Frequently Asked Questions
Find all your answers for the Scuba Career Development program here!
Students enrolled in Professional Scuba Dive Instructor Program will need to supply their own scuba diving equipment.
The sales philosophy of Ocean Quest Dive Centre with respect to equipment sales is; to provide customers with superior knowledge and service to ensure that they get the best equipment possible to fit their needs and budget. Ocean Quest chooses equipment suppliers who can provide a variety of equipment selection that is affordable, practical and is supported with good customer service.
Each student will receive personal attention from Ocean Quest staff to ensure they are educated on a variety of equipment in order to meet their specific needs as diving professionals.
Purchases will be supported with the highest level of customer service. Students will receive a role model equipment purchasing experience in which they can reflect on as they enter the industry as PADI Instructors.
All students enrolled in the Professional Scuba Dive Instructor Program will have access to special professional level discounts on all equipment through Ocean Quest.
Due to the intense diving schedule students are strongly advised to ensure their equipment is comfortable and reliable. In addition, your equipment needs to have easy access to service in the event that it needs to be repaired or requires warranty support.
By purchasing your equipment through Ocean Quest, you will receive:
- Professional discounts on all equipment purchases (students save $2000.00 or more on equipment packages).
- Expert advice
- On going service and support throughout your program
- Responsive warranty support
- New! Interest Free Financing. Financing is offered through Desjardin on approved credit. Contact Ocean Quest for more details.
It is strongly recommended that students take care of their equipment needs at least 4 – 6 weeks prior the program start date. This will allow time for special orders, drysuit production, etc. Students who live abroad can do this by phone, email, etc. Ocean Quest will require a deposit prior to ordering equipment for students.
The following items are to be provided by each student:
- Mask, snorkel, fins
- Hood, boots, gloves
- Weight system
- Buoyancy compensator with low pressure inflator
- Alternate air source
- Submersible pressure gauge
- Dive Computer
- Underwater compass
- Primary dive light
- Back-up light
- Dive knife
- Underwater Slate
- 3 x Emergency signal devices – one audible surface, one visual surface, one audible underwater
- Divers Spool
- Pool suit
- Pool weight belt
- Log book
- 2 x Scuba Cylynders (at least 80 cu ft) – rentals available
- Equipment bag – (highly recommended)
- Spare parts kit – (highly recommended)
Equipment prices start at less than $6000.00 + applicable taxes. Please contact Ocean Quest staff for details. We will coach you through your equipment choices to ensure you get quality, long lasting gear appropriate for your needs. Interest free financing may be available on approved credit.
Contact Ocean Quest staff if you have any questions about equipment requirements.
Ocean Quest can still accommodate you with if you are coming in from out of town. We can either ship equipment to you or have equipment ready for you when you arrive.
A complete list of PADI Credentials earned in the Ocean Quest Career Development Scuba Instructor Program.
- PADI Open Water Course (Certification/Review) - For those students who are not certified, this program will assist you in achieving your initial diving certification. For those already certified, this will provide you with a diving review as well as an opportunity to observe a role model program.
Students can enroll in any Ocean Quest PADI Open Water program and receive full credit towards the Career Development Scuba Instructor Certificate program tuition.
- PADI Advanced Open Water
- PADI Rescue Diver
- PADI Divemaster
- Emergency First Response / Care for Children Provider (Non-Diving CPR/First Aid Training)
- PADI Drysuit Diver
- PADI Deep Diver
- PADI Night Diver
- PADI Enriched Air Diver
- PADI Search and Recover Diver
- PADI Oxygen First Air Provider
- PADI Underwater Navigator
- PADI Boat Diver
- PADI Equipment Specialist
- PADI Drift Diver
- Enriched Air (Nitrox Gas Blender)
- PADI Foundations of Diving Diver - Exclusive to Ocean Quest!
- DSAT Wreck Penetration Diver - Exclusive to Ocean Quest
- PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor
- Emergency First Response Instructor
- Master Scuba Diver Trainer Prep (MSDT) - The PADI MSDT rating is a step past the PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor rating. To become a PADI MSDT, an instructor needs to obtain 5 Specialty Instructor ratings and issue 25 certifications as an instructor. The MSDT Prep program will get you the specialty instructor certifications so all you need to do is get out there and teach!
MSDT Prep includes a series of PADI Specialty Instructor training programs which will certify you to teach a variety of specialty programs. The Career Development Scuba Instructor Certificate program exceeds minimum requirements by completing training for 8 specialty instructor ratings such as - Deep Instructor, Night Instructor, Search and Recover Instructor, Enriched Air Instructor, Drysuit Instructor, Oxygen First Aid Provider Instructor, Wreck Instructor and Drysuit Instructor (offerings are subject to change based on logistics and your personal preference).
You will earn two certificates upon the successful completion of your training. You will earn a Career Development Scuba Instructor Certificate from Ocean Quest. Ocean Quest is a registered Private Post Secondary Institution with the PCTIA (Private Career Training Institutions Agency). PCTIA sets basic education standards for registered private career training institutions in BC.
As one of only a handful of PADI Career Development Centres in the world, Ocean Quest training is highly regarded both in Canada and internationally. We have personally assisted 100's of divers achieve their PADI instructor ratings and find success in the diving industry. Over the past 20 years we have established many relationships and contacts.
A general outline of the program is as follows:
The program will commence from September 10, 2018 to March 30, 2019.
- September 10- 13, 2018 will include PADI Open Water Certification/Review
- September 17 - September 24, 2018 will include 4 training days per week (Monday - Thursday).
- Starting October 2, 2018 classes will be scheduled on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Other days will be dedicated to logging dives and gaining practical experience at Ocean Quest.
- There will be a term break from December 13, 2018 - January 8, 2019
- January 8, 2018 - March 7, 2018, classes will be scheduled on Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Other days will be dedicated to logging diving and gaining practical experience at Ocean Quest.
- Starting March 12, 2019, the program will go back to 5 training days a week while you complete your PADI Instructor Training.
- The PADI Instructor Examination will be completed on March 23 and 24, 2019 (to be scheduled with PADI)
- Course is complete on March 29, 2019
Ocean Quest Dive Centre has conducted all of the diver training for the Capilano University Professional Scuba Dive Instructor program since 2006, so the quality of scuba instruction will be the same.
Here are some key differences.
- The program will be located in Burnaby, BC (part of metro Vancouver). Burnaby is centrally located and close to many amenities. There is easy access to transit.
- For those students are based out of Metro Vancouver so this will keep you from having to relocate for your training. If you are coming in from out of town as we will assist you in finding accommodation.
- We have made some minor changes to the diver certifications offered. We have taken out a couple of courses and added PADI Search and Recovery, Foundations of Diving and Wreck Penetration. We also will include a manufacture sponsored regulator service clinic.
- We added more instructor level credentials (from 5 specialty instructor ratings to 8) giving you more courses you will be able to teach once you complete the program.
See Course Credentials page for more detail on what courses are included.
- There are more dive training days added. We have added more than 20 additional training days to the program. This does not include internship and practical experience opportunities.
- We will be offering more field trips. We have many unique contacts in the local industry and will be organizing some very cool field trips. You will also participate in a series of workshops.
- As the program will be conducted at Ocean Quest there will be opportunities for additional practical experience including in-store experience, equipment maintenance and repair, leading divers and assisting real student divers.
- There will be no academic courses included in the training. The Capilano U Professional Scuba Dive Instructor program is not being offered in 2014 due to Provincial budget cuts. The Capilano University Professional Scuba Dive Instructor program included a combination of academic training (provided by Capilano U) and dive training (provided by Ocean Quest). We are continuing to offer the diver programs to accommodate students who want to meet their goals in becoming PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors.
As a PADI Open Water and Specialty Instructor, you will be able to teach a variety of scuba programs anywhere in the world. Many instructors find employment at dive centres, resorts, cruise lines, live aboards, equipment manufacture's, training agencies (like PADI), we have seen instructors travel the world as underwater photo journalists - there are many options available to you!
Ocean Quest is one of the busiest dive centres in Canada. You will have many opportunities to gain practical experience within the program. Once you complete your training, you will be fully ready to join the workforce. Ocean Quest has many contacts both locally and internationally and will assist you in finding employment.
Yes, you will be able to work. You will want to ensure that you have all training days available. You will also want to have time to dive on your own time and gain practical experience outside of the training days.
Each year we have a mix of students with and without vehicles. We can typically arrange car pooling to dive sites amongst students. If you do not have transport, let us know so we can offer advice on where to reside, etc. for the program.
There is no financing available for the program tuition at this time. Ocean Quest does have financing available for materials and equipment. Financing is through a reputable finance company and is upon approved credit.
If you have any other questions about the program, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We asked Ocean Quest PADI Instructor graduates who have taken our full-time training the following questions about the program and working in the scuba diving industry.
- After taking the instructor course at Ocean Quest, how difficult was it to find work in the location of your choice?
- How would you describe your current level of income (living comfortably, just getting by, etc)? Are you happy with it?
- When you enrolled, did you intend to instruct locally or to go abroad? Which type of work was more readily available?
- Generally speaking, what was the course like? What do you remember the most about it?
- If you had it to do over, would you still take the intensive, comprehensive seven-month class again, or would you rather have taken each course separately, over a greater span of time?
Mara T.F. - Graduated 2014 - Currently in Mexico
- It was not difficult at all. As long as you have a decent resume and a good cover letter, expressing the want to work, then there is no problem. Knowing more than one language helps a lot.
- At the moment, I am living pretty good (ignoring the student loans from canada I have to pay back soon). The money I make here is enough for me to live comfortably, pay bills, save up, go out, etc and even save up. I am not short of anything. I am happy like this and i love it here!
- I intended to instruct abroad. I think that work abroad was more readily available. There are shops and companies everywhere posting job listings.
- The course was fun, I remember most the diving, I miss it a lot even. At times the course was intense with lots of little things to do, but its not anything you cannot handle.
- I would definitely take the 7 month course again. It is more efficient this way and you can reach your goals and actually be employed as an instructor almost immediately.
Lance Y. - Graduated in 2014 - Currently in Thailand
- As for finding work, I thought it was pretty easy getting a job here in Koh Phangan. I just looked on tripadvisor initially for different dive shops on the island and when I decided on Chaloklum Diving, Jim sent an email to Nick, the shop owner, to explain the program and in order to graduate we needed to complete the internship hours. I was lucky that I got along with Nick and the rest of the staff well and they all decided after my internship that they'd like to have me stay on as staff. I've also been doing some freelance work for other dive shops on the island whenever it got slow at our shop. All the shops work more or less together to help each other out and because I've been able to meet staff from the other shops its been good finding work.
- Income is okay. I've been getting by monthly paying off bills and such with what I make. At the shop, there's a priority for two staff members who've been with the shop for many years and live on the island but at the same time, Nick has been fair passing around the work to all the other staff as it comes in. I've recently started to do a little more freelancing and that helps quite a bit with income but at the same time it can get a little crazy having to decide which work to take and which ones to pass up because I could be tied up on a course for 3 or 4 days or be on the boat taking out fun divers instead.
- I knew from the beginning I wanted to come out to Thailand only because it's a place I've always wanted to come to. Mexico would've been nice but from Canada it's easy to get there and I could go anytime really.
- The course was amazing. I have to admit I was a little apprehensive at first signing up but as the program went on and I met everyone in the program it was really great. It was intense because we went through all the certifications really quick but we had the compressor and dive sites right by it was easy to practically apply the skills we learned right away anytime and any day. That's probably what I liked most about the program as well, because it was a diving program, we were able to dive all the time whenever we wanted.
- I'd still take the seven month program only because I don't think I could've waited say two years to get experience and slowly get the instructor rating. It did help a lot getting to know everyone in the class as well and becoming good friends.
I'm having a blast out here and everyday I meet amazing people from all over the world. I can't imagine going to back to Canada anytime soon.
Logan G. - Graduated 2013 - Currently in Australia
- Very easy. Too easy. Using Scuba Board or the PADI Employment pages are your best bet but pretty much every dive center I've contacted where I've wanted to work has been looking to hire.
- Yes, the pay is enough. Depending on what your involvement is at the dive center, your wage will vary. But as an OWSI, it was enough for me while I was in Mexico and Byron Bay. I've learned that wherever in the world you choose to travel and work, you'll be making an amount of money that correlates to the cost of living. i.e: In Mexico it wasn't great pay compared to Canada of course but it was more than enough because of such cheap accommodation everywhere, As I'm sure it would be the same sort of deal in Thailand for example. But in Australia, the pay is much higher, because it is much more expensive to live here.
- I wanted to instruct abroad. That was the main perk of becoming an instructor that I wanted to use; being able to travel pretty much anywhere you want to knowing that you'll have an awesome time working and outside of work exploring the world.
- I remember everything in the eight month long course. The most memorable parts of the course were 1, the first month where we just dove almost every day and just had a blast and 2, the IE at the end in April, just remembering the feeling leading up to the two day examination being anxious yet confident at the same time in my abilities to perform.
- I still think it's unreal that there's a course out there in which you can take having no diving experience to begin with and then just eight months later you become a dive king. Eight months that will change your life, and I would have changed nothing about it.
Jesse T. - Graduated 2014 - Currently in Mexico
- Finding work was not too difficult, as I have found employment at another dive shop for the fall.
- Income here in Mexico is decent, depending on which season, you can make a good amount of money.
- When I applied I intended to work abroad, but working in Canada was always an option too.]
- The course was intense, but it was also very fun as well. Very rewarding.
- If I could take the course again I would still do the seven-month class. One of the reasons I enrolled was because I would be able to complete it in that amount of time.
Scott B - Graduated 2013 - Currently working as a show diver at Ripley's Aquarium of Canada - Toronto - Worked in Cayman Islands for a year
- After taking the course it was very easy to find a job, I have gotten two different diving jobs in different locations and my credentials and certifications from the course are what helped me stand out.
- I'm currently working part time (30 hours) and affording to pay rent and still save money on the side. In the Cayman's I made close to $3000.00 per month US with wage and tips.
- When I enrolled I planned on travelling for work, and using the PADI website work was always available.
- The course was the best balance of fun and education. There was always something to look forward to and something new to learn.
- I would definitely take the course again, it allowed me to eat, sleep and breathe diving and absorb a lot of information in that amount of time rather than possibly forgetting it if I took each course separately.