Certified scuba divers begin with the open water certification and can move on to advanced open water, rescue diver, and master scuba diver which is the highest level of recreational diving qualification you can get.
Most choose to just stay with the open water certification for the occasional dive but some do develop a passion for diving, so much so that their vacations are amid towards doing just that, diving!
They tend to upgrade from open water to advanced open water which certifies them to dive deeper while other chose speciality courses such as tech dive courses, etc...
It all depends on what the individual is searching for and to what they are trying to accomplish. Even fewer go on to become rescue divers or master scuba diver. But very few go on to become professional divers and that begins with the Divemaster course.
Now a Divemaster course can be done in few weeks, but I’d recommend you do it in a few months.
Why a few months?
Well... if you were to go pro, the real question has to be, are you doing this for work or for leisure?
If it’s just to be awesome and or having the qualification of a Divemaster (DM), then a few weeks would be just fine.
However, if the purpose is of earning a living, well then a few weeks just wouldn’t cut it in my opinion.
The biggest difference between a recreational scuba diver and a professional one is money.
To put it simply... you’re paid for your services. Yes, a course is not free and nor should it be.
People pay to become professional divers just like doctors pay to become doctors.
Both jobs require insurance, liability forms, etc. and come with risks.
So experience is crucial and the more you have, the more you know, the better you’ll be for it.
Hence why a few months of training when becoming a Dive Master for work, is valuable on many different levels.
If you’re thinking of changing your career (which is the case with most) then drop everything, leave your old life behind, and go pro somewhere tropical!
Not many professional scuba divers come from cold areas. Few do but they are a rare breed.
Now most places will do what are called internships for a Divemaster course.
Basically you work for a course that will be covered by the dive center.
In my opinion, that’s not a bad deal depending on the actual cost of the course and or the time to which it’s completed in provide that it includes a place to sleep.
For those who pay to become DMs, making your money back, if that was the intent from the start, then choosing which dive company to pay is extremely important.
Good Divemasters come from good instructors working for a good company with professional standards and a good reputation. In Australia the rules, regulations and safety standards are world class as are the dive spots.
Before starting, a recreational diver of any level lower than that of rescue diver, would have to complete all the courses up to the rescue course before even beginning the DM training.
Now yes, it’s true, the Divemaster course is the most difficult part of becoming a professional.
Hence why they say the IE (Instructors Exam) actually stands for “Its Easy.”
Which isn’t true if you haven’t the experience of working as a DM or haven’t spent some time studying for it.
But during the DM training, you learn how to assist instructors, how to guide recreational divers, more about how dive centers operate, how to deal with new divers in certain situations, and loads more!
You’re gonna use more physics, so knowing the math and studying for the DM exam is critical.
Being physical fit is also extremely important as the swimming tests and time requirements are not easy. You will have to train and practice in preparation for them.
Overall, becoming a professional is a big step and for good reason.
You’re a representative of a well-known organization to which holds high standards to help prevent accidents from occurring and for professionals to uphold those standards at any facility to which they work for.
And the big bonus is you get to live in some of the most exotic locations in the world just like me!
Take the first step, ring today and become a professional scuba diver 1300 231 118.
If you missed my other blogs, you can find them all here
Keep an eye out for my next blog “Things You Need To Know Going Pro – Scuba Instructor"