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JTMoney
02-22-2008, 19:43
My certification is with SSI and this is something that I've been looking at doing. Is anyone familiar with the certufication process? Seems like it'd be a good way to get some free diving.

CompuDude
02-22-2008, 19:54
An SSI DCS is, quite literally, the equivalent of a PADI Divemaster course plus the Assistant Instructor course. The combine the two courses into one cert, and call it DCS. (I'm ignoring the subtle differences between agency philosophies, of course)

If you want to be a DM or AI, go for it. But teaching and assisting classes is NOT the same thing as free diving. It's actual work. If you enjoy teaching, go for it, you'll learn a lot.

fireflock
02-22-2008, 20:12
It's actual work.

Except they pay you at work. You loose money as a DM/DiveCon.

In any case, if free diving is your prime motivation than you're probably not going to have a lot of fun.

JTMoney
02-22-2008, 21:12
It's actual work.

Except they pay you at work. You loose money as a DM/DiveCon.

In any case, if free diving is your prime motivation than you're probably not going to have a lot of fun.

How would you lose money? I really enjoy teaching and it was my thinking that while you don't get paid, the dive shop would at least cover the minimum costs to where you're breaking even. Is it more of a completely volunteer thing?

hoobascooba
02-22-2008, 21:22
It's actual work.

Except they pay you at work. You loose money as a DM/DiveCon.

In any case, if free diving is your prime motivation than you're probably not going to have a lot of fun.

How would you lose money? I really enjoy teaching and it was my thinking that while you don't get paid, the dive shop would at least cover the minimum costs to where you're breaking even. Is it more of a completely volunteer thing?

plus, what's wrong with some free diving as a prime motivation?

ReefHound
02-22-2008, 22:12
How would you lose money? I really enjoy teaching and it was my thinking that while you don't get paid, the dive shop would at least cover the minimum costs to where you're breaking even. Is it more of a completely volunteer thing?

It's mostly a volunteer thing. My shop gives a small store credit per student per session but it barely covers the gas to the dive site. Sometimes people don't show up and you are left with 1 or 2 students then it doesn't even cover that. Unless you have a prime gig on a charter you will be lucky to cover costs.

A couple ways you "lose" money. First and biggest is your time, the opportunity cost of what you could possibly earn with an equivalent amount of work doing something else. Second, is the wear and tear on your gear of being in the pool a lot. Even if you rinse well you're putting a lot of hours on your gear. Third, you will be the goto guy and students will inevitably need to borrow little things and occasionally lose it or break it. You can be diligent but stuff somehow gets broken or lost. Now where did my defog go and who has my two 2# weights? And did I mention you ahve to pay for professional liability insurance and agency renewal fees every year?

A couple ways you "make" a little money. Sometimes there are tips, if the instructor mentions that DMs work for free and tips are appreciated. More likely someone takes you out to lunch after class. There is the small store credit earned and we get an extra discount on gear purchases. And we get to fill our tanks or check out rentals at no charge.

A couple ways you get "free" diving. Most scuba parks around here admit DMs free if they have a class, some charge half-price otherwise. So you can dive after the class. Or work a charter boat if available in your area. I currently have a student that has a nice big boat that has already asked me to go with him to the rigs offshore.

fireflock
02-22-2008, 22:26
plus, what's wrong with some free diving as a prime motivation?


Nothing. I like free diving. You just won't get much free diving as a DiveCon (so you will be disappointed.)


You also loose on gas if you have to drive very far to get to the pool/quarry/lake/ocean/whatever. It's not a huge deal, but it's more that it was 2 years ago.

hoobascooba
02-22-2008, 22:35
How would you lose money? I really enjoy teaching and it was my thinking that while you don't get paid, the dive shop would at least cover the minimum costs to where you're breaking even. Is it more of a completely volunteer thing?

It's mostly a volunteer thing. My shop gives a small store credit per student per session but it barely covers the gas to the dive site. Sometimes people don't show up and you are left with 1 or 2 students then it doesn't even cover that. Unless you have a prime gig on a charter you will be lucky to cover costs.

A couple ways you "lose" money. First and biggest is your time, the opportunity cost of what you could possibly earn with an equivalent amount of work doing something else. Second, is the wear and tear on your gear of being in the pool a lot. Even if you rinse well you're putting a lot of hours on your gear. Third, you will be the goto guy and students will inevitably need to borrow little things and occasionally lose it or break it. You can be diligent but stuff somehow gets broken or lost. Now where did my defog go and who has my two 2# weights? And did I mention you ahve to pay for professional liability insurance and agency renewal fees every year?

A couple ways you "make" a little money. Sometimes there are tips, if the instructor mentions that DMs work for free and tips are appreciated. More likely someone takes you out to lunch after class. There is the small store credit earned and we get an extra discount on gear purchases. And we get to fill our tanks or check out rentals at no charge.

A couple ways you get "free" diving. Most scuba parks around here admit DMs free if they have a class, some charge half-price otherwise. So you can dive after the class. Or work a charter boat if available in your area. I currently have a student that has a nice big boat that has already asked me to go with him to the rigs offshore.

remind me NOT to go any further than AOW. cuz according to you, it's .just .not .worth it right? at least not as a DM or AI or DCS or whatever...

ReefHound
02-22-2008, 23:14
remind me NOT to go any further than AOW. cuz according to you, it's .just .not .worth it right? at least not as a DM or AI or DCS or whatever...

That's not what I said at all. Not everything can be measured in economic terms.

Don Wray
02-22-2008, 23:33
We could now go into the reason DM's and DCS don't make any money.....too many people are willing to work for free, for awhile. Then when you start realizing "Hey, I'm losing money on this gig!" another newbie DM/DCS candidate shows up and off they go, working for free.

No, to the OP, it's not free diving. More like volunteer work.

JTMoney
02-25-2008, 14:43
We could now go into the reason DM's and DCS don't make any money.....too many people are willing to work for free, for awhile. Then when you start realizing "Hey, I'm losing money on this gig!" another newbie DM/DCS candidate shows up and off they go, working for free.

No, to the OP, it's not free diving. More like volunteer work.

Got'cha. Thans for all the input guys. I think it's something that I'm going to stay away from for a while.

rfb3
02-25-2008, 15:59
I know of shops in the Dallas area that pay the DMs. I am a DM and enjoy the "free" diving. I get into the scuba parks for free, etc.
I know a AI that likes his cert because he gets to assist in class, but does not bear the full liability/responsibility of the instructor.

cogrwy
04-07-2008, 10:04
Don't know about PADI or NAUI, but while acting as an SSI certified DiveCon, you accept a moral and legal responsibility for any divers you are leading. If they get in trouble, you go get them. One of the SSI requirements is that you maintain liability insurance in the event of any legal action against you. The first chapter in the DiveCon training manual covers the difference between diving for fun and diving as a leader.

CompuDude
04-07-2008, 10:27
Don't know about PADI or NAUI, but while acting as an SSI certified DiveCon, you accept a moral and legal responsibility for any divers you are leading. If they get in trouble, you go get them. One of the SSI requirements is that you maintain liability insurance in the event of any legal action against you. The first chapter in the DiveCon training manual covers the difference between diving for fun and diving as a leader.

That's the same for all agencies.

cogrwy
04-08-2008, 08:36
Figured it was; just don't have personal experience with PADI and NAUI.

Mtrewyn
04-09-2008, 18:54
I would look at the Dive Con. as a step on the road to Instructor, or a way to get "water time" be it diving or not more time in the water will always help. Right?

CC1020
04-10-2008, 10:19
My certification is with SSI and this is something that I've been looking at doing. Is anyone familiar with the certufication process? Seems like it'd be a good way to get some free diving.

I am a DiveCon candidate right now (I am SSI certified as well), and as far as the certification process, you must have your Master Diver rating (including the full Rescue course, not just the 2-day cert), and CPR/AED/First Aid. I don't know if "free diving" should really be your motivation, as those opportunities may or may not be readily available, depending on your particular circumstances. For myself, I enjoy the teaching aspect of it, seeing those "light bulb" moments... If you like the teaching process itself, and like helping others discover the joys of diving, then it could well be for you. There are definitely some perks, but I don't think you should expect it to be "free".

scubasamurai
04-10-2008, 10:35
ours gives us the tanks/air/weights for free, but we have to help out with the gear and other divers and clean the boat when it is done the trip. but in the water we can do our own thing, just check on the other divers if needed and keep tabs on the less exp ones. no pay except for tips, but your dive is covered

skdvr
04-10-2008, 10:39
I too would like to pursue my DM but with all the LDS's around here you have to use gear that they sell. I do not only the gear that one LDS around me sells. I would have to buy quite a bit of stuff for that to happen, so I do not think that it is going to happen. I would love to get my DM for the experience but I do not think that I would get to actually work (or volunteer) for a LDS because I cannot afford to buy a new drysuit, wetsuit, regs, fins, or what ever because that particular LDS does not sell that particular gear.

Kind of sucks

I love helping people learn about something that I am passionate about...

Phil