Simple Life runs two resorts on Koh Tao, both situated along Sairee Beach.
Offers a wide range, from dorm rooms to beachfront villas at the south end of Sairee Beach.
Once you complete your Koh Tao diving internship, graduating as a PADI Divemaster, Scuba Instructor or Underwater Videographer opens up a range of exciting post internship opportunities. This includes continuing your scuba diving education, diversifying into specialized diving activities or seeking paid gap year work in Thailand (or elsewhere), working as a PADI dive professional.
Even if you decide to return to your country of origin, the skills and experience you pickup during your scuba diving internship will put you in a better position whatever your chosen career. But don’t be surprised if like us, you’ll enjoy the challenge of professional scuba diving so much that you’ll want to make it into a full or part time occupation.
Here are some post-scuba diving internship options:
Apart from having a great time on a beautiful tropical island, exploring coral reefs and meeting similar people from all over the world, our scuba diving internships train you to do a job.
Whether you qualify as a PADI Divemaster, Scuba Diving Instructor or Underwater videographer, if you plan to seek paid gap year work as a dive professional you can’t be better placed than on Koh Tao.
Koh Tao is a busy dive destination with many visitors each year. We have a 12 month diving season with PADI scuba diving courses and Koh Tao dive tours taking place every day. Paid work opportunities come up on a daily basis, so provided you apply yourself and have a personality which enables you to get on with people and work as part of a team you shouldn’t find it too difficult to pick up paid gap year work as a scuba diving professional.
Below we’ve listed some general guidance on seeking paid gap year work scuba diving in Thailand. Also see the individual pages on PADI Divemaster, PADI Diving Instructor or Underwater Videographer paid gap year work, which give detailed job information for each discipline.
Working as a PADI diving instructor or Divemaster is a fantastic job. Sunshine, people on holiday, scuba diving, no stress…..so it’s understandable that a lot of people want to work in scuba diving. That’s especially true in a busy resort location like Koh Tao, Thailand. Picking up occasional work is not difficult, but if you’re serious about landing a well paid, permanent position with a reputable dive operator, there is some competition. Here’s a few factors you should consider to tip the odds in your favor – these pointers are written with Koh Tao in mind, but the advice can be applied to any dive destination:
Seasonal Tourism Patterns: In Koh Tao we dive all year round, but clearly some times of year are busier than others. With more diving customers on the island there will be more opportunities for paid work, and monthly wages will be much higher. Koh Tao’s busiest months for diving are summertime (July – September), then the New Year (Mid December through till April). If you qualify as a PADI Divemaster, Dive Instructor or Videographer at these times you’ll have an excellent opportunity to pickup paid gap year work in Thailand. The rest of the year is also fine, but not so busy as those peak months. The quietest time is late November when we get our annual monsoon (see our best months for scuba diving internships page).
Employment Opportunities with Simple Life Divers: Reading the testimonials of our past dive internships trainees, you’ll learn that many of them work with Simple Life Divers once they qualify. We have a policy of trying to keep hold of our best dive internships graduates. We can’t make any guarantees, but if you fit in well throughout your scuba diving internship, and are able to work together effectively with the Simple Life team, there’s a good chance that we’ll want you to stick around once you qualify.
Properly Presenting Yourself: Scuba diving work in Thailand is certainly more laid back than many professions, but you still need to remember that you’re representing the dive shop and providing a service. Imagine a new divers’ horror if their dive instructor turned up looking like they’d been partying till the early hours – this is the person who’ll be keeping them safe underwater! Obviously it’s important to maintain professional conduct and appearance when working in diving, albeit in a laid back island-style fashion! As such, dive shops are looking for you to present you in that way when you apply for a job and whilst working. The normal application procedure is to circulate your scuba diving CV (which we’ll help you put together), meeting each of the dive shop managers and trying to make a good impression. You’ll then start to pickup freelance work at a few dive shops, then assuming all goes well will be granted a full time position at whichever suits you best.
Other Important Skills: There’s a lot more to being a great dive professional than how good you are in the water! ‘Transferable skills’ contribute to your success – communication skills, team working, organization, being reliable, ability to follow instructions etc. Especially valuable in the scuba diving industry is the ability to speak multiple languages, allowing you to teach diving to non-english speakers. Mechanical and or boating/seamanship knowledge can also be a big advantage. Being able to sell and bringing marketing ideas will be of value, plus leadership, initiative and management skills will help you rise up through a dive shops’ hierarchy just like any business. Having skills or experience which allow you to bring something else into the mix and enhance a dive shop will set you apart.
Our contacts around Thailand and Asia: Being a PADI Dive professional is a great ticket to travel. We’ve been running Simple Life Divers in Koh Tao for many years, and during that time have built up a large network of contacts throughout Thailand and South-East Asia. If, following your diving internship you’re interested in seeing more of the world and want to seek work in scuba diving, most likely we’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
PADI Members Website: Another great resource for seeking paid gap year work in scuba diving is the PADI Members website. Once you qualify as a PADI Divemaster or Diving Instructor, you’ll get access to the PADI members area which has an employment section. Dive shop owners and managers from all over the globe post their vacancies on the PADI site, so if you’re searching for an exciting opportunity in another country it’s well worth a visit.
No matter what level you reach in scuba diving, there’s always something new to learn. If you have time and resources available, continuing your scuba diving education is a great way to further enhance your employment prospects within the scuba diving industry. Here’s a summary of the upper level PADI dive professional ratings, and a brief summary of what each means:
PADI Divemaster [DM] Coordinates scuba diving logistics, escorts certified divers on diving tours.
PADI Emergency First Response Instructor [EFRi] Qualified to teach the Emergency First Response Program
PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor [OWSI] Able to teach all PADI courses, up to and including PADI Divemaster
PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer [MSDT] Certified to teach PADI Specialty courses
PADI IDC Staff Instructor [IDCS] Can assist in the training of new PADI Instructors
PADI Course Director [CD] Independently trains PADI Instructors
Progressing through each level requires more training, time, scuba diving experience and course fees, but the further along the PADI ladder you get, the greater your earning potential. For example, PADI Course Directors [CDs] are our industry leaders, usually working both to train new instructors and managing busy dive shops, so are usually drawing a serious salary.
If you do decide you want to further your PADI training, we’re happy to sit down with you and help draw out a plan to meet your objectives and ambitions.
Continuing down PADI’s professional route is one possible direction, but one of the most interesting aspects of scuba diving is the vast array of different activities which you can get involved in. Here are some of the most popular options:
Deep Technical Diving: This has been a really exciting area of development in the Gulf of Thailand’s scuba diving industry over the last few years. Using multiple scuba diving cylinders and breathing mixed gases (which requires special training), we can extend our bottom time and maximum depths, down to about 50M using air, and beyond using a mixed gas such as trimix. The main reason we’d want to do this is to search for lost ship wrecks. The shallow Gulf of Thailand has been a busy shipping area for many centuries, with wars and bad weather causing the loss of thousands of vessels, all waiting to be rediscovered. In the past few years WW2 cargo vessels, tankers, ancient Chinese junks, an aircraft and even a WW2 US Submarine have been discovered. And this is only the beginning….
Cave Diving: Another technical diving challenge which is gathering momentum in Southern Thailand is cave diving. A large man-made reservoir nearby floods a giant area of national park. Surrounding the water are sheer limestone rock formations, within which lie complex caves waiting to be explored. Cave and cavern diving is so potentially dangerous that it requires demanding training and discipline, but the excitement of exploring a new and un-chartered cave system more than justifies the effort.
Marine Conservation: When not properly managed tourism usually has a detrimental effect on local ecosystems, especially in the case of sensitive coral reefs and aquatic life. These are highly susceptible to damage caused by dirty run-off water containing chemical pollutants, over-fishing and accidental damage by careless divers. It’s critical that we monitor the condition of our coral reef systems and take steps to protect our natural resources. This applies to Koh Tao as much as anywhere else. PADI and several other organizations invest effort in promoting marine conservation, and there are already a number of marine conservation efforts in place on Koh Tao including reef surveys, buoying projects, educating locals and artificial reef programs. This is a very worthwhile and rewarding area of diving to get involved in, and will help ensure the long term future of any developing tourist resort.
Underwater Videography and Photography: Described in detail on our underwater videography internship page, underwater videography and photography are a great way to capture scuba diving experiences on film, allowing you to share them with other people. And on Koh Tao, there are many opportunities to work as an underwater videographer, filming Open Water students, screening your movies each evening and selling copies at a decent price. Working as an underwater videographer involves a great mix of scuba diving, technical skills and people skills, making for a challenging and rewarding occupation.
Patty M. | Mexico
"one of the most amazing places I've seen in my life .... Oh man, the shenanigans we got up to underwater!." Read more
Davoc B. | England
"Be cool, don’t rub people up the wrong way, enjoy yourself, but don’t be an idiot, don’t hire a quad bike!." Read more
Sarah O'L. | London, UK
"Amazing… I truly miss being on Koh Tao. I have printed my favourite pictures & blue them tacked up." Read more