Resort Dive Job Opportunities
There are plenty of dive job opportunities in resorts as there are so many of them all over the world and new ones probably being built as you are reading this. A diving job in a resort can be a lot of fun and glamorous but bare in mind it is no holiday and the hours can be long.
As a dive instructor in a resort, part of the the package is generally free food and accommodation. Again, the standard can vary and it might also be seen as a means to keep your salary low. It is a good idea to make sure what is included before you accept any offers.
Dive Job Roles and Responsibilities at a Beach Resort
A dive instructors`job can vary greatly at a resort depending on the size and location of the operation. Typically, you will be leading dives, and teaching classes but be prepared to do things that don`t seem to be a dive job. For instance, at a large beach resort you are likely to be working as part of a team of dive instructors where you might be responsible for just leading dives or teaching in the pool, but you may also have to work in the dive shop selling trips, equipment, clothing and accessories. In the larger resorts, other diving jobs such as driving the boat or repairing equipment tend to be a separate job and the resort will have it`s own people for such positions. These jobs are very often taken by the local people. This is one of the reasons it is important to learn the language of the country you will be working in. Communicating with the local staff in there language can make your life and dive job alot easier.
In contrast, a smaller or more remote resorts tend to look for a dive instructor who can fulfill a wide range of tasks from filling tanks, repairing equipment, driving the boat, leading dives, cooking, the list is long. So it is no surprise for me to say that the more skills and specialties you possess the higher your chances are of landing the right resort job for you.
Other things to consider with resort dive jobs
Who is your Boss?
Beach resort dive shops can be set up in one of two ways. Either the dive shop is owned and run by the resort itself, in which case, your overall boss and employer is likely to be the hotel manager- Or the resort hires out a dive operation, where you would be working for the dive school and not the resort. It is helpful to know which way it is set up as it can effect your salary and other benefits such as board and food. Working directly for the resort might also carry other responsibilities such as entertaining and socialising with the resort guests. Once again speaking more than one language can give you a big advantage over your competitors when applying for resort dive jobs
Are you married or single?
Some resorts ask for couples to run the whole dive operation but it is more often the case they prefer singles as they don`t have the means to accommodate a spouse or partner. There is no harm in asking while you are applying. I have taken my wife with me to a number of resorts where she has helped out around the bar and restaurants. Eventually she became a divemaster and now we often work together.
Do you need a work permit?
Most foreign countries require you to have a work permit. This is not usually a problem but it is important for you to know who is paying for this and who will organise it. Some resorts offer to pay and do all the administration but many of them expect you to organise this. It is possible to come to an arrangement with some dive centers for them to pay for the permit and deduct it from your salary as you work. The issuing of permits can be a timely affair and varies by country. The resort or dive shop should know the procedures so find out as much as you can from people who have done it before. There are a lot of dive forums out there with instructors who are more than willing to help.
Can you speak another language?
Once again speaking more than one language can give you a big advantage over your competitors when applying for resort dive jobs. Being able to socialise with the guests, teach dive courses, sell trips in more than one language gives you the upper hand and adds to the experience of the resort guests. You will be able to reach a wider customer base and therefore be a valuable member of any dive operation.
How much will you get paid?
As always with dive jobs- you should not really be in the dive industry if money is your main motivating factor. Obviously salaries will depend on the resort and responsibilities you hold. In general you could expect a salary in the range of $15,000 to $18,000 for newbies going up to around the $24,000 mark. During my time as an instructor at a resort, my salary was increased dramatically with the tips we received. Tips are handled in different ways depending on where you work. In Mexico for example, it is a tipping culture and so I was actually made to ask for tips at the end of the dive trip. It was highly embarrassing for me but it was somewhat expected. Normally the tips are shared out amongst the staff but I have worked in resorts where you are responsible for looking after an appointed guest and the tips are all yours to keep.
I also worked in a resort where the salary had a basic and then the rest was made up of commission on the dive trips, courses, equipment etc that you sold. This is where any selling experience you have comes in to play along with a second language.
All in all, I had a great time working a resorts as a dive instructor. The hours were long but the fun and people you meet make up for it. There are alot of opportunities out there and it can be a good stepping stone for newbie dive instructors to get into the dive industry.