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Is the minimum enough before doing DM training?

Discussion in 'Going Pro' started by TheHuth, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. northernone

    northernone Great White Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Currently: Cozumel, from Canada
    Experience: I began DM at dive 20, became a 'pro' at dive 61 in the Caribbean.

    I viewed my dm training as buying 40 dives and access to shop life for a while. Also a great excuse to learn in a focused way and a little structure in my studying.

    Back home no one knew I was a 'pro' when I returned and I was fortunate enough to get real training by actually diving in varying conditions.

    My advice would be find a way to be in the water gaining ability as best suited to your learning style. If that's a dm course so be it.

    Welcome to the community,
  2. TheHuth

    TheHuth Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Long Beach, CA
    If I did do the DM course early on, the only use I would put it to is assisting instructors in their OW classes. It would not be to guide people on my own. Even then, I would likely be doing the course to gain my own knowledge, and let things progress naturally. In other words, I could get the cert, then sit on it until I felt ready to use it.
  3. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    Yes, good advice. That's why I never did charters--well, that and the distance from home. To guide divers you should know the details of the site--well that's what I think anyway--plus no real pay for that. But the difference is --if you know the site and give good advice--guiding certified divers is different from assisting with student divers. And, of course the responsibility re insurance probably varies a lot.

    But I've got a bee up my but. One reason I didn't DM charters was that DMs got paid like $5 per diver, etc. But we got paid $300 for assisting an OW course. DON'T WORK for free/tips because you love it......
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
    Brandon and Jim Lapenta like this.
  4. TheHuth

    TheHuth Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Long Beach, CA
    Well again, the incentive is not financial for me. I just want to be more active in the dive community. That's why I'm not trying to fast track a career out of this. I'm mostly looking to gain knowledge and experience. Even if I did it, it would take a long time. I only have time to dive every couple of weeks. So it would be a long drawn out process for me.
  5. yle

    yle Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern California
    The best way to get and stay active in the dive community is to just dive. Join clubs, meet people, go diving with them. If you're looking for more opportunities, that's how you'll find them.

    The majority of active divers I know are NOT divemasters or instructors; they're just active divers. There are several well organized dive clubs in the Los Angeles area and there is a very big, very well organized one based out of San Diego. Very easy to find these clubs by just googling.
    Brandon likes this.
  6. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    I am going to join those who advise against going into DM now and not until you truly decided you want to be a DM and possibly an instructor. You can gain experience by diving, and you can gain new skills by taking any number of classes. Which classes? If you lived near me, I would suggest we get together and chat. I would probe into your interests and make suggestions. Eventually a good plan would emerge.

    A few years ago, I had such a conversation with someone exactly in your shoes. We talked through options and ended up doing a number of specialties that truly extended his skills and introduced him to different kinds of diving he did not know existed. Last year we got together to take a trip to Mexico together, not as an instructor and student but just as two divers. He had gotten cave certified, and we had a nice week of cave diving together. Back when he was doing his rescue diver class, he had never dreamed he would end up as a cave diver, but that is now pretty much all he wants to do.

    I bet that if you ask around in local shops, you will find someone who will do the same for you.
  7. 2REP Divers Bali

    2REP Divers Bali Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
    I'd have to agree with most people here and tell you that you're probably better off not doing the DM course, at least for now. If I were you, I would put that money and effort towards getting more specialties under your belt, such as Sidemount, Wreck, Cave and others that will actually come in handy for you and open up a whole new area of diving, which in turn will mean more options to dive. The DM course is quite a bit of effort and if you're not going to work as a DM after, it really doesn't make sense.
    As to your question about the experience, it all depends on the student. I've had DMT's with 40 dives who have been absolute fish, and I've had DMT's with 300 dives who have failed the course. It really is about attitude and willingness to learn. For the most part though, I find 40 dives to be way too few for a person to feel truly confident and able to lead.
  8. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai UAE
    Again like others, after rescue, go out and enjoy diving. Before you start DM IMO you need to be comfortable in the water, obviously trim and buoyancy sorted, but also not being overwhelmed by task loading. You should be able to launch an DSMB, or do a mask clear without an appreciable change in depth. Things like low vis, currents, neg entries, navigation and being able to sort your equipment out under water. These should be things you can take in your stride without breaking into a sweat

    Whether you like it of not, people will look up to you as a DM, you should be able to mentor if not instruct and be a positive example to others. It's not all about dive count, although 40 dives to start and 60 to qualify really isn't a great deal, not to have got all yours to a point where they are natural and that you have gained some real world experience.

    And yes as others have rightly said, go hang out with other divers, and get to see what type of diving grows on you. I used to be adamant that there was no way I'd be an instructor, absolutely no interest. Except I've just registered for a course next year.

    People are more likely to respect someone in the water who looks comfortable and seemingly has everything squared away, and then come to you for advice and mentor ship than they would solely because a piece of plastic has a qualification upon it. Helping others improve is possible the best way to give back. But never forget to enjoy yourself in diving too
    NorCalDM likes this.
  9. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    I'll quote your same post again. Question is---do you want to be a "leader", an assistant (who also is a leader)? If not, forget DM and do other stuff. I started out in college as a clarinet major (and finished that), but added education, and had a rewarding career teaching Band. Thus, I became a DM later in life to get a toe back into teaching. It's a teaching thing, not a community dive thing.
    USdiver1 likes this.
  10. USdiver1

    USdiver1 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Southwest Ohio
    My thoughts exactly. It was 32 years, and more than 1,800 dives between my initial certification and taking the DM course, my motivation was to help teach others how to dive, and not to get a secret handshake and seating privileges at the cool kids table. I would recommend that you get more experience diving (lots more). Find your specialty (cold water, cave, wreck, photography, spear fishing, scientific, etc.) and practice it for as long as you like. When you are ready to teach dive skills and impart your experience to others, then take the DM course. The fact that it took me 32 years just means that I'm a slow learner.

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