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Thread: Dive Master cert

  1. #1
    Barracuda Noob's Avatar
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    Dive Master cert

    I've been really considering getting my Dive Master cert. More I dive more I lean this way. For all you that have it or have done it what are the main pros and cons of it? This would be a Dive Master through a LDS for training.

    Does it even pay or is it voluntary?

  2. #2
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    I did mine through my LDS. It was more like an internship. I paid for books and the training was free as I worked with classes for them. I wasn't paid a thing though and still do DM work for them. It took me about six months but I started in the winter so couldn't do any OW stuff until summer. I was able to work it around my schedule and helped with classes that fit my schedule. I really liked doing it this was as I had time to digest everything and worked with a number of instructor and DM's so I saw different ways of doing things. In the end I did about 6 times the number of required water sessions. I see this as a positive. I didn't do it just to get the cert. and this wasn't something I was doing full time so time wasn't an issue. I did it and continue to do it because I love diving and working students. As I said I don't get paid but do get discounts on gear and free air. In the end I would make more money working at McDonnell's then I save in gear but again I don't do it for the money. I have a real full time job and diving is just for fun and great stress relief.

  3. #3
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    A few more things. Why are you doing it? This is really important. You have to do it because you love it. I don't think it really pays unless your working on a boat.

  4. #4
    I'm doing it because I want to be an instructor. That and I want to learn more about this sport I fell in love with.

    My Local Training Center (Not a dive shop) is charging $500 + Material (about $180).

  5. #5
    Shark
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    I just finished mine in October--did it through the local community college. I will never recover 'the cost'-the money, but like comet24 said, I like working with the OW students. I'm assisting with 4 class this next semester. I learn something with each class, and being around the other DMs & our instructor is priceless. I like diving with these people, and that's what it is all about for me. I don't expect to be compensated when I help other LDS.

    I'm glad I did the DM for me. What I learned the skills, and what I learned about me was worth every penny, plus what I will be paying in dues and insurance.

  6. #6
    Shark
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    Do it nooby! One more person to carry my tanks!

    Sine Timore!

  7. #7
    I've been a teacher, lecturer, mentor and instructor for my than half my life. I've always found teaching something helps me to be better at whatever I'm teaching. This is why I became a Divemaster. When I look back on the cost of the materials, the training, the charters, etc. It cost me probably $1000+ to become a Divemaster. This does not include gear, OW, AOW, Specialties, Rescue Diver, EFR and the dives logged to be a DM. I added that up once and it was around $7000. As that was non-professional training I wouldn't include that.

    Now that I am a Divemaster I get paid for assisting with Open Water or higher classes. Assisting Discover Scuba Diving does not pay anything but I am expected to help with that and encourage students to continue on to Open Water or higher certifications.

    If everything went great and we had more business than we knew what to do with I might be able to earn $2000 in a year. The reality is, I'll be lucky if I make $200 a year. There are other perks however. I get free air fills and half price nitrox fills plus I get a shop discount on purchases. I get free use of the pool. Right now my tanks are full of nitrox. I don't want to waste nitrox for DSD sessions so I borrow a tank of air from the shop. Basically, I wouldn't be expected to pay for that sort of thing.

    If I move on to Instructor, I'll probably spend another $2000+ but being an Instructor typically pays double. I'd get money for doing DSD, I'd get more money for doing Open Water or higher courses. Most shops also give bigger discounts as you move up the ladder. It should be noted, a 10% discount at a shop with low volume might still be more money than buying from ScubaToys or a high volume LDS. So the discount is only as good as the shop you work at.

    Bottom line, I'll spend less on gear, air and stuff. I'll make some money. At some point (5 years?) I will actually start to make money as a dive professional. I enjoy working with others and it will make me a better diver.
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  8. #8
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    If you're going to do this, do it because of the love of sharing diving with new people.

    While you could make money as a DM, the odds are against you. The other possible downside is that you will find that you are doing the same series (and sites) of dives, over and over again. For some, this eventually saps their enjoyment of the sport.

    FWIW, I enjoy being a DM. I get a kick out of working the classes, and I like to use the interactions with students as a way to enhance my questionable 'people skills'--making me a more fun fellow to be around, and to dive with.

    PPM
    John Lewis--the PlatypusMan!


  9. #9
    Shark
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    I dunno... my kid is an instructor in the Carribean and he is having a ball.
    I am in contact with him and a few of his friends, and they are always telling me about the cool new things they find on sites they been to countless times, as well as scouting new possible sites.
    Oh and the nghtlife and comaradire is nice too... I like visiting, I feel like I get the insider's tour - above and below the surface.

    And yes, the pay is nothing to brag about, but like I tell him, most of us dream of working/living in that enviroment, many save all their lives to retire in places like where he is living. Money aint everything.
    It's a tad better than being shot at in some desolate place, always on the lookout for ieds and landmines.(yea he was considering going back to gruntdom)

    Sine Timore!

  10. #10
    Shark
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    like SD said, you'll be hard pressed to make a living soley by being a DM or even an OWSI-its a lifestyle, not a career
    if it has tires or testicles, eventually it is going to give you trouble

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