The Divemaster internship. There is a lot of debate in the scuba community regarding internship programs. I won’t get into them here as one of our additional blog posts addresses the ultimate question: What is an internship?
For now, I am just going to explain, how long they generally do, or should last. How long the internship here at Go Pro Costa Rica lasts and things to take into consideration when planning your time around a PADI Divemaster internship.
Definition of the word internship is: The position of a student or trainee who works in an organization, sometimes without pay, in order to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification.
Whilst there are paid internships around the world, you won’t likely find one in the scuba diving industry. You cannot “work” as a dive professional or guide until you have your PADI dive number and you don’t have that until you have completed the training. So, there you go. You can do other helpful things for example, learn to assist on scuba programs or work around the dive resort, but most of the time you will want to be in the water and you can’t be leading etc unless you are qualified.
So, you need to get to that position. If you come in with the needed prerequisite of 40 dives, then it would likely take at least a month, if you are completing around 10 dives or more a week and completely immersed in the program. 6 days a week, in the dive shop, helping out, diving and assisting. That is common practice. With the Divemaster internship, standard practice, is that you would get all of your necessary dives and training for a reduced price, in exchange for helping out with clients, assisting with tank filling etc. For example, here in Go Pro Costa Rica, if you complete the program over at least 6 weeks, then you get a discount of $300. With the thought process that those additional two weeks, whilst you wait for you professional number to come through, as you are trained, you will be assisting guiding more as you will know the dive sites, routine etc.
If you have less dives, say only 20 dives, then you would need more time before you begin the program. Say an additional 2 weeks, of scuba diving, learning the ropes, practicing your own scuba skills before you can think about helping anyone else. Less, dives, even more, and you would have to work on your prerequisite certifications in addition.
Now, some Divemaster internships require a longer period of time. I have seen almost 3 months, if you don’t have any experience or dives under your belt. If scuba diving 5 to 6 days a week then yes, I would expect around that time, again, if you are fully immersed in the program.
Some programs offer a longer period of time, say 6 months, for the Divemaster program free. I get that on a no experience level if you are offering maybe accomodation or something additional, but 6 months is a long exchange if looking at just the DM program. Sometimes, it is worth just paying for the program and doing a shorter internship, with a discount if you value your time. As you may ultimately end up paying more once you break it down.
So, the main deciding factor when looking at the length of your Divemaster internship is what is your experience and dive numbers coming into the program?
In conclusion, how long does a PADI Divemaster internship last?
You are looking at the following;
Rescue diver certified- At least 6 weeks diving, 6 days a week full immersion in the industry.
Advanced diver certified around 20 dives at least – 8 weeks diving, 6 days a week, full immersion
Open water diver certified – 9+ weeks.
No experience – 3 months minimum with full immersion 6 days a week program.