PADI Master Scuba Diver and PADI Divemaster

PADI - The Way the World Learns to Dive

PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the largest diver training organization and recreational diving membership founded in 1966. Their portfolio of courses and certifications is rather extensive. Several certifications may thus sound similar to each other. One of the many questions we are asked at OK Divers Resort & Spa in Padangbai is about the difference between the Master Scuba Diver (MSD) and Divemaster (DM). The difference is rather big. In fact, these two certifications are very much different. Let’s take a closer look.

Diference Between PADI Master Scuba Diver and PADI Divemaster

PADI Master Scuba Diver

A person who is certified as PADI Master Scuba Diver has extensive knowledge and experience in the world of recreational diving. Requirements for certification include:

  • At least 12 years old
  • Certified as PADI (Junior) Advanced Open Water Diver
  • Certified as PADI (Junior) Rescue Diver
  • Earned at least 5 PADI Specialty Diver Certifications
  • Logged a minimum of 50 dives
  • Complete application

One of the most important things to remember is that a certified PADI Master Scuba Diver is not necessarily a professional. In other words, the certification is given as recognition for the diver’s extensive knowledge and experiences in recreational diving activities. Parts of the experiences may include rescue skills and expertise in navigations indeed, but those are not enough to grant the diver professional status.

PADI Divemaster

On the other hand, a certified PADI Divemaster can legally use his expertise in diving to help instructors teach various courses. A Divemaster is considered a responsible diver with leadership capabilities as well. Requirements to apply for the certifications include:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Certified as PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
  • Certified as PADI Rescue Diver
  • Completed EFR Primary and Secondary Care within the past two years
  • Medically approved or considered “fit to dive”
  • 40 logged dives before starting the certification course
  • 60 logged dives when finishing the certification course

Unlike PADI Master Scuba Diver which emphasizes on recreational diving, the PADI Divemaster course is intended as an entry-level professional certification. Both diving skills and leadership qualities are prominent characteristics of Divemasters. Many of them are hired as diving instructors’ assistants or even as professional instructors for junior classes. However, the path to become a certified PADI Divemaster often involves a long-running PADI Divemster internship with the senior instructors. During the certification course, every applicant is expected to further develop diving skills and eventually acquire extensive experiences in rescue diving.


PADI Master Scuba Diver is a form of recognition for your expertise in recreational scuba diving activities. This is as far as you can go as a recreational diver. PADI Divemaster is the first professional certification from which you can start climbing the ladder of professional diving career.
Interested in becoming a Divemaster? Apply for an internship with OK Divers in Padangbai today!

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