High salary | hard dive jobs | Australia | find dive jobs & list of dive shops-3/3

dive deck on a liveaboard at the GBR

High salary | hard dive jobs | Australia | find dive jobs & list of dive shops-3/3

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High salary with hard dive jobs | Australia part 3/3

In part one of these three articles, you were able to learn about the salaries and living costs in Australia.

In part two you were able to read about visa requirements and what instructor skills you can learn while you work Down Under.

Now I share with you how you can find dive jobs. At the end of this article, you will find a list of employers in Cairns.

Find dive jobs

Couples have a chance to work for the same company in Cairns. I met a lot of couples in a variety of companies. Read the article on how to land a job as a couple.

a couple - Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash - find dive jobs

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash



A lot of Australian dive businesses prefer dive instructors. However, as a divemaster, you can get jobs as photographer or videographer.

There are shops in Cairns which rent underwater cameras to tourists on a daily and weekly basis. They also offer a private photographer for their customers. This can be done by a divemaster. You even get to dive all the time.

Since some of the vessels are really large they look for pursers. This job can be done by a divemaster quite often.

The purser is in charge of the boat workflow. They make sure the food is served on time. Everything is clean. They check if the guest count is correct if the guests are notified about any announcements. They deal with complaints. This person dives occasionally.

divemaster can work as a photographer - Photo by Andreas - find dive jobs

divemaster can work as a photographer – Photo by Andreas



They have a lot of international tourists in Australia. If you speak any other language than English is a big helper to find a dive job. Read my recent article on how to learn a language in six months.

Dive instructor

As a dive instructor, you can find dive jobs as

  • Dive supervisor
  • Purser (rarely diving)
  • Dive instructor

A dive supervisor position is very similar to the job as Cruise Director in other countries. In my recent article, you can learn what it needs to become a dive supervisor / Cruise Director.

Don’t be surprised if you are asked to work on a test week before you get employed. You will follow along with another dive instructor and watch. There you have the chance to show the best version of yourself. Just be spot on and give a hand where you can. Asking questions makes you look interested and will be noticed.

Usually, it is a five day week you won’t get paid for.

dive deck on a liveaboard at the GBR - find dive jobs

dive deck on a liveaboard at the GBR

List of dive operators in Cairns, Port Douglas and Whitsunday Islands

Here is a list of dive operators in Cairns.

Coral Sea Dreaming Dive & Sail
Quicksilver Group
Dive The Reef
Reef Encounter
Down Under Cruise & Dive
Tusa Dive T6 Cairns
read on

The Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators – AMPTO – has a
great listing of even more operators.
This website shows around 40 operators in Cairns and Port Douglas and circa 20 around the Whitsunday Islands.


I spent even less than a year in Australia and after six months working I had saved 15.000 AUD. This made me feel a lot better. It gave me a peace of mind. Especially after being broke not long ago. Being able to buy ice cream and other happiness again is a wonderful feeling.

I learned a lot of skills I was able to bring to other dive businesses. This made me qualified heaps more than I was before Australia.

Share your expertise, experience, and questions in the comments.

I read all YOUR comments!


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Andreas is a dive instructor and writer. In the scuba industry, he has been working as marketing manager, cruise director, instructor, retail seller and dive guide. Recent years he worked in Indonesia, Australia and Thailand. Now he enjoys listening to the questions and struggles of dive professionals to share his expertise.

All stories by: Andreas
  • K

    Hi, It is a great article. I want to go to Australia next year for diving jobs. I have seen in some companies that require some licenses such as STCW 2010, restricted coxswain and boat safety license etc. Do you also do those licenses once you get there ? or some companies are not required to have those licenses? Do you recommend to do them in advanced ?

    • Andreas

      Hey Tanya,
      thanks for your comment. Not all companies require the STCW2010. A license to drive small boats like tenders can be useful but even that might not be mandatory. You can do the restricted Coxswain inside Australia if it is needed. Usually, you pay for such a course yourself. The latest info I got was that if you work longer than 6 months on boats for a diving company you need to do a basic ship safety course which can be done in Australia too.

      I applied for jobs first and did the courses needed once I found a company. I had to do a first aid course for instance and get a taxi driving license. Both were done in a few days and I was able to start my job.

      I hope this helps you Tanya!

  • Oz

    Hi Andreas,

    I am a PADI MSDT also going to Australia on a Working vacation visa in November this year. Is that a good time to look for an Instructors job in Cairns ? Also, is there a place in Cairns to do the restricted Coxswain course ? How much does the first Aid Course cost and can that be done in Cairns too ?

    • Andreas

      Thanks for your comment Oz.

      First Aid Course can be done in Cairns. Prices change but check out first aid academy. They were good back then.

      In Cairns it’s all year diving and expat dive staff comes and goes. This means even if there is no position vacant right when you arrive you can be lucky just a few weeks later.

      Restricted Coxswain can be done in Cairns too. There is a school for skipper tickets in in Cairns.

      I hope that helps Oz.

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