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Anyone a divemaster?

Discussion in 'Texas' started by Aqua Turtle, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. Aqua Turtle

    Aqua Turtle Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Galveston
    I am second guessing on becoming a divemaster. I was told by a many people that the reason they did not go professional is becasue they would stop enjoying diving as a hobby. Many people told me that they started to look at their professional undertakings as duties and stopped having fun.

    What are your thougths? Before I go to far I would love some feedback from current or former divermasters or instructors.
  2. saxman242

    saxman242 Manta Ray

    First and foremost, why do you want to become a divemaster?
  3. BackAfter30

    BackAfter30 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Denver
    You are going to get differing answers because of all of the people you've spoken to each had their own reasons for going pro. You need to know why YOU want to go pro in order to understand if the answers you're getting are even applicable to you.
  4. Rickk

    Rickk Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines
    I have also taken a good long look at it. I do not want to teach but would like the skills of a dive master.

    The biggest reason is that it can work out to some pretty cheap diving. Locally the course is 40 to 60 k p or $US 750 to 1,250 . For that you can get 50 or 60 or more dives.

    I wish that the PADI Master Diver was a non pro parallel course to the Dive Master, similar skill requirements but without the teaching element. (I have MSD but only because it was a freebee with PADI Asia after I got the Rescue diver and 5 specializes.)

    However I did see a job ad locally for a dive master, pay was only $US 500 a month but came with room. That would be OK for a year, it would virtually eliminate my needing to touch my retirement funds while giving me unlimited ( most likely too much) diving.
    markmud likes this.
  5. bakodiver391

    bakodiver391 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Marshall Islands
    It's true that you get burnt out on diving, but at that point you've seen absolutely everything twice, so why go back just to see the same stuff? 20 years professional diving, and I don't get wet unless someone is paying me.
    abnfrog and markmud like this.
  6. jale

    jale Barracuda

    Same position as you but still enjoy it and I often go to dive on my own in my little 10M-little visi shore dive spot near my place...
    As for the OP, do the DM course to learn and not necessarily to become pro.
  7. JonG1

    JonG1 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Glossop UK
    I qualified as a DM but quickly realised it was compromising my diving enjoyment and preventing me from doing the type of diving I wanted to do.

    I moved away from the pro/instruction side of the industry and much prefer my diving now.
    ajtoady and markmud like this.
  8. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    Now that is a good idea!

    Can you detail for me the liability insurance costs that you would incur? Lets say you did it professionally for an LDS for 6 months and they paid for the fees and insurance. But, you quit or they padlocked the doors to the LDS, how much of a liability tail would you have? What is the statute of limitations on your liability?

    I know it is different for different countries. You are a Texan. How much for you?

    MargaritaMike likes this.
  9. Ben_3

    Ben_3 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Canada
    Divemaster came naturally. I am always the leader in our group of friends when we go diving. So I decided to further my toolbox when diving in groups or with newer divers. I was hesitant when I started but I met a great group of people that are now close friends. It got me involved with local shops and clubs + I get some pay, discounts and diving cost me somewhat less. I'v enjoyed the journey and I am now working on my IDC.

    Some do get caught up in teaching and that's all they do.. especially if they need the money. Some do teach all the time and are passionate about it. So it all depends.
    I personally enjoy a balance. Sometimes I DM and often I just go diving. I guess if I started to feel burnt out I would just take a brake and dive for fun.
  10. Sh0rtBus

    Sh0rtBus One of those damn FFM divers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denton, TX
    As has been mentioned already, why are you considering becoming a DM? The answer to that question will be the primary driving force behind your actions. I'm about your age and originally from your neck of the woods. Moved to DFW in 1999 because I got sick of the humidity and just the area as a whole. Oddly enough I didn't become a diver until I moved up here, mainly because of finances. I was young and working so my wife could finish up school, etc. etc. I've been a DM for about a year now and I've done more diving in the past year alone than I did in the previous 5. So yes as a DM you will definitely increase your dive count, even if just during your training. But figure if you're helping with an OW class, you're making at a minimum 4 dives in a weekend. So if you're looking to get more diving experience in, it's certainly a way to do it.

    As for actual learning during a DM course....you might learn a little in the way of how to do things more efficiently, but you won't really learn much in the way of actual diving because for the most part you'll already know what you need to know just to complete the DM course. You don't really go through a DM course to learn/develop skills. You're supposed to have all of that worked out before you even start your DM course. As a DM, students look to you to be an example of what proper diving form and techniques should look like and many of them will try to mimic your actions. I sat in on a refresher course last week and the diver that was doing it told me near the end of the "class" when I was giving her a couple of pointers that she was trying to mimic me in the water. A little while earlier before we were descending for the last part of the class she had asked what she could do differently because she felt a bit out of control during descent and wanted to be more graceful the way the instructor and I were. I simply told her that when I descend, shortly after my head goes underwater, I transition to a horizontal position, which slows my descent and gives me more control. So while you may hone in your skills somewhat during your DM course, I wouldn't really expect to learn a lot, aside form maybe a little about field repairs of gear and little tips and tricks.

    As for whether or not it's for you....only you can answer that my friend. I became a DM as a way to give back to the diving community I love so much. I've had hobbies in the past that I got into and absolutely loved.....or so I thought. But after a short while, the novelty of them sort of faded out. Diving for me isn't a hobby so much as it is a lifestyle. It's one of the things I'm most passionate about. And my wife will tell you, if you don't want me talking for hours....don't bring up diving! Okay I might be exaggerating.....a little anyway. But if you're doing it expecting to make money at it....you're doing it for the wrong reasons. If you're doing it because it's the next rung on the ladder to instructor, that's not a bad reason by any means. Just make sure you make the most out of it and get all the experiences you can as a DM. Engage the students. Although they'll have the instructor to ask questions, they'll more often come to you because you're sort of the middle man and they identify more with you than they do the instructor because in a sense you're more on their level, as strange as that may sound. You're not as much in the authoritative position as the instructor so you're more approachable. So use that to your advantage and make friends with the students you help teach. Never know when one of them may come back and ask you to lead an all-expense paid trip for them to who knows where. I've seen it happen.....just not for me.....yet. Also, whether you're planning to push forward to being an instructor or not, get to know the instructors you work with. Get to be the DM that stands out in their mind....the one they look forward to working with. That, too, has its benefits.

    My experience as a DM so far has been about 98% positive. The 2% that wasn't was mostly my fault because I lost sight of why I became a DM to begin with. Well, one experience anyway. The other involves diving in 50 degree water in the middle of January with ****** vis, new students, and one in particular that honestly probably shouldn't have been at the lake that weekend in the first place. I ended up having to drag him up from the bottom, literally laying in the mud panicked out of his mind on the second dive. Even that wasn't a horrible experience, as my training pretty well took over and everything went pretty smoothly. But a few months back, I spent two weekends DMing an OW class, the first weekend in the pool and then the following weekend at the lake. It was actually my 10 yr old son's OW class and I didn't really want to DM it for that reason, but the shop needed a DM so I agreed as long as I could be very hands-off. The next weekend my son ended up having to cancel because he wasn't quite ready for the lake yet so I ended up going out by myself to help the instructor. Ended the last dive, got everything put away, students left, etc. etc. and it came time to see what tip money I'd ended up with. $40. Two weekends worked, 1.5 drive each way to the lake the 2nd weekend, money spent buying donuts, etc. for students, gas, drinks....it cost me money to help an instructor teach 8 students how to dive. He got paid fairly well (to keep it somewhat anonymous I won't give numbers) and I got stiffed. It left a really sour taste in my mouth and I haven't DM'd an OW class since then. Not so much because of that as it's just really cold right now and putting new students in 50 degree water and asking them to perform tasks that are still somewhat foreign and challenging to them just isn't what I believe to be a good teaching experience. But getting stiffed on tips for two weekends worth of work didn't really help. So like I said if you're looking to make money as a DM, it's possible...but very very unlikely.

    So now that I've essentially written a novel, take this information for what it's worth and make your own decision based on YOUR reasons. Being a DM has definitely not ruined diving for me by any means. If anything, it's actually made it more enjoyable for me because I get to share it with other people and I get to help bring them into the underwater world I love so much. Even with the ****** visibility, ****** pay, cold water, and sometimes thankless efforts, diving continues to be something I love, something I'm passionate about, and if I had it to do over again, I'd still become a DM. As fate would have it, I'm about to push ahead to Assistant Instructor. Hope this information/advice helps with your decision! If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a PM. Happy to help!
    EireDiver606, ms76 and Graeme Fraser like this.

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