Tipping is a common practice in the United States but who to tip and how much isn’t always clear. Then, you factor in international travel and their country’s tipping protocols and things definitely get confusing.
Although it may vary, here are the general tipping protocols for the dive industry.
“Should I Tip My Dive Master or Scuba Instructor?”
In the scuba world, most tips are reserved for a boat’s DiveMaster and crew.
On boat dives, each diver will tip the crew $10 per tank. Tips are important in the dive world for multiple reasons.
So if you’re in Florida or Mexico, on a “two-tank boat dive”, at the end of the dive, you would tip $20.
If you are on a multiple-day trip you may tip at the end of each day OR drop it all on the final day.
If you save it all for the last day, make darn sure you set that money aside on day one so you don’t spend it on cold beer and fish tacos. There’s no excuse for running out of money at the end of a trip or forgetting to tip your crew.
Remember the T-shirts that say “Divers know where to hide the body!” Keep this in mind, lol.
There will either be a tip jar, or you may hand tips directly to the DiveMaster. A kind word and google review are also greatly appreciated.
Some boats will be equipped with multiple staff. In this situation, tip the standard and the staff will have an internal policy on how tips are split. No need for the diver to worry about how the boat shares tips.
When to tip above the standard $10 per tank
You can tip more if you had an incredible experience or if you needed or received more help than the other divers.
Examples where an extra tip may be warranted; if you lost gear and they had to go get it for you; if you forgot gear and they had to bail you out with their gear; if they provided you with a guide underwater and showed you amazing stuff others didn’t get to see. Or if they put you on a once-in-a-lifetime experience such as seeing a whale shark, a big shark; a massive manta ray…a migration of some sort; something no one expected to see and you probably won’t get to see it again for YEARS. In these cases, feel free to throw in something extra.
Big tippers on a two-tank dive might slip the crew $50 instead of $20-30 but those big tippers know who they are, and enjoy doing it.
What about tips for instructors and non-boat dives. If you have a DiveMaster leading ANY dive, then tips are in order. DiveMasters often work exclusively for tips.
Instructors are paid per student and therefore don’t rely on tips for their work. Many will accept a modest tip if the diver feels it is warranted, but don’t take offense if the instructor politely declines.
Use common sense when considering tips to an instructor. If you have unintentionally caused them extra work, and you know it lol, consider offering a modest tip for their extra time and attention. Even if they politely refuse, the gesture will be greatly appreciated. Again, relative to instructors, use common courtesy to guide your decision. Tips are not usually expected by instructors.
Do I Have To Tip At Scuba Adventures?
Relative to our dive shop and interactions with Instructors and Divemasters, we don’t expect tips. Since we are land-based; don’t utilize boats for training and since our dive shop pays its DiveMasters so they don’t rely on tips…there is no need to tip BUT there is a need to remember these industry standards and tip accordingly outside of our team.
It is incumbent on us to make sure students understand national and international standards, expectations, and common protocols because we send divers worldwide non-stop.
A Scuba Adventures trained diver will dive well; dive safely and be well informed.
Sea you on a dive boat somewhere soon!