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.
What could be better than living on a stunning tropical island in Thailand, teaching people how to scuba dive for a living?
This is the reality for PADI dive instructors living in Koh Tao. In fact, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors [OWSIs] are the most in-demand of all scuba diving professionals. That’s not to say that there isn’t competition for the best jobs, but in a busy dive resort like Koh Tao there are many openings, so if you’ve got what it takes can do very well.
Once you complete your scuba diving gap year internship, qualifying as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, you’ll be licensed to teach all PADI courses from beginner right through to PADI Divemaster (the first professional level in PADI’s diver education system).
Most likely when you begin teaching, you’ll start out by running entry level courses such as single afternoon ‘Discover Scuba Diving’ sessions and the 3-4 day PADI Open Water course. Teaching these courses is the ‘bread and butter’ work of PADI scuba diving instructors in Koh Tao, where you’ll develop your teaching style and make most of your money. As time progresses and you build up more teaching experience, most likely you’ll get the opportunity to run higher level PADI training such as the Divemaster Course, sharing your experience with the dive professionals of the future.
To start with, you’ll probably work on a freelance basis. After distributing your CV around dive shops on the island you’ll start getting calls to work. At this stage it’s critical that you do the best job possible – each time you teach you’ll want to give your students a safe and enjoyable time, and leave a good impression of yourself with the dive school. If all goes well, you’ll end up landing a permanent position in whichever dive operation suits you best.
Whether working on a freelance basis or as a full time instructor, pay schemes for PADI Scuba Diving Instructors on Koh Tao are usually based on the number of students you teach. In properly run dive shops, permanent instructors also have some kind of incentive / reward scheme for good performance, measured by factors such as ability to retain customers, sell dive equipment, customer feedback etc.
Provided you keep busy you can earn a very respectable salary teaching scuba diving in Koh Tao. Many of the long term PADI instructors on Koh Tao working in successful dive schools pull in wages which would be significant in western countries. Considering that living expenses are so cheap here, a very comfortable standard of living can be afforded.
And of course, if you excel throughout your dive internship with Simple Life, we’ll do everything we can to keep you working here. We can’t make any guarantees, but to give you an idea, a very high percentage of our previous instructor internship candidates have gone on to work for Simple Life Divers or are in long term stable positions with other dive shops on Koh Tao. Some have even gone on to become partners in dive shops, or are working in exciting diving jobs elsewhere in Asia.
As described on our post-scuba internship options page, one of the big factors to becoming successful in Thailand’s scuba diving industry is having the ability to enhance, improve or add to a dive shop.
Picking up occasional work on a freelance basis isn’t hard, but if you’re serious about long term work as a PADI dive instructor you’ll want to rise above the competition.
Being organised, able to work as part of a team and communicate effectively goes a long way. And like any industry, being able to use initiative, solve problems and take a leading role will also help. If you speak to any seasoned PADI dive instructor from Koh Tao, they’ll be sure to recall occasions where they had not enough resources, staff, time or boat space, and it’s at those times that people dig in, work together and come out with a working solution.
Although not essential, foreign languages are an advantage for PADI scuba diving instructors in Thailand. The vast majority of PADI courses are conducted in English (maybe 90%), however, sometimes customers are uncomfortable learning in English and prefer to take the dive course in their mother tongue. The most frequent demand on Koh Tao is for French, German, Swedish, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Spanish and Italian speaking instructors, and no doubt Chinese will be soon to follow! A good way to make yourself indispensable is to help access and develop a foreign market.
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
Brad R. | UK
"I'd rate Koh Tao 100 out of 10. It’s the most relaxing yet exciting place to stay & you could stay forever." Read more
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