Work as a Pro #1 – Tour Leader
There are lots of different jobs you can work as a scuba diving pro, a boat tour leader is one.
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Boat Tour Leader
Here in Phuket we have a vast range of day trip boats that hold a number of scuba divers and snorkelers ranging from 5 or 6 up to 60 or 70. As with any large group of people they need to be managed. On a scuba diving boat the boat manager is called a Tour Leader. Day trips run to sites such as Racha Yai, Racha Noi, Phi Phi, Shark Point, Koh Doc Mai and many more.
Technically a Tour Leader does not have to be a professional dive instructor or divemaster however in almost all cases they are. The job description not only includes good management and people skills but a professional understanding of the needs and problems that instructors and divemasters encounter, staff management, tides and currents, weather conditions and a good knowledge of the dive site you are visiting.
Dry Tour Leader
On a lot of day boats, especially the bigger ones the tour leader is dry, which means that they will not enter the water. Some dive boats the tour leader is wet which means as well as running the boat they may conduct underwater tours or teach students. This is another reason why most tour leaders are professional dive instructors.
A typical day trip Tour Leader would arrange for the pick up of the trip list, at times organise equipment, meet and great other instructors or divemasters and customers. They need to liaise with the pick up drivers and boat staff. Organise deck plans, meal times and dive sites. Also in to consideration and level of students and customers and tides, currents, surges and of course weather conditions. Tour Leaders are responsible of the safety of all the persons on the boat as well as running the boat to its schedule.
It is great opportunity to meet and talk with other divers from all walks of life and from many different countries
In Phuket there is a large liveaboard industry with most liveaboards heading to the north to the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richeleiu Rock and some even heading up to the Surin Islands and Burma. To the south liveaboards go to Hin Deaung, Hi Muang and the Andaman Islands.
All these boats have liveaboard tour leaders. This is a different style of tour leader and as it would suggest it requires you to be on the boat for days at a time although some tour leaders are on there for weeks even months at a time. As opposed to day trip tour leaders, most liveaboard tour leader are wet and get to do diving in some of the best dive sites in the world. The work on a liveaboard is not easy, most days first to wake and last to sleep. The workday is long but the rewards are high and given that you live and eat for free it can be a great way to save some money and do some of the best diving for free.
Become a PADI Pro
Your first step to becoming a tour leader is to become a PADI Divemaster and then a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. It always helps to get some teaching or guiding experience but after that the world is you oyster. The countries and work places are endless and by being a PADI Divemaster or PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor you are on your way to one of the best jobs in the world.
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