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Abyss Scuba Diving
Divemaster and instructor: What's the difference?
A common question we get from people interested in diving is "What is the difference between a divemaster and an instructor?" This is a good question to ask, as there are a lot of things to consider.
What is a Divemaster?
A Divemaster is primarily a "dive leader", who leads and is responsible for the safety of other certified divers. If you have ever participated in any dive trip where you are allocated a dive guide, they are most likely a Divemaster. They are well-versed with all aspects of diving, including dive sites, diving gear, dive planning, etc. They are responsible for the planning, dive briefings, rental gear allocation, boat coordination as well as the activities underwater.
PADI Divemasters can help PADI Instructors with courses, from the PADI Open Water Diver course through to continuing education courses. However, a Divemaster may not teach PADI core courses independently. This is because, as a PADI Divemaster, if you want to lead dives and assist Instructors (but teaching is no longer your calling) the PADI Divemaster is the right choice for you.
What is an Instructor?
A PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor is able to teach all PADI core courses from Open Water Diver up to PADI Divemaster level. The primary role of this instructor is teaching, although in some areas, instructors will also be guiding certified divers on dive trips.
As a PADI diving instructor, your job is to be one of the few people who can give someone the gift of becoming a scuba diver! You also help people to build confidence, overcome fears, and experience an entirely new world. If you are a people-person and you like to teach, then this is the role for you.
Why The Confusion
The word "Master" in divemaster implies that this individual has reached the highest rank of diver training and outreach available with PADI. But, the Instructor is an Divemaster who has completed the PADI Professional Instructor Development Course and then was accessed by a PADI Instructor Examiner to ensure that the Instructor can teach to a standard required by PADI.
As per most titles they have been given, there seems to be some gray areas when trying to understand exactly what enables a professional diver like a divemaster to carry out the work of an instructor. However, the general consensus comes down as such: Scuba diving instructors manage students and teach them how use scuba equipment, while divemasters tend to do any of these things- lead groups through dives, provide customer service for divers both already certified and those seeking certification or just need new gear or accessories.
The Divemaster and the Instructor is often one in the same. In many cases when you go on a dive led by a Divemaster, the Divemaster is actually an instructor working in the role of a Divemaster. For an instructor to be able to work as a Divemaster, it means that the instructor can have some relaxation away from the preasure of instructing and go on a more social dive.
If you are considering making a career out of scuba diving, it is possible to do so as a divemaster, but there are many more oppertunities for work as a scuba instructor. Divemasters generally have to perform more physical duties such as filling up the tanks and cleaning the boat while instructors are working with thier students. Instructor jobs can lead into management or development to Master Instructor or ever a Course Director.