Is the Divemaster course for you? Just because you have this brilliant idea to do the course,
it doesn't always mean that you should!
This guide is made to help you examine yourself and help you make the correct decision as to whether you should sign up or not to take on the Divemaster Course!
My divemaster course was by far the best course that I ever took and those 6 weeks were so full of memories and stories I could write a novel. Over my years in the industry, the divemaster course has been one of my absolute favorite parts of working as an instructor.
Teaching a course where students get get to learn one of the best jobs their is in the industry.
I often meet new divers who are smitten by their new found zeal for the sport and want to climb, climb and climb. Frankly....... I love that! It’s always great to see people growing their interest for their new found hobby. Loads of people who have fallen for the sport of scuba diving often look towards doing their divemaster for a whole range of reasons.
If you are considering doing your divemaster, have a read through the following guide of considerations, and if you still feel like its for you, awesome, have a look at our article about choosing the right dive center for you to do your Divemaster course.
Let's look at what you're contemplating here......
The divemaster course is a PROFESSIONAL level course, if you expect it to be anything else, you have been gravely mislead. You are doing this course to learn to become a divemaster. Incorporated into the course there will be reading, exercises both in and out of the water, presentations, theory, note taking, assignments, homework and gord forbit and extreme amount of learning…… just like going to school.
What a surprise! I know it might not seem like something that needs to be mentioned but you would not believe how many people think all they are going to do is just set up some gear and go diving for a month or two.
Its a course, not a dive trip..... Very big difference. I'll get into a bit more detail later.
At the end of the day, unless your doing some type of internship, you're a paying customer and rarely would a dive center try to persuade you away from spending your money. But before you spend your money and most importantly your time on this potentially life changing amazing experience, make sure your thinking straight before you sign any papers and swiping any credit cards!
The Big Question you gotta ask yourself is....
Why do you want to do the course?
That’s really all there is too it, have a look below at some angles of thought to help you answer this question.
Do you just want the title of Divemaster to look cool in front of your dive club buddies?
Be honest with yourself, loads of people do it for this reason!
There isn’t anything wrong about collecting cards, but don’t fool yourself by making up bull shit excuses! If your doing it for this reason, don't Donald Trump around the bush about it and be honest with yourself.
Do you want to work in the dive industry?
Honestly, it doesn’t really matter if you answer yes or no. The course itself, if done correctly, by the right people, in the right setting, is likely gonna be one of the most memorable courses of your life.
You absolutely don’t need to be interested in working in the dive industry upon completion. If you are interested and want to engage yourself learning about the dive industry because you love scuba diving, that’s enough of a reason right there.
If you enroll in the correct course, with the right dive operator, the course will open up channels of camaraderie between yourself and many other scuba diving lovers. I'll explain more in the next article!
Do you want to work as a dive master or move up to the level of instructor or higher?
If you want to become a PADI instructor you need to have been registered with any scuba diving agency for a minimum of 6 months before enrolling in the program. This might not influence your decision to enroll or not, but perhaps when you should enroll in the course.
It doesn’t affect your enrollment into the divemaster course, but if you are set on moving on to the instructor level upon completion, remember you need to have been registered as Open Water for a minimum of 6 months. This is a good thing, it can allow you time to work a bit as a divemaster or do an internship / volunteer program to learn more before your IDC.
In my humble opinion, becoming an instructor with no experience as a divemaster is like becoming the manager of a store with no experience working in a store. Doesn’t mean you need tonnes of experience, but some experience will benefit you greatly in understanding the ins and outs of the industry. Might even save you a lot of time and money realizing the instructor course isn’t for you!
Are you doing this because your travel companion, boyfriend-girlfriend, wife-husband wants you to join them to do the course?
I’ve seen this happen more then once, it doesn’t always end well! Like ALL dive courses, you need to do the course because YOU want to, not because your tagging along with someone else..... Ive seen thousands of dollars on enrollment , plane tickets and coutless weeks worth of wasted time because of the tag along game.
Note: I have seen it go the opposite! The one who pushed the other one to enroll quit and the one who tagged along completed the course and loved it!
Do you actually want to learn anything?
Might sound a bit oxymoronic to ask a question like this before enrolling in a COURSE, but it’s one of the most valid questions on this list.
If you want to learn, absolutely none of the course should be boring or uninteresting to you.
You would be surprised how many people sign up and 1 week in are saying “PFFFFFF do we have to” .........."Why are we doing skill circuit again, why aren't we getting on the boat and going diving????"
Im not even joking here, people who complain about having to do the course that they signed themselves up for.....Had some of my student over the years not been paying customers, I'd a told em' to fuck off and stop wasting my time!
Are you considering the course because it will get you lots of diving experience?
Its a diving course! So yes it will make you a better diver...... but remember this....
IT IS NOT an endless parade of fun dives and underwater adventures!
Remember your considering signing up for a professional level scuba diving COURSE.
You would not believe how many people sign up thinking otherwise. If you wanna go fun diving, that’s great, sign up for that instead!
Do you actually love or at least have a crush on scuba diving?
In a world full of stimulants and short human attention spans, it's not uncommon for people to have a few great diving experiences, think they have found their new passion, only to have it fizzle away as fast as they acquired it.
Like that guy who listened to Metallica, bought an electric guitar, took two lessons and never touched the thing ever again!
Especially at the instructor level, I have seen people loose all passion for the sport by doing professional level courses and perusing something that deep down they don’t desire.
If your debating doing your divemaster as a means to find work in the industry just so you can live somewhere tropical, please consider something else.
Sell ice cream at the beach, buy a resort, give handjobs at a night club..... I really don't care but please don't become a divemster. Leave those jobs to the people who actually want to do them and love diving.
Nothing wrong with wanting lo live somewhere tropical, but please get into the diving industry for the love of diving, not the VISA's and "money".
*"money" is a figurative term..... you'll make more staying in your country and working part time at MCDonalds!
So, let me ask you again.
Why do you want to do the course?
No one knows you better then you know yourself, so be honest with yourself when contemplating this program. It can be the best life changing decision you’ve ever made, or it can be a time toilet money waster and in some cases make you loose any passion you may have had for diving in the first place.
It’s normal to be nervous, not knowing how things are gonna go, that’s what makes this the true adventure course…... Not knowing is what keeps life exciting, just make sure that you genuinely want to enroll for the reasons you say you do, and you will have a blast!
If you ask yourself these questions and are super stoked to enroll in the Divemaster program, that is awesome! The next article is gonna look at what you should consider when choosing a dive center and location for the most memorable dive course you will ever do.