CHEAPEST PLACE IN THE WORLD to become a Divemaster?

Discussion in 'Q and A for Scuba Certification Agencies' started by bennygill, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. bennygill

    bennygill Angel Fish

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    Hey guys,

    Where is the cheapest place to become Dive Master/Dive Instructor?

    I'm not looking for a discussion on whether or not going with the cheapest place is a good idea. I just want to know where you think is the cheapest!

    Thanks,
    Ben
     
  2. Scott

    Scott PADI Pro

    # of Dives:
    Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
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    Fargo North Dakota USA? I have no clue do you?
     
  3. Krazytomdiver

    Krazytomdiver Divemaster

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    Cheapest? I IMPO,all fees are pretty much set in stone. The cost of travel,lodging,food,entertainment,and whether you want to work for nothing during your certification,would be the total expense. Usually the big dive school operations that turn dozens of DM/IDC will be the most reasonable. I have seen group discounts also. Your location,I would check out the Philippines or Thailand areas.

    "living life without a hard bottom"
    KT
     
  4. ajduplessis

    ajduplessis Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: dry land :-(
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    In South Africa you can do a DM course anything from $900-$1500
     
  5. bennygill

    bennygill Angel Fish

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    I was thinking of doing a dive internship, but everywhere I look you have to pay $2000-$3000!

    I don't know about you but I don't like the idea of PAYING to do an "intership". I was hoping to find somewhere that lets you work in the shop/boat in exchange for food, accommodation, and course fees. I've heard that these places exist, but not sure where they are!

    The location doesn't really bother me because I'm going on a massive 2-3 year trip working my way all over the world. So I just want to know where would be the best place before I get there!
     
  6. buddhasummer

    buddhasummer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
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    I guess there's part of your answer. All the places Ive been to, SEA, NZ, Oz, DM prices have been pretty similar. Id be very suprised if you managed to find free food, accommodation, fees etc. After all DMs/DMCs are a dime a dozen. I am one of those dimes/dozens.;) Finding work has been not as easy as I had hoped, I don't there are too many wealthy DMs in the world, it's more of a lifestyle. Fees being equal if you can do it somewhere nice, warm, cheap, friendly i.e. SEA thats what id do. Good luck.
     
  7. Tortuga68

    Tortuga68 Divemaster

    # of Dives:
    Location: Puerto Galera, Philippines
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    Working the shop/boat is part of doing your DM. You might get discount food and bed, but I'm yet to hear of anyone waiving course fees. Usually you get free (fun) diving while doing your course & that's the payoff

    So as was suggested previously, your best bet is to choose somewhere with the lowest cost of living, which would be in Asia
     
  8. scoobydrew

    scoobydrew Scuba Instructor

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    occasionally you see offers on the employment section on the PADI pro site, if you can find someone that lets you use their log in to check it out, they have intern adverts where you work off the costs but I immagine that there will still be charges even if only the PADI fees once you get in to it.

    I think it may be worth your while searching some past threads on SB about DM wages to get a better idea of the sort of thing you are getting in to. 2-3 grand seems high, I don't know if you are quoting in oz dollars there, general advise is make sure when comparing prices that you are getting the full quote and know what the DM application fee is at the end of it, it's a nightmre when you hear about people signing up for courses and then get introduced to "hidden extras" that you can't really do the course without.

    As above I immagine Thailand, Phillippines or Central America would be some of the cheaper ones and the point that someone made about living expenses in the country that you do it in is very valid too.
     
  9. gypsyjim

    gypsyjim I have an alibi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: capitol region of New York
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    But maybe that discussion would be beneficial?

    In my experience the word "cheapest" seldom is part of any sentence that includes the word "Quality".
     
  10. OldNSalty

    OldNSalty Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Just this side of paradise.
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    Kinkos - any location
     
    mjrob likes this.
  11. vladimir

    vladimir Giant Squid

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
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    Look in the Thailand forum--there seems to be at least one operation that might suit your needs, though I seriously doubt anybody is going to waive the course fees completely.

    It's great that you have the sort of skills that are in such demand that you can hop from country to country freely and find work, with no worries about employment visas and the like. Good for you! That you are abandoning such a skill set to become a divemaster is a little mind-boggling, but to each his own. By the way, what is it that you do?
     
  12. gypsyjim

    gypsyjim I have an alibi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: capitol region of New York
    21,964
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    "There is no product that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper; those who buy on price alone are this man's lawful prey." John Ruskin ...
     
  13. ErikH

    ErikH Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Netherlands
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    A friend of mine got her SSI 'Dive Control Specialist' course ('assistant instructor') for 'free' at Reef Safari in Airlie Beach (Australia). You could contact them. Mind you, they expect you to work long days for your 'free' course.. nothing in life comes for free. But she had a great time.

    PS: If you are not already trained in Basic Life Support and as Oxygen Provider, you'll have to take these courses and those are most likely not included.
     
  14. bennygill

    bennygill Angel Fish

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    vladimir, I travel a lot and I'm really good at traveling on a budget and making my cash go veerryy far (thus looking for a place to intern for free!). I've got a bout 10k saved up, plus I have an online business which pulls in some money, not much but its enough. By moving from place to place and working for food and board wherever you go (hostels and the like) its possible to see the world on a tight budget. Its not for everyone but I love it.

    scoobydrew, Thanks for the info. When researching all this I'm putting it into US$ terms to make it easier. I'm trying my best to determine the EXACT cost of the course so I don't get stung by fees. Not an easy thing to do! Some of these websites really need help with making their prices and marketing message completely clear. I don't expect the dive shop to pay for my PADI fees and materials, I'm happy to pay for that.

    ErikH, I had no idea they offered something like that in OZ! I'm from Sydney. I was in Airlie beach for a month last year. Good party town but not much else to do except drink! Don't think I could handle a few months in that town, my liver would die, and I've got a liver that is used to getting punished! Some of the best reef and fish I've seen were from an overnight boat trip out to the islands, but its sooo shallow we thought it wasn't worth paying for diving and just went snorkeling instead.

    So far I've found a few contenders! The course usually lasts 1-2 months but can be anywhere up to 6 months! They give you a qualification up to Dive Master level (and in one case Master Scuba Diver Trainer level). During that time you work for them in dive shop/boat. Sometimes accom is included sometimes not (the 6 month courses offer free accom). Free dives the entire time, but not sure how much of your time will actually be diving or just working in the shop. PADI course materials and fees (paid directly to PADI) are not included ever. Haven't found anywhere with food included so I might choose the one with a low cost of living to offset that. The locations vary from Croatia, samoa, Florida Keys, Cayman Islands, Thailand, Ko Lanta, Canary Islands (Tenerife), Egypt (Red Sea), Malta, and Thailand. Once I finish researching all this I'll post my finding so everyone can use them.

    Anyone got any other suggestions? Or know of somewhere that offers a similar deal? I was atcully thinking that GOING to these places and approaching the businesses might have more luck with finding something that offers food + accom + course fees. What do you think?

    Also has anyone done a Divemasters in India or Sri Lanka? I thought that they might have some possibilities of good diving for very cheap/free internships.
     
  15. bennygill

    bennygill Angel Fish

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    Wow. This place looks good!

    Zero to Hero

    EVERYTHING included except food. Which will be cheap since its on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (I'm guessing its similar to India's prices? can anyone confirm that?). Their 'Zero to Hero Instructor Internship Program' actually works out better than most other 'free' options I've come across. It includes accom, course fees, PADI fees and course material, and everything needed for the course (no hidden fees). Give you qualification up to Master Scuba Diver Trainer (not just Dive Master) and if you stay to do the internship at the end of the course for 4 weeks it only costs 29,900 INR = US$625. Since I'm already advanced qualified it might even be cheaper.

    If I had to pay for food, PADI fees and course materials at the other 'free' dive internships it would cost me the same (maybe more) and I would be getting a lower qualification.

    Hows the diving at Andaman? Anyone been?
     
  16. vladimir

    vladimir Giant Squid

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
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    I haven't been, but it was a popular destination among my fellow divers in Singapore. They liked it. Watch out for crocodiles!
     
  17. Mark Derail

    Mark Derail Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Montreal, Quebec CA
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    What my 19 yr old son David did...work two summers full time in a dive shop. He's a DM since Aug 2011, turned 19 last June.

    Do all the staff dives, do all the courses as they come along.

    Do it within public transportation of your parents home, and live with your parents.

    His next step will be instructor, that he will do this winter, then for age 21 commercial diver.

    If you can speak 2 languages, once you're DM, go work in the Caribbeans with a dive op that caters to those 2 languages.
     
  18. MauiScubaSteve

    MauiScubaSteve Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Olowalu, Maui
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    There is a place in Florida that also claims to do a complete internship for OWSI deal; it was mentioned in a thread this year, perhaps by me. :idk:
     
  19. phuonguyen

    phuonguyen Scuba Instructor

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    Hey, I've just read that advertisement that you linked and realised something.

    Their program doesn't fit into PADI's standards. They've allotted 6 to 8 weeks to complete their Zero to Hero Program and if you're doing the internship, their MSDT prep. PADI's standards require a diver to be certified for at least 6 months before taking an IDC.

    I'm just not too sure whether that's a typo or something else.
    Also I'm from Australia so everything is so much more expensive, but my internship was $12k and that will take me to MSDT. Given that that package included everything that I needed to go from 'Zero to Hero', there isn't really a time limit to when I have to complete the courses. Also 625 USD seems far too inexpensive to me, even considering the exchange rate - there has to be some expenses for the shop to offer something that inclusive.
     
  20. Tortuga68

    Tortuga68 Divemaster

    # of Dives:
    Location: Puerto Galera, Philippines
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    Bottom of the page: "According to PADI Standards you must have been a PADI member for minimum of 6 months before you can do the Instructor Development Program. So after the Divemaster course, you will have to come back and do the Instructor Development Course after 6 months. We run Instructor Development Courses every six months"
     

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