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PADI Divemaster

The PADI Divemaster course is your first level of professional training. Working closely with a PADI Instructor, you’ll fine-tune your dive skills, like perfecting the effortless hover, and refine your rescue skills so you anticipate and easily solve common problems. You’ll gain dive knowledge, management and supervision abilities so you become a role model to divers everywhere. 

As a PADI Divemaster, you’ll lead others as you supervise scuba diving activities and assist with diver training. Whether you want to work at a faraway dive destination or close to home at a local dive shop, the adventure of a lifetime awaits you. PADI Divemasters are respected dive professionals who are aligned with the largest and most respected dive organization in the world – PADI.

PADI Rescue Divers who are at least 18 years old may enroll in the PADI Divemaster course. You also need to have:

Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and First Aid) training within the past 24 months. (may be taken or reviewed during DM course)
A medical statement signed by a physician within the last 12 months.
At least 40 logged dives to begin the course and 60 dives to earn certification.

Note that qualifying certifications from other diver training organization may apply – ask your PADI Instructor.

The PADI Divemaster course teaches you to be a leader and take charge of dive activities. Through knowledge development sessions, waterskills exercises and workshops, and hands-on practical assessment, you develop the skills to organize and direct a variety of scuba diving activities. Topics and practical workshops include:

The role and characteristics of the PADI Divemaster
Supervising dive activities and assisting with student divers
Diver safety and risk management
Divemaster conducted programs and specialized skills
Business of diving and your career
Awareness of the dive environment
Dive setup and management
Mapping an open water site
Conducting dive briefings
Organizing a search and recovery project and a deep dive
Conducting a scuba review and skin diver course
Assisting with Discover Scuba Diving and leading Discover Local Diving programs

Your instructor may also offer the PADI Deep Diver and Search and Recovery Diver specialty diver courses along with your divemaster training to help you meet all requirements and to broaden your abilities.


You may be able to get college credit for the Divemaster course – ask your instructor.

How can you start learning now?

Study by reading the Divemaster Manual and watching the Divemaster Video (a book and DVD package). Visit your local PADI Dive Center or Resort to enroll in the course and get your Divemaster Crew-Pak, which also includes other reference materials – like the PADI Instructor Manual and The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving – that you’ll need during the course.

Consider taking Dive Theory Online, another PADI eLearning® program, that takes you step-by-step through dive physics, physiology, skills, equipment and environment, plus a Recreational Dive Planner (RDP) review. By successfully completing Dive Theory Online, you can get credit for half of the Divemaster Final Exam. Your PADI Instructor can explain how this works when you meet to schedule knowledge review sessions along with your waterskills exercises, workshops and practical assessments.

What scuba gear will you use?

As a dive professional, you’ll want to have all your basic scuba equipment, including a dive computer, adive knife, and at least two surface signaling devices. During practical skills exercises, like underwater mapping and search and recovery, you’ll use a compass, floats, marker buoys, lift bags and slates. Your PADI Instructor may suggest additional gear that will be useful throughout your diving career.