Most people love scuba diving, but for some it goes deeper than that... For them scuba diving transcends being a hobby - it is a passion, a calling, and an almost obsessive desire to be the best scuba diver they can possibly be.

There’s a name for divers like that - Divemaster.

The PADI Divemaster is the epitome of diving prowess. They are masters of their personal skills, and also expert Rescue Divers both capable and eager to lend a hand to their fellow divers. But it’s more than that - Divemasters are also driven to lead the way for other divers - assisting instructors during scuba training, leading certified divers on dive excursions, or sharing their passion for diving through the Discover Scuba program.

In the Divemaster course you will revisit all of the skills you’ve already honed and take them beyond mastery to what is known as “demonstration quality.” This term means that not only can you perform a skill with expert mastery, but through training you will learn to demonstrate the skills slowly and with emphasis on key points.

This approach enhances learning for new divers because these demonstrations reinforce what they are being taught by their instructor. In fact, when a student is really struggling the instructor can rely on a Divemaster’s demonstration and 1-on-1 coaching to give students focused guidance that usually allows them to quickly overcome most learning obstacles.

Divemaster Prerequisites

In order to qualify for the Divemaster course you must:

  1. Be at least 18 years old
  2. Be a PADI Rescue Diver (or equivalent)
  3. Be current (within 24 months) in First Aid and CPR
  4. Have a minimum of 40 logged dives at the beginning of the course
  5. Have a minimum of 60 logged dives prior to certification
  6. Have a signed medical evaluation clearing you for diving within the past 12 months

Divemaster Course Details

The Divemaster Course is one of the most comprehensive PADI courses offered at any level, intent on bringing your personal and rescue dive skills to the level of mastery while also teaching you expert-level knowledge on diving physics, physiology, and equipment.

The length of time required varies based on your schedule, but even the most aggressive schedule would still require 3 weekends of training after you have already done a significant amount of independent study. It’s intended to be a challenging course, but it is also a rewarding course guaranteed to take your diving to new levels.

The Divemaster Course consists of 3 phases:

  1. Knowledge Development
  2. Waterskills & Stamina
  3. Practical Application

These phases are detailed in the sections below.

Professor Monkey Pondering her Vast Divemaster Knowledge

1. Knowledge Development

The knowledge development phase of the Divemaster course is a significant undertaking.

During this phase you will read both the Divemaster manual and the Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving. You will also use the Diving Knowledge Workbook to reinforce the material in the Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving. Finally, in 2010 PADI introduced a new requirement for every Divemaster to also purchase the PADI Instructor Manual as a reference during their training.

The Divemaster Manual explains the role and characteristics of the Divemaster, provides guidance on supervising divers and assisting instructors during training, and introduces the theoretical models behind both the Recreational Dive Planner (RDP) tables and dive computers. The manual also gives you guidance on risk management, the business of diving, and managing your professional diving career.

Like previous courses, each chapter in the manual includes a knowledge review section to demonstrate your understanding of the material. Those knowledge reviews will be used to direct classroom refresher sessions conducted periodically during the course.

Independent study of the Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving provides an overview of the world of diving and the Earth’s ecology, dive equipment, and the physics and physiology of diving.

The Diving Knowledge Workbook serves as a self-study exam intended to allow you to assess your knowledge retention prior to taking the Divemaster Final Exam.

In addition, you will prepare an Emergency Assistance Plan just as you did during your Rescue Diver course. Your instructor will provide guidance on how to prepare the plan as well as the details of the training location prior to your open water sessions.

The last portion of the knowledge development phase is the Divemaster Final Exam, which is a comprehensive exam covering all aspects of the independent study.

Although there are a few options available, for most students AquaMunkee Scuba will cover the knowledge development phase using the following approach:

1. Read Divemaster Manual
2. Complete All Knowledge Reviews
3. Classroom Session to Discuss Knowledge Reviews
4. Read Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving
5. Complete Diving Knowledge Workbook Exercises
6. Complete Emergency Assistance Plan
7. Classroom Session to Discuss Workbook Exercises
8. Divemaster Final Exam

On average, Divemaster Candidates should expect to spend roughly a month of gradual study to complete the entire home study portion of the Knowledge Development phase. Your instructor will specify which sections should be completed prior to training sessions.

Swimming Laps

2. Waterskills & Hands On Sessions

While the knowledge development phase focuses on developing your technical knowledge, this phase is focused on refining the physical aspects of becoming a Divemaster, and it is comprised of the following areas:

1. Waterskills Exercises
- 400 Yard Swim (12 minutes or less)
- 15 Minute Tread
- 800 Yard Mask /Snorkel / Fins Swim (19 minutes or less)
- 100 Yard Diver Tow (5 minutes or less)
- Equipment Exchange

2. Rescue Skills Refresher & Assessment

Mask Removal Demonstration

3. Diver Skills Workshop(Demonstration Quality)
- 1. Equipment Handling
- 2. Predive Safety Check
- 3. Deep Water Entry
- 4. Buoyancy Check
- 5. Snorkel / Regulator Exchange
- 6. Five-Point Descent
- 7. Regulator Recovery & Clearing
- 8. Mask Removal, Replacement & Clearing
- 9. Air Depletion & Alternate Air Use
-10. Alternate Air Source-Assisted Ascent
-11. Free-Flowing Regulator Breathing
-12. Neutral Buoyancy
-13. Five-Point Ascent
-14. Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent (CESA)
-15. Hover (30 seconds)
-16. Underwater No-Mask Swim
-17. Remove & Replace Weight System Underwater
-18. Remove & Replace Scuba Underwater
-19. Remove & Replace Scuba on Surface
-20. Remove & Replace Weight System on Surface
-21. Skin Diving - Vertical, Head First Dive
-22. Skin Diving - Swim 50 Feet Underwater
-23. Skin Diving - Blast Clear Snorkel after Ascent
-24. Skin Diving - Displacement Method Snorkel Clear

3. Practical Application

The PADI Divemaster Course combines required training exercises and Divemaster-conducted workshops with either internship (assisting during actual courses) or practical training exercises (simulated training using other Divemaster Candidates to role-play as students).

Divemaster Internship

1. Required Training Exercises
- Dive Site Set Up and Management
- Mapping Project
- Dive Briefing
- Search and Recovery Scenario
- Deep Dive Scenario

2. Divemaster-Conducted Programs Workshop
- Scuba Review in Confined Water
- Skin Diver Course and Snorkeling Supervision
- Discover Scuba Diving in Confined Water
- Discover Scuba Diving - Open Water Dive
- Discover Local Diving in Open Water

3.Practical Application
- 1. Open Water Course - Pool Session
- 2. Open Water Course - Lake Session
- 3. Continuing Education Divers in Open Water
- 4. Certified Divers in Open Water

Note that throughout the practical application phase each Divemaster Candidate will be evaluated on their professionalism and leadership. These evaluations will be reviewed with the candidate to provide positive reinforcement and to identify opportunities to improve performance.

Example Timeline - 3 Weekend Model

Weekend One

Day 1 - Saturday Pool Session
- Waterskills Exercises
- 24 Diver Skills Workshop

Day 2 - Sunday Pool Session
- Workshop - Discover Scuba Diving
- Workshop - Scuba Review
- Workshop - Skin Diver and Snorkeling
- 24 Diver Skills Assessment

Weekend Two

Day 3 - Saturday Open Water Session
- Rescue Skills Review & Assessment
- Practical Skills - Mapping Project (Introduction)

Day 4 - Sunday Open Water Session
- Workshop - Discover Scuba Diving (Open Water)
- Workshop - Discover Local Diving
- Practical Skills - Dive Site Set Up and Management
- Practical Skills - Dive Briefing

Weekend Three

Day 5 - Saturday Pool Session
- Practical Assessment - Open Water Class, Part 1 (pool)
- 24 Diver Skills Assessment (2nd session)

Day 6 - Sunday Open Water Session
- Practical Skills - Search & Recovery Scenario
- Practical Skills - Deep Dive Scenario

Practical Experience / Internship

- Practical Assessment - Open Water Class, Part 2
- Practical Assessment - Adventure Dive
- Practical Assessment - Discover Local Diving

Weeknight Classroom Session(s)

- Classroom Knowledge Review
- Emergency Assistance Plan Assessment
- Mapping Project Assessment
- Classroom Final Exam

The Paperwork

Once you have completed all three phases of your training and taken the exam, the only things left to do are to fill out your PADI Divemaster application, take your photo, and submit your application to the PADI office. When you receive your certification card you will also receive a formal certificate and welcome letter from PADI acknowledging your status as a part of the PADI professional diving team.

Monkey Money

Course Price Includes Everything You Need
(No Hidden Costs)

  1. Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving
  2. PADI Instructor Manual
  3. Divemaster Manual
  4. Divemaster Slates
  5. Pool Fees
  6. Air Fills
  7. PADI Application Fee ($110.00)

Required Forms for Training

  1. Standard Safe Diving Practices Statement of Understanding
  2. Liability Release and Assumption of Risk Agreement
  3. Medical Statement and Divers Medical Questionnaire - unlike previous PADI courses, for the Divemaster course every candidate must have a medical statement signed by their doctor clearing them for diving, even if no risks are identified by the questionnaire.

AquaMunkee Scuba is a PADI training facility, focused on the PADI approach to diver education and also offering training through the related organizations DSAT/Tec Rec and Emergency First Response.