How the RIGHT Divemaster Internship Can Land You Your Dream Job

Whether you want to work in conservation, research, education, outreach, or tourism, there are components of professionalism that you just can’t learn from books or professors. Learn how you can develop leadership, confidence, and so much more through hands-on experience and practical skills with a dedicated team of PADI professionals and the right divemaster program. 

Ticket to the World

When I started my divemaster course, I was fresh out of college with absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I passed the tests with flying colors, but I still didn’t feel like I was actually good at anything. Although it had nothing to do with what I studied, I loved the ocean, and luckily it was right around the time all those cheesy quotes were floating around the internet preaching “Do what you LOVE!” So, I started my divemaster. I had no idea the places it would take me next: working as a whale guide in the Dominican Republic, shark diver in the Bahamas, cruise director in the Turks and Caicos, expedition guide in Mexico, manta ray and whale shark guide in Western Australia, dive guide in Indonesia, and so much more. It was my ticket to the world and I owe it all to the dive center that took this shy, apprehensive student from Georgia, and shaped me into the confident water woman I am today. However, what if I had done my divemaster somewhere different, would I still be where I am now? Here are a few factors that I believe made my divemaster experience so enriching for my confidence, my leadership skills, and ultimately my career.


PADI Freediving courses in Cabo San Lucas Mexico
Freediving courses in Cabo San Lucas

The Right People

Train with people who are as passionate as you are about the ocean. Obviously we want to dive with awesome wildlife, but when it comes to your divemaster internship, the people you train with are the most important deciding factor. They are your team, your mentors, and eventually your family in this close-knit community of professional divers. Look for small businesses with a lot of heart: those that are in this business because they love it and want to help preserve the oceans, just like you! Learn from those that practice what they preach: the leaders in true ecotourism and sustainability; companies that are actively trying to minimize their impact on the environment, while working with local communities to find solutions. Are they a 100% Aware dive center? Do they donate a portion of their profits to fund environmental research or conservation? Citizen-science projects, collaborations, and conservation activities within the dive shop are also a good indication of other ways that you can get involved outside of your divemaster, as well. The dive community is small, and it’s often about who you know, so making connections during your divemaster can help a lot when it comes to and end. Ask if the team is connected to brands, shops, researchers, companies, or organizations, etc, that could provide networking potential. As part of the team, a good recommendation will go a long way to  their network of close friends and contacts. However, At the end of the day, no matter how many dives, contacts, or experience someone has, if they lack passion , how much fun are they going to be to hang out with while you are filling tanks after a long day on the boat? Look for kindred spirits in a dive center, find your community, and learn from people you admire!

The Right Program

What are you passionate about? Sharks, underwater photography, coral reef conservation, technical diving? Maybe you’re just a lover of all marine life and haven’t had a chance to hone your passions. The divemaster is all about discovering the world of opportunity that exists within this community, and the right program can turn your passion into a career.  Small, but connected shops involved in research or conservation projects that offer programs expanding beyond the basic PADI Divemaster theory and skills can help you achieve a diversified skill set that is not only preferred but required in today’s competitive job market. Look for a program that is longer than 3 weeks and helps you work towards your personal goals as part of their team, not as a student. Programs will include additional workshops that make you a well-rounded professional such as: photography/videography, equipment servicing, remote first-aid, ecotourism operations, conservation courses, and other skills personalized to your goals. Remember, it’s not just about becoming a divemaster, but a well-rounded professional in an unconventional industry that expects you to know at little of everything. Throughout this process, you can find what you are passionate about, and focus on fine-tuning those skills for a future in science, tourism, communication, or arts. Wherever your path takes you, you will have the tools and resources to make a positive impact for our oceans with a network of like-minded individuals for support. 


Diving with Oceanic Mantas in Socorro with Dive Ninja Expeditions
Diving With Tiger Sharks in Tiger Beach Bahamas with Dive Ninja Expeditons

The Right Location

Think of your divemaster as a chance to explore a new corner of the world for a couple of months, so make it count! Consider the animals that call that place home, the culture, the people, the nature. Does it sound like a fun place to adventure for a while? Well, not to sound cliché, but in diving sometimes you can have the best of both worlds! Dive shops often exist because someone had a life-changing marine encounter there, decided to quit their day job and set up shop to share it with others. In addition to the incredible marine life, think about what other opportunities might be present in the area. Learn a new language, hike up the mountains and find some hot springs with new friends, go salsa dancing, get involved with the local zero-waste movement. Is there potential for research, exploration, restoration, outreach and/or conservation activities in the surrounding area beyond your divemaster program? Networking and making connections isn’t just limited to the program, it’s a holistic experience! Not only is about who you know, but it’s also about being in the right place at the right time. Do your research, find out why that small shop is there in the first place, and if it’s somewhere you could see yourself living for a little while to get you one step closer to that dream job.

Interested in becoming a PADI Divemaster? Check out our PADI Divemaster Internship in Cabo San Lucas at Dive Ninja Expeditions!

Shark diving in The Bahamas with Dive Ninja Expeditions


Plant-Based, Shark-Obsessed, Ninja Instructor and Expedition Guide. Locally grown in Georgia USA, based in Baja California Sur. Master of the Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly.
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