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Finished Divemaster, Did I just Make a Mistake?

Discussion in 'Going Pro' started by MEmersonC, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. MEmersonC

    MEmersonC Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
    I just finished up my PADI Divemaster cert and now I think it I made a mistake.

    First some backstory, I started diving in January of this year and started to progress up the ladder and really enjoyed diving. Started hanging out at the local dive shop and was convinced that I should do my Divemaster cert and start working for the shop as a contractor. So I said sure, plopped down the $800.00 and started my course. Just like many on here I have a career so this was going to be a side gig to have some fun and make a few extra bucks, or so I thought.

    After completing the course the realization kicked in this may not be worth my time.

    I got my DM cert because I enjoy diving and the dive shop, but I also enjoy making a few extra bucks when all my diving expenses are paid which have now drastically increased due to me being a dive professional. I am required to pay for my own liability insurance. I knew that I wasnt going to make much, but loving what you do can only take you so far before you feel like your being taken advantage of.

    I know the obvious answer is cut my losses and move on if I'm not happy, but should I ask for an increase per student, or is this pay and situation the norm for a divemaster in a landlocked state. What's the point of continuing up the ladder when Instructor is $3000 for the course and he wants to pay $40.00 a student. You'd never break even.

  2. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai UAE
    Have you made a mistake? Maybe. Have you been “conned” into progressing far too quickly. Certainly

    I’d never accept someone as a DMC that has less than a years diving, you just don’t have the experience. I also insist that their DM course is 3 months to allow them a breadth of experience.

    As to the financial benefits, as a part time DM, there are none that will give you a good ROI on your course. You may get free fills and dives plus cheap gear, but you need to decide if it’s worth it to you.

    Same with Instructor. As you’ve found out, there are continued expenses, I’ll never get fully reimbursed for my time nor money spent on becoming an instructor, but I went into it open eyed and didn’t do it for the money

    My advice, gain lots of experience and knowledge as a DM, become a role model diver, and only go to instructor if you feel you can give something back

    My litmus test is this. Would you feel confident teaching and guiding either your, or a close friends children in difficult conditions. And do you have basic skills such as buoyancy and trim, that others aspire to?
    NothingClever, maj2, Brodydog and 6 others like this.
  3. happy-diver

    happy-diver Skindiver Just feelin it

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: same ocean as you
    It's about the people man, it's about the diving and the pizzazz
    Maybe find yourself a sugar customer
  4. Saniflush

    Saniflush ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    Much like @Diving Dubai stated earlier, you will need to sit down and parse out whether or not it is for you. For me it was and I went into it knowing that it would cost me money but I gain the satisfaction of doing something I love and helping turn others onto it. Is that a good enough trade off for you? Only you can answer that.
    I would suggest that you settle in to helping with students and see if is. With a wife and two kids my spare time is valuable to me so I am stingy with what gets it. Diving/teaching is very fulfilling to me so it's an easy choice, but is not for everyone.
    Sh0rtBus and Graeme Fraser like this.
  5. rongoodman

    rongoodman ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Albany, NY
    Get some experience diving before you decide to start teaching somebody else how to do it?
    NothingClever and oly5050user like this.
  6. chris kippax

    chris kippax Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Australia
    Keep your work and hobbies separate. That was you will enjoy diving for many years to come
  7. rhwestfall

    rhwestfall Woof! ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: "La Grande Ile"
    Stoo likes this.
  8. Nays

    Nays Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: The West USA
    It wasn't about the money.
    I did it for the women.
    jridg, JamesBon92007, Jonn and 13 others like this.
  9. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    You'll never make enough as a DM or even an instructor. The old jag is "How does an instructor differ from a large pizza? A large pizza can feed a family of four. There's just not enough money being made in OW to pay DMs. You're the first DM I've ever hear who is actually being paid. Have fun diving. How much is your insurance going to cost? I didn't go pro until I went instructor.
    Sh0rtBus likes this.
  10. rob.mwpropane

    rob.mwpropane ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    I'll preface by saying I am not a DM, so take it with a grain of salt.

    The LDS that I got certified at had a very cool, close knit group of divers. After getting excited about diving I was asked to think about being a DM. I asked around to see if it was worthwhile. Turns out it costs a good bit, I would be expected to pretty much only buy from the shop which meant I was confined to the brands they offered. Would not be allowed to wear any other brands during classes / events. Buying used equipment or online was "hush hush"......So I've since moved away from that shop. If I'm being honest, I miss a few of the faces there, but the business just wasn't for me. It didn't feel so much that being DM would be "apart of" as much as "buying into".

    I fully understand that it's a business and they have to make money, but agree with @chris kippax, better to keep work / hobbies separate. So far I'm happy with my choice.
    Scuba Dooby Do likes this.

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