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The SSI Divemaster rating recognizes that you have the knowledge and training necessary to perform the duties of a certified assistant. These duties include assisting SSI Instructors in conducting entry-level and continuing education scuba training programs. The training needed to become a Divemaster is simply to complete the Dive Guide program and the Science of Diving program. The Science of Diving program is a classroom only, information-based program that raises the general dive knowledge of the dive guide to that of an Instructor.


Science of Diving

The SSI Science of Diving program provides you with an in-depth study of diving physics, diving physiology, decompression theory, the aquatic environment, and diving equipment. This program is a requirement for any diver interested in following the path to Divemaster, Assitant Instructor, or Instructor. This course is also a great opportunity for any diver interested in having a better grasp of what is happening in the diving world around them. Whether you wish you could better calculate how long a cylinder will last at a certain depth, how to find and identify various species more readily, how to deal with a decompression emergency, or maybe just some tricks on how to change o-rings quickly, this course will teach you all of that and more.


Dive Guide

The SSI Dive Guide program provides you with the knowledge and training necessary to supervise and guide certified divers on recreational scuba dives. The Dive Guide program is an introduction into the world of dive professionals. As a Dive Guide, you will be qualified to lead certified divers on a variety of scuba diving adventures. You will be in charge of safety, management, be able to help other divers with minor gear problems, and be able to lead dive excursions safely whether it be from shore or in the water. The goal is to create well-prepared, versatile and marketable Dive Professionals. This course can be completed using only shore dives or can include boat dives depending on your requirements and weather conditions. Charter fees are not included.

Active status Professional Dive Guides may also:
  • Teach, supervise and issue recognition cards for the SSI Snorkel Diver program.
  • Qualify for the SSI Divemaster rating after completing the SSI Science of Diving Specialty program.


Why Become a Divemaster?

As a certified Divemaster, you carry all of the same qualifications as a Dive Guide plus you can:

  • Act as a certified assistant for all SSI recreational courses
  • Assist during open water training dives by taking no more than two (2) students at a time on excursion dives
  • Qualify as a Training Specialist for the SSI Ecology Specialty programs
  • Enroll in an SSI Assistant Instructor and Instructor Training Courses

Before Class

Dive Guide:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Diving medical signed by an MD
  • Minimum of 40 logged dives (totaling 25 hours or more)
  • Certified Stress & Rescue
  • Certified Deep Diving or proof of relevant experience
  • Certified Navigation Diving or proof of relevant experience
  • Certified Night / Limited Visibility Diving or proof of relevant experience
  • RECOMMENDED: Certified Nitrox (up to 40%)


  • Provide your own Total Diving System for local diving with the exception of cylinders and weight


Science of Diving:

  • Minimum age of 10 (Recommended age of 16 due to advanced math requirements)
  • There is no requirement for certification to take this program though you must be enrolled in a certification course

Dive Guide:

  • Mask
  • Snorkel
  • Fins
  • BC with power inflator
  • Weight system
  • Gas delivery system with cylinder, regulator, & alternate air source
  • Information system with SPG, depth, and time (a dive computer is required)
  • Exposure suit appropriate for the environment with appropriate ballast
  • A cutting device
  • A compass (can be integrated into a dive computer)
  • A signaling device for deploying from depth (red surface marker buoy is recommended, but follow local guidelines)
  • A reel or spool (appropriate for the maximum planned depth)
  • One (1) surface signaling device (whistle or similar)
  • Logbook (physical or digital)

Science of Diving:

This course is completely dry so the only equipment you’ll need is a pen and paper and an A+ go-getter attitude!


  • All academic sessions and online training (typically four (4) classroom sessions)
  • Two (2) pool/confined water skill development session of 60 minutes or more
  • Water fitness evaluation
  • Presentations & evaluations of briefing & guiding in shallow, night, & deep water
  • Presentation and review of in-water rescue skills
  • Dive Guide final exam with a passing score of at least 90%
  • Maximum of eight (8) students per instructor


Science of Diving:

  • All academic sessions and online training
  • Science of Diving final exam with a passing score of at least 80%
  • Maximum of twelve (12) students per instructor