If you want to make money from scuba diving, you’ve landed on the right article. Let’s chat about the realities of the industry in 2024 and diversifying your income. 

Working as a scuba diver is amazing and challenging

I’ve held a handful of scuba diving jobs over the last 10 years, and one of my missions in Azul Unlimited is to offer support to anyone who wants to work in this industry. Some of my most popular videos on YouTube are about scuba instructor salaries and why I quit teaching full-time (but am now back in active teaching status and currently teaching part-time). I made those videos to give people a realistic understanding of what it’s like to work as a dive professional. 

But I don’t want to discourage people from this life.

It’s some of the best and most challenging work I’ve done. Working as a scuba diver has made me appreciate a simple life full of experiences instead of things and as long as you can budget and make a business for yourself, this work can be sustainable.

There are opportunities for scuba diver work

There actually are many opportunities for divers out there, so what you need to do is figure out what you want, figure out what needs to be done to achieve your goals, and then do the work to get there. You may get lucky and land paying gigs fairly quickly.

Then again, it may take years. The latter has been my experience.

If you had told me a couple of years ago that I could make videos online and take people diving in awesome places, I never would’ve believed you. What you’re seeing in this video is footage from my BAJA DIVE EXPEDITION in December, where 8 divers who had only known me from YouTube, joined me for a week of adventures in Mexico. I’m still totally blown away by this and feel incredibly fortunate to have such a rad, supportive community. 

Option 1: Travel Agent or Trip Guide

Create trips for people. A lot of divers are pretty well-traveled and know their way around different diving destinations. That means you can take that knowledge and help others plan trips. If you build up trust with your clients & and schedule regular trips, this is probably the most lucrative option for business.

Option 2: Social Media

If you’re interested in social media, you can build up your following and aim for affiliate marketing and brand deals. I will say though, brand deals are not always easy to come by in diving. The diving industry is very far behind when it comes to working with influencers. Therefore, reaching out to brands that are diving adjacent is usually a better deal. In my experience, community building has been the biggest priority and I have made money by nurturing a Patreon community. I absolutely adore that community and they have absolutely changed my life.

Option 3: Use out-of-water skills to support ocean brands

Using your skills as a copywriter, graphic designer, web developer, social media manager, or underwater photographer/videographer to support other people/brands. Companies are always looking for new content, so you could contract your skills to help them achieve their marketing goals.

Option 4: Open a dive shop

This isn’t necessarily a big moneymaking option (unless you manage and market it well), but many divers think about this at one point in their career. This is a high risk, high reward business that typically requires a large initial investment (especially if you’re buying a boat). It will also be SO MUCH more work than you anticipate, so having a solid team is essential.

Option 5: Work as a dive professional

Become a Divemaster or Instructor and work in the water. I saved this option for last because most people are already aware of this career path. This is the main route that everyone takes when attempting to work in this industry. However, this work isn’t for everyone. I’ve talked a lot about working as a dive professional, so if you want to learn more, I’ve linked those videos in the description below. 

Learn HOW to make these options work for you

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Whatever path you choose, it’s about treating yourself as a business and taking your work seriously in this industry. There is SO MUCH information I want to share from my first-hand experience with all of these options, so I’m creating something special for you.

Last year, I developed a workshop for PADI Instructor Development Courses called Marketing & Business for Scuba Professionals. Now, I’m updating that workshop and creating an online course for any level of diver interested in making money in this industry. In this workshop I cover more on HOW to make these options come to life. This is one of my favorite topics to teach because I have made a lot of mistakes along the way and I love helping people avoid the painful experiences.

This course will be available very soon. If you’re not a Patreon member, sign up for the free membership, and you’ll get notified when it goes live.

Join me on upcoming Azul Unlimited dive expeditions

See what trips are coming up. I always give my community first dibs on spots, so you can sign up for Patreon (and get trip discounts) or my email list to be the first to know about new expeditions in the future.

scuba diving trip to los cabos
whale shark snorkel trip to la paz

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