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the truth about DM's

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

  1. sheeper

    sheeper Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States
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    being a DM looks good on a resume (to non-dive people), is a great line at parties (me..i'm a Divemaster!) but is a not really a career move. I agree with the posts that DMs do not generally make money as DMs. For me, DM is something to do "playing" guide as part of my scuba hobby. I'm on the path now to instructor to maybe do a little more.
     
  2. Bubble Junky

    Bubble Junky Course Director

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: In paradise...
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    The Hebrew comment kind of makes my point. English is valuable everywhere. But also a native English speaker can communicate with a much wider audience better than somebody who has English as a second language. I never said other languages were not important, just that being a native English speaker has huge benefits too.
     
  3. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    15,396
    8,158
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    True, but English speakers are quite plentiful in most areas. It doesn't give most people a competitive advantage.

    I knew a guy that walked of IDC (Swiss) that had a bare 100 dives, but he did have 6 languages. He was whisked away from Thailand to a 'prestige' job in the Maldives within a month. I don't know of many people who had that result, even with substantially more experience or qualifications - but they didn't have the languages. Languages were valued much more highly than qualification or experience.

    An ability to network is key though. That's how most people who find jobs in Asia get them. When I was working in Borneo, the dive center put out an advert for an instructor. There were many 000's of applications. I got a job at the same center earlier - through a mutual friend's recommendation.
     
    asha likes this.
  4. supergaijin

    supergaijin Dive Shop

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    The places where I have worked, English was the language of business- it was a given to speak at least English but it was rare to work with someone (legally) who spoke only English. If your main customer base is North America, then English only shouldn't be an issue. In more... international destinations, speaking just English can mean limited free-lance work, and/or working for a very large dive op where all languages are covered by the other instructors.

    I can think of one guy in NZ, a few in the Phils, maybe a couple in Thailand... and that's it for English only instructors.

    NZ, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Egypt, Djibouti, Maldives.
     
  5. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    13,460
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    Got friendly with a DM in Curacao a few years ago, who said the only reason he was able to land a job there as a "non-instructor pro" was that he spoke English, Spanish, Dutch, and German. And was a boat captain.
     
    asha likes this.
  6. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    15,396
    8,158
    113
    I think the boat captain issue is predominantly an issue only in the US, Caribbean etc.. It's not an issue at all in most parts of Asia. For a start, locals (often ex-fishermen) run the boats... in Thailand, it's the norm for locals to own the boats (and live on them with their families). And then, in many places, especially across the developing world, the concept of a formal boat captain's license is just a bureaucrat's pipe dream anyway..
     
  7. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    13,460
    6,035
    113
    Probably, but point is that "being a DM" ain't enough in most places. And sometimes even speaking 4 languages ain't enough. And being licensed to operate a 55' boat might not be an advantage in some locales, where simply being able to run the boat doesn't require the license. Just as speaking 8 languages won't do you much good if you're looking to be a DM in Somerset County NJ.
     
    DevonDiver likes this.
  8. tenacious

    tenacious Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: 7 miles from the gulf stream
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    just an update:
    I am a divemaster now! Divemastering alone isn't a wise financial move in itself. I have found that doing divemaster duties pays more in favors than actual money. One hand washes the other though, I haven't paid for nitrox fills, rescue class, divemaster class, or boat trips in quite a while:). That's not to say that there isn't money to be made. My shop requires you to be a DM in order to work their boats, and that can be decent money on the right days. there is money to be made in the scuba industry, maybe not a livable wage from just being a DM, but like everything else in life if you really want to you can find a way.
    Cheers!
     
  9. CosFragger

    CosFragger Divemaster

    # of Dives:
    Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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    When i was working for a top dive operator in the Philippines, I was being being payed P650 ($14) per day which was good for 0 to 2 dives per day. Extra pay for dives on top of the 2 dives as well as dsd plus a commission on the service charge plus tips. This is working as a freelance DM. I usually will be working for about 2 months straight at the resort before a replacement is flown in to prevent being burnt out. Depending on the season or how many divers will be booked, the assigment may be extended a few weeks. Time between assignments may range for a week up to 2 months. If there is a resort guest that requests me then i get flown in for the duration of the guests stay. During peak season pay is about $900 per month and dive up to 6 times a day. This was from 1994 up to 1998.
     
  10. String

    String Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Grand Cayman
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    DM varies massively around the world.
    I've been teaching abroad (red sea and asia) for the best part of 8 years and can safely say i have never had a DM to "help" with a course. It simply isn't done. It's not cost effective. You're better off using another instructor, splitting the course as that person can actually teach and assess.

    Red sea area most companies will never employ a DM - they'll employ instructors as then all their staff can do all the tasks. Asia the DMs are pretty much always the locals who guide the dives leaving the instructors to teach.

    Nearly all the DMs i meet or teach just do it as a stepping stone to instructor.
     
    DevonDiver and Bubble Junky like this.

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