Do you want to do your Divemaster for free?
If you start you dive career thinking everything should be free, you are doing a disservice to not only the professional out there teaching courses but ultimately yourself as well. A Divemaster or Instructor Development Course is an investment in your future. Choose wisely.
Of course we all want to find ways to get a deal and cut some of the expense of entering into something like learning to become a professional scuba diver. But why should you get the course for free? I am pretty sure that when the time comes for you to teach your first course you will be more than happy to take the payment for teaching it. I’ll get to the “I don’t need to get paid I just want to dive” mentality later.
If you want to cut some corners on the cost of your course there are ways. Find cheaper accommodation and ways to eat. Don’t drink as much beer or smoke as many cigarettes. Grab some second hand dive gear instead of the newest model. But don’t sacrifice the course.
There is a difference between getting a good deal and getting something for free. Free stuff is rarely free. Either you are paying for it in the cost of the goods or service or it is of such inferior quality that the only way to get rid of it is to give it away. When I pay for something I want to know that I am getting what I pay for. If you are getting something for free there is usually a reason for it. Businesses don’t survive by giving everything away. As the saying goes Las Vegas wasn’t built on winners.
When you are searching for a Divemaster Course or Instructor Development Course you shouldn’t be looking for the cheapest price tag. These are professional level courses that are intended to hone your skill and knowledge to the point of becoming a contributing member to profession of scuba diving. You wouldn’t want you doctor or lawyer or accountant to have their degree from the cheapest college or university they could find. Education at places such as Harvard and Cambridge is highly regarded not because of the affordability of tuition, but rather the professionalism of courses being conducted and the caliber of the respected professors teaching them. They don’t give out their degrees in the bottom of cereal boxes.
If I ever learn to sky dive I will be looking for the shop and instructor that have the most experience, best gear and safety record, not the one that advertises that they are the cheapest outfit around.
When you sign up for a scuba course whether it is an entry level Open Water Course or it is Divemaster or Instructor you should be looking at what you are getting, not just what you are getting for free. That “free” course may be costing you more than you realize. If something is being given for free there is a reason for that. Corners are cut where possible, lectures and in water training can be rushed. Even worse you could find yourself in a position of indebted servitude. Where you are worked into the ground while certification requirements are put on hold. At the end of the day you get your certification though and all is fine, right?
I have had IDC candidates that were utterly unprepared for their IDC because of the great “deal” they got on their divemaster course. It is one thing to go through the motions of a divemaster course and it is entirely another to have a shop and instructor that go that extra step to make sure you get more than just what is in the book. The experience of the people behind your divemaster or instructor course is one of the most valuable assets you can tap into on your path to becoming a dive professional. When you are looking into a course you should be asking about who is conducting the course and the attitude that the shop has regarding scuba education, not just the price.
If you were to go out for a nice dinner and wanted to treat yourself to a great steak, where would you go? Would you check to see if McDonalds has added steak to their menu? Probably not, you would go somewhere that was known for the quality of their steaks. When looking through the menu would you ask the server for a discount on their most expensive steak? Most people wouldn’t think of it, most people would find it embarrassing to be sat across the table from someone haggling over the prices on the menu. But for some reason the scuba industry has become subject to discounts and freebies and all manner of special offers. That’s all well and good but don’t expect a fantastic steak to come from McDonalds.
At the end of the day you get what you pay for.
Speaking of “pay”. I promised I would get back to the people that are willing to work for free. I have heard it countless times where people are so eager to work as a dive professional that they state they will do it for free. That is utter nonsense to me. Do other professionals do their work for free? Doctors, teachers, policemen, pilots and countless other professionals get paid to do what they spent a lot of time, effort and money to learn. That is what being a professional is all about. What is the difference between a professional and an amateur? Professionals do something for a living and get paid for it.
The textbook definition for a person defined as a professional is someone:
-engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.
Professionals get paid to do a job and there is nothing wrong with that. If you are offering up your services for free you are demeaning the hard work it takes to become a dive professional in the first place.
If you want to get paid to be a dive professional you will need to have the right training yourself. So before you run out and grab your “free” course. Consider what it might cost you in the end. If you want to be a professional scuba diver than it’s best to start on the right track.
Contact us to get started off on the right foot in the dive industry.