Master Scuba Diver Vs Dive Master… Which Should You Choose? | master scuba diver

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Master Scuba Diver Vs Dive Master… Which Should You Choose?

Master Scuba Diver Vs Dive Master… Which Should You Choose? These two scuba diving ranks sound similar, but are actually wildly different. I’m here to break down those differences so that if you’re looking to progress from Rescue Diver and continue your scuba diver education, you understand the options you have to move forward.

At the end of this video, I give you a third option beyond Master Scuba Diver or Dive Master for how to add skills to your diving and accept a new challenge!

We’ve battened down the hatches here as Hurricane Isaias approaches and all diving has been cancelled, but that just means I get to make more videos for you!



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Master Scuba Diver Vs Dive Master… Which Should You Choose?

Master Scuba Diver Vs Dive Master... Which Should You Choose?

PADI Master Scuba Diver: Janna Nichols

PADI Master Scuba Diver Janna Nichols talks about her personal scuba diving experiences and what led her to work towards her PADI Master Scuba Diver (MSD) rating. Join the Elite, Become a PADI Master Scuba Diver. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/1v5oBRo

This video was filmed in the Pacific Northwest in Puget Sound, Seattle, Washington.

PADI Master Scuba Diver: Janna Nichols

AOS Edu 41 Padi Divemaster vs Master Scuba Diver

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AOS Edu 41 Padi Divemaster vs Master Scuba Diver

PADI Master Scuba Diver (Full Version)

PADI Master Scuba Diver
Sharpen Your Skills with the PADI Master Scuba Diver rating
You have the passion. You want to join the best of the best in recreational scuba diving. You want to live the dive lifestyle and explore the underwater world and go places and see things you have never experienced.

More than a pipe dream?

Absolutely! Do it by becoming a PADI Master Scuba Diver a rating that puts you in a class of distinction writing your ticket to endless adventure and opportunities through the experience and scuba training that sets you apart.

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PADI Master Scuba Diver (Full Version)

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Become a PADI Master Scuba Diver and join the best of the best in recreational scuba diving. A Master Scuba Diver rating places you among an elite group in which fewer than 2% of divers ever join.


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PADI vs SSI Master Scuba Diver Certification

PADI vs SSI Master Scuba Diver Certification

After reading a recent ScubaBoard article, titled ” Will PADI Recognize SSI specialties (Perfect Bouyancy), we decided to make a video on the differences between the two agencies and the requirements to earn the Master Scuba Diver Certification.

ScubaBoard Article


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PADI vs SSI Master Scuba Diver Certification

Divemaster Stress Test 2015

Divemaster Stress Test 2015




Dive master stress test 2019

Dive master stress test 2019

Why Becoming A Dive Master Sucks… (and also why it rules)

Why Becoming A Dive Master Sucks… (and also why it rules)
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When you first learn to dive your instructor teaches you how to dive and how the equipment works but there are other guys and girls there at the dive site helping you out so you do things right, but who are these noble divers helping you out? These are Dive Masters. Dive Masters are the first tier of professional scuba divers in the PADI training regime and they act as skilled assistants to Instructors so you’ll often have one Instructor and a few Dive Masters on your course keeping you safe and teaching you how to dive because your Instructor can’t be everywhere at once.

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Dive Masters have a rough life in the professional diving community and we do make fun of them but that’s because we were all Dive Masters at one point in our diving career, and much like the military or prep school there’s always a culture of bullying those beneath you. There are two main types of Dive Master out there; the leaders and the teachers. Leaders have just toured guides that lead groups of qualified divers around dive sites and getting them back to the boat safely and teachers are what Dive Masters are really made for, to act as teaching assistants as a sort of secondary Trainee Instructor.

But as with all diver qualifications Dive Master has it’s pros and cons so let’s look at Why Becoming A Dive Master Sucks… (and also why it rules)


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Why Becoming A Dive Master Sucks... (and also why it rules)

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Master Scuba Diver Vs Dive Master... Which Should You Choose?

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  1. About 2 years ago, I was an AOW diver at the time (with a Deep Dive Specialty). Went out diving with someone I connected with through the LDS and was told he was a DM.

    We went to Catalina island in southern California and did some kelp diving. Half way through, he told he wanted to go 100ft+ and I thought ok nice day, no current so far and good condition so away we went.

    I led first and got us to 105ft and hung out there a bit, monitoring my allowed bottom time for no deco. As I was reaching close maybe 5 mins left on my no deco time at that depth, I signaled to him that it's time for me to head back. The guy didnt want to, so I left on my own. He reluctantly followed.

    Once we were back on land, he asked me why I barely stayed at that depth. I explained I was reaching my limit on no deco and I wanted to stay fairly conservative (2 computers, I went with the more conservative one which was my Suunto).

    Imagined how surprised I was when he asked me what was no deco bottom time (mind you, the dive shop told me he was a DM that they certified! And it's a pretty big popular dive shop in Socal. Not the same shop I got my certs but still a very big shop). I thought maybe there was a misunderstanding in terminology or something so I clarified it a couple times, and then showed him the simulation on computers. He still had no idea what I was talking about and told me he was going to stay there at 100ft+ until he was low on air and he would pop straight up to 15ft for his safety stop and that's it. Had he stayed there the entire time, i was sure he would be outside of no deco.

    Needless to say…he kept asking me to go dive with him for many months later and I made up many reasons to decline and finally not pick up the phone.

    So the lesson is….dont take credential as the stamp of approval, always focus on your safety first and always think that you are basically diving alone (even with a partner) until you truly know how good they are.

    Fast forward, I am currently working on my DM, and I dive with my own redundancy on everything, including a side mounted pony bottle for myself in case of something. Having a partner can either be good or bad depending on who is the partner, so adding another layer of safety and backup (like a completely separate pony and practice using it in the water)

    I cant believe there would by dive shops out there giving away DM cert to someone with no understanding of no decom limit…but they are out there!!!

  2. He is missing NAUI, and there is a huge difference for NAUI Master diver, for NAUI it IS NOT A REWARD Certification!

    Academics (estimated hours). 23 hours.

    • Practical Application.


    – Eight hours.


    – The minimum number of open water dives is eight.( in the class)

    – The maximum depth for any open water dive during this course is 130 feet (40 m). No dives

    are to require actual staged decompression. However, simulated staged decompression may

    be added to the ascent of a no required- stop dive. Any simulated decompression time spent

    deeper than 25 feet (7.6 m) must be included in the actual dive time.


    • General. This includes classroom sessions, eLearning, and on-site discussions, briefings, and

    debriefings, as necessary to prepare for or conclude a dive’s activity in confined or open water.

    • Projects. Assignment of independent projects outside of class may be utilized to enhance the learning

    of the students.

    • Applied Sciences. This area is a review and continuation of the material covered in the NAUI Scuba

    Diver and Advanced Scuba Diver courses. Included are physics, physiology, medical aspects and

    fitness. Emphasis must be placed on the applied aspects so that the diver is able to perform diving

    skills and tasks involving buoyancy control, pressure changes, air consumption and personal


    • Diving Equipment. This area reviews and expands upon the information presented in the Scuba

    Diver course by covering the care of equipment, detailed functioning, specialized gear, and

    applications, plus additional gear to be used in the Master Scuba Diver course. Technical information

    on scuba mechanics may be included.

    • Diving Safety. This is to cover rescue, first aid, and emergency procedures as applied to diving in

    open water. Underwater communication, orientation and navigation, the environment, dive

    planning, and safety measures, including the benefits of emergency oxygen first aid, are also to be

    covered. First aid is to include the definition, types, causes, prevention, signs, symptoms, and care of:

    shock, wounds, drowning, heart attack, fractures, sunburn, overheating, exposure, hypothermia, lung

    overexpansion injuries, decompression sickness and seasickness. Rescue training is to include

    problem recognition, diver assists, rescues, in-water rescue breathing techniques, transports, carries,

    and an orientation to CPR.

    • Diving Environment. This area is to provide the diver with a better understanding and appreciation

    of both the physical and biological aspects of the environment that affect or engage the diver.

    Coverage is to include: plant and animal identification, relationships, dangers, regulations, and uses;

    conservation, preservation and pollution; water movement and characteristics; shore, bottom, and

    surface conditions; and diving locations.

    • Diving Navigation. This area provides the diver with the skills needed to use a compass and natural

    aids for orientation in order to: establish relative position, swim in prescribed directions for set

    distances and find particular locations while submerged and at the surface.
    • Night and Limited Visibility Diving. This area prepares the diver to function safely and effectively in

    dirty water or at night. The problems, techniques, skill levels, hazards, and safety procedures are to be


    • Search, Recovery, and Light Salvage. This area provides the diver the information and training

    needed to select an appropriate search pattern and method for a given area and then perform a search

    using proper techniques. The problems, planning, methods, techniques, and equipment are to be

    covered. This area prepares the diver to recover intermediate-sized objects with limited or basic

    equipment. Theory, problems, hazards, methods, gear, rigging, calculations, and principals involved

    are to be covered.

    • Deep and Simulated Decompression Diving. This area enables the diver to anticipate and prevent

    problems, utilize concepts, methods, and equipment used in this type of diving. The diver is to

    acquire a thorough knowledge of the dive tables. Deep diving in this case is defined as any actual or

    simulated dive made between 60 and 130 feet (18 and 40 m).


    • Scuba Diving (open water). Skill requirements shall be targeted toward the specific activities of the

    dives conducted and shall be performed at a level significantly higher than that expected of divers at

    previous levels. The following considerations can be utilized in determining required dives and

    associated skills:

    o SITES. The greatest possible variety of diving situations shall be used, such as: boat, shore or dock;

    lake, ocean, quarry, reservoir, or river; surf or current; weeds, kelp, sand, reef, wreck, rock, mud,

    and so on.

    o DIVES. Open water diving activities shall follow as closely as possible after the academic

    preparation on the subject and include those listed below. The required dive topic areas listed

    represent five separate dives of the minimum eight required. The remaining three dives shall be

    planned by choosing from that list, from the electives listed or from interest areas of the class.

    Dive topics may be combined or repeated to complete the minimum of eight open water dives:

    – Required Dives

    à Emergency procedures and rescue

    à Deep/simulated decompression diving

    à Limited visibility or night diving

    à Underwater navigation

    à Search and recovery- light salvage

    – Elective Dives

    à Skin diving

    à Review of basic scuba skills

    à Environmental study or survey

    à Air consumption (practical application)

    à Boat diving

    à Shore diving

    à Hunting and collecting

    à Special interest

    so there is a lot for this certification, to be honest, most instructors, can not pass the written part of this exam.

    with NAUI there is a HUGE difference with the Certification of Master Diver, most other agency's its a token, "gift" certification

  3. Good video, but there are two mistakes. 1) MSD does have additional education and experience beyond rescue. The education is the speciality courses. The video assumed divers completed them before Rescue. 2) PADI 12 yr old MSDs?! Crazy! Three years older? Now you're suddenly a master (Sarcasm). Not much of a difference.

  4. I like it to be a MSD! Experienced quite a lot of different training in different conditions. Rescue plus Deep and Nitrox, which I still find extremely useful, Drift, because I usually dive in cold water lakes, therefor Night (since lakes are often low visibility) and finally Wreck, which is what I really want to do in the future… and let me add: my instructors were awesome! ;)

  5. I was under the impression NAUI MD included additional diving and training(the diving part of the DM class?)? Also where does the GUE Fundamentals class fit in? Thanks

  6. James I would say for the Dive Master qualification having Nitrox pref advanced Nitrox should be mandatory. To be honest I think the master scuba diver rating is a joke should be a min of 100 dives but I would rather see it set higher at 200 dives and a min of 10 Adv Nitrox, 20 wreck, 20 night, 20 deep and 30 Nitrox plus last but not least I know one agency at least do a deco 40 which is not classed as tech diving so at least 10 deco dives. This could easily be the same for Dive Master but maybe after this list a min of 10 dives for at least another 4 or 5 speciality types of dive ( but spec cert not compulsory ).

    I think all that is happening is they are cheapening the value of the diver grade especially in the case of master scuba diver for which they are missing out on a lot of potential revenue how about master scuba diver fourth class with the top being 1st which could leave to a final award that actually gives you the same status as a dive master but is part way to being an instructor.

    This level they can pay for prof membership as a DM does but you know you have highly skilled divers who will have in most cases have been helping dive buddies in clubs etc for a number of years.
    BUT not taking work from a DM ie a if you have a class of four you have an instructor and a DM but why not allow a MSD 1st class to help, they are learning they can speed up kitting up etc observe certain drills or assist in demos the aim is that the student gets closer to one on one help and maybe in the end a higher level of OW or AOW divers is the end result which can only be a good thing.

  7. When one make 4 specialties, then stress and rescue and have 50 dives in SSI, Master Diver is recognized automatically so one is gonna be a Master Diver no matter if one want it or not.

  8. Shame that you left out NAUI…the one agency where MSD does require dives and significant knowledge development. It’s a true certification as opposed to a recognition with the other agencies you exemplified.

  9. PADI don’t even give out cards now … it’s all done by ecards … but still the same price as it was for plastic card PADI = Put another dime in your not joking

  10. James, NAUI Master Diver Course (IMO) is the best Recreation Course available. NAUI basically teaches PADI Dive Theory in the academic, and you have a minimum of 8 dives, which can include stage Deco With the right instruction, it is a great class. I learned little to nothing in my TDI Intro to Tech Course and PADI DM course.

  11. Jumped straight from AOW to Tec, but I already had a couple hundred dives by then. Probably not the recommend progression up the skills tree.

  12. Just subscribed to your channel James! Please keep passing along great insights and educating us on this wonderful world of scuba diving. I just wish the agencies would create a more formal certification slotted between Rescue and DM. Something WAY more useful and respected when compared to the MSD. Maybe someday…

  13. Unless I’m going to teach I don’t see any reason to take a certification past Rescue. I advance my diving abilities with every dive trip. I don’t need a piece of plastic for “bragging rights”.

  14. What qualifications do you need to be a commercial diver or can you just apply to a commercial diving school with just diving experience

  15. Hey James, love your video’s but the list you made for prequisitions not really accurate, the PADI for DM requires experience in night, deep and navigation and not need 5 specs.

  16. My PADI DM theory and exam did indeed cover all (and a bit beyond) EAN40 knowledge I already had obtained doing the nitrox course a year or so earlier

  17. why did you not include NAUI in your chart and video??? repeat after me- NAUI’s requirements are more rigorous overall. further, NAUI master diver isnt a free give me like padi and is a requirement for some other cert’s.

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