What You Don’t Know About Going Pro
by Bulmunur Artifice, PADI #6.1
Editor’s Note: This comments made by this month’s Scuba Guru guest author do not necessarily reflect the views of the PADI organization, a PADI Office, PADI Members or any living organism with an IQ higher than that of a dead slug. And that’s not his real name or PADI number, BTW.
If you’ve seen the Go Pro campaign ads, then you’ve heard many of the benefits for becoming a PADI Pro. Teaching, fun introducing others to diving, advocate for the undersea world, yeah, yeah, gimme a break. These are all true, tell me something I don’t know.
Glad you asked. At great personal risk (hence the use of a pen name), here are the secret perks your instructor will not tell you about becoming a PADI Pro until you’ve fulfilled your PADI Divemaster blood-oath.
Editor’s Note: His pen doesn’t have a name, there are no secret perks (though lots of perks that aren’t a secret) and there is no blood-oath.
1. You never pay for dive gear again. In fact, they pay you to wear it. Personally, I make $100,000 per month in royalties, which is almost 10 percent higher than typical, but I qualify for a “bonus rate” by switching masks every three minutes. Be sure to ask about that.
Editor’s Note: Equipment benefits are a big benefit most PADI Instructors enjoy. Depending upon where you work as a divemaster or instructor, you often qualify for special gear rates through your dive center’s and manufacturer key-man programs. However, Mr. Artifice is mistaken in saying you get your gear for free. And sorry, they don’t pay you to wear it, though you students and divers very much appreciate learning about the latest cool stuff because you’re kitted in it. But, be sure to ask about the switch masks bonus. There isn’t one, but it’s a great way to get people doubled over in pain with laughter.
2. US Navy SEALS admire you and do whatever you say. This comes in handy when you hit on someone’s spouse and the spouse finds out, or something. An aside, I used this perk to start my own country in the tropics. Our chief export is upper end dress casuals. It’s called the Banana Republic; maybe you’ve heard of it.
Editor’s Note: US Navy SEALS couldn’t care less about you, though we can’t say the same about someone’s spouse. But, PADI Pros enjoy respect from fellow divers and are the most sought-after professionals in diving. Although you won’t do anything with the US Navy SEALS, you can run PADI Seal Team programs. Youngsters don’t forget who introduced them to the wonders of the underwater world. You change lives by doing that.
Also, there is no relationship, affiliation or connection between the Banana Republic clothing line and stores and PADI. However, many PADI Pros like to shop at the Banana Republic. Knock yourself out.
3. With the secret handshake, you get into the “eyes only” PADI upper-echelon summit on confidential plans for world domination. That’s all I can say about it, except don’t say anything bad about your instructor next to a tie clasp with a wire coming out of it.
Editor’s Note: There is no secret handshake, though we overuse the “okay” signal. You get into PADI Member Forums, webinars and other professionals workshops and forums. PADI Members have more informational and educational support for their profession than any other professionals in diving. So, if there are any world domination plans, you’ll be the first to know.
4. You get to see the Titanic first hand. As a rite of passage, all new PADI Divemasters get taken down to the wreck in Alvin, provided Woodshole isn’t borrowing it from PADI for something. John Chatterton and Robert Ballard go with you. Awesome wreck, by the way, and you should see the whopper sapphire I found in the debris field.
Editor’s Note: You wish. But, you don’t have to dive Titanic to visit the best diving has to offer. PADI Pros visit awesome shipwrecks and other great dive sites as a normal part of teaching and leading diving. You not only get to enjoy these sites, but you get to see the expressions on the faces of divers seeing them for the very first time.
5. Travel the world for free and they pay you to go diving. Imagine lying in the Caribbean sun on a boat deck between dives thinking, “And I’m getting paid for this . . .”
Editor’s Note: Ah, Artifice finally got one right. If you’re like most PADI Professionals, Going Pro puts in you in a position to earn income while leading international and regional dive travel, and teaching diving. Whether you choose to Go Pro as a fulltime career or as an avocation, it’s a great way to dive more, make friends and earn income in the process. Check out the Go PRO Challenge page at padi.com, or contact your local PADI Dive Center or Resort to get started.
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