Dive Instructor in: Bergen, Norway

This is a Life&Dive ProDiver interview. These interviews are given to dive instructors from all around the world to provide you with an idea of their lives, job situations and opinions about the diving industry.
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Name:
Sverre
Age:
22
Number of Dives:
1600++
Nationality:
Norwegian
Languages:
Norwegian, English, French, Danish and Swedish
Where:
Norway/Bergen
Contract:
all year
Position:
Instructor
Salary Range /US$:
1500-4000
Board / Accommodation?:
Non
Duty and free time:
7 days a week, when you are working

Type of operation:
Dive Center
Size of operation:
Biggest in Scandinavia
Location of operation:
Independent, 15 min from city center by car
Job characteristics and /or special duties:
sales promotion – during presentations
Main diving courses trained:
All courses – including specialties + guiding + TecRec
Mode of operation:
OWD – shore dive, AOWD, travel by car then shore dive + boat
Average # dives per day:
Depends on the size of the group. Not less then 8

Medical care situation:
Good quality. Recompression chamber (three of them), close by and diving specialists (doctors) in the neighbour building
Visa Runs: Non
Government administrative duties:
Work contract + medical checks + alot of liability forms
Lifestyle:
Living in my own flat, 20 min from work (by car). You have to find your own place, since for most this is just a part time job. Everyone there has to jobs or are a student on the side.

cold water
good times

Your opinion: 

I do love my job here in Norway. When you are working as a instructor here, it is normally from 5pm-10/11pm during the week. All the course students also have jobs on the side, so it is impossible to do it another way, which suits us quite well. In the weekends you work from 8am-7pm if it is a larg gruop (20+ students). Regulations in Norway say that we can not have more then 2 students in the water at the same time (per instructor, but there is never more then one per course), so it takes time. All dives are around 20 min, and in dry suit. But you have to do six dives to complete OWD course (also Norwegian regulation), spread over three days. It can be a hard job from time to time, especially this time of the year. So during the winter time (October-April), the OW students also gets a night diver experience (spescial approval from PADI), which makes the AOW a little bit cheaper – only need four dives, since atleast two of the dives will be when the sun is set. Cold water – around 6 degrees celsius, little sun, lots of rain and snow. And when you are laying in water 2-3 hours at the time (before changing bottle), it can get to you and its not for everyone.

I have worked in Thailand before, and its like night and day. In Thailand it was a relaxing, warm experience, here it can get a bit frustrating and definitly cold! But when the day is finish, you do often look back at it with a smile. It is fun – even thou it might not sound like it. You get a close bond with most of the students, and the other staff is absolutly amazing. It is also a perfect place to work if you want to start with technical diving. The dive center is famous for its Tec instructors, and easy to get a gass blander certificate, which will get you a long way.
But, is the job for everyone? Definitly not. If you are used to working in tropical water – this will be a very different type of job. It is (saying this out of experience), much harder work here. You think about the problems you have with OW students that only uses the BCD for buoyancy, here they have to learn it with dry suit on their first ever Open Water

dive. I do think that we have more people dropping out of the course here then in warmer water, but that is just how it is. It is a good challenge, and would recommend it to people that is looking for something very different:)

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