Snorkeling is sometimes snubbed as the ugly step sister of scuba diving, but it is incredibly accessible and remains a wonderful escape and way to live and work in the wilds. You don’t have the limits of the clock as you do with diving, so you can spend limitless time exploring your aquarium and getting to know all the little creatures. You are completely in touch with nature and yourself when snorkeling; it forces you to slow your breathing and become almost meditative and rhythmic while you literally watch nature float on by.
Don’t under-estimate where it can take you in the world. You can work the 5* resorts in the Caribbean or go snorkeling with Orcas in Norway.
People often just pick up their snorkel from a hotel or bring it with them and go exploring, bing bang, no need for a guide or instructor. Dive companies will offer snorkel tours, or set off on your own and advertise yourself as a snorkel guide to hotels and tourists. If you do work for yourself, it can be quite lucrative once you build a clientele. For example, a cruise ship might use an agent and book for 100 people to go snorkeling with your guides in one day. You have extra costs like gear, transport and insurance but it can be a great gig. You could earn up to USD $60k/year or more.
If you are working for a hotel or outfitter, expect a more base salary or fixed rate for each group you take out and end up earning more like USD $30k/year, but high end hotels may come with a great tipping culture.
If you decide you can earn more working independently you will need all the right local permits and comprehensive insurance. It’s always a good idea to ask an employer if liability insurance is included in a contract or if you need to have your own. This website provides general information and you should always do your own research first*
EUROPE – High season is generally June – Sept with Aug as the busiest. We were serious about snorkelling with Orcas in Norway, visitors flock to see them in the fjords from late Dec to early Feb.
NORTH AMERICA - Summer in landlocked water and up north, Year round along the California Coast and Down south
SOUTH AMERICA – Year round
AUSTRALIA/NZ – Feb to June is some of the best snorkeling and diving in New Zealand and Pacific Islands like Fiji. Australia and in particular the Great Barrier Reef is safe year round, but because of the Irukanji, stingers and jellyfish, November to April it’s recommended you wear a lycra suit.
ASIA – You have tens of thousands of islands to choose from, they should all be relatively good for snorkeling throughout the year, with summer the high season… and beware typhoon, monsoon and rainy seasons. Pick your location, then find the best season. Indonesia for example is best April through November. High season for snorkeling in the Philippine Islands is Jan-June and then October - December
AFRICA – Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar and the like have a high season in November through April. Mozambique and South Africa varies; divers and snorkelers may choose to go at a time of migrating whales, or wait for the most fair weather outside. Check out more information within each region.
CARIBBEAN – mid December to mid-April. Beware Hurricane season