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What made you go pro?

Discussion in 'Thinking of a Diving Career?' started by WVUdiver1, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. GQMedic

    GQMedic NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: SoCal. (Yeah, baybee)
    I went pro to further my passion for diving to the nnew cat generation of divers AND to further my desire to expand my own skill set as a diver.

    I have no regrets about going pro. The road there though, that was the best part of it.
  2. jlcnuke

    jlcnuke Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: acworth ga
    When I learned the GI Bill could be used for this, I thought of doing it for the education/training as well as the ability to train others (maybe not as a full-time job, but as more of a side-hobby that I could do for cheap for others). Unfortunately, no dive shop near me is VA approved and I'm not quitting my full-time job earning much more to go get the training.
  3. USdiver1

    USdiver1 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Southwest Ohio
    Criminal liabilities? Perhaps you mis-spoke; or if not, please tell, I'll buy the beer.

    Oh snap! This is the why did I go Pro thread. I am a slow learner :wink:, took me 32 years between getting certified and becoming a DM. A small portion of that time was spent as a commercial diver, mostly harbor work, about as un-glamorous as can be imagined. Still, I kept diving over the years: tropical, temperate, fresh and salt, 99% open water. Finally, I came to the realization that I actually liked helping others improve their diving skills. Imagine that, I like to teach. Once I came to that conclusion, I succumbed to a long [8 month] DM program at a LDS. Why so long? It was designed as a teaching program, all DMTs spent months in confined water classes, observing, hauling scuba tanks, evaluating, hauling scuba tanks, practicing our skills on each other, hauling scuba tanks, etc. Eventually, I graduated and now I haul scuba tanks, er, assist instructors, in confined and open water, as well as guide the occasional noob / tourist around, helping them to improve their diving skills.
  4. Addicted2H2O

    Addicted2H2O Manta Ray

    First of all, @WVUdiver1 Thanks for creating this thread. I'm sure there are probably plenty more like it but it came up this morning while I was perusing the site so I decided to give a read. I am currently on the road to DM myself, having just signed up for Master Scuba Diver last week as a pre-req for the DM program. I'v elected to "go pro" for a couple of reasons.

    First, I like helping people. In any capacity I can. I discovered diving myself about 5 years ago and I've been fascinated with it ever since. Every other "hobby" I've had has pretty well taken a back seat to diving for me. I guess you'd call it a passion. That being the case, I just want to help steward others into this wonderful underwater world we're all so fortunate to be a part of. Even during my rescue course earlier this year I watched one of my classmates' face light up when she was the only one of the four of us to complete a skill the first time we tried. I want to be a part of that sense of accomplishment with new OW students as they do things they didn't think they could. I want to see the looks on their faces the first time they go submerged and take a few breaths off a regulator. I want to help show them they can do more than they give themselves credit for.

    Second, I want to be a better diver for my kids and want to be able to show them and lead them on this adventure as we descend beneath the surface. And if I ever do decide to pursue an instructor rating, it'll be for the purpose of teaching kids how to dive. My son is currently in the PADI Seal Team program (mission # 4 on Saturday) and I've watched him both from the surface and underwater while taking pictures and I can't help but admire his fearlessness and excitement for this cool new thing he gets to do. Kids seem to show more passion than adults sometimes and I think if I could teach them how to dive I'd get more enjoyment and a much better sense of accomplishment when they earn the OW cert than I would teaching adults. But I'm not 100% certain I want to pursue an instructor rating.

    Lastly, through the courses I've taken so far, I feel fortunate to have had some petty decent instructors and I'd like to be able to learn more from them while at the same time helping them teach new students. So basically I want to DM as a way to show how grateful I am and a way to give back not only to them but also to my LDS.
  5. Saniflush

    Saniflush ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    Unless I am misunderstanding what you are saying ( and I certainly could be), Master Scuba Diver is not a prerequisite for Divemaster if you are going through PADI.
  6. Addicted2H2O

    Addicted2H2O Manta Ray

    I'm not going through PADI, though. My LDS was formerly a NAUI shop and NAUI does in fact require MSD as a prerequisite to their NAUI FIT training, which in turn is a prerequisite to their DM program. So up until Rescue all of my training has been NAUI (Rescue was actually NASE and NAUI). But my LDS is now a NASE shop so I'll get going through NASE for any concurrent training and they also require MSD as a prerequisite to DM. I can sort of understand why I suppose but the same time a lot of the material is what is going to be covered in the DM program anyway. So in a sense, for both agencies it seems like a bit of a money grab. Its' a $600 course with learning materials and at the end I'm still just a rec diver.
    Saniflush likes this.
  7. Saniflush

    Saniflush ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    Gotcha, thank you for the knowledge. I assumed (incorrectly as usual) since you made mention of your son being in the PADI seal program that you were also going through them for your DM.
    Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
  8. Addicted2H2O

    Addicted2H2O Manta Ray

    Oddly enough and for what reason I have no idea, but PADI is the only organization that I'm aware of (and especially here locally) that has a program for kids his age that aren't yet old enough to get OW certified. He gets to learn most of the OW skills but not get an actual OW certification. Upon completing the SEAL Team course, he can makes dives with an instructor to I believe 8' in open water.
  9. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    So back in 1996 I was pretty much a prick of a human being (I know, I’m not much different now). No social skills, but broke with new wife and new kid. I didn’t really deserve anything good anyone had to offer, but two people that I consider fantastic human beings (Jim Calvin and Bill Rennaker) took me under their wings and took a chance on me. Never really having a decent father figure to look up to, I found myself spending most of my free time around Jim. Of course I couldn’t afford gear or instruction. Jim let me work off both in his shop. Bill Rennaker let me help work on his “shop” when it was just a place to live and a compressor, long before any dive gear or anything.

    For the next few years I was getting invited by the cave diving elite to dives few people at that time had ever done. I feel like the cave community was different back then in that when they saw an idiot kid with issue after issue, they grabbed ahold of the kid and tried to put him on a successful path. Both socially and in terms of diving. Hey at least the diving part stuck.

    So, years later, still hanging out with Jim, but Bill retiring, and now me making pretty good money, I felt like I wanted to be like Jim and Bill and take the less fortunate under my wing. As such, I’ve tried to seek out the people who frankly can’t afford to cave dive. But still might deserve to. I’ve tried to clear a path for a select few that might have grown up like me but have great potential if ever steered in the proper direction. Even if I haven’t necessarily met that potential. I used to track it year to year, now I don’t care, but I’ve given away more classes than I’ve charged for. Unfortunately, some people don’t respect things that they don’t have to work for, so I’m more selective now in who I work with.

    I’m 44 years old now, and certainly not the caliber of man that any of my mentors were, but I still work at it. Maybe one day. Anyway, that’s why I became an instructor. To be more like some great people I met early in my adult hood and at the infancy of my diving.
    shoredivr, Ojai Diver and stuartv like this.
  10. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    I never thought of assisting with courses as a way to give back to the LDS because I had really good instructors (I did, at least I think). Partly because though I took DM, OW and other courses from the LDS, I took quite a few other courses elsewhere. As well, I paid for those courses and expected good instructors.
    I mentioned my reasons for going pro as I used to be a teacher and wanted to get back into education in some way in an activity I enjoyed. You will get the same satisfaction as a school teacher seeing the looks on students' faces when something clicks--and, I wanted to get paid to do it--and should, as a "professional". Dead Horse beaten.

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