It’s not uncommon for students and/or guests to idolize their Instructor or Divemaster while on a dive vacation. The truth is while you’re on holiday everything seems pretty awesome when you’re spending your days diving and relaxing in sunny paradise. Dreaming of living a scuba diver life is a common trait shared by many travellers. So it's easy to understand why so many of us chose to become professional divers.

While doing my Divemaster in my 20s, I realized something that helped me throughout my life. The only way to achieve your dreams is to set your mind to it and do it. Achieving my goals was made possible in part due to the skills I learned during my internship.

Working as a professional diver is a rewarding career for many reasons. For starters, you meet people from all over the world, sometimes forging life-long friendships. You enable change in people and empower them. I also believe that being a professional diver can open new opportunities for self-realization, personal growth, and both professional and personal development.

Here’s 9 rewarding life skills that you will gain while training and/or working as a professional diver.

1) Gain self-confidence
Self-confidence comes from being comfortable with yourself, your knowledge, and your abilities. While training as a Divemaster and Instructor you will gain a broader understanding of dive theory, practical applications, and diving equipment. You will become more confident in dealing with your past insecurities, improve your interpersonal skills, adapt to new situations and challenges. This personal growth will help you with your career and life goals when facing new opportunities.

2) Develop leadership skills
Professional diving program focuses on leadership development. Candidates work closely with instructors and students while learning to become role models and mastering both their dive skills and dive theory. You take part in scenarios and training that test your ability to lead and guide others. You learn how to handle stress and deal with difficult situations or emergencies. Other divers and your peers will look up to you and you will be part of their experience as they seek your advice on various issues. Gaining leadership skills is something that will open new doors for you. Whether at work or in school, learning different leadership techniques will help you define your own path.

3) Meet new people
One of the great joy of being a professional diver is the constant influx of people you meet. You will make friends from all walks of life and from all over the world. It’s up to you to decide how these budding friendships will develop. One thing’s for sure; over the years, you will meet extraordinary people, many of whom will play crucial roles in defining who you become. The network that you’ll build with your peers, students, and guests will most likely impact your future success.

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4) Learn from professional mentors
During your Divemaster internship, you’ll work with experienced dive instructors, business owners and industry professionals. These folks are committed to excellence and teaching others. Working in an industry that makes education one of its primary focuses, dive professionals dedicate their lives to improving their own skills and helping others around them do the same. You will work closely with your instructor or instructors as they help you master your skills while sharing their particular expertise. The mentorship program is something that will benefit you for the rest of your life and hopefully during the process you’ll also learn how to become a mentor yourself.

5) Make a positive impact
As a professional diver, you will have the opportunity to make a positive impact on other people and the world around you. You’ll help turn fear into courage, hesitation into confidence and make dreams a reality. People will look up to you and seek your advice. You will see your students grow and improve. Whatever happens, one thing’s for sure, you will impact lives!

6) Develop your business skills
Becoming a professional diver gives you the ability to work with amazing mentors and peers who are passionate about the industry, ocean conservation, and business development. Realizing your own dream to own and operate a dive resort is an amazing goal. One you can achieve with hard work. As a professional diver you will gain the skills and tools you need to turn your dreams into reality.

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7) Become a sustainability champion
As a professional diver, you will learn about the ocean, currents, coral reef formation, marine life and the impact on this fragile ecosystem. By gaining a better understanding of your dive environment you will become a better diver as well as improve your guiding skills and teaching style. You’ll gain a new awareness and become an ambassador for the ocean while championing sustainable diving practices and sharing your knowledge with others.

8) Broaden your knowledge
Throughout your dive career you will gain new knowledge, learn different skills, grow both personally and professionally through self-learning exercises, by mastering your dive theory and dive skills. You will also face new challenges, interact with both students and mentors which will expose you to new ideas and concepts. If you are willing to keep an open mind, the possibilities are limitless.

9) Discover new cultures and learn new languages
There is no better way to travel the world, learn new cultures and languages than by teaching scuba diving. Water covers over 70 percent of our planet, and the demand for experienced dive instructors is constant. If you have an interest in traveling, in cultural discoveries or possess a knack for languages, diving is a great way to satiate your goals. Whether you decide to go dive where nobody else has gone before or you head over to a well-known dive destination, the adventure is endless. Where will your journey takes you?

The list could go on, and while it may vary from person to person, one thing we can all agree, working as a professional diver is something to be passionate about and the path to living the dream can be highly rewarding.

**What other rewarding life skills have you gained while training or working as a professional divers? **