Becoming a SCUBA PRO
Day-dreaming of fish in a mundane office routine and need to break away? Already a certified diver and want to take your diving to the next level?
Take the plunge & GoPro!
The path to becoming a professional SCUBA diver is studded with friends (both on land & under the ocean’s surface), wisdom and a growing connection with nature.
SCUBA begins in the safety of a pool
As beginners, we all start off with the same first step, the PADI Open Water Diver course. Eager with anticipation, we sink into a world alien to most of us. Luckily, PADI courses are easy to pick up as they layer information and practice in order to make learning effective and fun. Over 04 days, students are taken through three modules which impart Knowledge, build skills in the shallows and finally dive in open water as deep as 18 meters or 60 feet! This begins the journey as an explorer of places unknown to the land-bound masses, places reached only with SCUBA (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus).
Now with an internationally valid license to SCUBA dive for life, it is time to explore paradisiacal destinations and immerse ourselves into thriving marine ecosystems that make up the oceans and the seven seas. As we desire to delve deeper into the blue, PADI Advanced training programs become the next step in the ladder to being a dive professional.
PADI course flow chart
With greater depth, comes greater responsibilities and so, the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course builds comfort, confidence and introduces us to diving in new environments. This course takes us deeper to 30 meters or 100 feet & teaches us navigational techniques among a myriad of other adventure diving options. Some choose to search for treasures in sunken wrecks while some choose to drift along with the currents and watch the ocean pass by as if in a film. It’s up to you to pick and choose between the options. Earning your Advanced PADI certification opens up the proverbial door to some mind-boggling experiences like wreck, night and cave diving among others. Many choose to now follow their interests “in-depth” by signing up for PADI Speciality courses.
Rescue skills in practice
A few move on the next rung in the ladder, being trained as an Emergency First Responder and a Rescue Diver. Willing and wanting to be more able and ready for life in the sea, divers groom their abilities and ready themselves for emergency situations. Besides learning methods of rescue and resuscitation, divers are trained to be able to assess and anticipate situations prior to them becoming an emergency. Serious as the syllabus is, the PADI Rescue Diver course is perhaps one of the most fun courses I’ve ever taken. Compared to shining a diamond in the rough, this course ups the ante on what it means to be a responsible and aware diver and adds comfort & readiness to respond to any situation.
Is “Going Pro” the right choice for me? Here lies the crossroads. One path takes you to the pinnacle of a non-professional recreational diver by earning your Master SCUBA Diver license. The other begins your professional SCUBA life as a PADI DiveMaster.
Become a SCUBAPro
To summit as a non-professional recreational diver, the PADI Master SCUBA diver license requires getting to PADI Rescue Diver and completing at least 5 different types of PADI Specialities with at least 50 dives logged. Armed with knowledge, experience and an unquenched thirst for exploration, PADI Master SCUBA divers earn their right to dive & explore even some of the toughest destinations where conditions are tough but the rewards multiply.
If you are as mesmerized by the Seas as I was, “Going Pro” is the only option. The PADI Divemaster course initiates you into life as an Ambassador of the Ocean. Though the course is meticulous and takes a minimum of 3 weeks, each task completed leaves you brimming with joy, awe and sometimes even fatigue! Taken under the wing of PADI Instructors, aspiring students are guided through what it means to be a Professional, both physically and mentally. With the added responsibility of other divers’ lives in their hands, new initiates are carefully observed, corrected and even chastised to ensure they are up to PADIs international standards of safety & education. For those who make it, their PADI Professional license is like a new lease on a life full of Sun, Sand & the Sea!
Being a PADI DiveMaster also allows one to be an Assistant Instructor; someone who can literally run an entire dive centre, assist the Instructor in training courses, take certified divers out for planned fun dives, maintain gear, train and supervise juniors in the Team. The last step in becoming a full-fledged Dive Pro is to eventually certify as a PADI Open Water SCUBA Instructor (OWSI). This is a hard-earned rating after substantial experience in being an Assistant Instructor and passing a month-long Instructor Development Course (IDC). Instructors take their love for SCUBA and pass it on safely to others who can discover the beauty of what lies under the surface of our Blue Planet.
Take the Go Pro Challenge! Live fast, Dive young!
Author: Shaun Patel, PADI OWSI.
After starting his diving back in 2011, Shaun went professional in 2013. He’s logged in over 1100 dives since then.