PADI Divemaster

PADI Divemaster Course $899 plus course materials.

Course Materials:

PADI Crew Pac materials $424.30
PADI E-Learning: Optional but highly recommended $259
The course deposit is $600 with the balance due upon check-in. Course materials must also be purchased from Key Largo Dive Center upon enrollment.

Course Description:

Divemaster is a PADI Professional Level course intended for divers who wish to work in the scuba industry. The non-professional path after rescue diver is Master Scuba Diver vs Divemaster. This course requires the candidate to demonstrate master level dive skills, proficiency, and competency. Our small, semi-private courses are limited to a maximum of two Divemaster candidates per instructor ratio. At Key Largo Dive Center we don’t offer the cattle-car approach to training.

Required Equipment for course: Divers must have their own dive gear in good condition and adequate for professional use. Tanks and weight rentals are provided as part of your enrollment. In addition divers must have the following items:

  • PADI Recreational Dive Planner
  • Surface Signal Marker (safety sausage)
  • Dive knife or shears
  • Dive Computer
  • Reel
  • Slate
  • Lift Bag
  • Primary & Backup Dive Light (LED preferred)

We have the above items together as a package or individually available for purchase at student discounted prices at Key Largo Dive Center.

Course Overview:

Divemaster is the first dive professional level of PADI diver certification. Divemaster’s may perform many tasks including dive guiding, conducting refresher courses, assist in diver training, and more. Our PADI Divermaster Course is an intensive 7 day program that will combine pool training sessions, open-water training dives, academic classroom training, Divemaster intern experience with real divers, and more. Students will be checking in daily at 7:30 AM and most days finishing around 6:00 pm with some evening briefings/debriefings and short lunch/dinner breaks. Do not plan other outside activities/distractions during the seven days of training. Plan to arrive the day before training begins and plan to fly out at least 24 hrs after training concludes.

Diver Prerequisites:

  • Certified as a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and PADI Rescue Diver.
  • 18 years old
  • Logged 50 scuba dives (our requirement in order to complete with 60 dives)
  • Completed EFR Primary and Secondary Care training within 24 months
  • Medically evaluated and cleared for diving by a physician within 12 months
  • PADI Oxygen Provider Certification


Certification Requirements:

Divemaster candidates meet course performance requirements and:

• Complete knowledge development segments including Knowledge Reviews in the PADI Divemaster Manual or through Divemaster Online, and pass the Divemaster Final Exam.
• Create an Emergency Assistance Plan for a designated dive site.
• Complete waterskills exercises*. Described Below
• Complete a diver rescue assessment.
• Complete the dive skills workshop and assessment.
• Complete practical application skills.
• Complete divemaster-conducted programs workshops.
• Complete practical assessments.
• Meet the professionalism criteria.

At time of certification the candidate must verify that he/she has:
• Logged at least 60 scuba dives including experience in night diving, deep diving and underwater navigation.
• Completed EFR Primary and Secondary Care training within 24 months.
• Read and agreed to the PADI Membership and License Agreements.

Waterskills Exercises

Prospective candidates often ask about what level of swimming/waterskill competency is required to become a Divemaster. Here are the PADI Divemaster waterskills performance requirements:

Complete five waterskills exercises, earning a combined exercise score of at least 15. Candidates must score at least a 3 in the equipment exchange

Exercise 1: 400 Yard Swim
Swim 400 yards nonstop, without swimming aids
and using any stroke or combination of strokes.
400 yards
Score        Time
5               under 6 min
4               6 to 8 min
3               8 to 10 min
2               10 to 12 min
1               more than 12 min
incomplete  stopped

Exercise 2: 15-minute Tread
Tread water, drown-proof, bob or float using no aids and
wearing only a swimsuit for 15 minutes, with hands (not
arms) out of the water during the last two minutes.
Exceptions: A candidate with a physical impairment that makes it difficult/
impossible to hold hands out of the water is exempted from that
portion of the exercise with no effect on the score.

Criteria                                                 Score
Performed satisfactorily                          5
Stayed afloat, but hands not out of          3
water the entire two minutes
Used side/bottom for momentary             1
support no more than twice
Used side/bottom for support                   incomplete
more than twice

Exercise 3: 800 Yard Swim
Swim 800 yards face down, using mask, snorkel
and fins, nonstop, without flotation aids and without
using arms to swim.
Exceptions: A candidate with leg-use limitations who normally armswims,
may use arms.
800 yards
Score             Time
5                    under 13 min
4                    13 to 15 min
3                    15 to 17 min
2                    17 to 19 min
1                    more than 19 min
stopped           incomplete stopped

Exercise 4: 100 Yard Inert Diver Tow
Tow (or push) a diver for 100 yards nonstop, at the
surface, without assistance — both divers equipped in full
scuba equipment.
100 metres 100 yards
Score               Time
5                      under 2 min
4                      2 to 3 min
3                      3 to 4 min
2                      4 to 5 min
1                      more than 5 min
incomplete        stopped

Exercise 5 — Equipment Exchange
In confined water, demonstrate the ability to effectively respond to an unusual circumstance underwater by exchanging all scuba equipment (except exposure suits and
weights) with a buddy while sharing a single regulator second stage earning a minimum score of 3.

Score          Criteria
5                Task performed in a well-thought-out, efficient and purposeful manner with no sign of problems; very low anxiety level. Looks routine and appears easy.
4                 Task performed competently with a relatively low anxiety level. Challenges encountered were easily and efficiently handled.
3                 Complete exchange occurred without surfacing. However, numerous challenges were encountered that delayed the speed and efficiency of the performance. This score is also appropriate for a diver overly dependent on another.
2                 Significant problems demonstrated, and exchange completed only after one or both team members surfaced once.
1                 Inability to complete the exchange; or exchange completed with one or both divers surfacing more than once.

Diver Rescue
Respond to an unresponsive, nonbreathing diver, including these steps:
• Enter the water, locate and surface a submerged diver who is about 25 metres/yards away
• Turn the diver face up and establish buoyancy
• Remove the diver’s mask and regulator, open the airway and check for breathing
• Call for help
• Give two initial rescue breaths, and continue with an effective rescue breath every five seconds with no or very few interruptions
• Tow the diver to safety while protecting the airway, continuing rescue breathing

• Remove both sets of equipment
• Exit the water with the diver. (Assistance allowed only when physical challenges or the environment make it necessary.)

Dive Skills Workshop
Demonstrate all scuba and skin diving skills, scoring at
least a 3 on each skill, and scoring at least 82 points total,
with at least one underwater skill to a 5.
Score Criteria
5 Exercise performed correctly, slowly and with
exaggerated movement – appeared easy.
4 Exercise performed correctly, and slowly enough to
adequately exhibit or illustrate details of skill.
3 Exercise performed correctly, though too quickly to
adequately exhibit or illustrate details of the skill
2 Exercise performed with significant difficulty or error.
1 Candidate unable to perform exercise.

Dive Skills:
1. Equipment assembly, adjustment, preparation, donning and disassembly
2. Predive safety check (BWRAF)
3. Deep-water entry
4. Buoyancy check at surface
5. Snorkel-regulator/regulator-snorkel exchange
6. Five-point descent
7. Regulator recovery and clearing
8. Mask removal, replacement and clearing
9. Air depletion exercise and alternate air source use (stationary)
10. Alternate air source-assisted ascent
11. Free-flowing regulator breathing
12. Neutral buoyancy — using both oral and low pressure inflation
13. Five-point ascent
14. Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent
15. Hover motionless for 30 seconds
16. Underwater swim without a mask
17. Remove and replace weight system underwater
18. Remove and replace scuba unit underwater
19. Remove and replace scuba unit on the surface
20. Remove and replace weight system on the surface
21. Vertical, head first skin dive
22. Swim at least 15 metres/50 feet underwater on a single breath while skin diving.
23. Snorkel clear using the blast method after ascending from a skin dive.
24. Snorkel clear using the displacement method after ascending from a skin dive.

There are additional training requirements than those listed above, we just listed the few above as a general guideline for what to expect on the physically challenging side of the program. You can plan on a tough but rewarding training program. You should also plan to be comfortable taking your mask off underwater and replacing it. Also expect to swim and demonstrate some skills underwater without a mask.

Please contact Key Largo Dive Center if you have any questions about Divemaster or any dive training programs. (305) 451-5844.