Q &A with Anna- Scuba Instructor Graduate 2023

What initially attracted you to pursue the NZQA Diploma in Professional Scuba Instruction?

I Lost my career as a travel agent and realized the happiest times in my life were all scuba diving

How long did the program at Dive HQ Auckland last, and what were the main areas of study?

10 months full-time. The main area of study is responsible practices for PADI dive instruction

Can you describe the practical training and hands-on experience you received during your studies?

Anna Diving on the Great Barrier Reef Australia
Anna Diving the Great Barrier Reef

Daily expeditions to local dive sites and organized trips to some of NZs best sites too.

Were there any specific challenges you faced while studying for the diploma?

Financing your stay and budgeting is most important. It’s easy at first but money got tight at the end so I recommend saving a buffer or getting a part-time job

How did Dive HQ Auckland and your tutors support you throughout your training?

All crew always approachable and willing to chat about any concerns we had throughout the course.

Did the program include any specialized courses or certifications? If so, which ones?

Yea I did 5 specialities. I did enriched air, navigation, deep diver, O2 provider and search and recovery. Lots more available!

How did you find the instructors and the overall teaching approach at Dive HQ Auckland?

Great! Mike and Chris are legends!

Were there any memorable diving experiences or field trips during your time at Dive HQ Auckland?

The Waikato River drift dive and Rainbow Warrior dives were my favorites. Also lots of laughs all year!

How did the program prepare you for a career as a dive instructor?

Plenty of focus on attention to detail and giving us the tools we need to answer questions with confidence rather than accepting that things are the way they are just because they are the way they are

What advice would you give to someone considering the NZQA Diploma in Professional Scuba Instruction at Dive HQ Auckland?

Just do it! You will have skills for a lifetime and become a better diver along the way!

How did you secure your current position working on a liveaboard in Cairns?

I had industry connections already and when I explained the training I had received, I was offered multiple positions right away

Can you describe a typical day working on a liveaboard in Cairns?

Eat sleep dive repeats is the company motto and it fits! Big days but lots of fun and it’s always amazing to be able to spend multiple days with divers and see them improve over the course of their stay with our instruction.

What are your responsibilities and duties as a dive instructor on a liveaboard?

Customer service, guided dives, further education courses, safety watch, gear maintenance

Are there any specific challenges or rewards associated with working on a liveaboard?

It is physically quite exhausting and time away from friends and family can be trying.

How does the diving experience on a liveaboard in Cairns compare to other locations you have dived in?

The diving is much better than NZ! Warmer and much more life. Not as much variation in the environment but easier to navigate

Do you have any favorite dive sites or marine life encounters in the Cairns area?

We have minke whales visiting at this time of the year and it’s so amazing to dive with them if you are lucky enough!

How has your experience as a dive instructor in Cairns contributed to your professional development?

I get to do a lot of intro dives with people who are inexperience in the water which has given me a lot of confidence to pursue teaching more experienced divers further education courses.

Have you had any memorable or unique experiences while working on a liveaboard in Cairns?

We meet some pretty amazing people. I had one guy who said what I was doing (just a simple snorkel tour at the time in the high seas) was way scarier than what he does for work. Turns out he breaks bones for a living (so they can re-heal properly) That is so crazy to me!!

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a career as a PADI dive instructor on a liveaboard?

Make sure you are prepared mentally for long days and that you have a good support system on land who you can catch up with regularly. Otherwise, it starts to feel like all you do is work and sleep. Social life balance is important!

Thanks, Anna, we miss your enthusiasm and cheerful and humourous approach to life and diving. We wish you all the best for your career in the dive industry. You are a great asset to any dive centre.

If you think you have what it takes to become a Scuba Instructor, then contact the store about our next enrolment for our 1 year Full-time NZQA Diploma in Professional Scuba Instruction at Dive HQ Auckland.

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