We can provide rental equipment at no extra charge, we have Scubapro equipment, in good condition and serviced on a regular basis by our authorised equipment technician. We can provide rental equipment at no extra charge, we have Scubapro equipment, in good condition and serviced on a regular basis by our authorised equipment technician. We do recommend that you have your own mask/snorkel, fins (close foot) and wet suit (3mm March-Sept/5mm Oct-Feb) for comfort as well as hygiene reasons, though again, our equipment is always available. For trainees who are going on to complete their PADI Instructor Development course, and want to work in the dive industry, we highly recommend that you invest in your own set of scuba equipment, as a professional, this is both your uniform and work tools, and as a diver your safety and leisure equipment. Most dive centers and resorts will not hire a professional who does not have their own gear, or at the very least will expect you to invest in a set of equipment as a condition of employment. At Utila Dive Centre we have a special equipment package, that will kit you out, from head to toe, with accessories and carry bag at an incredible price, this offer is for all candidates who are taking their Instructor training with us, please enquire for more information. There is also a equipment retail store on Utila and you can see their products and pricing at www.diveshackutila.com.
On average most of our trainees budget between $400-600 per month (after apartment has been paid) on food, drinks and miscellaneous expenses. On average most of our trainees budget between $400-600 per month (after apartment has been paid) on food, drinks and miscellaneous expenses. There are 2 supermarkets on the island, and groceries are very affordable, though you'll often find yourself eating out in cafes and restaurants with other trainees and divers, to give you an idea, a regular meal costs $4-6 and a soft drink $0.75 and a beer $1-$1.25. Utila is the least expensive of the Bay Islands, with more affordable options, and great choices, as well as having access to some of the best diving int he Caribbean, you also have a great standard of living.
When you reserve your course or package with us, we will book you a complimentary arrival stay into our hotel the Mango Inn on Utila. Then our staff will be able to give you specific advice on accommodation, and living options and availability, with regards to your preferences and budget. When you reserve your course or package with us, we will book you a complimentary arrival stay into our hotel the Mango Inn on Utila. Then our staff will be able to give you specific advice on accommodation, and living options and availability, with regards to your preferences and budget. The majority of our trainees, Divemasters and Instructors, stay in shared accommodation. A modern 2 bed room apartment, with kitchen, living room, and bathroom, costs between $350-$550 per month depending upon it's location. It is also possible to find 1 bed room apartments from $300-$450 per month. Apartments are very easy to arrange once on Utila, and there are always openings in shared apartments and it doesn't take long before something suitable shows up. If your complimentary stay in the Mango Inn ends and you are still looking for accommodation, then we can extend (subject to availability) at our regular rates. Here a couple of links we recommend; Sandstone apartments; E-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, $500-650 per month, 10 minutes from UDC and ocean location. Website www.sandstoneutila.com Tropical Sunset apartments; E-mail email@example.com, $450-600 per month, 5 minute walk from UDC and bay view location. Website www.seaeye-resort.com Patrick’s apartments; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org $350 per month, and 15 minute walk from UDC, town location.
We provide training of all levels, from beginner to Instructor, in fact we specialise in customised programs, regardless of your certification level or experience. We provide training of all levels, from beginner to Instructor, in fact we specialise in customised programs, regardless of your certification level or experience. If you contact us and let us know if you want to become a PADI Divemaster or Instructor, and approximately how many dives you have, your certification level (if any) and what dates you would be looking to take your training then we will get right back to you with specific information. You can start any course at any time with us, with the exception of the PADI Instructor course and MSDT program, these are on scheduled dates, however for maximum flexibility and convenience these are offered on a monthly basis. The PADI Divemaster course starts every Monday, and we will time your training so the courses flow and any additional time you have can be used to gain additional experience and log more dives.
We do allow certified Divemasters who are taking their IDC with us, to work in return for dives and experience, also we will place you on a 'free' IDC preparation program in return for assisting us. This is an excellent opportunity for you to spend time on Utila prior to your IDC, gain more diving experience, learn about the local dive sites and refresh your Divemaster theory and water skills by sitting in on our Instructors classes from Open Water to Divemaster, again. Please note these pre-IDC internships are limited spaces and we have to give the priority to those candidates that book in advance for their IDC.
Instructors on Utila average $50-$55 per certification they issue, when you consider the average class size in low season is 4 students and in high season 8 students this means Instructors can make a good income even in quiet months. Obviously this will vary depending on the dive operation you work for as there is a big difference in the standards between the schools. I would say that at UDC our Instructors average $800-$1000 per month low season and as much as $3000-4000 in the busiest months of the year.
I'd like to work as an Instructor after my IDC and IE, and feel confident enough to do so. What are the possibilities at your place? As for work opportunities at our dive operation we always try never to guarantee/promise anything in advance, it wouldn't be fair. We do have a full time staff of 7 Instructors who are our first choice and they are all long term residents on Utila. There are however many times when we do need additional staff so then we prefer to use candidates from our recent IDC's. Too be honest in 2008 we had trained over 60 Instructors all with a 1st time IE 100% pass rate and we have helped everyone that has stayed in the local area secure employment on Utila or even Roatan. After your IE whilst you are looking for employment we can allow you to mentor with our experienced Instructors under our MSDT scheme which allows you to earn up to 25 certifications, get real world teaching experience, advance your teaching status credentials, valuable hands on experience and a valuable reference from our facility. There are over 12 dive operations on Utila so it doesn't take too long to find suitable employment.
What are the tourist seasons for you, i.e. low and high season being few/many divers?
The best months are December/January, April, June to September. These months often see the island full and Instructors busy, in high season months an average beginner’s class size can be 8 students, as allowed by standards though in order to ensure quality we always place more staff in the water. Outside of these months though Instructors still get consistent work but the class sizes are smaller.
November to January are the wettest months of the year though this does not adversely affect diving conditions as we have no rivers on Utila, though visibility may drop a little and the water get colder the best place to be on Utila when it rains is actually on a dive. We do not schedule any Instructor course for December not so much because of the weather (PADI host IE's in pretty extreme environments) but mainly because of the Christmas/New Year holidays there is generally a lack of demand at this time in our region. Otherwise we schedule all Divemaster courses to start on any given Monday at 4pm, registration is recommended.
I have heard that there are visa restrictions in Honduras. I am aware that I get a 3 month visa upon entry, and can extended another month by paying the local immigration officer $20, but what if I want to work in your dive center - or others if you have no work to offer - and need a longer visa or even a working visa, like the ones they have in Mexico?
Most international visitors get an initial 90 days when you first enter Honduras and then another month for $20. This is not a working VISA so you have to pay the local council an unofficial working permit of $100 per year as an Instructor. Right now the Honduran government is very relaxed about foreigners working in the tourism diving industry, as they do not have the local labour to meet market demands, though things may change in the future. After 4 months you have to leave the country for 48 hours and then return. Most people use this as a vacation opportunity after 4 months of living on a small island and take off to either Guatemala or Costa Rica.