Guide to Compare SSI Instructor Trainer Courses!
SSI Instructor Trainer Courses: Search & Compare
Are you thinking about becoming a SCUBA dive instructor? Wondering where to do your do your dive instructor course? Find the best SSI ITC (Instructor Trainer Course), Instructor Trainer, SCUBA diving center and offer for you.
Do you love SCUBA diving so much that you want to take it to a professional level and do the dive instructor course? That is awesome! Now you 'just' need to find the best dive instructor course offer for you! Where to get started as there are many options available? If you are a certified SSI diver you probably consider the SSI instructor course, called Instructor Trainer Course.
There are hundreds of dive instructor course (ITC) options for you. Not only are you about to invest a lot of money, it also takes up time, maybe you need to spend a full holiday on this dive instructor course. Maybe you are even quitting your office job to make this dream come true.
Instructors might recommend their SSI instructor course, but they have done this dive instructor course only once (hopefully). SCUBA diving centers and Instructor Trainers (teacher) will try to sell you their SSI instructor course, and that is their business. How to figure out what is the best dive instructor course offer for you? Other than telling you what the best place is to do your SSI instructor course I will explain you important things to consider when selecting this SSI instructor course. I will give you a tool to narrow-down the best dive instructor course for yourself!
SSI Instructor Trainer Course Explained
The SSI Instructor Trainer Course is the dive course where you learn how to teach SCUBA diving. Since this is a standard SCUBA diving course, the instructor materials and dive instructor course flow is more or less the same everywhere around the world. A great thing about the SSI Instructor Course is that the materials are all online. Especially when you are thinking of traveling as well, it saves you carrying a lot of books and paper guides.
Most SSI instructor courses are set up in three parts which are divided again in smaller parts/themes. You start with a preparation course (1-2 days), followed by the actual Instructor Trainer Course (5-7 days) and you finish with the official exams (2 days). The Instructor Trainer Course exists again of three parts: Theory in a classroom, skills practising while SCUBA diving, swimming and snorkeling in confined water (swimming pool) and skills practising while SCUBA diving, swimming and snorkeling in open water (ocean / too deep to stand).
The official exam of the dive instructor course is called IE (Instructor Examination) which is officially NOT part of the SSI instructor course. The IE can be at a different location, even in a different country. Also students from different Instructor Trainer Courses can end up in the same IE. An Examiner (not your Instructor Trainer) will decide if you meet the requirements to be a SCUBA diving instructor. If you pass your exams in the IE you become an OWSI (OPEN WATER SCUBA Instructor). As the dive instructor course is really intense and goes on for quite a while you will be really tired. Therefore it is good to make sure you have enough time to relax before and after the dive instructor course.
If the Instructor Trainer Course is given in one go (without days off) it will take about 2 weeks in total. Quite often there are scheduled days-off or other related SCUBA diving courses in between - like a Specialty or React Right course.
SSI ITCs are mostly held close before the scheduled exams. You can download the SSI Training Standards with more information about dive instructor courses through this link: SSI Scuba Schools International - Training & Dive Center Standards.
The Best Location for Your Dive Instructor Course
Start with thinking about the location you want to do your SSI ITC. For the classroom it does not really matter where in the world you are, but for the swimming pool and open water sessions you might prefer a warmer climate. Are you going to teach SCUBA diving in cold water with visibility less than 10 meters or thinking about teaching SCUBA diving in the tropics? It might be better to learn teaching SCUBA diving with similar conditions. During your SSI ITC you probably do not have a lot of time off since you will be studying and preparing a lot for days to follow (expect long days!). Where would you like to do that? At home? On a tropical beach?
When I was selecting my dive instructor course I wanted to do it in the tropics, with beautiful colorful reefs and plenty of fish around. Compared to doing my dive instructor course in the Netherlands, it was even cheaper to fly out and stay in a budget accommodation than to stay at home where I had to rent an accommodation as well since the dive instructor courses where not given close enough to my home town. Living costs were cheaper and wearing a shorty in the tropics instead of a dry suit in The Netherlands was also more appealing to me...
Getting to Know Potential Instructor Trainers for your SSI instructor courseOther than just finishing the SSI instructor course as soon as possible you probably want to get the most out it. At least that is what I wanted since I saved-up money for a long time. An enthusiastic SSI instructor course teacher with a lot of first-hand experience can make a huge difference. Some Instructor Trainers work permanently in one dive center, others travel around and work with different dive centers to teach this SSI instructor course, sometimes even in different countries. Think about language differences/barriers and ask for average group sizes. Do you prefer a small intense course or a bigger group to learn more from others?
Spend time on the websites of the potential dive centers and Instructor Trainers and send an email to ask the things you would like to know. Think about asking how often they teach SSI ITCs, for how long they have been teaching, references of (RECENT!) previous students, etc. Ask about potential accommodations that suit your budget and check how you can get around with local transport. Think about your previous SCUBA dive instructors, what did you like most about their way of teaching? Also know what kind of learner you are, do you need direct military-style assignments or do you like an approach with more freedom and self-thinking?
Are you getting a standard copy-paste list or a personal note and additional info with that? Are all your questions answered or just the ones regarding the PADI course? Do you get a fast reply, etc. Find out who replies the way you want him/her to reply. You do not want to end up in a PADI course for weeks with a teacher that does not match your learning needs.
Compare SSI ITC Prices and SCUBA Diving Course Packages
To be honest, this is a SCUBA diving course that is going to cost you a few thousand US dollars in total so it is important to make the right decision! The price you pay for the SSI ITC itself varies but it probably around $700-1500. This part of the money goes to the SCUBA diving center / Instructor Trainer. The money of the fees and materials you buy will go to SSI directly. Prices vary due to location, swimming pool and classroom rental, teaching materials, provided food and drinks, salaries of the people involved, etc.
Compare SSI ITC Prices and SCUBA Diving Course Packages
Some SSI ITC packages courses come with 'FREE' courses while others give you a number of free fun dives, free re-take of the IE (pass guaranty), free accommodation, unlimited house reef dives, etc. Many dive centers offer packages like the Silver/Gold/Platinum or Basic/Premium/Elite options. Sometimes the difference between those SSI instructor course packages is that the SSI ITC materials are included (that you need to purchase anyway!) sometimes you get extras like other courses, T-shirts and discounts (things that can be really nice but are not necessary for your SSI ITC), compare this carefully if you are on a tight budget.
If you are comparing SSI ITC offers in different countries you are likely to compare with different currencies and also different costs of living and the price to get there! If you are looking for the lowest price, as mentioned before, it might be cheaper to fly somewhere for your SSI ITC then to do it close to home.
The length of the SSI instructor course can vary. Are you a slow learner? Choose a SSI instructor course that takes a few days longer or with days in between or ask if there is time for extra lessons if you can not catch-up. Have you done your Divemaster course years ago and no guiding experience in between? You might want to schedule in some extra time to brush up your theory and maybe even your demonstrating SCUBA diving skills in the pool.
Would you prefer a big and busy SSI ITC center with many experienced SSI PRO's around and a lot courses going on or a more personal set-up at a slower pace? All is possible!
SSI ITC Internship in Exchange for Work - Dive Instructor Internship
There are SCUBA diving centers and Instructor Trainers that offer the SSI ITC FREE in exchange for work, as a dive instructor internship. Often this is not completely free, you still need to pay for the IE and course materials. One of the other important things to 'watch out' for here is that it is a fair deal, same as with a normal paid SCUBA diving course.
Would a Dive Instructor Internship be Worth it for You?
You do not want to be involved in 'cheap labor' as a new professional but you also (hopefully) get a lot of extra guidance from professionals (time investment) in return during an dive instructor internship. It should not be too short or too long and this is very personal and it depends on how busy the dive center is. Three weeks internships are a bit short and a year might be a bit long...
One of the most important things with free dive courses in exchange for work is that you agree on the details and deadlines beforehand. Agree on things like the duration of your 'free' work period and the date of your SSI ITC and exams. Calculate if it is cheaper to pay for the course and start earning the investment back straight after certification or investing money for months (you still need a place to stay, food, dive gear, insurances, etc.) and postponing that first dive instructor salary. However, if you find a good deal for an internship to do your SSI ITC for free, make sure to have a contract with the dive center to be clear on both sides about what to expect!
You can search for dive instructor internships here.
SSI Instructor Trainer Courses Compared
We are proud to have a search engine to compare dive professional courses on many of the important things mentioned above. This way you can narrow-down the BEST SSI instructor course for you and contact the Instructor Trainer directly for more information!
Search and compare dive instructor courses and find the best offer for you! You can select specific countries, languages and starting months. Also you can see what dive center offers internships, a house reef (easier for extra dives and often saving a lot of time) and if you are into marine conservation you can check environmental / marine biology courses on-sight. There are hundreds of courses starting this year, with this ultimate guide to become a dive instructor we hope to connect you with the best option for your needs and budget. Start comparing now:
Dive o'clock "It's dive o'clock somewhere!"
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