No jobs for Divemasters here! – Diary of a Divemistress

No jobs for Divemasters here! – Diary of a Divemistress

After my Divemaster course I returned to the UK to begin my University degree in Social Anthropology.

The following summer I had four months off Uni, so I decided to head to the beautiful island of Koh Tao, Thailand, famous for its all-round dive obsession! This little island has a huge amount of dive centres and most people there are either learning to dive, becoming a divemaster or freediving.

I spent a few days distributing my CV and looking around for Divemaster jobs. Unfortunately every dive centre has several divemaster trainees and most were looking for instructors. I had a look at my finances and after meeting a Course Director I enrolled in the Instructor Development Course. This was one of the most intense three weeks of my life!



scuba diver on surface

Jon Milnes

I entered a large classroom where I met my three other instructor trainees; two Canadians and a British guy, all still good friends of mine now.

It was a bit of a shock when our Course Director told us we would be starting with the divemaster exam. ‘Which one?’ I asked, hoping it wouldn’t be the physics one… ‘All of them!’ he replied.

Yes, all eight divemaster exams at once (which you have to do again during the Instructor exam). We repeated these in different forms every day until we knew what to expect from them.

We also went through the entire Instructor manual highlighting parts and taking notes, presenting classroom elements to each other, and my favourite part – the water skills.


Open water scuba instructor

Divers on bottom. Shot in training pool

PhotoSky 4t com

We spent time every day in the teaching pool practicing the skills from each course again and again. For each one we had to introduce it to our ‘students’ – played by our fellow instructor candidates – demonstrate the dive skill perfectly, and watch them perform the skill.

Each ‘student’ was given a problem that we had to identify and correct before debriefing the skill. This was a great chance to learn what students tend to get wrong, from dropping their mask during mask skills to holding their breath during a free-flowing regulator skill!

The instructor exam was held over two days and to my huge relief and joy I passed my theory exams with higher marks than I had received in practice.

The day on the boat with PADI examiners was tough – there were over forty candidates. Fortunately I stayed with my original group and we all tried to exaggerate our ‘problems’ underwater so that they could be easily identified! We all passed and celebrated after a very tough few weeks – delighted with our new status as PADI Instructors!

Working as a Dive instructor

Scuba diving instructor demonstrates a skill to a student in a swimming pool.

Gina Smith

Four the next three months I worked as a freelance instructor for several dive schools on Koh Tao.

This taught me a massive amount about how these businesses are run and I did a huge amount of teaching!

My very first Open Water Course was to an English couple and a Kiwi couple and I remember that the Kiwi guy was a sheep-shearer!

I was asked to teach them their confined water skills. After that the senior instructor told me that they had enough staff the next day to continue the Open Water dives.

But my students heard this and asked for me to continue the course which I did and qualified my first Open Water Divers!


More Adventures

Group of scuba divers do open water skills

Jon Milnes

I was working for a lot of dive schools and found that as a female instructor I was quite good with nervous students.

The only bad experience was when I taught for a few days for one of the German dive schools on the island. Their team of all-male instructors and very rude boat-master treated me terribly and I didn’t stay there for long.

My next adventures as an instructor would take me to Vietnam, Fiji and the slightly chilly waters of the UK!

Are you dreaming of becoming a scuba Instructor? Tell us why in a comment below!

About The Author


  1. David Magg

    I became OWSI last year and been working as a freelance since! It’s great way of getting experience and maybe one day I will quite my ‘day’job and go full time.

  2. Ash

    I also had problems finding divemasterjobs. I ended up as a videographer in Tao, instead. More focus on diving and less worry about guest :)
    it’s the nice part of the industry: There’s always another path you can choose!

    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Ash, Thanks for comenting.
      Are you working in Koh Tao, Thanland? How is it there? If you are interested you can go to our facebook page and share some of your videos.

  3. jim l

    I’m doing my dm final test in a few weeks and I think I will go strait to the idc. Always wanted to be a dive instructor. Thanks for a nice dm series.

  4. Steve Rice

    We are looking for certified dive masters to run our scuba resort in the Philippines, if you know anyone, please have them contact us. [email protected]

  5. Sandeep Tripathi

    I like to swim and travel world while seeing beautiful seas and beautiful people.

  6. Travis Achen

    Hey my name is Travis. Got my dm 8 years ago. Want to get back into diving. I am a professional ski instructor/guide at beaver creek ski resort in Colorado. Need to get back into the water. T

  7. Elena

    Hello. I’m open water from ssi and advance diver from CMAS and FEDAS (Spanish federation of diving). I’m looking for an job offer for the summer helping at a diving center, with the option of getting the diver master and instructor. I heard a lot of this kind of offers but I couldn’t find anything. Could you help me with info?? My email is [email protected] Thanks a lot!!

  8. Todd F Dixon

    You should call this “My IDC experience,” there is only half a sentence of mention on Divemaster jobs, and 99% of the article is on your IDC. There are plenty of DM jobs, you just need to know where to look, and know what you are looking for. Just because you couldn’t find one on Koh Tao doesn’t mean they don’t exist and you have to become an instructor right way, you just need to try a different island! But please don’t tell people there are no jobs for DMs, there are!


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