Many people who meet divemasters or instructors during their dive travels comment about how they envy the lifestyle, work and freedom.
The truth is, life can be pretty amazing when you leave the hard-pressed realities of urban living behind to explore new and exotic destinations.
Becoming a professional diver is a very rewarding career for many reasons. For starters, you get to work closely with people from all over the world and see your students and clients progress and improve their diving skills. You enable change in people and empower them. And in many ways, being a dive professional can help you improve yourself, too, through the interactions you have with the people you work with and meet on a daily basis.
But not everyone who takes the GoPRO Challenge and becomes a professional diver does so with the intent of building a career in the diving industry.
So why would anyone want to spend their time and money to become a PADI Divemaster or professional diver if they’re not aiming to make money or build a career with the newly acquired skills? Read on to find out…
Here are Ten Reasons to GoPRO for Career Goals or Life Experience
1) Improve your dive skills – “Practice makes perfect.”
The best way to improve your own dive skills is to practice what you learn. If you are in a position to dive every day or on a regular basis, your core abilities will improve very quickly. For starters, your buoyancy control will get better and you’ll reduce the amount of weight you need to use while diving. Your breathing will become more regular, thereby reducing your air consumption. And you’ll be more comfortable diving in various conditions and situations. Whether or not you decide to work as a professional diver, this is knowledge you’ll retain for the rest of your life and the experience will benefit you on future dives.
2) Build self-confidence – “Take action and get it done.”
Self-confidence comes from being comfortable with yourself and in your powers and abilities. GoPRO internships help all of us build self-confidence by gaining a broader understanding of dive theory, practical applications and the equipment used in scuba diving. You will become more comfortable in dealing with your own areas of insecurity, better at working with people and better at dealing with new situations and challenges. Everyone can use more self-confidence, and this personal development will help you in the future when you meet new people, face new situations or go for job interviews. However you look at it, it’s a win-win situation!
3) Gain leadership skills – “Leading by example.”
PADI’s Divemaster program focuses on leadership development. Candidates are required to work closely with instructors and students while learning how to become role models as divers and mastering dive skills and dive knowledge. You take part in scenarios and training that test your ability to lead and guide others. You learn how to handle stress and deal with difficult situations in the event of emergencies. Other divers and your peers look up to you and you become part of their experience as they seek your advice on dive-related issues. Gaining stronger leadership skills is something that will open new doors for you. Whether at work or in school, we are constantly placed in situations where we need to lead others. And learning about different leadership techniques is something that will allow you to define your own leadership style.
4) Learn from professional mentors – “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”
During your Divemaster internship, you’ll work with experienced dive instructors, business owners and industry professionals. These folks are committed to excellence and teaching others. Working in an industry that makes education one of its primary focuses, dive professionals dedicate their lives to improving their own skills and helping others around them do the same. By taking part in the GoPRO challenge, you will work closely with your instructor or instructors as they help you master your skills while sharing their particular expertise. The mentorship program is something that will benefit you for the rest of your life – and hopefully during the process you’ll also learn how to become a mentor yourself.
5) Acquire a deeper understanding of marine environments and ecosystems – “Saving our Ocean Planet, one dive at a time.”
One of the core elements of the Divemaster program is to teach candidates to respect and help preserve our Ocean Planet. You will learn about the ocean, currents, coral reef formation, marine life and the impact on this fragile ecosystem. By gaining a better understanding of your dive environment you will become a better diver as well as improve your guiding skills and teaching style. You’ll gain a new awareness and become an ambassador for the ocean while championing sustainable diving practices and sharing your knowledge with others.
6) Broaden your knowledge of dive equipment and dive theory – “Any fool can know something – the point is to understand.”
The PADI Divemaster program is divided into nine knowledge-development sections. Some of the topics you’ll cover include the duties of a divemaster, leadership, skills and environment, physics, physiology, Recreational Dive Planner and equipment. During your internship and through self-learning exercises and presentations, you will master the knowledge and theory behind what makes diving possible and how our bodies are affected by pressure. You will also service dive equipment and understand how everything works.
7) Meet new people – “Pleased to meet you”
One of the great things about being a professional diver is the constant influx of people you meet. You will make friends from all walks of life and from all over the world. And it’s up to you to decide how these budding friendships will develop. One thing’s for sure, however – over the years, you will meet some extraordinary people, many of whom will play crucial roles in defining who you become. The network that you’ll build with other peers and your guests will become a valuable tool for your future success.
8) Discover new cultures and learn new languages – “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
There is no better way to travel the world and learn new cultures and languages than by teaching scuba diving. Water covers over 70 percent of our planet, and the demand for experienced dive instructors is increasing. If you have an interest in traveling, are interested in cultural discoveries or possess a knack for languages, diving is a great way to satiate your goals. Whether you decide to go dive where nobody else has gone before or you head to a well-known dive destination, the adventure is endless and you are the one who decides where your journey takes you.
9) Join the Tribe – “Group benefits.”
In case none of the above reasons has sparked your interest, here’s a perk that should do the trick: PADI Divemasters receive exclusive deals and discounts on dive equipment and dive trips. We all know diving can be expensive. And as a professional diver, you’ll get discounts on dive equipment, dive trips and other special offers. Some dive operations will offer you up to 25 percent off their dive trips if you are a divemaster and traveling with your own equipment. As a member of the PADI society, you’ll receive member updates, special offers and the Undersea Journal, a quarterly publication. You will also have access to the “Pro” section on the PADI website with job listings and other opportunities.
10) Make a positive impact – “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
As a professional diver, you will have the ability to make a positive impact on other people and the world. You’ll help turn fear into courage, hesitation into confidence and make dreams a reality. People will look up to you and seek your advice on which dive locations to visit and which dive equipment to purchase. You will see your students grow and improve. And who knows, you may even have the pleasure of witnessing one of your students ask his girlfriend to marry him while on the last open water dive of their course… Whatever happens, one thing’s for sure – you will impact lives!
PADI Divemaster Program Requirements
The PADI Divemaster program is open to anyone 18 years old and up. Prior to starting, you need to be a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, PADI Rescue Diver and have completed Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care within the past 24 months. Candidates are required to have at least 40 logged dives prior to beginning the program and must be fit for diving.
Another Interesting Read
Be sure to read Andy Phillips’ article about Going Pro, entitled “What’s it all about?” His article details the divemaster program and has some very insightful first-hand accounts of working in the diving industry.
About the Author
Robert Scales wrote this article for Bali Crystal Divers and Scuba Diver Life. Robert is a PADI Master Instructor, DSAT Tec Deep and Sidemount Instructor and an Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer. He has been a professional diver since 1997 and currently lives in Bali, Indonesia.
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For more information about PADI Divemaster programs and other PADI GoPRO internships, you can visit http://www.GoPROBali.com or contact “info at Crystal-Divers.com”