PADI Master Scuba Diver Vs Divemaster infographic

Master Scuba Diver vs Divemaster. Both titles sound very cool as a diver. But what do they actually mean, and how do you receive the certification? Take a look below at the differences between being a Master Scuba Diver vs Divemaster, and which certification you should choose.

Master Scuba Diver vs Divemaster

A Master Scuba Diver is a PADI title that is given to a small group of divers who have completed the requirements and submitted a request to become an MSD. It is the highest level that a PADI recreational diver can receive. It is not a professional title but it signifies that the diver has had extensive training and experience with PADI.

A Divemaster is the first level of being a professional diver who may get paid within the diving industry. A Divemaster can be certified through various scuba diving agencies, such as PADI, SSI, RAID, BSAC, NAUI, and more. It is the first step in becoming a scuba diving instructor.

Divemasters typically organize and assist already certified divers. A DM can refresh a certified diver’s skills in a Scuba Review or ReActivate an existing certification. They will also guide and lead divers on dive excursions and be paid for this.

PADI Master Scuba Diver Application

To become a Master Scuba Diver, you will need to complete the following and apply for your MSD rating.

  • Be over 12 years old
  • Be a certified Rescue Diver
  • Need to have completed at least 5 PADI specialties
  • Need to have logged a minimum of 50 dives

You can then apply for your PADI Master Scuba Diver through a PADI dive center and a PADI instructor. Usually, there is a fee for this application, but PADI has typically waived this fee in recent years to encourage more MSD certifications.

PADI Divemaster

Taking the Divemaster course through PADI is very popular with people who are interested in pursuing a paid career with diving. It is a pre-requisite before becoming a scuba instructor. It also gives you the training and experience to become a professional diver who can organize, lead, guide, and teach within the diving industry.

To undertake the Divemaster course, you will need the following:

  • You will need to be over 18 years old
  • You will need to be a Rescue Diver and have completed your EFR training within 2 years
  • You will need a minimum of 40 dives to begin
  • You can only complete the DM training with at least 60 logged dives

Divemaster Jobs

Being a Divemaster is highly rewarding. I was a divemaster for several years before becoming an instructor. During this time I gained a lot of personal experience underwater, but also how to deal with and assist new divers.

Read More: What is a Typical Divemaster Salary in Thailand?

Being a certified DM also opens a lot of doors within the diving industry. You will have more knowledge to work in a dive center; whether you’re helping in the shop, on the boat, or underwater. Check out some of the other Scuba Diving Employment Opportunities for Divemasters and Instructors.

MSD or DM?

As you can see, there are some major differences being a Master Scuba Diver vs Divemaster, and one is not necessarily better than the other. It really comes down to what you want out of your training, and what you may do with in in the future.

If you are more interested in furthering your personal diving experience with specialty training, then being a Master Scuba Diver puts you in a very elite club of divers.

Whereas, if you would like to be paid to be a professional diver and assist and guide other divers, then you would look into completing your Divemaster training.

Whatever you choose, you can be sure that you will be constantly improving your diving skills which is always a great thing!

Emma was initially terrified of the deep ocean but dived right into scuba diving years ago and hasn't looked back since! After completing her PADI DiveMaster certification and with a Bachelor of Communications (Media) background in film-making, Emma started her scuba career as an Underwater Videographer before becoming a full-time PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer. She taught and certified hundreds of PADI scuba divers as Open Water Divers, Rescue Divers, Deep Specialty Divers, Dive Masters and more, and then managed several Dive Centres. Her favourite fish (which is also tattooed on her arm) is the Barracuda!