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What is a PADI Divemaster Certification?

Becoming a Divemaster is the first step to working as a scuba diver.
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What is a PADI Divemaster Certification?

Divers in water signal OK

A student Divemaster can lead PADI courses like ReActivate and Skin Diver.

Courtesy PADI

The life of a dive professional can seem like it’s all fun all the time, but it also takes a lot of work and training to begin. The PADI Divemaster course is the starting point for many jobs in the dive industry, whether you plan to lead groups of certified divers at a tropical dive destination or help out with classes through your local dive shop.

As the first professional-level dive course, Divemaster offers essential learning and hands-on experience. Along the way, you’ll log so much bottom time that the skills of diving and dive leadership will become second nature.


The Divemaster course is more like an internship than a recreational dive course, with lots of time spent practicing in the pool and working behind the scenes to learn about the job of a dive professional.

To become a divemaster, you have to be at least 18 years old and meet all the prerequisites, which includes the PADI Rescue Diver course and PADI Emergency First Response certification (or equivalent first-aid training). You’ll also need a medical statement signed by a physician within the past 12 months and at least 40 logged dives to begin the course—60 logged dives are required to complete the certification.

What You’ll Learn

The PADI Divemaster course curriculum covers a wide range of topics, from the physics and physiology of diving to in-water safety, diver supervision and the business of diving. The course includes a mix of knowledge-development sessions, in-water skills training and working with student divers in PADI Open Water courses or Discover Scuba Diving experiences.

You’ll also take on a number of projects, like planning and conducting a dive briefing for a dive group, organizing a search-and-recovery effort and creating a map of a dive site. And you’ll get the chance to teach divemaster-led programs like PADI ReActivate and PADI Skin Diver.


To enroll in the Divemaster course, you’ll need to be a certified Rescue Diver with recent CPR and first-aid training, a medical statement signed by a physician and at least 40 logged dives