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What is the Difference Between a PADI Master Scuba Diver and a Divemaster

Master Scuba Diver, Divemaster, Master Scuba Diver, Divemaster… sometimes it all sounds the same, doesn’t it? You may ask, what’s the difference? While these two diving qualifications seem comprised of the same words, they are quite different.


If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a PADI Master Scuba Diver (MSD) and a PADI Divemaster (DM), let us explain.
Both qualifications indicate highly experienced and knowledgeable scuba divers.

If someone is a Master Scuba Diver, that means he or she has significant experience and scuba training. Fewer than 2% of divers ever achieve this rating, which makes them an elite group.

  • At least 12 years old (12-14 year old earn Junior MSD)
  • PADI (Junior) Advanced Open Water Diver certified
  • PADI (Junior) Rescue Diver certified
  • Earned five PADI Specialty Diver Certifications
  • Have logged a minimum of 50 dives
  • Complete application to be a Master Scuba Diver

A Divemasters help instructors teach scuba courses and can have leadership responsibilities that result in payment. Getting paid for scuba diving means you’re a dive professional.

Prerequisites to take the Dive Master course:

  • At least 18 years old
  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certified
  • PADI Rescue Diver certified
  • EFR Primary and Secondary Care completed within past two years
  • Medical Statement ‘fit to dive’
  • 40 logged dives before starting the course
  • 60 logged dives when finishing the course

What you have to do to get this rating:

  • Complete eight Knowledge Development sections
  • Pass the Divemaster Final Exam
  • Pass water skills exercises, workshops, and practical assessments

The best divemasters are also Master Scuba Divers.

Now you know the difference between these similar sounding names. As you can see, both qualifications indicate highly experienced and knowledgeable scuba divers.

Become a master scuba diver 

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