negative cashflow for D/M's and pittances for OWSI's

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Posted by RaiderKarl on May 02, 2001 at 11:05:43:

In Reply to: Gotta disagree with the DM comment.. posted by brianc on May 01, 2001 at 11:44:15:

If you are D/M-ing for a scuba store, you probably have negative cash flow, because the store is making money off your OWSI aspirations. Most D/Ms that I know are OWSI-wanna-be's.

The only individual who makes money off scuba instruction is the scuba store owner. Most of his/her money comes from equipment sales anyway. The scuba store will normally offer the D/M's and OWSI's a discount of 10% or so on all equipment purchases to help with the negative cashflow aspect of being a D/M.

Most OWSI's that I know are part time instructors only. They all have a real job in the daytime. That makes it economically possible for the market price of OW1 scuba classes here in California to stabilize around $250 to $300 per student including books, but not including gear purchases or rentals.

With a class of 8 students per instructor (a popular current standard limit), the books cost $50, and the other $200 is split half-and-half between the store and the instructor. Registration costs per certification are $20 each right now. So an OWSI grosses about $80 per student in a class of 8 students for two weekends or 4 sessions.

$80 per student x 8 students '/. 4 days of scuba '/. 7 hours per day = $22.85 per hour for an OWSI.

You would have to be living and working at a tropical resort in order for you to translate that into 2000 hours of full time work each year, which equals $45K per year. $45K per year is NOT enough pay in CALIFORNIA to support a living, even if it were possible somewhere in California to have enough student traffic for that much work. I think the manager at a burger drive-in makes more than $45K per year in California.

It is FINE IF you have a full time day job, or if you are retired already with a steady retirement income. But even then, you are more likely to teach OW1 once each month in a busy store if you are the only instructor (unlikely). Once each month comes to supplemental pre-tax income of $640 per month, half that after taxes are paid.

You see, the only businessman in scuba is the scuba store owner. God bless these owners too. Without them, WE cant get air or new equipment, so WE couldnt dive without them.

/s/ RaiderKarl, PADI D/M(active)
[i raid abalone & other precious things off the Ocean floor]

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