The school and university year has come to an end. At this very moment people from all over the world are packing their backpacks and booking tickets to travel all over the world. For many, the gap year is a way of improving oneself, gaining life skills and experience that will help them later in their work life. If you are one of these people and you are an avid diver, why not consider taking a Divemaster program or internship? You will gain professional qualifications, life experience and some great memories too! This also applies for anyone wishing to take a sabbatical from work, or even those who are wishing to change their careers and their lives!
By becoming a Divemaster you are joining the ranks of professional diving. You will be certified to guide certified divers, conducts Divemaster programs and even teach some courses. This certification is essential for you if you eventually want to become an instructor or assistant instructor. However the Divemaster program is not just for those who wish to peruse a career in scuba diving, and actually most who become a certified Divemaster will not end up working in the diving industry. For many passionate divers it is an achievement that increases knowledge and experience of their favourite sport, or for others it may be a personal goal, such as running a marathon. To be fair it is pretty awesome to be able to say you are a sports professional!
The Divemaster program is unlike other dive courses, which usually have a ridged layout. Like other dive courses there is a theory section to complete, but most of this will be done through independent study, rather than the traditional classroom sessions, although there will be a small element of this. Completing this in the candidates own time shows discipline and enthusiasm, two very important personality traits of a dive professional.
Of course the bulk of the course will be spent in the water. During the program the candidate must complete many in-water tasks under the supervision of an instructor, such as performing demonstration quality skills, or being able to complete a quick and efficient rescue exercise. The candidate will also get real life experience by assisting instructors on entry level dive courses and programs, such as the Open Water or Discover Scuba Diver, as well as continuing education courses like the Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver. The candidate will do this a few times, each time learning a different aspect of diver supervision which is essential to be able to safely supervise divers when they are certified. The best way is to assist many different instructors as everyone has their own unique teaching style, and you can pick and mix the best bits from everyone you worked with to develop your own teaching style.
Your relationship with your instructor will also change during the program. During the previous courses you would have probably had a student/teacher relationship, however as you will be joining the ranks of professional diving, your instructor will be more like a mentor, guiding you to where to need to be instead of simply telling you what to do. Again this is important because after certification you may be in charge of a group of divers and you will be expected to know what to do, and not have to be told.
You can take the program almost anywhere in the world. Most choose to fly to far away countries in the tropics like Thailand, Indonesia, and Honduras etc. If you are going to complete a bunch of dives and start your life in diving, why not do it where the waters are warm, clear and full of life?! But if you are restricted to somewhere like Europe or North America then you can still do it, it may just take a little longer. On the plus side, diving in tougher conditions will teach you skills that your warm water counterparts may not have to master.
I personally took mine on the island of Koh Tao, Thailand. Although many consider this world famous diver stronghold to be a factory (therefore should be avoided) I think it is an ideal location for this very reason. By choosing any popular dive location, such as Koh Tao, Utila, The Great Barrier Reef or Bali etc. You will get the chance to assist many more divers than you would in the UK for instance, and standards are kept high for all agencies because there is such a large dive presence. You will also get the chance to meet people from all over the world, practise (or learn) language skills and spend your evening lazing by the water’s edge. I loved every minutes of my course, and all my dive buddies loved theirs too!
If this is something that you want to do then you should start to compare dive schools, reading reviews and testimonials from previous customers, and think about what you want to get out of diving. Does technical diving interest you? If so why not go for a school that offers technical diving courses and add it to your Divemaster course. The same applies for freediving, underwater videography/photography and conservation. By learning more skills you will show a keener interest in the industry and be a more valuable employee. Check out some schools today, and begin your own scuba diving career!
‘Divemaster. The First Step to Professional Diving’ was written by Mike
Photo Credit: divemasterscuba.com