Becoming a PADI Divemaster is a big step for many scuba divers. It comes after sometimes a lot of deliberation and thought and is not something to be taken lightly. There are many things to consider when you are looking at taking that step so here are 6 things to consider and think about before you take the leap.
Is it really what you want – to lead others or to focus on your own skills? – DM or MSD
Divemaster or Master scuba diver? By many they are thought of as the same, but in reality they are very different. A PADI Divemaster is a guide, someone who looks after others and guides then underwater. Has good professional dive skills and is an instructors assistant. A Master scuba diver is someone who has taken certifications and practiced towards improving their own skills. Aside from the rescue diver program they haven’t spent any time focusing on other people diving, just themselves and there personal skills.
Do you have the attitude and mentality to be responsible for others on the surface or underwater.
Becoming a PADI Divemaster means that you have to guide other scuba divers underwater. You may also have to assist an instructor during his courses. You have to have the right attitude for that. The Divemaster is not just about getting a certification. It is being there for others and taking responsibility for them underwater. If you have no interest doing that, or easily get distracted, cannot forse things happening underwater, then maybe Divemaster isn’t for you.
Do you have the fitness – not just minimum requirements.
During the Divemaster program there is a few stamina tests that must be taken. Something you want to think about. Do you really only want to meet the bear minimum? You may find yourself in a position where you need to swim out and assist someone on the surface. Maybe fight some unexpected current underwater to assist your scuba divers. Can you do that? Your fitness, in my opinion should be at a level that you can do that without fear of heart attack or other serious problems. And if you intend to continue with your scuba diving career, you should keep that stamina level up. Be a role model with your fitness and professionalism.
Is it part time or a career in which case you need to consider instructor
If you are looking at making a career in scuba diving, as in “in the water” then I will be honest. It will be hard as a Divemaster. You need to really consider the step to scuba instructor. Scuba instructors can do the job of a divemaster. Not vice versa though. Sorry. Think about it ahead of time and plan.
What other skills to go along with it may you need, e.g. resort skills
Looking at getting your PADI Divemaster certification you realize it is a large world out there. There are many, many different places that are offering the certification and along with that, many different options and styles of course. If you are looking at the career route, or maybe even not, think about the additional skills you can acquire from the program. There are many skills that are beneficial, not just to scuba diving that may be included, including mechanical skills, boat skills, even office skills that may benefit you. Research well where you are intending to go and what you can gain from the program there.
Where will you do training? – own back yard, sunny but will you get a job?
So you are thinking yes, this is it and I want to do my PADI Divemaster program. But where are you going to do it? There are many options around the world and one fo the things you need to consider is are you looking to work afterwards?If you are looking to work, would it be where you did your training or would you be looking to work elsewhere. First up, there is an advantage to training where you intend to work or assist. I know for a fact that many dive shops, particularly colder water areas don’t look fondly on people jetting off to sunny locations and then coming back and expecting to get work.
Think long and hard about the best options for you and then what you want to do with the certification. And talk to your local dive shop first. Whilst they may prefer you obviously to train with them, they may understand if it is that cold and it isn’t the right time of year for scuba diving.