If you love diving more than anything else, it could become your profession. However, it is a thin line to wade. Loving something and earning an income from it can be mutually exclusive. One may be good at performing an activity, and yet not be an effective instructor. Diving instruction also demands a good deal of responsibility. Additionally, one day you may wear the hat (or mask!) of a dive guide, seaman or technician; the next day you may be an assistant instructor, or salesman. He or she is the person who is filling and carrying tanks, checking you in and out on a dive boat and leading tours, conducting class sessions and answering student questions when the instructor is busy. As you see, the role of the divemaster requires hard work, dedication and professionalism. Therefore, a divemaster candidate should ask himself or herself,?? "Do I really want to immerse myself in the business of diving??? Can I handle the responsibility, the multi-tasking, and the fun?"
A divemaster is essentially an assistant instructor, and has the opportunity to learn from the other instructors and divemasters in the field. Through that avenue, consequently, a divemaster may discover new opportunities available in the diving industry, as well.
Divemaster training is the entry into professional diving. The training is for people who are ready to take over a leadership role in the diving industry, and to eventually become highly-qualified individuals as dive supervisors. A divemaster should therefore be very confident and competent in his or her tasks and skills.??
A divemaster course usually takes a couple of weeks, depending on class schedules and student demand. Generally speaking, the divemasters’ goals are supervising diving activities safely for divers, assisting with students in training, dive theory introduction, physics, physiology, equipment, decompression theory and tables, and serving, of course, as an assistant instructor. After the training is completed, a divemaster should display a high standard of diving skill, including water and rescue skills; a thorough knowledge of diving theory; and practical experience in aiding troubled divers. They are also trained about the business of diving. After all,?? graduates are expected to have the same level of leadership capability as an instructor.
According to PADI, the prerequisites* are:
- Certified as PADI Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver, proof of First Aid and CPR within 24 months,
- Have 20 logged dives to start, 60 logged dives to complete,
- 18 years of age, and
- Medical clearance.
According to NAUI, the prerequisites* are:
- NAUI Master Scuba Diver or equivalent,
- Have a minimum of 30 logged dives
- 18 years old, and
- NAUI Rescue Diver with First Aid and CPR credentials not older than 24 months
- Have physician’s approval for scuba diving within last 12 months
* The prerequisites are subject to change.
Almost all diving schools require candidates to be equipped with mask, fins, snorkel, BC with low-pressure inflator, compressed-air cylinder and valve, backpack, weight belt and weights, timing device, full regulator system, depth gauge, alternate air source, wet suit, knife, signaling device, compass, slates and pencils.
Course fees range from between $700 to $2000 and professional membership dues and liability insurance costs are about $750 a year. Therefore, one should carefully assess the financial costs of divemastering, since it is heavily based on commissions. A divemaster can also be employed on a full or part-time basis by dive centers, stores, clubs, and resorts to help with classes or lead guided dive tours. Are you ready to take the plunge?