The process you have to go through to qualify as a dive instructor courses varies considerably, based on your location. In most countries, certification is mandatory, however the organizations that handle this and the particular steps required to become certified are different. Prior to becoming a diving teacher, you will probably have to get a SCUBA qualification. SCUBA is an acronym for ‘Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus’. All aspiring instructors must know how to operate this equipment, by attending dive instructor courses and spending long periods of time rehearsing SCUBA maneuvers.
PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is an established global scuba diving accreditation organization. The Open Water Course for Divers is the basic qualification offered by PADI. This is open to anyone over the age of ten, who is healthy and who can complete a swimming exam. This course teaches students the technical elements of diving — online or in a classroom – along with practical training in open water, like in the ocean or a lake, and in closed water, like in a swimming pool. After students complete this training, they tend to be given a ‘C card’, or diver’s certification card, which enables them to dive to sixty foot depths alone — with no qualified instructor being present.
After you have satisfied the prerequisite criteria, you will have to register for a training course to get ready to become an instructor. These courses can be fairly rigorous, so expect to commit a substantial amount of cash, effort and time to them. Initially, you might have to spend some time in a lecture room, then in a swimming pool, then in the ocean. All stages of the course will be supervised by an accredited instructor, who will make sure that you are mastering the correct techniques. During the course, you will have to devise your own presentations that teach diving to others, then show your work to the instructor privately, or to all the other students.
When they finally qualify, many diving instructors are still not ready to hold instruction lessons on their own. As new instructors, they will usually shadow an established instructor for a while, to receive hands on, practical training. As already stated, particular requirements differ, based on where the instructor works. After they are fully trained and certified, diving instructors direct groups of students in the water and in the classroom, to teach them how to navigate various diving scenarios safely.