Everyone arrives for their first SCUBA course as a novice, even divemaster candidates. Feeling a little anxious, a little excited, students take their first breaths of water under the experienced eye of a dive instructor. A PADI Divemaster may also be nearby, offering encouragement, advice, and problem-solving at just the right moments.
Students put a lot of trust into these dive professionals, but who are these people? Short answer: they’re normal people like you and me, who have made the choice to pursue a career in SCUBA. But how did they get started? The PADI Divemaster is the first professional level for SCUBA divers. They started by becoming PADI divemaster candidates. So let’s look at how they do it, starting with my own story.
My own path to dive professional began in 2015 when my life abruptly changed. I suddenly had plenty of time and a little bit of monthly income to fund a few months abroad. I remembered a prior trip to Koh Tao, Thailand, and the divemaster training opportunities. So I sent a few emails, and put down a deposit. There was no looking back; I was off to Thailand! I got my finances in line, packed my bag, and was on my way to becoming a divemaster candidate!
Arriving on Koh Tao, a taxi driver from my resort shuttled me to a quiet little dive operation. To my surprise, I found myself in the swimming pool with PADI Master Instructor Andrea Warren the day after arriving! At first, I was nervous and anxious in the pool and in the sea, but my very patient mentor put in the extra time I needed to build my confidence. She had just the right blend of compassion, intelligence, and ambition to help me envision a future for myself in SCUBA diving as a professional divemaster.
My instructor set a role-model example for me, as a professional who sought out a long-term career for herself in SCUBA diving. She has since pursued and achieved a career as a PADI Course Director. Working diligently to accomplish this feat, she continues to lead the way for her students today. I could not be more proud of her or her confidence in me to reach my own goals.
From the very start, I was in great hands, and I continue to seek out her training, advice, and support. Now, as a PADI Staff Instructor working with aspiring dive professionals, I understand the critical importance of being that mentor for my students. The Divemaster program under her guidance was such a tremendous experience. In fact, I brought Chris the very next year to become a divemaster candidate. I suppose, I’m also a mentor for Chris, who has followed in my footsteps to become an instructor. (Learn more About Us here.)
As a PADI Staff Instructor, I encourage divemaster candidates to establish a professional mentoring relationship with a career instructor, whether that’s me or another successful individual. This mentoring relationship should continue onward past the PADI Divemaster course. Mentoring provides the new dive professional with career guidance and support as appropriate. I can’t say enough how critical having a mentor has been for my own SCUBA career.
A PADI Divemaster includes people from countries around the world who have completed PADI’s training program under the guidance and mentorship of PADI instructors. Some have undergone great challenges to complete the course, including language barriers, physical, and financial challenges. Sometimes, local dive operations or instructors contribute to training of locals as a way to support and encourage eco-tourism and marine conservation practices of the coral reefs.
Divemaster candidates may be any age over 18 with the common goal of completing the program. Working as a dive professional is always optional, so some may see the program as a personal exploration or challenge. Others may seek employment right away. The more ambitious candidate will pursue additional training as needed in a variety of areas, like underwater photography, marine conservation, scientific research, equipment maintenance, gas blending, or boat handling. While candidates may be a diverse group, they possess a common characteristic, a positive, can-do attitude with an open mind to the program.
Watch the video above to see how diverse and rewarding a PADI Divemaster’s job may be. As fun diving guides with a handful of PADI programs they may conduct, PADI Divemasters live the life!
Completed over a period of four to eight weeks, the PADI Divemaster program includes academic work, waterskills, scuba skills, rescue skills, and PADI Divemaster Conducted PADI Programs. Additionally, divemaster candidates have the opportunity to gain valuable experience through practical applications with instructors during actual PADI courses. Best yet? Divemaster candidates make unlimited fun dives during the program, building skill and confidence in the water.
Divemaster candidates make unlimited fun dives during the program, building skill and confidence in the water.
Be sure to visit our link above for more information about the course and visit the PADI site for PADI Divemaster course overview.
Not sure? Ask yourself the following questions:
Only you can answer these questions, but if the answer is “maybe” or “yes,” we’d love to hear from you. Please Contact Us with questions about the Divemaster Program. We are looking for you, so we’re happy to help you make it happen by analyzing potential road blocks (and helping to move them out of the way.)