This is probably one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to the higher levels of the PADI qualifications tree and the simplest answer is the PADI Divemaster is a professional qualification and is a sperate course on its own whereas the PADI Master scuba diver is a rating which you can apply for once you have enough experience and qualifications but is not an actual course.
But let’s go into a little more detail about the differences and to do that the first thing we should do is look at the individual courses themselves.
The PADI master scuba diver rating.
The PADI master scuba diver rating is the highest non-professional level you can reach in PADI recreational scuba diving and means you have completed at least 50 dives, you are a PADI rescue diver and a first aider and you have completed five different PADI specialties, which means you have loads of experience although I have heard some people saying that 50 dives aren’t that many, the fact is to have completed all of those courses you more than likely have done way more than 50 dives and it is just used as a base figure, no one who has ever come to me for the master scuba diver rating is ever anywhere near the 50 dive mark is normally well over a 100 dives by the time they have completed the rescue diver course and five specialty courses.
The PADI Divemaster course
The PADI Divemaster course is the first step on the professional ladder for those who wish to take their scuba diving to the next step and start introducing new people to the wonders of scuba diving. The course itself can be done in two ways, either the fast route where you will be fast-tracked through the course, ticking all the boxes needed to pass so that you can get it done properly and have the “black card” to show off to your friends but with this you won’t actually get to do any real divemaster stuff and will probably never work as a divemaster anywhere other than with the dive company through which you learned. The second way is a much longer process taking anywhere between 6 to 12 months where you will be taught all the skills and information you need to pass the course but also you will be mentored by your instructor through a number of dive courses with real students so you can learn the in and outs of being a divemaster, how to deal with students and how to overcome all sorts of problems, from something as simple as a blown O-ring to how to build up and bring confidence to student who is a little worried about their first open water dive.
The PADI divemaster is basically the Instructors righthand-man on a dive course and as such you will normally end up team teaching with an instructor so that you can both work better together as a team to make sure the students feel comfortable and enjoy themselves through a course and let me tell you there is nothing better then taking a worried non-diver with fear in their eyes through their first pool dive all the way to completing their PADI open water course with huge smiles and thanking you for taking through their journey into the underwater world and opening up the rest of the planet to them, just gives me goosebumps just writing that.
The PADI Divemaster course is also the first step to becoming a PADI instructor and if you are thinking of using your scuba diving to travel I would Strongly suggest becoming an instructor and possible even a Master Scuba Diver Trainer before you go as that will massively increase your employment prospects while traveling. The reason I mention this now is that it ties in nicely with this blog in that PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainers (also known as MSDT’s) are able to teach the courses needed for someone to become a PADI Master Scuba Diver which is where we started this Blog.
So, what is the Difference?
So, what is the difference between a PADI Divemaster and a PADI Master Scuba Diver? Well, its as simple as the PADI Divemaster is a Professional diver with more knowledge of dive theory and excellent skill base and the PADI master scuba diver is a very experienced non-professional scuba diver who just wants to enjoy their scuba diving without taking things too seriously and without the responsibility of looking after new students.
I hope this has been of help to you and that you underwater it better but if you would like more advice about where to take your scuba diving career, be the professional or non-professional route, please feel free to contact us here at underwater adventures for free and impartial advice and you can find our contact details by clicking here.