How much do you get paid in a scuba diving job?

Photo from Girls that Scuba day in Gili T, Indonesia!
Photo from Girls that Scuba day in Gili T, Indonesia!

Here at Girls that Scuba we've dedicated the month of March to careers month. We are discussing all sorts of jobs in scuba diving, how much you can get paid as a scuba instructor or scuba team member, how to get jobs in diving and everything in between. We asked YOU how much you got paid in your scuba job and the results are fascinating. Dive into the world of pay as a scuba diver.

Underwater photographer in Australia

"I worked for 4 years in Indonesia. My first year there was a position as a DM and I would earn only commission rate per day. Some days it was $12 and other days it was $48 (USD). These were sometimes 10-12hr days too. Years later I then spent 3 years working in Nusa Lembongan as a full time dive instructor and I would make between $1000-$1600 AUD per month depending on bookings as this was also commission based. Today I work full time as a dive instructors and UW photographer in Australia and I get $250 AUD day rate. Finally things are looking up and you can actually make some good money in diving here in Australia."

Scuba dive instructor in Croatia

"As a scuba instructor in Croatia I get paid between 200 and 400 euros each week. It all depends on how many clients we have during a week. We also get free accommodation for the whole season. Some people leave tips, but it's not very common where i work."

At a resort in the Maldives

"Interning with a marine team at a 5* resort in the Maldives - accommodation, food, and medical provided, monthly service charge ranges from $300-$1000usd. Marine research at local dive shop in the Maldives, $850 monthly including accommodation."

Volunteering in the UK

"Our shop in the UK is all "volunteers". No pay, but we get discount on kit. This is illegal in my country and the owner is aware. But it is the only option to get experience just the way it is done."

Marketing director in USA

"I am the marketing director for a scuba shop and make 44,000USD with no benefits other than discounted travel and for my con-ed classes I only pay for the ssi online materials."


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Dive instructor in an Aquarium in the UK

"I worked as a full time instructor in an aquarium in the UK teaching DSDs. An annual salary of around £19k. Didn't really reflect the high level of responsibility and effort that the role comes with. Especially when the outlet was more worried about making money than keeping their staff and guests safe. "

Marine Biologist in Maldives

"I worked at a resort in the Maldives as a marine biologist and earned $1,000 a month. Room and board were included, so basically I never had to spend any money, unless I wanted to buy drinks in the evening or chocolate from the tuck shop.I then worked as a marine conservation field staff/diving instructor in Mexico and made $400 a month. Room and board were provided so I never had to spend any money."

Dive instructor in Malaysia

"Dive instructors 720€, if you had a management position it was 900€ and up but this means also nights on call or after hours. Housing, 3 meals incl. This was in Malaysia. Divemaster jobs for locals only. Work permit was paid by the company, you have to sign for 2year contract"

Dive instructor on a cruise ship

"The monthly salary was $2000 USD plus commission on all equipment and tour sales (diving and shore excursions). General duties would include doing ‘try dives’ in the pool onboard, completing any DSD / OW courses onboard and in port, tour dispatch on port days, and duties as part of the shoreEx team. Student count is generally low with one small course per week maximum. Cruise ship contracts are 10 hours a day, 7 days a week for 6-8 months followed by 2 months unpaid vacation.

Your expenses are pretty much zero. Food and accommodation is included and crew bar drinks are subsidised, most nationalities are entitled to tax free earnings. As part of the shore excursions team, you often escort the tours in port which is free. It’s a great travel opportunity (dependent on itinerary) but the diving is minimal- some weeks you may not dive at all, only try dives, others weeks you may dive in two or three ports. If you have time off schedule during the ports then you can go off and fun dive too.There is usually two instructors onboard so they usually alternate a week of instructing with a week of other duties"

Dive instructor on charter yachts

"Dive Instructor / Deckhand on Charter Yachts in Australia $350.00 AUD a day plus tips (gourmet meals and drinks, uniforms included) 

As a Trip Director / Dive Instructor on a liveaboard expedition vessel I make $25.10 an hour for 10 hours plus tips and 10% commissions on courses and upgrades split between a crew of 10) 7 days on/7 days off (I work like 15 though) (meals included) averaged out to $2000 AUD biweekly plus tips. Snorkel Guide / Deckhand / Hostess on high end Sailing Catamaran $27 AUD an Hour 10 hours (company provides uniforms, food, towels)"

Assistant manager at a dive shop

"I work as an assistant manager in a dive centre in the UK, my yearly salary is 20 000GBP. I work 45 hours a week (on non covid times) and my benefits are the discounts on kit and I'm able to borrow any kit I want from the school stuff. Also I have so many people to dive with and am able to pay off kit I've bought by doing overtime."

Liveaboard in the Caribbean

"Working on a liveaboard in the Caribbean I earn 250us a week plus tips and commission, so around 1000us a week. With about 15-18h days easy. Usually on a 4-6weeks rotation on and 2-3 week off time"

Dive centre office manager in Malta

"Dive centre office manager, €450 per month on a part time basis...Other benefits include diving and discounts on equipment and courses. I'm based in Malta!"

Photographer in Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef

"$160aud per day before tax. 10% commission on sales (roughly $40/day)

Instructor in Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef $190aud per day before tax"

Dive instructor in UAE

"As an instructor in the UAE I earn around 2000DHS or £400gbp per month. Also, for every course I bring the customer, they give me commission of 20% of the cost per course"

 

Dive instructor round the world

"Working in Mexico 10 yes ago I was earning 1200 euros a month with monthly living costs of approx 500usd a month, for each additional language spoken an additional 100usd per month. In Thailand, I was earning approx 1000 euro a month with approx 500euro cost per month  and in the Maldives I was earning 1400-2000usd per month and up to 2500 usd as base leader, no living costs other than drinks at the bar!

So anything is possible if you find the right job."