There are a few lucky people in the world who look forward to going to work in the morning; most of these people are employed in a job they would do as a hobby anyway. Whether you’re a ski instructor, climbing instructor, surfing coach, hiking guide, food critic, wine taster or secret shopper, the chances are if you lost your job you’d still carry on doing the work regardless.
One area that almost certainly has a high degree of job satisfaction is diving and underwater work. Many people fall madly in love with diving and the underwater world on vacation, and many go on from there to get their PADI certificate and carry on diving as a hobby. But what if you love diving so much that you want to do it for a living?
Here are five underwater jobs that let you spend your days under the waves…
Diving Instructor – The daddy of underwater jobs. If you’re prepared to put in the time training, (and the money too) then you’ll get yourself a job for life, useful at any coastal resort in the world. First you need to get your PADI Divemaster training which hones your dive knowledge and leadership skills, then once you have that you need to get your PADI Assistant Instructor and PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certifications. The training is tough, takes time and will cost you a lot of money, but ‘diving instructor’ is up there with ski instructors on the list of cool jobs for single people! Diving instructors tend to live a bohemian existence, diving in the morning, resting in the afternoon and partying in the evenings; all of this and they get to work in the most beautiful spots in the world.
Commercial Diver - Similar to diving instructor in terms of cost of training but less glamorous and exotic and less likely to get you any action. Becoming a commercial diver requires you to get your ‘diving license’ through an approved school and a rigorous testing period. Courses are quite expensive and you need to take a ‘Diving Aptitude Test’ to even get on one. If you pass this however, you become a trainee on an incredibly select and prestigious training course, such are the difficulty levels involved. As a diver you will almost certainly be traveling all over the world but the locations may not be quite so exotic. Becoming a diver won’t help your social life in the way the diving instructor gig might, but it will probably be a whole lot more interesting and challenging in terms of the diving you might have to do. Whether you end up on oil rigs in the North Sea or a HazMat diver cleaning hazardous materials, cleaning animal aquaria in zoos or welding underwater, you will certainly have an interesting career.
Underwater Photographer – Combines the glamour and exoticism of being a diving instructor with the challenges and interest of being a diver. Using underwater cameras and advanced photography techniques, there is a market for underwater photographers. If you’re a photographer with a hankering for working underwater and diving, this is the job for you. Whether you specialize in underwater portraits, shipwrecks, nature and marine life photography or simply underwater fashion shoots or filming for movies, all you need to do is find your niche and build your portfolio. Pays well and requires hanging out with underwater models.
Underwater Model - Admittedly a rather niche career choice (but isn’t any underwater job niche?), but if you’ve got the looks and find your current modeling gigs aren’t challenging you intellectually, why not specialize in underwater modeling? This is the elite, special forces branch of modeling, requiring multitasking skills such as remaining calm, striking poses and holding your breath, all at the same time. If you can look sexy underwater, you can look good anywhere.
Underwater Tour Guide - A fun choice, and in all likelihood requiring the same qualifications as a diving instructor. Has the potential for the same social interaction if working in a resort, although underwater tour guides can also be involved in more interesting diving. One example would be a tour guide who takes divers to swim with sharks, or around shipwrecks. A great way to earn a living whilst indulging a passion for diving.
Here’s hoping that all underwater workers avoid The Bends!