We are located in Vero Beach, in the center of Florida’s east coast. We are about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Walt Disney World and Orlando International Airport, and 45 minutes south of Melbourne International Airport. We are a 4 hour drive from the Florida Keys and 2-5 hours from numerous crystal-clear springs. Vero Beach enjoys a warm climate all year, with 70-90 degree temperatures. The winter water temperature is usually in the low 70’s and the summer it is in the mid 80’s.
We have 2 Course Directors on staff. However, our programs generally have 2-6 candidates and this allows us to give participants a greater level of personal attention than would be possible in the larger classes conducted by other training facilities.
It is best to bring all your own personal equipment, other than tanks and weights. If you are used to wearing ankle weights to trim your position underwater, please bring these with you. The items which people usually forget include, a snorkel, dive knife or diver tool, a smb and whistle (or other signaling device). You are required to have all these items when taking, or teaching, PADI dive courses.
If you are enrolled in our Divemaster or IDC classes at EASE, you are entitled to a discount of up to 30% on selected manufacturer’s equipment when you purchase a package of BC/regulator/computer. On non-package purchases of scuba gear, or other merchandise such as clothes and sandals, you will receive a 15% discount.
Generally, the pool temperature will be around 80F. However, you may be in the water for several hours at a time, so to avoid getting cold, we usually find that most people are comfortable wearing a full 3mm wetsuit. Training dives for the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, PADI Divemaster and Specialty Instructor courses are conducted from a boat in the ocean. From November to February, the temperature is in the low to mid 70s, while from March to October, it is usually in the high 70s or low 80s.
This will depend on what courses you are taking. We have found that the most successful candidates are those who have spent some time studying the material and completing assignments prior to coming here. For specific advice on preparing for the courses you will be taking, please visit our individual course pages. Please keep in mind that courses like the IDC and Divemaster require completion of an online section before the beginning of the course.
In our experience, the most convenient airport to fly into is Orlando as it is a destination served by most airlines and is only a two hour drive from Vero Beach. The next most convenient airport would be Melbourne, about one hour to the north of us. A number of airlines offer connecting flights into Melbourne, usually through Atlanta. Airport shuttle services are available from both Orlando and Melbourne Airports to Vero Beach. Some candidates fly into either Miami (3 hour drive) or Ft. Lauderdale (2½ hour drive) or West Palm Beach (1½ hour drive) but neither of these destinations have an airport shuttle connection to Vero Beach. If you fly into one of these locations you will need to rent a car and drive here or take a Greyhound bus which stops in Fort Pierce. See the next question for more information on car rental.
No, it is not necessary for you to have a rental car while you are here. This is one of the cost-saving advantages of taking your training with EASE, where classroom and confined water training are all done in Vero Beach. Most of our candidates drive to Vero, so it is easy to car pool with them. You are responsible for your own transportation to and from all our training locations.You may, however, choose to rent a car to provide yourself with transportation from your arrival airport to Vero Beach. We would recommend that you arrange for a one-way rental and then drop your car at the rental agency office when you arrive in Vero Beach. Please be sure to make your car rental reservation through BUDGET, HERTZ, ENTERPRISE or AVIS, as all these companies have offices in Vero Beach.
This depends on which courses you are taking and on your personal medical history. When you register for a course or series of courses with EASE you will be sent a confirmation pack which will include a PADI Medical Form. You need to fill out the front side of this form and answer YES or NO to the questions regarding your medical history. Please answer these questions as honestly as you can.
If you are only taking the PADI Advanced Open Water or Rescue Diver Courses and you answer NO to all of the questions on the form, it is not necessary for you to have a medical examination by a doctor. If you answer YES to any of the questions, it will be necessary for you to have an examination by a doctor. The doctor will fill out the back of the form and give his opinion on whether you are medically fit to dive.
If you are taking the PADI Divemaster or Instructor Development Courses you MUST have a medical examination by a doctor, even if you answer NO to all of the questions. Please try to arrange a medical exam in your own area prior to coming to Vero Beach to avoid the inconvenience and expense of having one done here. If you are unable to see a doctor before you come here, we can arrange for your medical examination to be done by a local doctor at a cost of about $80.00.
No. We only require you to pay a deposit of $300.00 in advance when signing up for a course or series of courses with us. The balance of your course fees is then due when you arrive at EASE. If for some reason you can not attend the program you for which you have registered, you can receive a refund of your deposit up to 10 days prior to the start of the course. If you cancel less than 10 days before the course begins we will credit your deposit to the cost of taking your course with us at a future date.
If you are not satisfied with a particular course you are taking with us, we will refund your course fee, less any accommodation and meal expenses. For example, let us imagine that you are taking a series of courses from Advanced Open Water to IDC and on the 4th day of the IDC you tell the Course Director that you are not confident enough at this time to continue with the course. In that case, we would refund your IDC tuition less any accommodation and meal costs, ($30.00 per day = $120.00 for the 4 days of the IDC taken). This means that you would still have paid for the Advanced to Divemaster courses.
You may request a refund up to the last day of the IDC, at his time you should know if you are ready for the IE. If you decide to go on and take the IE at this time or at anytime in the future, and fail the IE, there is no refund for the IDC course. This is because you still have the ability to take the IE and pass it at a future date. The EASE Course Directors make sure you are ready to take the IE. If they feel you are not ready, they will not recommend that you take it. However, you still have the option to take the IE knowing that the Course Director does not recommend you taking it. If you decide to do this and fail the IE, we will still allow you to return for another IDC program where you would only have to pay for the cost of meals and accommodation ($30 per day).
Students in training at EASE are responsible for their own transportation. This include going to the pool, and the Open Water Dive Site. You will be responsible to pay for your own travel expenses.
Instructor Development Course
What is the minimum diver certification level I can have to take one of your Instructor Career Programs?
You can enter one of our Instructor Career Programs with only a basic scuba certification such as PADI Open Water Diver. However, you will need to have been certified as a diver for 6 months. In this case, the first course in your Instructor Career Program would be the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course. You would then complete PADI Rescue Diver, Medic First Aid and Divemaster prior to taking the PADI Instructor Development Course and Instructor Examination.
You have to be a certified diver for at least 6 months prior to taking the PADI Instructor Development Course and the Instructor Examination.
What is the minimum number of logged dives I have to have made prior to taking the Instructor Development Course and the Instructor Examination?
To certify as a PADI Divemaster you need to have completed 60 logged dives. The completion of 60 logged dives is also the entry requirement for the PADI Instructor Development Course. The normal requirement for taking the PADI Instructor Examination is 100 logged dives. However, candidates completing the CDC Program may take the Instructor Examination with only 60 logged dives.
What is the difference between an Instructor Development Center and a Career Development Center and what is a CDC program?
The PADI 5 Star Career Development Center (CDC) distinction is awarded to a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center (IDC) that conducts additional instructor-level training and meets strict requirements for assisting dive leaders in reaching their educational and professional goals. PADI 5 Star CDCs offer career-oriented training to prepare dive professionals for employment in the dive industry as well as offering job placement assistance for program graduates.
One of the advantages of taking your training through a CDC is that PADI allows CDC candidates who take a CDC Program to complete Instructor training and the IE, even if they do not meet the normal IE prerequisite of having made 100 logged dives. If you can not meet this prerequisite but need to take your training now, taking the CDC Program allows you to take the entire Instructor training process before you meet the 100 logged dive requirement. You should have at least 60 logged dives prior to taking the IDC. The CDC Program requires you to take 5 pre or post IDC courses, in addition to your IDC. After finishing your training and successfully completing the IE, you will still need to wait until you have made 100 logged dives before PADI will process your Instructor certification.
Yes. We need to see evidence of your previous training and this is especially important if you are taking the Divemaster course or the IDC. On the PADI application form for the Divemaster course you are required to provide information about your Advanced and Rescue diver certifications. If you took these courses with PADI, all you are required to do is fill in the information from your certification cards. However, if you took equivalent courses through another training agency (for example, SSI, NAUI, NASDS, BSAC, CMAS), you are also required to submit copies of these certifications to PADI along with your application form.
On the PADI application form for the IDC you are required to provide information about your basic Open Water Diver certification all the way up to Divemaster. If you took these courses with PADI, all you are required to do is fill in the information from your certification cards. However, if you took any equivalent courses through another training agency, you are also required to submit copies of these certifications to PADI along with your application form.
If you have lost or misplaced one of your PADI certification cards it will be easy for us to verify the information by calling PADI. However, if you have lost or misplaced a card from another training agency you should contact them yourself and ask them to provide you with evidence of the training you took through them. A letter or FAX from them confirming your certification will be sufficient to meet our requirements.
If you are coming from another country, it is very important to resolve problems with your certification cards before you get here. Once you arrive in Florida it may be difficult to contact the relevant agency in your country. If you have any questions regarding problems with your certification cards, please contact us for advice.
Yes. When taking courses at EASE, it is important for you to be able to show proof of your previous dive experience. The prerequisite number of logged dives required for each course is different. Entry to the Divemaster program requires previous experience of 20 logged dives, while 60 logged dives are required for certification as a Divemaster. The prerequisite for the IDC is 60 logged dives, while that for the IE is 100 logged dives.
While entry to the Divemaster course only requires 20 logged dives, in order to complete the course at EASE in only 7 days, you really need to have made about 55 dives, as only an 5 additional dives will be completed as part of the course. Otherwise you will have to wait until you have made 60 dives before you can submit your Divemaster application to PADI.
Also, while entry to the IDC only requires 60 logged dives, in order to be able to go on and take the IE immediately after the completion of your course, you really need to have made about 96 dives, as only an additional 4 dives will be completed as part of the course. Someone who wishes to take the IE but does not have the required 100 logged dives, can still do so if they complete the CDC Program at EASE. Click here to go back to the question which gives more information about the CDC Program.
Instructor Training Courses
Certification in CPR and first aid is a prerequisite for a number of PADI courses, including Rescue Diver. If you are unable to offer your students CPR and first aid training prior to taking the Rescue Diver course with you, you will have to refer them to someone else who can. In many cases this will break the link between you and your valued customers, as they are more likely to go on and complete their Rescue Diver certification with the person you referred them to for CPR and first aid training.
Emergency First Response Instructor (or qualifying certification) are required certification to become a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. To make things as convenient for you as possible, we schedule the one-day Emergency First Response Instructor Course at the beginning of the IDC.
Do I need to be certified as an Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver prior to taking the Enriched Air (Nitrox) Instructor Course?
Yes, you need to be certified as an Enriched Air Diver prior to taking the Enriched Air Instructor Course. At EASE we conduct the PADI Enriched Air Instructor course. However, you do not have be certified as an Enriched Air Diver specifically through PADI. Any Enriched Air Diver certification, such as that offered by TDI, SDI or Naui, and many others is acceptable to meet the prerequisite. For those candidates who are not enriched air certified, we conduct the PADI Enriched Air Diver course concurently with the Enriched Air Instructor course.
Job Placement Service
Yes. We are fortunate to have an extensive global network of dive centers and resorts to assist us in finding you job placement and permanent employment as a PADI scuba instructor. Like all other instructor training facilities, we can not guarantee job placement. However, whether you choose to work at a dive store, resort, or on a live-aboard dive boat, it will be our priority to help you to achieve your career goals.
We offer our graduates two distinct levels of job placement services:
For those graduates who complete their Instructor Development Course with us, we will contact our network of dive industry employers to see what positions they currently have open. We will then send your resume to the employers you are interested in working for. This will be a one-time service and you will be required to produce your own resume.
Graduates who complete our Dive Industry Specialist program will have the added benefit of having a dive-industry-specific resume produced for you by our placement staff. More importantly, we will work with you and our network of employers to find the right job for you. Unlike other graduates who do not complete the Dive Industry Specialist program, you will be able to access our job placement service as many times as you need to. When you want to change jobs, you are welcome to contact us for help in finding you a new position.
This varies depending on the time of year and on the location you are looking for, but, typically, we are able to find employment for our graduates within 30-60 days. However, it may take less time if there are many openings available.
As a new instructor, you can expect to earn approximately $15,000 to $18,000 per year, depending where you are working. Some employers may also offer benefits packages to their employees. Management position salaries range between $18,000 to $24,000 a year to start.
As with any profession, the more training and experience you have, the easier it will be to find a good position in that industry. The dive industry is no different. Today’s employers are looking for job candidates who have had more extensive training beyond the basic scuba instructor rating achieved by completing the IDC/IE.
Those graduates who take additional training courses after their IDC/IE will have the edge when it comes to being hired for the best jobs in the industry. For example, many employers give preference to job candidates who have completed a Specialty Instructor Training (MSDT) Program or who have taken an intensive industry-specific training course like our Dive Industry Specialist (DIS) Program. See the section the Dive Industry Specialist program for more information on how to make yourself more marketable as a dive industry employee.
Can you offer any suggestions for preparing a resume suitable for applying for a position in the dive industry?
Preparing a good resume for applying for a job in the dive industry is essentially no different to preparing one for any other industry. However, because today’s employers are looking for people who are multi-skilled, it is important to emphasize any relevant training and experience you have had outside the dive industry. It is particularly important to mention experience you have had in retail sales, marketing, computers, or management. Resort and live-aboard operators are always looking for people with mechanical skills. In other words, sell yourself, not only on the basis or your dive training and experience, but also through highlighting previous experience you have had in other fields.