Make a Career out of Diving

By OceanFirst on 7/27/16

If your favorite moments have been spent underwater watching colorful fish dart in and out of the nooks and crannies of a coral reef system, the thought of being a dive professional might have crossed your mind. Perhaps you’re setting yourself up for a career on the ocean, or you are looking for something to do with your passions after you retire from that full-time career.  Regardless of the reason, when you are ready to do more with diving than just going along for the ride, Ocean First can take you from Dive Guide through to Instructor in our SSI Dive Professional School.

The Ocean First Dive Professional School is offered twice yearly, with the Spring Semester from February through June and the Fall Semester from July through October. We allow for flexibility in the span of time it takes to complete the full professional course, and often encourage our instructors-to-be to take time to practice their new skills before embarking on the next step of the program. See our Dive Professional page for more information on the Dive Professional Career Path.

What about Dive Guides?

A dive guide is trained to give accurate briefings about a dive excursion so that the divers can visualize what they are going to experience and mentally prepare themselves for the task at hand. During the dive, the dive guide keeps everyone together, controls group movement to ensure safety and points out interesting sea life and structures. The guide monitors the diver's’ air supply and calls for the return to the exit point at the appropriate time. After the dive, the guide de-briefs the dive and recaps what they all experienced. To the casual observer it can seem like a simple task, but behind the relaxed exterior of the dive guide is a wealth of training that is required to instinctively respond to any emergency situation in a calm and effective manner. This skill comes only after many hours of training and conditioning.  At the end of your Dive Guide training, you will be proficient in keeping everyone safe and delivering fun and memorable diving experiences.

There are two types of Dive Guide's in the SSI world: the Professional Dive Guide and the Non-Professional Dive Guide. They both receive the same training during the Ocean First SSI Dive Guide course, the only difference is that the non-professional has chosen to not pay the $70 SSI Professional Fee and therefore is not required to be covered by professional dive insurance. Non-professional dive guides are generally divers who want to feel comfortable leading dives for fun and do not intend to use their certification as a means to earn money or become a dive instructor. Professional Dive Guides, after paying the $70 fee and becoming insured, can become affiliated with an SSI dive center and will generally continue to pursue a Dive Control Specialist or Open Water Instructor rating.

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