by Liberty Stembridge, Lifestyle Columnist
Published in Lifestyle on 15th March, 2019
For many of us, flying away to a tropical island to explore the hidden depths of the ocean is a dream that can only be achieved once in a while, on vacation of some sort.
But what if it was your job, and you could travel the world with it too? For the dedicated marine lover, life as a divemaster gives you the opportunity to travel around the world and under the sea, doing a job you love. But how exactly do you do it, and what does the job entail?
A divemaster is a professional diver that leads other unqualified divers on recreational scuba diving trips, generally in popular tourist / diving spots.
You'll educate the divers on how to dive, how to use their equipment, and then lead them underwater, pointing out potential hazards and showing them around.
Working as a divemaster isn't the easiest job in the world, it requires stamina, responsibility and a lot of time spent underwater, which isn't the most hospitable environment - and all that for a fairly low pay. But for a lot of people, it's what becoming a divemaster gives them that counts.
There are divemaster jobs all over the world, because there are dive sites all over the world, and a lot of divemaster positions are seasonal or temporary, meaning you can stay in a place for a few months or longer, save up some money and move on to the next place.
This gives you access to stay and live in some of the most beautiful areas of the world, from the caribbean, to south east asia to the mediterranean. Hop from one tropical paradise to the other as you save up money for the next adventure.
Many divemasters save their money while working and then take an extended vacation to travel in-between jobs.
One of the most obvious appeals of working as a divemaster is the opportunity to spend time under the water, every day.
There's not many people who get to say that they spend almost as much time underwater as they do on land, learning about the underwater world, exploring coral reefs and coming into contact with animals that a lot of people may have never heard of.
You'll be an active participant in preserving marine ecosystems and educating your students on the incredible biodiversity that lives underneath the surface of the ocean.
So, how exactly does one become a divemaster? Well, the vast majority of divemasters gain their certification through the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (aka PADI).
This organisation offers training courses all over the world, from basic open water diving courses to the more advanced dive master courses and even some more specialist options such as underwater videography and marine preservation.
In order to qualify as a divemaster, you'll need to complete several preliminary courses, namely: open water diving, advanced open water diving, rescue diving and emergency response and CPR training.
You'll also likely need some previous logged experience of diving. Luckily however, there's plenty of dive schools that offer all of these courses in one large "divemaster" package. You can even take the courses as a complete beginner, having never dived before in your life.
Working as a divemaster isn't always easy - if you want to do it, you'll need to genuinely love your craft and spending time under the water. A typical day means early starts, preparing equipment, educating students and then spending hours underwater showing them around and making sure everyone stays safe.
Although the job is physically demanding, there are some perks that make it very desirable, especially for the frequent traveler. For example, many divemaster jobs will provide reduced rate or even free accomodation for their divemasters.
You'll also likely get very fit, very quickly. No matter how many times your friend's tell you that crossfit it the most effective way to get fit - there's nothing like spending hours swimming through the ocean, against currents and around coral reefs for hours every day to seriously build some muscle and stamina.
Not to mention the fact that you may have one of the coolest jobs in the world, and will get to come back home with an array of incredible stories from your time spent underwater.
You may be reading this thinking "this looks great, but how do i go about it?" Well, there's no one answer or route that suits everyone, but there are a few general guidelines.
For one, in order to complete a full divemaster training, assuming you've got no previous dive qualifications - you'll need to book off some time.
A full-time dive-master can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to complete, which may not be feasible for everyone. However, you can take the courses in shorter stints over a longer period of time.
Cost wise - it varys, depending on where you are in the world. One common way to save money on your divemaster course is to do a divemaster internship.
You'll ultimately end up with the same qualification but there's one important difference - you're learning in a real-life situation. A divemaster internship will generally cost less than a divemaster course because you're working while you're learning, assisting dive instructors, helping students and becoming an important part of the dive center.
It's hard work, but you get a much more hands-on approach to learning and will ultimately be a better diver for it.