The Cost of becoming a PADI Instructor in Thailand

This is a very functional post that might only interest the divers out here who consider become an OWSI (Open Water Scuba Instructor) and would like to understand what budget to plan for. I am not talking here about the opportunity cost of leaving a plush life in Singapore for the m

NB: I did my IDC Course with All4Diving in Phuket, over 12 days, and got certified on the 14th of October 🙂 I had a very good time over there, despite my fears of the center being located in rowdy Patong, and my Course Director, Nicolas Bergere, has been a focused, patient and relaxed instructor and mentor. Awesome.

Since then, I have been working in Khao Lak with Fun Divers, where I happily teach and guide divers in the Similan, Koh Bon and Koh Tachai islands.

So, here we are, this was my budget for the :

Expense categoryCost in THB (Thai Baht)
IDC Pro Silver67,700
IE Application fees 30,830
Package 5 Specialties12,300
Specialties Application fees (8)16,460
Food & Drinks9,782
Health &… Massages970
Utilities & Other Living175
TOTAL 166,600 THB
in USD5,091 USD

Yup, 5 grand to become a scuba instructor, and that is after already become successively an Open Water Diver, an Advanced Open Water Diver, a Rescue Diver, a Divemaster, all of which were not free training either… An expensive hobby and professional transition, that is. Not sure I will recoup this money through courses and scuba diving salaries anytime soon (if ever at all), but it has definitely delivered a value into my life, that probably far exceeds the investment.

A word on the above figures: This budget is based on a very reasonable lifestyle during the IDC. For instance, it included very few beers at bars (mostly purchased and drank at home, which sounds almost heretic when you are in Patong, but here we go, now you know I follow my own logic ;-), a negotiated monthly rent, an extra week of accomodation during the free days of diving provided before the IDC, and an economical approach to food: grocery items for breakfast, avoiding tourist restaurants as much as possible, many vegetarian meals, etc…

Hope this will help some people out there! See you in the ocean!

By the way, I use the great Toshl app and website to track my expenses. It’s just great, and very simple to use, especially after their latest updates.

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