I still remember the first time the idea of doing my Divemaster crossed my mind. It was in the Philippines after three dives in “El Nido” and spending the trip back talking on deck with our guide. It was idyllic: the sunset, paradise, cool people, doing something you like and being able to share it with everyone. Everything was perfect and the idea drew me in.
A year later my dream became a reality and I moved to Mexico where I did all my training at the hand of my business partner and friend, Aitor.
But what should I expect from my Divemaster course?
Many people ask the same question, usually followed up by the question of finances. Like everything in life, courses and special training require an expense, be it physical/psychic or monetary. What do I mean by this?
In the market, there are different options that will fit into what you want your Divemaster course to be. If you are looking for the cheap route, there are thousands of sites that offer this. It’s true, you will enjoy an idyllic landscape, party and fun, but professionalism is not a priority. If you want to build a career within this competitive industry, not all the available options will offer you the adequate training and quality so that you reach the level necessary to become a “good” dive professional. Study the market, ask for feedback, talk with friends, INFORM yourself and choose what fits your way of thinking and seeing life. Nowadays, social networks and networking put all of the necessary tools you need to make your choice right in your hands.
Internship vs Paid Course
You will see these two options offered in the market. Which of the two do you choose?
Internship: Normally your Divemaster course will be “free” (in this life there is nothing free and everything has a price), that is, you will pay for your course with your work and sweat. As part of the agreement, you will be one more staff (without salary), you will be in the store selling, you will load tanks, you will guide… It is clear that you will see the true side of the Divemaster’s work and that you will learn many things if you make the most of your time during your internship. I am not against this type of course, but one issue with this option is that in the event of a disagreement with the owners of the store, you are totally helpless.
Ask, in writing, what the conditions of the agreement are including: what schedule you will have, will you be working while taking the course or will it be work first, course later, and what is the total duration of your Divemaster Course.
Pay: the same applies to the courses for which you pay. Ask for all the conditions of the course including the price, a description of it, duration, etc. For me, you are more protected when you pay, since it is a service contract and you have the right to complain (even to the certification organization, PADI, SSI, NAUI, …). Take your time and decide coherently.
What will I do during my Divemaster?
As in any diving course, your Divemaster will include two major parts, theory, and practice.
The theoretical part begins to train you as an expert in diving. It prepares you to solve problems and serve as a guide or mentor for divers. Do not think that just being the most skilled underwater means you are exempt from knowing the basic fundamentals in safety, physics, physiology, equipment and the environment in which you are going to carry out your activity. You will be the expert so you must show that you have the necessary theoretical knowledge.
In the practical part, you will be prepared so that you can work independently as a dive guide, teacher (for the courses in which Divemasters can teach) and assistant. You will have to demonstrate your aquatic/diving skills and rescue capabilities. Also, you will participate in several workshops that will forge the Divemaster that you will be in the future. In particular, you will learn to observe, evaluate and make decisions, based on the existing environmental conditions.
Surely in most of the dive shops, you will see first hand how to work, load tanks and repair equipment. You will be immersed in the logistics and learn the work required for any successful diving operation.
My advice is to dive as much as you can. Learn from any partner, whether instructor or Divemaster, with whom you have the opportunity to work. Observe, stay alert, visualize what kind of instructor you want to be and take those ideas that will help you be who you want to be (obviously discard those which you do not like).
Be humble and let yourself be advised by the most experienced professionals. Enjoy the experience and always keep in mind that when you finish, you will be responsible for the lives of people who will dive with you.
I hope it has helped you and we will see you soon underwater.
We are a PADI dive center in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia offering daily dive trips to the Komodo National Park. The PADI courses available include Discover Scuba Diving, Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, EFR, Divemaster and Sidemount. Join us for an unforgettable experience diving in one of the top dive destinations in the world!