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Becoming a Divemaster

By wpdev January 24, 2012
Megan Herring with a Green Sea Turtle on the Sierra Program

Megan Herring joined Sail Caribbean’s marine biology camps last summer as a member of the Sierra crew, where she had the opportunity to explore her interests in marine science, research, and scuba diving.  Along with applying to colleges she has decided to add an extra challenge to her final semester of High School.  She is taking her diving to another level and is currently training for her Divemaster certification.  In college she hopes to study Biology and English (with a focus on Journalism).  Megan has combined many of her interests and skills and has written an excellent introduction into the world of becoming a Divemaster.


Looking for something adventurous to do this summer?  Sign up for one of our teen scuba diving camps.   You could get your PADI Divemaster certification and many others on the Charlie Advanced Scuba Programs!


Enjoy Megan’s article below, and please share your comments and questions!

Diving – it’s one of the greatest and most amazing experiences there is in this world. So, what’s better than thefloating under the surface of the ocean? Well, for starters, getting paid to do it. Yep, it’s true, a true diving junkie can get paid to dive; of course there are some prerequisites. First off you have to be at least 18 years old.  Second, you need to have a few certifications under your belt, including your Open Water, Advanced, and Rescue certifications which all have their own qualifications to meet. If you’ve already completed those, well then, it’s time to take on the big challenge – the Divemaster certification course.


Explaining the dive site and dive plan to students.

Being a Divemaster is awesome, but isn’t all fun and games.  In fact, it can be a bit tough at times. Well first off, everyone knows how heavy those blasted tanks are (especially when full!), and it’s the duty of a hard-working Divemaster to remove empty tanks and hobble back over to the boat with a fresh load. Also Divemasters need to be masters of navigation because recreational divers count on them to make it back to the boat, not to surface and search for it. Like any job, there’s a great deal of customer service involved.  A Divemaster in training can expect to work closely a wide variety of people as they work hard to allow recreational divers the chance to see the incredible ecosystems below the water’s surface.  If you think you can handle these responsibilities and have fun doing it, this could be your job too!


Becoming a Divemaster is a multi-step process that can be done in as little as a couple of weeks of intensive instruction and diving or over time when your schedule allows (if the Instructor is cool with this).  Signing up can be expensive… Ouch!  Check to make sure what your fees cover, many times you’ll need to buy the course materials separate.  The course materials usually come in a cool bag that you can proudly carry around with “Divemaster” neatly embroidered on the side.  If you’re in school now, the books aren’t too hard to get through; some old-timers might need to brush up on their study skills though!  There are 4 tests to take after you go over the materials with your instructor.


Studying is very important, but we can’t forget…we’re here to dive!  Throughout the course there are also numerous

Divemaster assisting students with surface skills

training dives to complete.  You’ll get to supervise and help students as they get their open water certification, map out dive sites, and even lead dives with advanced students.  You’ll have to get your skills down pat – you’re the expert now and there’s no faking it!  One of the coolest but trickiest dives is when you trade ALL of your gear with your dive buddy while underwater.  It can get pretty hilarious, leading to some long laughs and a healthy dose of frustration.  All of this time you’re under the watchful eye of your dive instructor who is keeping track of your progress.


Divemasters demonstrate skills and then observe as students perform.

Becoming a Divemaster is a fun but serious business.  It’s certainly not the job or lifestyle choice for everyone, but if you love to dive and want to make it more than a hobby, I encourage you to get out there and do it!  You can be proud when you finish your final test and complete that final skill. Now you are ready to go to work at exotic locations all over the world….or to get a part time job at your local dive shop.  Regardless of how you use your new certification, remember this: it will be the time of your life!



Thanks, Megan!

The greatest challenge during the program was staying entertained during the quarantine period. Not being able to leave your boat and not having a phone, which was a crutch against boredom, it was difficult at first to stay entertained.