Bob Brayman was the son of a traveling salesman, and when he eventually wandered down to the Florida Keys, the long-aspiring diver clearly learned a thing or two from his father’s years of hard work.
He landed a gig at Hall’s Camp (now the site of The Hammocks) where the bait and tackle shop included a minimal diving equipment section. Brayman recalled working deals with “vendors” – guys who would drive up and down the Keys unloading their station wagons of masks, fins and snorkels – in order to keep the shelves appearing fully stocked.
“Whenever someone bought something, I’d offer to assemble their equipment for them and then take the empty container and put it back on the shelf,” he laughed. “I couldn’t let it look like we had no merchandise!”
Brayman revived the shop’s sad reputation, maintained the name of the business and eventually secured a partnership.
Shortly thereafter in 1978, Bob Brayman’s International Diving Career Institute at Hall’s was born out of necessity.
He quickly discovered that hiring a certified diver was not enough to run an entire outfit.
“Trained divers have no idea how to translate their skills and make sure customers are comfortable in the water,” Brayman noted. “So, I’d hire people with dive certifications and retrain them to my standards.”
From operating and maintenance on the dive boat to shooting and editing underwater photography as well as retail sales and management, Brayman wrote all the core instruction materials that produces a well-rounded pool of workers for cruise lines, dive resorts, schools, stores, businesses and private contractors around the globe.
The Institute uses an exclusive copyrighted learning system that by design makes learning easier and more thorough. Brayman wrote and assembled his instructional information of textbooks, videos and booklets because he believed industry information was either lacking or too complicated for the average person to understand.
Enrollment at the Institute also includes a 100 percent job placement record around the globe.
“Our graduates really shine to employers after completing our program,” Brayman noted.
After purchasing the space at 5050 Overseas Highway, most recently occupied by World Class Angler Bait & Tackle, in Marathon late last year, Hall’s now includes a spacious retail space as well as expansive classroom areas to continue the Institute’s mission. He’s also waiting for BP claim money to install a full size pool for training in the rear of his facility.
“I finally bought my own building in order to fully secure my business,” he concluded.
To learn more about the Career Institute or schedule your next dive, visit www.hallsdiving.com.