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Follow the links below to find out more about the internship programs we offer:

Marine Conservation & Divemaster
Marine Conservation & Instructor

The Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center and the College of Diving would like to introduce you to our Marine Conservation and Instructor Internship, offering you the training to become a certified PADI Instructor, combined with extensive experience in marine conservation. Aimed at those looking to build a career in diving and conservation studies, this 2 or 3 month program provides platinum status instructor training implemented with marine research programs currently being undertaken in Utila!

Let the two Platinum PADI Course Directors at the College of Diving and the Marine Biology staff at the Research Center put you on the right track for a career in Marine Conservation.

  • Phase 1: You will enroll in an extended-duration IDC of 14 days under a 6:1 ratio. This Instructor Development Course prepares you to become a PADI Dive Instructor.

  • Phase 2: This step is optional but highly recommended. In our Specialty Instructor program, we will train you on how to teach your favourite specialties. We have broad range of specialty instructor training courses with all time favourites such as Enriched Air, Wreck and Sidemount but can also include marine life and conservation oriented courses such as AWARE Fish ID, Underwater Naturalist, Dive Against Debris Instructor etc.

  • Phase 3: The following 1 or 2 months is an integration into the Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center, where you’ll begin training and data collection in benthic and fish monitoring studies, whale shark research and identification, lionfish regulation management, and introduction to how NGO’s operate within Marine Protected Areas, etc.

What is included in the project cost?

  • Pick up on arrival to Utila

  • Accommodation

  • PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC)

  • Emergency First Response Instructor training

  • Training and scientific surveying dives

  • Coral Nursery management

  • Mangrove Nursery management

  • Lionfish containment

  • Marine Megafauna monitoring and data management (seasonal)

  • NGO operations

  • Resume Building and Job placement assistance



Certified diver for at least 6 months, 100 logged dives required, and Dive leader certification (PADI Divemaster or equivalent) with current Emergency First Responder (EFR) CPR and First Aid certifications. If any of these prerequisites are missing, please let us know. We can definitely schedule the required prerequisite training or dives prior to the program start date!

Please email for more information about this option.

  • Must be at least 18 years old by start of internship

  • Experience studying marine biology, conservation, environmental studies or related field is preferable but not essential

  • Owning your own dive gear is essential

  • Ability to work in tropical conditions within a hot and humid climate

  • Confident swimmer

  • Comfortable at sea and working on boats

  • Interpersonal skills, initiative, enthusiasm and the ability to work within a team


Dates & Cost

Marine Conservation and Instructor Internships require a minimum commitment of two months (one month will consist of SCUBA Instructor training). Without exception, internships begin on the first Monday of each month and terminate the Saturday directly before the first Monday, 3 (or more) months later. The list below shows available program start dates for 2024. Prices listed are per-month for the duration of the internship:

$2,249 USD per month for the Marine Conservation program (one or two months version is available)

$1,999 USD for the Instructor Development portion (+$1,150 PADI Fees)

2024 WSORC MCI Start and End Dates

January 8th – February 3rd, 2024

February 5th – March 2nd, 2024

March 4th – March 30th, 2024

April 1st – April 27th, 2024

May 6th – June 1st, 2024

June 3rd – June 29th, 2024**

July 1st – July 27th, 2024**

August 5th – August 31st, 2024**

September 2nd – September 28th, 2024

September 30th – October 26th, 2024

October 28th – November 23rd, 2024

November 25th – December 21st, 2024

All MCI programs are set to normally begin on the first Monday of every month and finish on the last Saturday of every month, with a few exceptions..

**June, July, August internships are priced at $2399


What is NOT included in the program cost?

Surcharges which may be associated with your preferred method of payment
Flights & Insurance
Airport Departure Tax (Approximately $37 USD – at time of writing)
Food & drink
Electricity (Utila accommodations work with a prepaid electric meter, expect to pay approximately
$25 USD per month per person)

How to apply…

PPlease fill out the WSORC Application Form and send us an email Our team will review your application and get back to you soon. Thanks!

The Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center undertakes and assists in multiple research projects at any one time; from whale shark guideline introduction and identification techniques, monitoring coral and fish dynamics, Coral and Mangrove management to lionfish dissection classes. With new projects on the way it’s difficult to give an exact agenda of what you will be involved with, as it depends on your date of arrival.

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