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Should I get PADI Dive Master?

Discussion in 'Thinking of a Diving Career?' started by Kirk Bauer, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. Kirk Bauer

    Kirk Bauer Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    Thanks for the advice everybody. I should have mentioned that I already have PADI Rescue Diver and I have a bit more dives than are listed on my profile (I'll update it now). I also should mention that part of my motivation for additional training (Dive Master or otherwise) is to get more dives in. I'm in a situation where I have more money than free time, so money spent on training doesn't mean I'm going to get in fewer "real" dives. In fact quite the opposite. My local diving opportunities are all lakes, and frankly without some goal to shoot for I don't see myself doing much local diving.

    I will look into both the GUE Fundamentals course as well as the Solo Diver training. Part of my interest in Dive Master was more self-reliance which the Solo Diver training would do. And as Sh0rtBus pointed out that would also be great for diving with my daughter.
  2. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    As @NothingClever, also said. This is the best advice. GUE will teach you team awareness/skills that I think will benefit you for diving with your daughter far more than the cat herding skills when you go through DM program. I'd also suggest taking Gareth Lock's Human Factors in Diving as well as looking into Dr. Laura Walton's scubapsyche | Information, training and courses for scuba divers.
  3. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

    There is nothing about DM training that directly prepares you for self-reliance/solo type diving. Lots of other more valuable training out there that will help make most folks better divers. DM training/certification is really just a bunch of hoops you jump through to achieve a change in status from recreationist to recreational professional and allows you to work in the industry in that capacity.

    DM training is also the major stepping stone on the path to become an instructor. So if that is your one of your objectives then it may be worthwhile to knock out the requirement sooner than later. I don't think you need to be in active pro status to take the IDC, I believe you just need to have the DM cert.

  4. NAUI Wowie

    NAUI Wowie Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Silicon Valley northern CA
    I wanted to say you should actually pursue Padi Master Diver not divemaster. Master Diver is possibly the rarest of cert cards not that people on this site chase C cards. Someone else mentioned MSD too I believe.

    You are already most of the way there since you have rescue.

    Once I take rescue, when I have time ill likely just finish up with master diver though its no real goal. My scuba goals even if I had a child soon coming of scuba age would still be to certify in things I like to do. Wreck cert, deep cert which goes well with most wrecks, cavern, etc.

    also I dont know much about agencies but I think GUE anything would really improve any diver. I just dont want to jump into GUE right now as I dont want to get all new gear. Ive already spent boatloads on nice new equipment and cant afford to redo it all.
  5. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    MSD can be good if you can do specialties that improve your diving and safety. Ie. Underwater Navigator vs. Fish ID. Nothing wrong with the latter, just doesn't make you a better diver. You can also just do the specialties and not spend the $ (what is it now, $60?) for the MSD card, as some will suggest.
  6. mcohen1021

    mcohen1021 Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Texas
    I have heard just about every BS story out there, and worried about it all just like you are. I’m an inactive DM, have been for the last 20 yrs. I used to assist with classes at the local jr college and then got away from it. I got out of freshwater diving altogether… And let my certification lapse, only do 30 dives per year spread across 2 trips now. I worked up to DM because I was not sure if I wanted to become an instructor, and it was a way to kill all my PE class credits and I wanted to be very well trained to handle anything I might encounter.

    Bottom line is, if there was an accident, you could be sued regardless of your certification. And you may or may not have a higher chance of being sued as a DM whether or not you are working. Either way, nothing wrong with getting the best training you can whether it be by classes or experience or both.
  7. Landau

    Landau Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver
    I loved my DM course and it made me a much better diver, even though much of what I learned was not on the official course outline.

    I took it through my LDS over an extended period as I travel a lot for my real job. One of the benefits was diving much more often than I did before. Lots of local cold water dives.

    Here are some of the things I improved at:

    Buoyancy from hovering just behind and above the last students in the group. Sometimes my head would be about a foot above the students valve in when the vis was bad.

    Back kick from when my above and behind hover got a little too close.

    Frog kick from always setting a good example my frog kick has gone from something I needed to think about to natural.

    Navigation from leading underwater back to the entry point, not so easy in low vis

    Self check & setup much faster with a set mental checklist. From just doing it over and over and not wanting to ask a student to help me gear up

    Maintenance many minor repairs and adjustments to gear especially in the field.

    Fish and other Critter ID after seeing something interesting looking it up in the book with the students

    Underwater Problem solving from fixing students issue’s underwater. You also get good at interpreting what a few random signs actually indicate

    I’ll never make a living as a DM or instructor but I loved the course and continue to work a weekend or so a month as a DM. Sometimes they are great dives. It helps that the local teaching sites are in the ocean. Other times all you see are fins and silt, or maybe you don’t even get underwater as you help a student who had to thumb the dive for a gear or other issue.
    spc751, SloppyJoe, laikabear and 3 others like this.
  8. Kirk Bauer

    Kirk Bauer Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    I do really like teaching something that I enjoy to other people, so even the idea of assisting with Open Water courses is appealing to me. I do find that I learn a lot by teaching.
  9. Landau

    Landau Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver
    Then I predict you’ll enjoy the DM course. :wink:

    Talk to the shop about how they structure the course. I believe there is a wide variation so make sure it makes your expectations. My shop has a long list of requirements that you can tick off in any order and few few that they schedule when convenient for a couple DMs in training so it fit my work travel schedule well
  10. Ben_3

    Ben_3 Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Canada
    I went through the DM training this summer and I learnt a lot. If a goal can get you in the water it’s a great idea. It got me diving a few days a week during the class which I kind of miss now.

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