Turn Your Passion Into a Profession: Become a Divemaster in Raja Ampat


Our divemaster Rocky finishes a safety stop. Photo by John Haskew.

Scuba diving is one of your major passions and you want to take your training to the next level. You dream of being a dive professional—and getting paid to dive would just be a bonus.


If you can relate to the above statements then you definitely should become a divemaster! Whether or not you plan on working as a divemaster, doing the training will make you a fully competent diver. Not only will you become the best diver you can be, but you’ll fully understand the science of diving and learn how to respond correctly to every situation that could arise while diving.



What is a Divemaster?


A divemaster, sometimes called “DM,” is a dive professional who can guide certified divers on fun dives and assist instructors during dive courses. If you train to become a divemaster with the SSI dive school you must first complete the Open Water, Advanced Adventurer, Stress and Rescue and React Right specialties. Then you complete the Dive Guide and Science of Diving specialties in order to achieve divemaster status. The path to become a divemaster with PADI is essentially the same. First you complete the following levels: Open Water, Advanced, Stress and Rescue and Emergency First Response. Then you start your divemaster course.



SSI Divemaster vs PADI Divemaster


SSI and PADI certifications are interchangeable. For example, you could be an SSI Open Water Diver, then become a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver—and so on—until the instructor level. They are very compatible schools, and the standards and training materials are nearly the same.


There is one difference to keep in mind. If you want to do the instructor development course you should first do so with PADI. This is because if you’re a PADI Instructor, SSI allows you to take an affordable and efficient “crossover” course to become an SSI instructor. However, if you’re an SSI Instructor who would like to become a PADI Instructor, you must pay for and take the entire PADI Instructor Development Course. There are SSI and PADI dive schools all over the world, and if you want to work for a dive center, being both an SSI and PADi Instructor is a good idea.


We can offer both PADI and SSI certifications, as our instructors are both PADI and SSI Instructors. However, we choose to certify SSI unless divers insist on PADI, in which case we must charge extra as PADI is much more expensive for us to work with.



Advantages of Being a Divemaster


During your divemaster training you become the diver you’re meant to be. SSI and PADI standards require you to have at least 60 logged dives in order to become a certified divemaster. Many dive centers and instructors require that you dive more than that, which helps you in gaining the most experience possible. The divemaster course is much more practical than the instructor course because you’re diving everyday and rapidly improving your diving skills. While doing the instructor course, students spend most of their time in the classroom or demonstrating skills in the pool.


On top of gaining a lot of experience, after your divemaster course, you can get paid to guide divers. This is a pretty great concept for people who love diving. Most Western dive professionals who work in Southeast Asia are instructors because you earn more money working as an instructor than as divemaster. Often divemaster positions are reserved for local divers, which is a great opportunity for local people. It’s definitely still possible to find work as a divemaster around the world, but you may have to look around for opportunities.


Once you start working as a divemaster you’ll become confident organizing dive trips and leading divers underwater. We highly recommend working as a divemaster first before becoming an instructor. Guiding fun dives can be more fun and relaxed than teaching students. Also, this will give you time to improve as a diver and gain skills managing divers underwater, ultimately making you a better instructor.



One of the healthy and pristine reefs of Raja Ampat. Photo by John Haskew.

Raja Ampat is the Ideal Location for a Divemaster Course


Anyone seeking a well-rounded and truly amazing divemaster training experience should come to Raja Ampat, Indonesia and do the course with us. First of all, if you’re a diver, you’ll have to come to Raja Ampat eventually because this place offers some of the best diving worldwide. It has the most biodiverse coral reef and more than 80% of all marine life on the planet. From macro life to the big stuff, this place has it all. The sheer abundance of reef fish, sharks, turtles, manta rays and more is shocking.


We are located on Kri Island, which is the most popular place for divers to stay in Raja Ampat thanks to being within 10 minutes from nearly 30 amazing dive sites. The diversity between each dive site in Raja Ampat is incredible. From walls, to underwater pinnacles and plane wrecks—you can dive an impressive variety of sites to challenge yourself and discover what kind of dive sites you love most.


The current can be really strong in Raja Ampat, which is a great challenge for divemasters in training. Also, there are calm dive sites well adapted for beginners, allowing us to conduct discovery dives and other courses that our divemaster trainees can assist us with and see firsthand what it’s like to be an instructor.



Specific Information on our Divemaster Course


We can offer the course in English, French, German, Spanish, or Indonesian. We are an SSI registered dive center, which offers the same training as PADI, but we prefer SSI standards and training materials. We take a maximum of two divemaster trainees at once.


The divemaster course that we offer is 17.000.000 IDR for four weeks and an unlimited number of dives. Our divemaster trainees will be diving daily—apart from Sundays—as the local villagers have asked us not to dive on Sundays. This includes equipment, course fees and everything else pertaining to the course. However, it doesn’t include room and board. We would be happy to book a room at Yenbuba Homestay, which we partner with, or help find a homestay to stay at close to us on Kri Island.


We would be honored to host you and turn you into a divemaster! Contact us if you have any questions or are ready to launch your dream divemaster plan.

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