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A Guide to Becoming a Divemaster

two scuba divers navigating underwater

By: Jenny James

A Guide to Becoming a Diving Instructor

Ask any diver if they’ve ever considered quitting their day job and becoming a full-time instructor, and you’ll probably find that most have entertained the idea. Not a lot of people decide to follow through though, despite the fact that instructors are in demand in Australia. It can be nerve-wracking to jump into any new career, especially one where you’re acting as your own boss. But becoming a professionally certified instructor is easier than you might think. With enough time, money, and dedication, just about anyone can train to become a fully fledged divemaster.

Training Courses

The first step to becoming a diving instructor is learning the ropes. As well as the need to be a strong swimmer, you’ll also need to be an expert in all areas of diving, from calibrating equipment to knowing emergency response protocols. You can find PADI diving training courses at facilities located throughout Australia, including 5-Star Dive Centres and PADI Career Development Centres. Alternatively, you can also take classes through Scuba Schools International, or SSI. You need to work your way up through a series of courses before reaching the instructor level:

  • Open Water Diver Course: This entry-level class goes over the basics of scuba and requires four dives to complete.
  • Advanced Open Water Course: Once you’ve been certified as an open-water diver, you can take the advanced class. Five more dives expose you to more extreme conditions such as deep water and night diving and help to hone your basic skills.
  • Rescue Diver Course: As an advanced diver, you can learn self-rescue techniques as well as how to perform diver rescues.
  • Emergency First Response Course: It’s also vital to learn first-aid basics for divers who suffer from accidents or injuries.
  • Divemaster Course: Once you’ve passed every other class, you can become certified as a divemaster. You’ll learn the leadership skills that you need to work on a professional level, and you’ll assist dive instructors to better learn the ropes.

Worth The Investment 

Getting your certification can be expensive, costing upwards of several thousand dollars plus the cost of equipment. You’ll also need to log 100 dives, pass a medical exam, and have an up-to-date first aid certificate. Though it takes time and money, in the end, getting your professional certification is well worth the effort.

Finding Work

It used to be that dive instructors either had to find work through a larger agency or gain clients through word-of-mouth. Nowadays, though, it’s easier than ever for dive instructors to advertise their services and find interested customers online. Positive reviews on sites such as Yelp or Google can also help your budding business to gain some traction.

While getting certified as a professional diving instructor isn’t easy, it can be a rewarding experience. You’ll get to enjoy time outdoors doing what you love, and sharing your passion with other adventurous spirits. Better yet, you can set your own rates and your own schedule, giving you complete control over your career.