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SDI vs. PADI DM

Discussion in 'Going Pro' started by Paul Guzewicz, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Paul Guzewicz

    Paul Guzewicz Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Rock Hill, SC
    2
    0
    1
    First time posting on here so be kind!

    I started diving when I was 14 years old living in East Tennessee, fell in love with it, moved to Florida and did my AOW and dove a lot. I am now a teacher in South Carolina in the middle of my career and have started thinking that I want to be able to do something with diving when I end my teaching career. Last summer I did my Rescue through SDI and want to move on to my DM. Not exactly sure what I want to do in the diving field, but want to have some options.

    All of that to say, this next summer I am planning on doing my DM and need to decide if I should do it through SDI or PADI. I've heard arguments both ways. Some say that PADI is more widely accepted by dive shops hiring employees, while others say SDI is more "modern" and is the up and coming agency. Others say that the PADI course is light on the theory and SDI covers a lot more. I know there are cross over certs that allow you to switch agencies but I need to make a decision soon. I plan on doing it as a month long internship style course so I'm looking forward to getting some practical experience.

    So what are your thoughts? Which course is more beneficial to someone who wants to eventually end up working in the field and possibly pursuing their instructor cert.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Landau

    Landau Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver
    371
    250
    63
    I’d take a close look at how many SDI shops are near where you’d like to work. The is only one shop listed on SDI’s website near me, but when I go directly to the shop’s website they only appear to offer PADI courses.
     
  3. MEmersonC

    MEmersonC Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Virginia
    19
    21
    3
    I just completed my PADI Divemaster a month ago. I really don't have much advice on why you should do one over the other, but I did gain some knowledge on "why" I completed my Divemaster. I feel like I was thinking like you, advance my diving career and make a few bucks on the side while working my way up to instructor. As a certified Divemaster the norm in the dive shop is to pay you in air fills. Since your not near the ocean tips aren't really customary. I found that going pro should be approached as a hobby given where your located. Unless you own the dive shop or move to a high tourist area there's no money to be made starting out. Its going to be about 3 grand to bring you up to instructor. Here's the link for the thread I started Finished Divemaster, Did I just Make a Mistake? Just some food for thought. Good luck in whatever you decide, and happy diving.
     
    Zef likes this.
  4. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
    3,978
    1,493
    113
    I teach both, generally similar, the determining factor is do you plan to work in the business after? What is preferred by the shop?yes PADI is more recognized but that isn’t always a factor. It is however easier to crossover to SDI from PADI. If you have a choice, consider the instructor......nothing wrong with doing an interview and finding out tons of info.....it’s your hard earned money.
     
  5. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    12,021
    2,550
    113
    The "old" PADI DM course I took prior to 2010 had more theory than I could ever make use of as an assistant. The "new" course eliminated a lot (I hear) in favour of a bit more practical stuff. Made some sense to me.
    Please don't work as a DM for anything less than a salary of at least minimum wage (old old topic).
     
  6. Paul Guzewicz

    Paul Guzewicz Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Rock Hill, SC
    2
    0
    1
    Thanks for the insight. Really it is two part....I want to end up in diving career in say 10 years, but I also want to advance my skills as much as possible and become a stronger diver.
     
  7. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    5,408
    3,749
    113
    Then go dive. Don’t do DM now. Maybe try something different - I know non-tech folks who’ve had fun in an Intro to Tech class. Said it made a big difference in their diving.
     
    HKGuns, Landau and Sam Miller III like this.
  8. MEmersonC

    MEmersonC Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Virginia
    19
    21
    3
    I'm with Marie, if you dont plan on diving in a professional manner in the near future why pay the annual dues and insurance that are required each year to keep your professional rating? PADI's annual fee is $130.00 a year, on top of liability insurance which on average is around $320.00 a year for a DM. If you can get the shop to pay for the insurance that would be a plus. Some do, most don't. OR. You could skip all that, start taking tech classes, become a better diver than DM ever thought about teaching you, and not be liable for other divers in the process until your ready to start instructing. I'd take DM a year from when you are wanting to start teaching. That would give you enough cushion from earning your DM, to start taking IDC through OWSI.
     
    Marie13 likes this.
  9. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    12,021
    2,550
    113
    Side point--DM insurance for me was a lot less for only assisting with courses--was $140 CAD. Not that this would change your plans.
     
  10. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    5,408
    3,749
    113
    People think that DM will make them a better diver, but the jury is out on that, from what I read.

    Take DM within a year or so of when you would actually be using it. If you would be DM’ing in your current area, it will be weekends and maybe the occasional trip, from observing friends who are DMs through my shop here in the Chicago area.

    Just go diving now and get experience different conditions, which will be beneficial if you do go on to do your DM.
     

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