What to Expect from the PADI Open Water Instructor Course

PADI Open Water Instructor Course

Becoming a scuba diving instructor is an exciting journey that offers the opportunity to share your love of the underwater world with others. The PADI Open Water Instructor Course is a key step in this journey. This blog will guide you through what to expect from the course, the skills you’ll develop, and how it can open up new career opportunities in the diving industry.

Introduction to the PADI Open Water Instructor Course

The PADI Open Water Instructor Course is designed for certified divers who want to take their passion for scuba diving to the next level. It prepares you to teach diving, enabling you to introduce others to the wonders beneath the sea. This course is comprehensive and challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding.

Prerequisites for the Course

Before you can enroll in the PADI Open Water Instructor Course, you need to meet certain prerequisites:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a leadership qualification from another training organization or become a certified PADI Divemaster.
  • Have at least 60 logged dives to start the course and 100 logged dives to become certified.
  • Need at least six months of dive certification.
  • Have a current medical statement signed by a physician within the last 12 months.

Meeting these prerequisites ensures that you have the necessary experience and physical condition to succeed in the course.

Course Structure

The Assistant Instructor (AI) course and the Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) program are the two main components of the PADI Open Water Instructor Course. Some students choose to complete these parts separately, while others take them together as part of an Instructor Development Course (IDC).

Assistant Instructor (AI) Course

The AI course focuses on teaching techniques and how to assist in PADI courses. You’ll learn how to conduct confined water and open water dives, as well as knowledge development presentations. This course helps you build confidence and develop the skills necessary to assist in teaching diving courses.

Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) Program

The OWSI program builds on what you’ve learned in the AI course and prepares you to teach the entire range of PADI programs from Open Water Diver to Divemaster. This program covers:

  • Dive theory, including physics, physiology, equipment, and environment.
  • Teaching techniques for confined water, open water, and knowledge development.
  • PADI standards and procedures.
  • Risk management and diver safety.

Skills You’ll Develop

Throughout the PADI Open Water Instructor Course, you’ll develop a wide range of skills that are essential for teaching scuba diving effectively.

Teaching Skills

One of the main focuses of the course is developing your teaching skills. You’ll learn how to deliver engaging and informative classroom sessions, how to conduct effective confined water training, and how to manage students during open water dives.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is key to being a successful scuba diving instructor. The course will help you refine your communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, so you can clearly and safely convey important information to your students.

Problem-Solving Skills

As an instructor, you’ll need to be able to quickly and effectively solve problems that may arise during dives. The course will teach you how to anticipate and manage potential issues, ensuring the safety and enjoyment of your students.

Leadership Skills

Leadership is an important aspect of being a scuba diving instructor. The course will help you develop strong leadership skills, allowing you to inspire and motivate your students while maintaining control and safety during dives.

The Examination Process

Upon completing the PADI Open Water Instructor Course, you’ll need to pass the Instructor Examination (IE) to become a certified instructor. The IE is a two-day evaluation that tests your knowledge and skills in several areas:

  • Dive theory.
  • PADI standards and procedures.
  • Confined water teaching.
  • Open water teaching.
  • Knowledge development teaching.
  • Emergency management and rescue skills.

The IE is designed to ensure that you have the competence and confidence to teach diving safely and effectively.

Career Opportunities

Becoming a PADI Open Water Instructor opens up a world of career opportunities. As a certified instructor, you can work at dive centers, resorts, and liveaboards around the globe. You’ll have the chance to meet new people, explore new dive sites, and share your passion for diving with others.

Teaching a Variety of Courses

As a PADI Open Water Instructor, you’ll be qualified to teach a variety of courses, from entry-level programs like Discover Scuba Diving to advanced courses like the Rescue Diver course. This variety allows you to cater to divers of all skill levels and interests.

Specialty Instructor Ratings

Once you’re a certified instructor, you can further enhance your qualifications by earning Specialty Instructor ratings. These ratings allow you to teach specialty courses such as underwater photography, deep diving, and wreck diving. Specializing in certain areas can make you more attractive to potential employers and open up additional teaching opportunities.

Career Progression

The PADI system offers many opportunities for career progression. After gaining experience as an Open Water Instructor, you can work towards becoming a Master Scuba Diver Trainer, IDC Staff Instructor, or even a Course Director. These higher-level certifications allow you to take on more responsibilities and mentor new instructors.

Personal and Professional Growth

Beyond the career opportunities, the PADI Open Water Instructor Course offers significant personal and professional growth.

Building Confidence

The course challenges you to step out of your comfort zone and take on new responsibilities. Successfully completing the course and passing the IE will give you a tremendous sense of accomplishment and boost your confidence.

Expanding Your Network

During the course, you’ll meet other aspiring instructors and dive professionals. This networking opportunity can lead to lasting friendships and professional connections within the diving community.

Making a Difference

As a scuba diving instructor, you’ll have the chance to make a positive impact on your students’ lives. You’ll be helping people overcome their fears, achieve their goals, and experience the beauty of the underwater world. This rewarding aspect of teaching is one of the main reasons many people pursue a career as a diving instructor.


The PADI Open Water Instructor Course is a challenging and rewarding program that prepares you to teach scuba diving and share your passion with others. From developing teaching and leadership skills to opening up exciting career opportunities, this course offers numerous benefits. If you’re ready to take your diving career to the next level, this course is the perfect choice. Dive in and start your journey today!

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