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Dive Professional

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by scubadiver888, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. scubadiver888

    scubadiver888 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: North America
    1,514
    286
    I just read a thread by an Instructor who was on a dive boat and noticed many of the tanks were well past 5 year out of hydro. He seemed to be pointing out how the crew seemed okay with the tanks being out of hydro (one as much as 8 years without a hydrostatic inspection). He didn't want to name the shop. He just wanted to confirm whether or not tanks had to be hydro tested every 5 years. Was this different from state by state? Was it more a guideline, a rule or a legal requirement.

    That is not what struck me as interesting. People started calling out the OP about how, as a "dive professional" he should be naming the shop and warning others who they should not do business with. Others started questioning what a "dive professional" was.

    My father was a certified steamfitter. He went to school, got certified and renewed his certification on a regular basis. When asked what he did, he was a 'professional' steamfitter. Most people who went to school to become a certified 'professional' tradesperson took what they did for a living seriously. And they did it for a living. There were some who weren't great and cut corners. My father was occasionally hired to gather evidence and testify against them in court. I don't know anyone who decided to go to school, become certified and do something completely unrelated.

    As a computer consultant I have meet a few people who are 'divemasters'. When they find out I'm a divemaster they start talking to me about it. I'd ask them where they worked. They don't and never did. They seem surprised to find out I actually worked as a divemaster. Most don't have their own gear. They rent everything and might go diving once every few years.

    Am I off? Is recreational divers obtaining divemaster certification a common thing? Is becoming a divemaster too easy? Does being a 'professional' diver have less meaning than other industries?
     
  2. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kentucky
    6,189
    1,138
    People go into the professional ranks for many different reasons. Are any better or worse than any other? I guess it is up to the eye of the beholder. Some do it for the passion of the sport, with plans to continue their journey, some do it to gain additional knowledge & skills for themselves, some are card collectors,.. the reasons vary with the individual. Is Dive Master becoming too easy??? I don't know.... I have seen some professionals that have had quality training & it shows,... Then again, I have seen some I would not likely pass for basic OW. It runs the gamut. Let's face it,... in any professional level, there are those that shine & make the profession shine,... then there are those who really do not belong there, but are there. It is an imperfect world we live in, like it or not.
     
    Capt Jim Wyatt likes this.
  3. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    80,700
    69,706
    It really doesn't take a whole lot to become a DM ... primarily academics and a handful of dives. One should have what's known in the industry as "demonstration-quality skills" ... but that's a term that seems to come with a pretty loose interpretation, meaning that a lot of people can't really demonstrate them unless they're kneeling on the bottom, which is neither professional nor particularly difficult to do.

    DM's come in a vast spectrum of skills and knowledge ... and many of them are the real deal. But the fact is that some shops start selling DM programs to people who haven't even finished OW yet. It's a good money maker ... and I personally know quite a few people with a DM rating who not only never considered doing anything "professional" with their scuba rating ... but who lack the basic skills to be trusted with the responsibility that comes with the rating.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  4. scubadiver888

    scubadiver888 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: North America
    1,514
    286
    I kind of feel there is a difference between professionals in the recreational dive industry and other professionals. In all industries, there are people who excel at their profession and people who aren't very good at it (but try to make a living at it anyway). But it feels like there is a third group of people in diving who become dive 'professionals' with no intention of making a living at diving.

    Bob has kind of hit the nail on the head. There are shops which are selling DM programs to people who haven't master OW. I still remember one of the guys in my Rescue Diver training (I don't think he ever finish because our instructor had problems with him; he definitely never finished at that shop). He panicked during training a few times and was obviously not comfortable in water. He was always trying to help me cheat (e.g. kicking while I did tired diver tow). One time he went on a dive trip and when he got back he was telling us about when he had gear failure, shot to the surface but luckily wasn't at depth long enough to get bent. He wanted to get his RD then DM and finally OWSI. It never occurred to him that the thought of him being a divemaster or instructor scared me silly.

    I became a DM without dealing with anyone outside the shop. I've never met an instructor who got their OWSI and never actually taught. Maybe letting shops certify DMs is a problem.
     
  5. beanojones

    beanojones Solo Diver

    3,204
    340
    First and most important every field has people who get training in X and never do X for a living. It is the foundation of a liberal arts education.

    But recreational diving has a vanishingly small number of people who actually dive, and do nothing else, for a living. I think, of the people who post at SB, it is me, and whoever the guy who works in the Maldives who have done recreational diving as their sole means of support for any length of time. First because it is a basic requirement that one live in the tropics to do it, because otherwise it is a weekend only gig. Then most people have to have language skills fluency in several languages to remain employed.

    Some do a summer or a year, and then go back to doing other things, but that's taking a summer off to be a ski bum. That's not doing diving as a profession.

    Plenty of people think they take themselves seriously in terms of diving, but vanishly few actually have to, because they actually make a living doing something else, and then do some diving on the side.

    So talking about excelling in diving first has to have the requirement that they make a living in diving, because until it is what people do for a living, people can and do have all sorts of beliefs about diving, as shown by the number of frankly silly things people take seriously at SB.
     
  6. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    36,349
    13,624
    I think a lot of people do the divemaster course for rather questionable reasons. If you read threads here, you'll see over and over again that new divers want to progress and develop their skills, and the sequence that is presented to them is OW/AOW/Rescue/Divemaster. Although they understand that Divemaster is a professional cert, they just don't have any idea where else to go, once they have done AOW, Rescue, and perhaps a few specialties. When such folks ask, they are given a bunch of other options for improving themselves as divers. They get that information here, but they don't get it at their local dive shop, which makes money selling DM classes (and at least in our area, also depends on the volunteer labor of DMs to run their classes).

    At any rate, I think it would be more like getting training as a plumber to be able to do your own home improvement . . .
     
  7. FinnMom

    FinnMom Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Finland
    1,721
    1,020
    I subscribe to a PADI magazine that proudly features a newly minted divemaster every month. Many of these have had less than 70 lifetime dives, hadn't been certified even 5 yrs and were barely/not 21 yrs old. That's not exactly the solid dive experience the title would lead you to expect.

    Apparently in most places people have very limited opportunities to dive or at least to dive and get a little advice and review. Classes that include dives are hardly more expensive than the dives alone, so off you go.

    AOW and Rescue are exceptionally good classes to have (although I have doubts about how green a diver is for Rescue if the #1 rule is don't make yourself a 2nd victim). After that you it must seem like it would be so sweet to be able to say "I'm a dive master". If the title were changed to "diver level 4" I suspect sales would suffer quite noticeably.

    You guys need more dive clubs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
  8. mathauck0814

    mathauck0814 Assistant Instructor

    2,034
    767
    It's the participant ribbon mentality. Why should you have to spend any significant amount of time actually diving, learning to dive, living near a diving location, etc. if you want to be a divemaster? That's just not fair!
     
  9. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Kentucky
    6,189
    1,138
    One of the oddest things I've seen with this was a guy who went through his Dive Control Specialist (Assistant Instructor) program. He was OK at his skills, not exceptional, by any means. He push & pushed, to the point of being rude, to get the class finished up. After he was done he headed to Bonaire, within 2 weeks, he was listed on SSI's web site as an OW instructor with several specialties. It would be interesting to see how he gained student handling techniques in such a short period of time. In our shop, a Dive Con must assist with students for a minimum of a year to gain experience under the guidance of an experienced instructor. No it is not an SSI standard, but rather one of the shop itself. The Owner/ lead instructor cares primarily about quality of instruction & safety, not just pumping out numbers. As for making a living instructing,.... not likely in an area as land locked as KY. Yes there are quite a few divers here, yet 99% are the once or twice a year vacation/ warm & clear water divers. Most only see our local quarry once in their lives, when they did their Open Water Dives. Only about 1% are serious, avid divers, who dive in less than ideal conditions. The opportunities to make a living here in the southern mid west,.... just does not exist.
     
  10. sheeper

    sheeper Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States
    1,209
    638
    A lot of people go for the DM cert because they think it is cool. A lot of dive shops sell the DM cert because those people think it is cool (and it make the shop money!). Working as a dive guide, leader and divemaster is different than just being cool. I see many "paper" DMs who have marginable skills, and can't lead a dive to save themselves. To me, a real DM has perfect skills, knows their dive sites, is a true leader and someone that other divers can look to as a leader and mentor or at least as a seasoned guide.

    I DO work as a DM though I have a "real" day job. And heck...it IS cool!
     

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