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the truth about DM's

Discussion in 'Going Pro' started by tenacious, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,879
    8,583
    113
    And isn't that due in part to DM's who will work for free and accept that as being ok? In so doing they devalue the rating and make it impossible to effect change in the status quo. It is also what allows substandard divers with minimal skill to become DM's. It is nothing more than another class for the shop to sell. If they had to be paid shops would be more selective about who they allow to become professionals. DM's would be chosen based on skill and knowledge. The quality of DM's would go up as would that of the instructors they would become. They could actually be called true professionals. Not just someone who was sold another class.

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  2. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    12,121
    2,613
    113
    Well, I couldn't agree more Jim, as I've said in the past. That's just the way it is I guess. 10 years ago I was told our shop paid DMs $100 per OW class and a lot quit--that would just come to gas money and a meal. So I guess our owner felt that continuing to have full (or even two) classes each weekend and paying DMs reasonably well was worth his while. Keeps the repeat customers coming to the shop to spend. As far as quality of DMs being based on money, of course you'd still get good ones and bad ones, but as you say, the shop would be more selective if pay was involved. Not exactly like, but kind of like teachers, cops, even politicians--you get good and bad (well, teachers and cops at least). But imagine who you'd get if the pay was half of what it is? That's not to say there aren't a gazillion DMs who don't get paid and still do a tremendous job-- just a curious bunch. The old arguement is that "I love diving". And "I love music", so I should play for free (despite my 2 Degrees). Now, I can somewhat see the arguement that it is just a stepping stone to Instructor. I could possibly understand someone DMing for free (or perks) if Instructor is his goal and there is good opportunity-- and pay-- for it. It would depend on how long one would then spend DMing for free. Of course the more DM experience you have the better, so another decision to make. And of course, some don't aspire to become instructors.
     
  3. carltona

    carltona ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Key Largo Fl USA
    122
    50
    28
    DM is just a stepping stone not a stopping place. It's a waypoint on your career path. Plan where you really want to be.


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  4. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,879
    8,583
    113
    But it really should not be should it? A stepping stone. Some may be entirely ok with assisting classes and the like. So why not, if it indeed a professional certification, allow them to do that and require that they be paid. Again I only see positives since I believe they should be selected, not solicited. You'd get a higher class of person generally speaking as DM's. Require that they do that for a year before becoming an instructor, then make an instructor by again selection, and the interest of the DM. You now have experienced people becoming instructors and require them to be paid well also. Don't allow this work for free stuff that truly does de-value the cert. The DM/AI/Instructor puppy mills might not like it but oh well. Better instructors, better DM's, better divers. And you could raise the price for certifications to a level where it should be on par with other leisure activities. A good golf instructor can make $75.00 an hour or more, why shouldn't scuba profeasionals make at least that.
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  5. flots am

    flots am Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wherever you go in life, that's where you are.
    3,226
    1,863
    113
    Places that will be permanently employing the people they train tend to be more selective about who they teach, and and do a better job of it.

    flots.
     
  6. oly5050user

    oly5050user Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Westchester NY
    3,938
    739
    113
     
    Bubble Junky likes this.
  7. RiverRat

    RiverRat Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Connecticut
    1,485
    14
    38
    Divemaster - Been there done that. I really enjoyed it for awhile and the knowledge gained (not sure of the latest course) and experience helping new divers was worthwhile. But my local shop eventually closed and people moved on. I made a few $ on the big classes, got some free air and meals here and there. But reality for me in the Northeast is that it would cost me too much in gas and time to run all over the place for free. Same with instruction not much $ to offset the insurance costs etc. I've seen many instructors come and go or just burnout.
     
  8. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    12,121
    2,613
    113
    Exactly. For me it is not a stepping stone.
     
  9. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    8,894
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    I might have missed it but a DM, or anyone else who works on boats, is out of their mind if they don’t document it in an acceptable form for your country. The objective is to leave the option open so you can get your Masters/Captains license later. With that, you can consider time as a DM part of an apprenticeship on your way to a better paying gig.
     
    asha likes this.
  10. RiverRat

    RiverRat Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Connecticut
    1,485
    14
    38
    Until the shops are able to charge more for classes there just won't be enough money to pay anyone what they're worth. Most shops are just trying to get the rent paid. Unless something changes I just don't see it getting any better. Tech training demands a bit more $ but that's even tight given the amount of time that is required to train someone properly.
     

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