PADI Master Scuba Diver decal

Master Scuba Diver

Let’s get this straight, right off the bat:


is not the same as


Are we all clear? I know a Divemaster candidate who is proud of announcing to people that he is becoming a Master Scuba Diver. He’s not (and at the level he wants to dive, not knowing the difference is a bad sign…).

A Master Scuba Diver is someone who has completed:

You don’t have to do anything other than the above to get this rating – if you qualify, you just ask your instructor or local dive centre to certify you with PADI. They’ll help you fill out an application form, attach a photograph and post it to PADI. It’ll cost you quite a bit of money (about 26 British pounds when I did it) for a certification that doesn’t actually entail any diving but the idea is it’s a prestigious rating that sets you apart among recreational divers.

PADI Master Scuba Diver decal
PADI Master Scuba Diver decal

Not sure about that! But you’ll get a shiny new certification card, a wall certificate, and a decal too, if that’s your thing… Plus, instead of carting a wallet-load of certification cards around, you can just take this one (and Deep, and Nitrox, because the card doesn’t specify WHICH Specialties you did).

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

7 thoughts on “Master Scuba Diver”

  1. Still prefer the NAUI Master Diver *COURSE* which do have some more technical information than just an “achievement” 😉

    1. Thats a debate that would last for ever. All agencies have thier strengths and weaknesses, but improving diver competence is the goal they all share

  2. I think the name is a bit of a joke. Much like Advanced Diver – (only “Advanced” when compared to a more basic qualification, but appeals to the weekend warrior). 50 dives is hardly more than beginner. But hey, there is always someone who will pay for a fancy name on a certificate.
    Nevertheless further training is usually a good thing, though not always very good value for money, and what you get out is often proportional to what you put in. Choose your instructor well and you will get better value than just comparing price and the minimum standards listed by the agency.

  3. NAUI seems to offer quite hardcore courses 🙂 I guess I’m lucky that Tony (husband/instructor, in this case) has a bit of NAUI background too, although he’s a PADI instructor.

    Peter you are right (as seems usual!) – it’s the instructor that is important. And doing further training can actually be a motivator to keep diving and extending oneself. I do feel that Master Scuba Diver is a bit of a money making scheme on PADI’s part (no rude comments please 🙂 and I’m able to say that because I’m only a PADI-qualified scuba diver, not one of their instructors!

    *sigh* Unfortunately some of us only have the option of being weekend warriors, unless we do a lot of night dives during the week!

  4. I guess Rescue diver is not that hard? Then try it with a MI who been in The navy seals and NASA search and recovery. Do all the training with this kind of instructor and say a Master rating is no big deal. Think again.
    California USA

    1. Hi Russell
      thanks for the comments. I agree that if your Instructor adds a huge amount to the course content it will be far harder and taxing, its not quite the idea of Padi training but it certainly makes for a better diver when extra training is built into a program. I am a big fan of such training.

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