Wow, what a question to try and answer; where do I begin? Let me start right at the beginning of your scuba adventure. For some of you reading this, it may be that you are a recently qualified Open Water diver; it may be that you’ve already used your certification and done a few more dives, perhaps even completed a speciality course or two. For others, you are already certified as Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver as well, and have a range of specialities under your (weight) belt. All of these courses are heading you in the right direction.
For a moment, forget what level you have reached now and think back to your first ever experience of scuba diving. Hopefully you enjoyed it, had fun and valued the dive professional’s knowledge and skill taking you underwater. For you, this was a huge experience! It was your very first time underwater, using new and very technical-looking equipment, probably not quite certain what everything did but feeling weightless, relaxed, suddenly able to look up to the surface instead of peering down into the water! I’m sure you finished that dive with a sense of achievement, accomplishment or triumph perhaps…and there was probably a part of you that didn’t really want it to end!
Fast-forward to your current dive level and just think of the milestones that you’ve passed. If you’re a newly qualified diver then perhaps your most recent milestone was reaching your 10th dive. For others it may have been reaching your 100th dive, or completing the PADI Wreck course that you’d convinced yourself you’d never enjoy, or using a dry suit for the first time…the list goes on. But my point here is that whatever thing you are proud of, it has helped you develop further skills and experience.
The road to becoming a PADI Professional is laid out fairly simply and all of the prerequisites, in my opinion, deserve to be on the list. For example, you must be a Rescue diver; not necessarily from PADI but you have got to show that you have rescue skills to be able to deal with an emergency. You have to have a minimum of 40 dives before you can even start the course, and before you can finish it, you must have completed a minimum of 60. There are a few more requirements on the list but they all count towards the experience level of the Divemaster candidate.
At DiveMania, we run our Divemaster courses over a period of time to ensure you gain hands-on experience with a wide range of students and courses. This allows us to schedule you in to help with a wreck course on our first training weekend, the deep course on another, rescue course later in the year, for example, and lots of others in between. This really allows us to develop the Divemaster candidates’ knowledge and confidence, guaranteeing that our certified Divemasters are ready to jump in at the deep end once certified.
So, you’ve now completed your Divemaster certification, you’ve joined the ranks of the PADI Professional ladder but you’re already wanting to do more! As a Divemaster with DiveMania Scuba, a very valued member of the instructional team, your jobs and duties will vary from session to session.
It could be you are teaching the ReActivate course one week, helping on a Rescue course the following week and then demonstrating skills to an Open Water class the next. This is only your first step as a PADI Pro, the list does eventually end but the possibilities of how use your professional rating are endless.
The courses that you’ve done already, the courses that you’ve signed up for but maybe not yet completed, the dives you do in the pool just for practice, the conversations you have with other divers…all of this is adding to your experience. If you are considering signing up for a professional course, you’re already on track! Keep practicing, keep diving, but most importantly, make sure you keep enjoying!
For me, being a PADI Professional is really rewarding; I get to take people on their first scuba dive, I get to shake their hand when they’ve completed a skill, I get to sign their certification card and I pass on my own experiences to allow people to enjoy diving as much as I do.