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Diving School advice???
Loren_Sangster - 4/01/2011 10:10 AM
Category: New Diver Q&A
Replies: 9

Hey everyone, 

So I’ve been accepted to Key West Community College where I’d receive my Associates in Science degree for Marine Environmental Technology. The thing is, I live just outside of Boston, MA and I’m planning on moving to Florida for a year first so I can become a resident of the state and pay less money for tuition because let’s face it.. school isnt cheap these days. My biggest concern is, I’m going to be 26 in a few weeks already, and if I’m going through all this effort to move, save for school.. attend school so late in my life... its a lot to go through and I’m wondering what my actual chances are of landing a job and starting a career in the marine world with just my associates degree. I havent heard too much feed back and was hoping maybe you all could shed some light on the opportunities for me. I’m just nervous I’ll go through this whole move, waiting process for residency, attend school for two years, graduate... and not be able to find any work. My ideal dream is to run my own sailing/diving business in the caribbean one day... however just for a job after school, of course i’d be looking for any sort of work within what I’m going to school to study. I just love the water and the ocean and unfortunately, without any luck or experience, I havent been able to find anyone willing to hire me and get my foot in the door and I’m concerned that may still carry through with me after I attend school. Thanks for reading and I hope to get some good advice from this post. Take care everyone! 

- Loren 
WarmWaterTurner - 4/01/2011 12:23 PM

Hey Loren -

I had one thought from reading your post. If you are really interested in running/owning a sailing/dive operation - I would really look at doing an associates in business and find dive/sailing shop to work at while doing so. If you go in the Marine studies area - you really need to look heavily into Biology. In which case an assoicates will only get you a job scrubbing the fish tank. I have seen posts on other sites looking for help at resorts in places like the Bahamas. You might keep an eye in that direction. They usually offer some training in scuba, room and board and a little cash. Hope this the way......I waited to go for a full formal degree until I was you have many years to go! Dive safe
dive7mmwet - 4/01/2011 4:04 PM

As said,first its going to get any work your first year in Florida and don’t even think about living in the Keys unless you shack with a bunch of folks and that usually dose not turn out well,Get your DM and work for tip’s only,, fill tanks at night for no $$ that’s no fun!

Running a boat & dive shop is hard and its a big nut to crack unless you have $$,

do a trip to the Keys,check it out even the local business owners have a hard time living there! don’t get me wrong you may get a job tossing burgers but no way will you make enough to support your self Thru school,

good luck on your choice hope it all falls into place! 
SCUBASMITTY - 4/01/2011 9:03 PM
DUDE THINK POSITIVE ! even in the desert I make money sewing up sail’s....and dirt diving,,,,there are so many aspects for a revenue generating Self sustaining income..first off.. why rent? in the keys?
get an RV or travel trailer they abound there,get a po box/electric bill/lot rent(cheaper then an apt) for establishing residency. 2ndly, boat yard’s are everywhere..the best education on sailing and maintenance of various boats are learned over a beer and conversation with boat owners/liveaboards, for that matter, you could buy a boat cheap and live on it while working in the yard, EVERY boat yard has derelict’s, a little TLC and you will have a home and experience.
dive shops & charters are a waste of time and effort,most will screw you for the labor ! work for yourself ! there are contractors for moving boats either by sea or truck, from Fla to you have a cap’t license ?
cheap and online, will help with the insurance of you’r vessel as well as making money to move others !!
scubaman - 4/01/2011 10:53 PM
School is okay...but I would say you can get what you want with some hard work and working at a dive shop and learning the ropes. Experience in this case, would be cheaper than school and u should accomplish the same thing.
LatitudeAdjustment - 4/02/2011 8:45 AM

 When my daughter was thinking of going down that path we checked into FKCC and they boast of putting more researchers in the water than any other college which is what she wanted, not to be stuck in the lab like her mother. She changed fields but is now stuck in a UF lab :( I’m sure FKCC has people contacting them for grads but I have also seen marine sceince grads working as DM’s with photographers looking for a particular fish or behaviour.

 One enterprising gal in the Key’s runs a MS class for tourist and then takes them out looking for what they learned in class. You might want to talk to Frank who’s homeport is Stock Island KW, he rents the M/V Spree out for research trips besides the usual liveaboard trips. He will be leaving KW soon on a research tip to PR. Crewing for him could also be a summer job till you graduate.
jerry8389 - 12/29/2011 10:23 PM
Hey for one your not starting late in life. That being said I didn’t start my diving career till I was 34. Getting a job isn’t a problem, if your willing to travel, and it sounds like you are. Look at me I got my padi instructor at 35 and have been all over the world. It’s not just a job but more of a life style. You may not get rich, in some ways but you’ll be rich in other ways. As for me I’m a PADI master diver trainer, master boat capt. and own a small dive charter business in the florida pan handle close to Panama City Florida. Look for Mexico Beach Aquatic Adventures on facebook. Any how like a previous post said get a business degree. Also its not required to get a standared degree to dive. You might think about moving to Fla and going to the EASE diving college in Vero Beach Fla. Its a great school and they provide room and board. Its has a zero to hero program so in a few weeks you’ll be a instructor. I went there and had my first job in Grand Caymen before I graduated.

Here at my shop we offer a internship program were you work for PADI scuba ratings from open water through divemaster. If your interested give me a call at 850-260-6774. Anyhow remember Key West is expensive to live there. But As a person who got a late start at 35 if you want to be a dive instructor in the islands just get your instructor and do it. Good luck. Jerry Williams PADI MSDT 237569
diverdave2 - 2/01/2012 7:53 PM
I started my diving career after I retired from the police department at the age of 44. I went to dive school in Florida and

became an instructor for a local dive shop. I also freelanced as a tour guide for two other shops (with the blessing of my boss).

It’s never to late to do what you love to do. I am now 68, still dive and take trips to the Islands.

Go for it.