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the truth about DM's

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

  1. Bubble Junky

    Bubble Junky Course Director

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: In paradise...
    Not disagreeing with this in general, but different countries are different with this - Philippines, Malaysia and Indo = lots of local DMs, Thailand = very few.
  2. desertgal145

    desertgal145 Angel Fish

    I agree. Am in Dive Con training, and it turns out it is a lot more work than I expected. And grunt work, OMG! Lift, haul, ass-kiss, lift haul ass-kiss! But, for me, I am paying for an education. I may not make a cent as a Dive con or a Specialist Trainer, but I will be the best diver I can be, And, it is important to me to be really good at it, I enjoy it more. The other thing I DO like about it, is I get to dive a lot! And, I get to the looks on the newbies faces when it all clicks and they get it too. I LOVE addicting folks to diving. And in the end...I am helping more peeps find their zen and take better care of our oceans, the earth, and themselves (I hope). I think there is a bigger purpose sometimes...I am a cornball I guess. And, I like the little gear discount.
    Para Goon, seattlepaul1975 and Sol like this.
  3. String

    String Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Grand Cayman
    Agree 100% in most countries,

    Certainly in various mediterranean countries, Egypt, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and no doubt most others, languages are the MOST important thing. You can be a vastly experienced and superb instructor but if you only have 1 language you will NOT get a job over a newly qualified and slightly dodgy OWSI who speaks 2 or 3. Simple fact of life - language is more important than diving ability pretty much everywhere.

    Scubaboard is a bit of an oddity as its exceedingly north america centred where things like that might not be as obvious as they are elsewhere in the world though.
    Wingy, agilis and scoobydrew like this.
  4. lsorenson

    lsorenson Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    I think the problem these days is its difficult to find good DM and Instructors... To many shops are pushing DM and Instructor to keep their rating and they end up just going through the motions and because of this, there are to many that are unqualified... I see shops telling guys, "hey, your a great diver and need to become a DM or SI...!!!" and it kills me because I know some of these divers, friends of mine and it totally blows me away that they are even considered...

    I believe I have became a good diver with lots of practice and experiences... (others would say I am a very good diver but I won't) and I keep working on it but the reason I wanted to become a DM was to help people who struggled... That's it... I just wanted to help but to be able to help in the pool, you had to be a DM and even then, there are rules on what you are and are not allowed to do...

    I believe to become a DM, you should be a very good diver... a VERY GOOD diver... and by that standard, all instructors should be very good divers... and in my opinion, not all are and some are even dangerous...!

    Do this only if you truly want to and don't let anyone use you so they can keep their rating...!!!

    Respectfully, lee
    prophet98g and sheeper like this.
  5. SailNaked

    SailNaked Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: between 30° and 10°
    Return on investment. Well for me I am very happy with my ROI. I pay and pay and pay. And I get the experience of diving and contributing to the new divers experience of the ocean. Money not so much but if I wanted money maybe I could have taught golf how hard could that be.... hit the ball square and centered toward the hole. Repeat.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk
  6. asha

    asha Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Diego, CA
    My experiences as a DM differ from most in that I a. Crew a local (Socal) boat exclusively, and b. am paid for it. It is not customary here for divemasters to lead dives here; divers are on their own unless they specifically hire a DM ahead of time. I do guide trips occasionally--maybe once a month. That means I do working dives very rarely.

    I don't assist with classes or work in a shop. My duties include deckhand work, filling tanks, briefing on sites, and generally helping divers get in/out of the water while having a good time.

    I'm even covered under the boat's insurance policy so long as I am working under that umbrella.

    But even though it's paid work, it's not a reliable, livable income. Boats get cancelled, weather happens, tips vary, and I can't even imagine having my ability to pay rent be contingent on the swell forecast.

    It can be gratifying work, though. The days can be long and hard and soggy and cold, but the smiles on divers' faces when you've been in some way instrumental to their dive's success is priceless.

    There are other more tangible benefits: When I'm not working, I dive off the boat for free (sometimes picking up a last-minute guiding customer), and I have access to the compressor, nitrox system, etc. I haven't had to go to a dive shop for a fill in years.

    I have no desire to become an instructor. If I wanted to progress in the diving industry, I might pursue my Captain's license.
  7. rivers

    rivers PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Bristol, UK
    I'm working through my divemaster at the moment (should be finished in a couple of weeks time). The shop I'm doing my DM through pays their DMs when they are working. It isn't much, but enough for a few rounds at the pub on a Friday night, plus site entry and gas fills are covered. You certainly couldn't live off it, especially in London. The DMs are not shop slaves either. They are not the ones who pack the kit for the pool or OW dives, or fill the tanks. That's the shop employee's job. But, the DMs are expected to assist on site. Meaning, they help hand out the kit as well as pack it back up, make sure all paperwork is filled out, help the students, etc. They are there to assist with classes and occasionally lead a discover local diving.
  8. 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.
    If you suck at being a DM, you won't make any money. If you're really good, you won't make any money either.

    Now if you work really hard and make it all the way to Instructor and can manage to stay busy, you can rest easy knowing that you will make money, just not enough to do anything with, except possibly buy some pizza and beer for the DMs that help you, pay your insurance and replace your equipment now and then.

  9. maniago

    maniago PADI Pro

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Mid-Atlantic (MD)
    To be honest, I'd not call you a DM.

    I'd elevate you to deckhand or captains mate, who happens to also be dive certified. In reality, I'm jealous of your status, but that said, I get bored easy and though I've volunteered to set the anchor, tie the lines, wash the boat etc and its a lot of fun, I'd lose interest doing it as a "fulltime gig". You have to be a sea lover/boat lover at heart (think lobstermen etal), and I know I'm not.

    I'm a teacher at heart, but fulltime, yeah that's a drag too. So I like my DM status. I do it just enough to look forward to it when I'm scheduled, but not so much that it becomes a job. And teaching the refresher courses is enough instructing for me. No interest at all in the instructor route. My LDS pays my insurance and I get the typical keyman pricing. That's it - no cash, no tips, none expected. I consider it a hobby and hobbies are by definition fun. When the fun goes out, its a job (see above). And I have other things that fill that void....
  10. asha

    asha Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Diego, CA
    Fair enough, but my boss and my customers do :)

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