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Diving in Koh Tao

Dive Internships

Scuba Diving Internships
Koh Tao, Thailand

Seeking the ultimate adventure?
Escape to Thailand & join our crew on the tropical island of Koh Tao!

Described ‘must-see’ by Lonely Planet, Koh Tao is a faraway paradise in the Gulf of Thailand.
Palm-fringed beaches, jungle-covered slopes, surrounded by coral reefs & sunken shipwrecks.

Choose from 3 scuba diving internships to meet your timeframe & objectives.


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Dive Internships in Koh Tao, Thailand: FAQs

What is a scuba diving internship? 

Our scuba diving internships package together everything you need to become an expert-level diver; Scuba diving training, course materials, PADI certifications, dive gear, and accommodation.

By joining a dive internship on Koh Tao, you’ll experience life on a remote tropical island in the Gulf of Thailand, embarking on the adventure of a lifetime.
Spectacular coconut palm-fringed beaches meet the azure ocean, sprawling coral reefs, and incredible marine life. On land, palm groves give way to jungle-covered mountains with epic viewpoints.

You’ll become part of the dive crew here at Simple Life Divers, meeting and scuba diving with people from across the planet. Each day you’ll explore incredible coral reefs teeming with aquatic life, submerged pinnacles encircling Koh Tao, and sunken shipwrecks.

We offer three internships to cater to differing objectives, timeframes, and budgets:

No previous scuba diving experience is required. (If you are already a certified diver, get in touch. We can assemble a customized internship package, saving time and money).

Our internships are a training program, not a paid position.
PADI Divemaster and Instructor are professional qualifications. Opting for either of these internships prepares you to seek paid employment in the dive industry, opening countless opportunities for adventure worldwide.

Thailand diving internship

What kind of people join a scuba diving internship?

People from wide-ranging nationalities, backgrounds, and ages join our diving internships in Thailand. Simple Life Divers is a fun, social place to spend a few months (or longer), where you are sure to settle in quickly, make lots of friends, become part of the dive crew.

There is no single specific type of person who joins. Though often, people fall into one or more of several categories:

Post-High School or Post-University Gap Year Students: The idea of taking a gap year is becoming increasingly popular across the globe. Harvard University encourages students to take a gap year, reasoning that students who take a year typically go on to achieve better academic results.
Joining a scuba diving internship in Thailand is a great way to spend a gap year:

  • Experience Life on a Tropical Island in Thailand: Expand your worldview with exposure to diverse cultures, cuisine, climate & lifestyle.
  • Unwind from the stresses of academic study: Recharge from the rigors of bookwork and exams.
  • Develop skills outside of academia: Becoming a Divemaster or Instructor involves developing wide-ranging skills beyond the scope of mainstream education. For example, gain self-confidence in delivering briefings, co-coordinating divers, and working as part of a team. Develop planning and problem-solving skills, gain fitness and learn to communicate effectively with people from wide-ranging backgrounds.
  • Gain a qualification that allows you to work and travel: PADI Divemaster & Instructor are internationally recognized professional qualifications. Dive shops need competent staff. As a PADI dive professional, you can travel to and seek work in some of the most spectacular destinations worldwide.
  • Meet People: Make friends and dive together with people from across the globe.
  • Have Fun! What could be better than living on a tropical island in Thailand, exploring coral reefs and shipwrecks everyday? Sunset drinks, tantalizing cuisine, affordable living expenses, great people…

Career Break:
For the same reasons as above, joining a scuba diving internship is a perfect option for a career break.
Escape to a tropical island and forget the stresses of work. Take the time to unwind, travel and enjoy a period of reflection. Gain a different perspective on life and reevaluate your goals, and develop new skills.

Joining a dive internship is an ideal way to take an extended vacation and use your time constructively.

Change of Career:
Eager to escape the 9 till 5 grind? Seeking a more rewarding and fulfilling career? Working as a professional scuba diver can be the ideal choice.
What could be more enjoyable than living on a remote tropical island in Thailand, teaching people to scuba dive for a living? The daily reality for PADI Divemasters and Instructors on Koh Tao.

By joining our Divemaster or Instructor internship, you’ll graduate as a PADI professional, ready to seek paid employment and embark on a career in the dive industry. Escape the rat race for a better lifestyle.

Why choose Koh Tao, Thailand for a diving internship? 

Koh Tao – a remote tropical island situated in the southern Gulf of Thailand – is the ideal destination to join a scuba diving internship for many reasons:

  • Tropical Scenery: Koh Tao is picture-perfect. Thailand’s turquoise ocean laps against sandy beaches lined by coconut trees, rustic beach bars & restaurants. Further inland, groves of swaying palm trees give way to rainforest-covered mountains, crisscrossed by trekking trails leading to incredible viewpoints and secluded bays.
  • Dive Sites: Koh Tao is encircled by more than 25 incredible dive sites. These include kaleidoscopic coral reefs such as Mango Bay, Japanese Gardens & Twins, formed by table corals, gorgonian fans, whip corals, massive porites & brain corals, staghorn & elkhorn branching corals, and much more. Further out, submerged granite monoliths and shipwrecks offer the opportunity for deeper diving and possibilities to dive amongst Koh Tao’s larger marine species. Plus, an initiative to maintain sustainable diving tourism and contribute back to the environment created artificial reef projects around Koh Tao which include Buoyancy World, JunkYard, BioRock, and Simple Life Divers ‘Alotmeant’ coral restoration site.
  • Distance to Dive Sites: From Simple Life Divers’ base at the southern tip of Sairee Beach, most dive sites are only a short boat ride away, typically 20-minutes or so. Ultimately you spend more time diving and less time sitting on the boat motoring back and forth. (Compare this against other dive destinations where dive sites can be several hours or more from land). Short journey times reduce boat fuel consumption, keeping the cost of dive training modest and minimizing our environmental impact.
  • Marine Life: Situated in warm tropical waters, the coral reefs and pinnacles surrounding Koh Tao are home to countless species of aquatic life. In shallow waters, you can dive with common reef species such as angelfish and butterfly fish, wrasses, sea turtles, rays, triggerfish, moray eels, clownfish, pink anemone fish, and more. Around the deeper pinnacles and shipwreck, you can witness Koh Tao’s larger species which include giant grouper, chevron & great barracuda, giant trevally & batfish. If lucky, you may get to dive with the biggest fish in the ocean. Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) migrate through the Gulf of Thailand, staying around Koh Tao’s dive sites for a few days to filter feed on plankton.

Scuba diving internship in Thailand

  • Climate & Sea Conditions: Koh Tao is the ideal environment for scuba diving regarding sea conditions. The Gulf of Thailand (อ่าวไทย) is essentially a large sheltered bay. Throughout the year, sea conditions around Koh Tao are typically calm, with low wave heights and mild currents, making for excellent diving conditions.
    Similarly, Thailand’s climate is ideal for scuba diving. Warm, sunny weather year-round keeps the sea temperature at a comfortable 28-29°C. A 2.5mm shorty wetsuit or lycra rash guard provides plenty of insulation.
  • Cost of Living: Expenses for food, drinks, and accommodation are very modest in Thailand. Spending a few months (or longer) in Koh Tao to complete a scuba diving internship, you can afford a very comfortable lifestyle on a modest budget.
  • Social Scene: Due to the multicolor coral reefs and marine life encircling the island, Koh Tao is famous for scuba diving. Visitors from across the globe travel to Koh Tao to learn to scuba dive, join diving tours or further their PADI training. By taking a dive internship on Koh Tao, you’ll meet and dive with people of countless nationalities and backgrounds, making lots of friends and having a great time.
    Back on land after a day’s diving, there is a vibrant social scene around the dive shop and bar-restaurant at Simple Life Divers. It’s a idyllic spot for relaxing with a cold beer and enjoying sunset views across the bay. Each evening there’s a gang headed out for dinner along the beach.
  • Cuisine: Thai food is delicious. Aromatic green & red curries, spicy salads, noodle soups, rice dishes, and more – sampling the local cuisine is one of the highlights of spending time in Thailand. On days you want a break from Thai food, there’s plenty choice. Within close walking distance of Simple Life Divers, pizza, seafood, bbq/steakhouses, Japanese, Mexican, Korean BBQ, vegan and middle-eastern cuisine are available.
  • Post-internship employment: Koh Tao is a popular dive destination. Each year, many thousands of people visit Koh Tao to take PADI courses or explore the dive sites around Koh Tao. Demand for PADI Divemasters and Instructors is high, with employment opportunities arising daily during peak tourism periods. If you plan to pursue scuba diving as a professional career, Koh Tao is the ideal place to start.

Sunset in Koh Tao, Thailand

Which scuba diving internship is best for me? 

To cater to differing objectives, timeframes, and budgets, we offer three scuba diving internships in Thailand:

  • Explorer Internship | 1 month
  • PADI Divemaster Internship | 2 months
  • PADI Dive Instructor Internship | 7 months

So, which dive internship is the best choice for you?

Objective: Fun in the Sun, Career in Diving (or both)?

The 1-month Explorer Internship trains you to become an expert diver, exploring epic dive sites around Koh Tao. Progressing through PADI training in sequence, you will be certified to dive to 40 meters and use enriched air to extend your bottom times.
The Explorer Internship is for people who want to enjoy a month of fun on Koh Tao, diving everyday and soaking up the tropical island lifestyle.

If your end-goal is employment, you need to opt for either the Divemaster or Instructor Internship. From these programs, you graduate as a PADI professional, ready to seek paid work in the dive industry.

The 2-month Divemaster Internship trains you to PADI Divemaster – the first professional rating in the PADI system. Divemasters organize dive trip logistics, give briefings, guide certified divers on underwater tours, and conduct ReActivate sessions for divers who have been inactive for an extended period. DM is arguably the most enjoyable role in the dive industry – taking people on underwater adventures for a living!

The 7-month Dive Instructor Internship trains you to PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI), able to independently teach all PADI courses, from beginner right through to PADI Divemaster. PADI OWSI is the most in-demand rating in the dive industry, and working as an instructor is usually significantly more lucrative than being employed as a DM. However, the training takes longer.

PADI diving internship

Which Internship?

If you want to spend a month or more enjoying scuba diving and life in the tropics, go for the 1-month Explorer or 2-month Divemaster internship.

If your objective is to work in scuba diving, opt for the 2-month Divemaster or 7-month Dive Instructor Internship.

For best long-term employment prospects and earning potential, Dive Instructor Internship is the best choice.

Start with PADI Divemaster then Extend to Instructor?

If uncertain whether to opt for the 2-month PADI Divemaster or 7-month Dive Instructor internship, a good option is to start with Divemaster.

The two programs are identical up to Divemaster level. So you can start with the 2-month DM program before deciding to continue through to instructor.
If you decide to continue, you can pay the difference to upgrade to the Dive Instructor internship (so there’s no disadvantage to opting for Divemaster first).

Diving internship in Koh Tao

Can I get paid work in scuba diving? 

The 2-month PADI Divemaster Internship and 7-month Dive Instructor Internship train you to become a PADI professional, ready to seek paid work in the dive industry.

If your aim is to work in diving, you should choose either the Divemaster or Instructor internship.

Both PADI Divemasters and PADI Instructors are needed by dive centers worldwide. Divemasters coordinate dive trip logistics and guide certified divers on underwater tours. Meanwhile PADI Instructors independently run PADI courses and train new divers.

Working as a PADI Instructor is usually a more lucrative role than Divemaster. Becoming a PADI Instructor requires more training, and carries extra responsibility.

(The 1-month Explorer Internship culminates in a non-professional rating, so is not suitable if you plan to pursue a career in diving).

Scuba diving job

What Prerequisites are needed to join a dive internship in Thailand? 

To join our dive internships in Koh Tao you must:

  • Be at least 15 years old or older for the Explorer Internship, are 18 years old for the Divemaster or Instructor Internships
  • Be able to swim
  • Be in good, normal health
  • No previous diving experience is required


You must be able to swim to join a diving internship.
When scuba diving, we explore at an easy, relaxed pace to conserve our air supply and enjoy long dives. We use our BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) to achieve neutral buoyancy – essentially weightlessness – to glide effortlessly around the dive site. Usually, scuba diving is significantly easier & more relaxing than swimming or snorkeling.

You do need to be able to swim to join a dive internship. Since we are in and around the water everyday, you must be comfortable swimming. You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete – basic swimming is fine.

Health Requirements to Join a Dive Internship

You must be in good normal health, with no pre-existing medical conditions that could be an issue for scuba diving. Take a moment to review PADI’s medical questionnaire highlighting medical conditions that could pose a problem for diving.

If you have any medical conditions highlighted on the PADI form, you’ll need to get a checkup by a physician to assess whether it is safe for you to dive.

Prior Scuba Diving Experience?

No previous scuba diving experience is required to join our scuba diving internships. Our packages combine everything you need to progress from beginner to expert diver – all dive training, course materials, certifications, and dive gear.

Training builds in gradual increments following PADI courses in sequence. With each step, our PADI Instructor crew ensure you are confident and competent before proceeding further.

If you are already a certified diver, we can give full credit for training you’ve already completed. Get in touch – we can put together a customized package for you.

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Koh Tao beach

Do I need travel insurance to join the scuba diving internship? 

Simple Life Divers carries a several insurance policies specific to scuba diving.

You should have your own travel insurance too. Whilst extremely unlikely, if you did have any health issues whilst here, private healthcare in Thailand can be costly. So for peace of mind, it’s worth taking out travel insurance to cover your visit.

Many policies are available which cover general travel and scuba diving. One good option is DAN Europe.

PADI dive internship

How many people join scuba diving internships on Koh Tao? 

Numbers of people joining our dive internships on Koh Tao vary throughout the year – typically we have about 10-20 long-term trainees here, spread amongst the various programs offered.

This balance is ideal for a dive shop the size of Simple Life Divers. A fun atmosphere around the dive school with lots going on, whilst running all training activities in small groups to ensure everyone gets plenty of attention, receives quality instruction, and qualifies as a competent dive professional.

In addition to long-term trainees are our dive crew of PADI Divemasters & Instructors, support/admin staff, and day-to-day tourists taking PADI courses or joining dive tours.
Simple Life Divers is a great social environment where you will settle in quickly, make many friends and share underwater adventures, becoming part of the crew.

Thailand dive internship

Can I work in exchange for a free dive internship in Thailand? 

The 2-month PADI Divemaster Internship and 7-month Dive Instructor Internship train you to become a PADI professional, ready to seek paid work in the dive industry.

If you aim to work in diving, you should choose the Divemaster or Instructor internship.

Both PADI Divemasters and PADI Instructors are needed by dive centers worldwide. Divemasters coordinate dive trip logistics and guide certified divers on underwater tours. Meanwhile, PADI Instructors independently run PADI courses and train new divers.
Working as a PADI Instructor is usually a more lucrative role than Divemaster. Becoming a PADI Instructor requires additional training and carries extra responsibility.

(The 1-month Explorer Internship culminates in a non-professional rating, unsuitable to pursue a career in diving).

Chevron barracuda in Thailand

Should I purchase my own set of scuba diving equipment? 

Joining our dive internships here in Thailand, you can use whatever of our shop rental dive equipment you need (BCD, regulator set, wetsuit, mask, fins, tanks & weights, etc).

Simple Life Divers’ shop rental sets are quality dive gear from leading manufacturers (Scubapro, Aqualung), properly maintained by our scuba technician.

If you have a little spare money, it’s strongly recommended to invest in a few small items of your own:

  • Mask & Snorkel
  • Full Foot Fins
  • Timing Device (or better, dive computer)
  • Surface Marker Buoy (SMB)
  • Cutting Tool
  • Underwater Compass

Inexpensive and easy to carry, owning these bits of scuba gear makes scuba diving a lot more comfortable and convenient.

If you are interested in purchasing some (or all) of your own dive gear, have a read through our Guide to Buying Dive Equipment:


Dive Gear Guide [PDF]

Is the scuba diving internship free? 

Many resources are required to run scuba diving internships, including:

  • Dive Boat Fuel & Crew Wages
  • Tank fills
  • Dive Boat, Compressor, Dive Equipment & Swimming Pool Maintenance
  • PADI course materials and certifications
  • Instructor Salaries
  • Accommodation

For this reason we have to charge a fee to cover the costs of running the internship. Scuba diving internships are not free.

(However, if you opt for either the Divemaster or Instructor Internship, after graduating you can put your new qualification to use, seeking employment as a means to recoup your training expenses).

Simple Life bar on Koh Tao

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Scuba diving in Koh Tao PADI dive resort PADI Asia Pacific member award






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