Going Pro and taking the next step on the PADI ladder is a dream for many. Now it so happens that the dive industry gives many opportunities to grow, even if you do not have piles of cash. There are many types of internships available. Now this does not mean you get your Divemaster for free, it means you work for reaching that goal. Some people are against it and say it is just cheap labor, but in my opinion interns can become great dive masters. If you’re interested in doing an internship, make sure you do some research, don’t end up at a shop where you just log tanks around and party every night. Take this step serious.
Why am I writing this? I just wanted to make clear how an internship should work, for you to see if you end up in the right place but also for instructors to see what the standards are. I just came across a student who started an internship at another dive center. He decided to change shop and asked to join our team to finish up his course. He started as an open water and advanced diver for a 2 month the internship, he was half way with having only 1 month left. Here at Rich Coast Diving we do a minimum of 3 months, just to make sure we deliver great and knowledgeable divemasters into the dive world. Of course it is personal and I am not saying 2 months is not enough, it all depends on the student and the work load.
Anyway. I asked to see his dive certifications, All he could show me was his Open water card, so we went online, but it seemed his advanced was not processed yet. So I explained he could start with the EFR but he had to contact the other dive center and ask about the advanced. He mentioned he had already done all the knowledge reviews for the EFR and the rescue, so he was ready for the practical part. So far so good ( as long as the advanced is getting processed) We explained how our program works and told him he needed a bit more time than the 4 weeks he had left. Now he told me some disturbing news, he mentioned he was already half way through his divemaster requirements so he would prefer to finish in the giving 4 weeks. What do you mean, with divemaster requirements? He finished his 24 skills, all his swimming and already did some assisting. Now this guy only had 20 logged dives!
There are the standards you need to stick to, you can find it all in your instructor manual as well.
To start the divemaster course, you need 40 logged dives, this means 40 logged dives before you do ANYTHING concerning the dm training. You also need to have finished all previous courses, so here the same rule applies, before you start ANYTHING concerning the dm training, you need to be a certified rescue diver and watch out, you need to be advanced certified as well. If you hold an adventure certification you first need to do some more of the required dives to finish your advanced open water course.
The only thing you can start before, is read your DM book and start the dm knowledge reviews but really that is where it stops. As an intern you will be a certified assistant once the dm application has been processed with the PADI office.
Make sure that once you receive your instructor manual you read the requirements for the divemaster course, the divemaster duties and don’t feel embarrassed if you need to tell your instructor, “No, not allowed”, if they ask you to do something that is not according to PADI standards. Make sure you start your professional career as an example role model. Believe me, it will only help you in the future.
As for instructors teaching the Divemaster course, please use your manuals and if in doubt call the PADI office. Breaking standards can bite you in the bum one day 🙂