Becoming a PADI Divemaster is a big step in a diver's life and it should be done with enough time to master the necessary scuba diving skills but also to be ready and confident enough to look out for other divers. Depending on your diving experience the Divemaster course can be longer or shorter.
Here are a few things to consider when you are choosing the different options to do your PADI Divemaster course.
Consider your level of scuba diving experience to date
When choosing your option for your PADI Divemaster course, take into account how many dives you have, what type of dives they were, and how long.
If you have 50 dives spread over 8 years in tropical pool-like conditions, you may not be as prepared as someone who has done 45 dives over the last year in strong currents or cold waters.
Consider the experience you have for the specific dives you will be doing in the place you plan to train. For instance, if it's a strong current place and you have little experience with currents it may take you a little longer to be comfortable watching out for others in those conditions.
Consider the time you can dedicate to training
If you don't have the experience to do the training over 1 month but cannot dedicate two months to your divemaster training, consider getting dives in before, preparing the theory and coming as prepared as possible and free to be around the dive center all day, it's a shame if you feel rushed and end the course with the feeling that you are not quite there. If that is the case, consider asking the dive center if you can extend it by a week or two if you can fit it in. Alternatively, do it over a long period of time and continue working remotely in the afternoons and evenings if that is available to you.
How long should my PADI Divemaster course take?
As a rule of thumb, if you are an experienced diver (100 dives+), having tried out all sorts of different dive conditions and having dived recently, one month should be plenty. If you are a less experienced diver (50 dives or less), consider taking the two-month course. Remember you need to make sure you have 40 dives to start the course and 60 dives minimum to be certified but most of all you must be relaxed and confident in the water, with role model diving skills and the ability to look out for and help other divers. This can take a little more time to achieve.
Whichever option you chose, make sure you give yourself the time to finish the course with plenty of dives, feeling good about your guiding ability and certified diver supervision and ready to take on the world of professional diving.