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is my training extended beyond the standard program?
2. Do I have 2 experienced Course Directors overseeing my professional training with over 100 Instructor courses to their experience?
3. Can I get tuition in other languages, if needed?
4. Will my group size be smaller than 6 candidates?
5. Can I assist on PADI courses and get unlimited diving with my internship?
6. Will my PADI Course Directors still be advising, assisting, mentoring and helping me find employment, years after my training is finished?
7. Is my training conducted in a Career Development Center and multimedia facility, with reference library/tablets and internet access?
8. Will I have a training pool at my availability for additional skill development and extended practice?
9. Are my Course Directors able to offer the complete system of Instructor ‘continuing education’ including Instructor courses such as Gas Blender Instructor, International Yacht Training, IAHD-Americas Adaptive Teaching Instructor, Rebreather Instructor and DAN Instructor?
10. After the Instructor Exams, do my Course Directors help me with career placements and are they well connected in the local region and in other dive resorts around the world?
11. Am I confident my training will be professional, knowledgeable, interesting, real world and fun?
12. Am I confident I will be in a dive center with an actual training philosophy with courses at all levels conducted on a daily basis, as opposed to a resort just focused on promoting pool dives to holiday makers or cruise ships?
13. Am I training in a real full service/dedicated dive center and facility with on-site dock/boats/classrooms and gas blending station?
14. Has my training facility ever been voted No 1 PADI Instructor Development Center worldwide by PADI Americas and No 1 PADI IDC center ‘Overseas’ by Sport Diver UK, the official PADI publication? (We received this award consecutive years!)