If scuba diving is a lifelong passion of yours and you want to make it your profession, becoming a divemaster is a logical progression. You’ll get to do the thing you love the most and introduce new people to scuba diving. There are multiple options if you want to become a divemaster, however. One is to join a divemaster internship programme. If you have heard of these programmes and don’t really understand what they entail, let’s take a closer look at what they are, their benefits, and a few tips for finding a good one.
Why you should go for a divemaster internship
First of all, if you love diving and want to be able to log hours of diving time easily and on the cheap, there is no better option than to go for an internship. The average divemaster course will require that you have at least 60 logged dives, and you could end up getting much more through your programme. Not to mention that you get to choose the locale where you’ll be taking the course. So, you may have the chance to dive in some of the most beautiful waters in the world while building your experience.
The goal of the internship is to make you an experienced diver, and you’ll get to experience all sorts of scenarios as an intern. Some of these might be staged, but some will be real as well. You will be able to learn beyond theory and learn how to react in real-world scenarios. You will learn how to deal with these situations without panicking and learn how to be aware of not only yourself, but the people you are guiding as well.
You shouldn’t expect things to be any easier than a regular programme, however. You will still need to push yourself mentally and physically. There are plenty of tasks that you’ll have to complete before getting your divemaster certification, such as a 400m and 800m swim and a 100m tow. Not only that, but there’s also a theory component where you’ll be tested on things such as physiology, for instance.
There are also some additional perks to being an intern divemaster. One of them is that you’ll be able to improve your overall fitness level. As well as this, divemaster is a certification that is recognised worldwide, which means that you could go virtually anywhere on the planet and make a living.
Another big benefit of going for a divemaster internship is that you’ll develop knowledge of the service and business aspects of it. You will have to learn a bit about customer service, for instance. Speaking of which, you’ll have the chance to guide and work with people from different backgrounds and cultures. You will not only understand the subtleties of different cultures but how to work as part of a diverse team. Speaking to and guiding clients in a professional way will become natural to you. If you are a shy or quiet person, an internship will help you get out of your shell more.
How to pick an internship
The first thing you have to consider when choosing a divemaster internship programme is the location. Some people may want to stay close to home. In this case, you could contact centres in your area and see if they offer internship programmes.
Maybe you have always dreamed of living somewhere or remember a destination you loved. In this case, nothing is stopping you from picking an internship in an exotic destination where you love the waters. Or may you may be into a specific type of diving. Maybe you’re a fish fan or a wreck hound. Choose a destination that will fit your preferences.
You also have to look at your future plans. Is your goal to make a living as a divemaster? In this case, you have to look at destinations where there’s high demand and look at how much divemasters are being paid there. Don’t stop there, however. Look at things like the cost and quality of living as well.
Also, we strongly suggest that you enquire further and see if there might be any hidden requirements. Some may have to do with the local culture; for instance, some centres will forbid interns and workers from having visible tattoos. This might sound silly to you, but it could be an unavoidable obstacle that jeopardises your plans, so it’s something you have to know.
Look for references
Another thing you should do is ask for references from other interns who have been through the programme. They will be the best placed to tell you how good the programme is. Start by asking your chosen programme providers if they would be willing to put you in touch with other previous interns. If they are reluctant to do so, this is an automatic red flag. Good dive centres will be proud of their programmes and will have strong track records to show for themselves. They won’t hesitate to give you references as they know it will eventually benefit them. If they have former interns on staff, that’s even better. It shows that they trust in their programme and that the people they worked with were satisfied enough to work with them.
So, if you are thinking of joining a divemaster internship programme, these are some of the things you’ll need to know. Make sure that you are up for the challenge and get as many second opinions as you can before you make the leap.