The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is the world’s de facto diver training organization and was founded by Ralph Erickson and John Cronin in 1966. PADI currently boasts the largest recreational membership in the world with over 130,000 professional diving instructors and approximately 6,000 dive centers and resorts. From new divers to world-class professionals, PADI can provide training and certification for all who seek a thrill in this extreme sports-related field. Currently, approximately 55% of divers worldwide have become certified through PADI. Many individuals are looking to combine their love of scuba diving with a career, and PADI offers the needed certification for scuba careers as well: the Dive Master Course.
The PADI Dive Master Course provides the ability for skilled divers to take the plunge into the professional realm of recreational and occupational scuba diving. The course covers a wide array of training topics, each designed to strengthen the overall ability of the Dive Master once employed or engaged in a professional scuba environment. We will now explore what to expect when facing the challenge of becoming a PADI Dive Master.
Before You Try
Prior to beginning the course, there are several criteria that must be met. Prerequisites include:
- Certifications in Advanced Open Water Diving and Rescue Diving, and Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care
- 40 prior dives
- Undergo a physical and submit a Medical Statement
- Be at least 18 years old
Many Dive Masters suggest taking additional courses prior to the Dive Master course in order to build upon core concepts that need to be strong if you want to be successful. Such courses include the Search and Recovery, Deep Diver, Equipment Specialist, Underwater Naturalist and Digital Underwater Photographer. Depending on your specific diving interests, you may find other courses offered that will improve your efficiency and capabilities underwater. It is also suggested that any potential Dive Master own basic scuba equipment and accessories such as a dive watch and dive knife. Finally, you want to be sure that you pick up the essential learning materials, all of which can be found in the PADI Dive Master crew pack. These crew packs can be purchased from any PADI Five Star IDC Dive Shop.
Dive Master Training
The PADI Dive Master course is rigorous and thorough, covering a variety of subjects in a variety of mediums. The preliminary portion of the course is offered via PADI’s eLearning system. Trainees will cover nine different topics via the online portion of the course, which are required before beginning practical application training. Included in the $200 online portion are videos, graphics, audio and reading. You are able to move at your own pace and have up to one year from the course start date to complete the eLearning section of the course.
After completion of the eLearning section, you will move on to actual real-world training through a PADI retailer or resort. During this portion of the exam, you will develop leadership skills necessary to be a Dive Master both in the classroom and in the water. Physical attention is paid to water skills and physical fitness, while mental training exercises cover how to organize plans and assist other divers through instruction and training. The knowledge you gain from these exercises is ultimately put to the test via an internship or a series of training exercises.
Many individuals pursue this certification due to the exciting extreme sports career opportunities that await them. Once certified, individuals can engage in the training, organization and directing of many lower-level dive courses. One of the main opportunities for Dive Masters is to assist in the Open Water Divers courses. Dive Masters can independently guide students on the tour portion of the course, provide assistance to the PADI instructor during surface swims and remain with individual student divers on special skill dives (ascents and descents). Dive Masters are also able to teach emergency first response in water situations after also certifying in the Emergency First Responder Instructor course.
There are also specialties that allow PADI Dive Masters to explore photography, such as the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer and if qualified as a Discover Scuba Diving Leader, you can independently teach the PADI Discover Scuba Diving program. Many of the best diving schools in the world routinely accept recent Dive Master graduates to intern at their facilities for a period of weeks to months.
Many resorts offer free classes when you intern with them, allowing you to rack up additional certifications that can lead to even more opportunities. World-class internships are offered at such places as Blue Season Bali Resort in Indonesia, Dive United Kingdom and Bali Diving, which is also located in Indonesia. There is nothing better than honing your certification and skills in a premiere PADI resort that specializes in training some of the best divers in the world for free!
Summing the PADI Dive Master Course Up
PADI Dive Masters have ample potential in an extreme sports-related field to not only get the most out of life and see the blue unknowns but to also move on to bigger and better things in the world of scuba diving. From here, you can choose to add on additional certifications that help direct your specialty skills in the right direction or even choose to become a PADI Instructor or Master Scuba Diver, which are the pinnacle of scuba diving achievement.
Many careers employ divers, including the energy and agricultural sectors, due to their precision underwater abilities to diagnose, harvest, inspect or otherwise assist employers in safe and effective operations. Some PADI Dive Masters may choose to simply use their skills to enjoy all the oceans have to offer in a recreational field, while others may develop successful small businesses around a business model tailored to the talents of the diver.
Whatever field awaits each Dive Master, he or she can face the challenge and know they are prepared to instruct, develop and organize fellow divers both in and out of the water while helping countless individuals have the opportunity to enjoy their favorite extreme sports past-time in a safe and productive fashion.