studying academics for your professional dive course

Requirements for the PADI Divemaster Course – Part 1

One of the most common questions for anyone looking to go pro really is,”what exactly do I have to do?”

So on this blog I am going to give you a complete rundown of all the requirements, every thing you need to complete to gain your PADI Divemaster certification, which is your first stepping stone on the PADI ladder to professional diver.


So first up is your prerequisites. Before you even start the PADI Divemaster course you need to have your rescue diver certification and a current (within 24 months) CPR and first aid card. You also need to have a medical form signed off by a doctor saying you are fit to dive.  Here in Quepos you can visit our local doctor for just $50 and get your medical signed off.

PADI Divemaster crewpack

Materials and internhsip thoughts

You will need to have your complete PADI Divemaster crewpack, eRDPml and at least 40 dives to start. If you are completing your Divemaster training as part of an internship then this is very easy to accomplish. Some dive centers will run internships and others won’t. You want to make sure you research the program you are entering in thoroughly as you don’t want to end up playing “tank rat” whilst you are completing your training. Tank filling and air station operation is an essential skill if you are looking to work in the dive industry but it it not supposed to dominate your whole afternoon (or morning!)


PADI Divemaster acaedmics overview

Okay, so we are good with your prerequisites so know what challenges do you face? First up, you will start your course with an introductory video, the PADI Divemaster video. This will give you a run down of what to expect, duties of Divemaster, skills to cover and much more. Following that you will role into a introductory talk on “Role of a Divemaster” by your instructor. This is a good chance to sit down with the instructor that is running your program and cover important issues like expectations, both yours and theirs, roles and responsibilities. We like to use it here in Go Pro Costa Rica, as a real intro to the staff, who to talk to and go to as your mentor, expectations and more.

With this wrapped up it is on to your academics. With 9 chapters to cover in the PADI Divemaster Manual there is some serious ground to cover. The first goal that we set out is the first 2 chapters of the book. These cover amongst other things, supervising dive activities, assisting with student divers and diver safety. Once completed you then get a chance to practice with some boat trips, watching divers and assisting with courses.
Divemaster conducted programs and specialized skills and activities then follows which is reviewed before jumping in the water to start trying out some of the skills.

In conjunction with the video it is a lot of information to take in but offers you a good groundwork to start on your program and we try and break it down bit by bit so you get the chance to get your feet wet on every part..  Following those academics you get the wonderful delight of sitting your first exam. Yeah! I hear you cry!!! This exam covers all of those first few chapters. At this point, you can then start assisting in the water with students and divers and moving through your various Divemaster challenges.

There are 3 more chapters of the PADI Divemaster Manual, which cover the business of diving, Awareness of the environment and Dive Theory. Specifically the last chapter covering dive theory is very Loooooonnng. This covers all of the 5 areas of dive theory, specifically physics, physiology, equipment, dive tables and dive skills. It is these areas that you will be tested in on your second exam. This exam we schedule for about half way through the program to give you a chance to get a thorough understanding and if unsure of any parts, the chance to cover them with an instructor.

Phew! All of this and we haven’t even covered the water work yet! Check out part 2 to get familiar with all of your water work, during the PADI Divemaster program.