PADI Master Scuba Diver (MSD), a certificate of recognition. The elite of Recreational Diving.

Being a PADI Master Scuba Diver means having extensive diving experience and training in a variety of environments. This certification is the highest that a recreational diver can achieve in the PADI career. It´s to be the black belt of recreational diving.

If you have a passion, you want to be part of the recreational diving elite, you want to live the diving lifestyle, explore the underwater world and go places and see things you have never experienced before. This is what you were looking for.



Less than 2% of divers reach this level, making Master Scuba Divers an elite group for PADI.

Requirements to be able to certify you as PADI MSD:

  • Be at least 12 years old
  • Have the Rescue Diver certification
  • Have 5 PADI Specialties
  • Have 50 dives logged
  • Complete the application

How long will it take to certify as a PADI MSD:

As it is not a course in itself, the time it will take to complete it depends on several factors: your certification level, the number of dives you have registered and whether or not you have already completed any specialty.
To give you more information or a personalized quote, contact us and we will be happy to assist you.


What specialties can I choose to become a PADI MSD:

The 5 specialties you need to be able to certify as an MSD are your choice, and you can choose them among all the specialties that PADI offers.
In the list of the most requested specialties are: Enriched air (Nitrox), Mastery of buoyancy, Underwater Navigation, Deep Diving, Night Diving, Search and Recovery, Fish Identification, and so on until completing the extensive list of PADI specialties.

Your PADI Master Scuba Diver at Dive Academy includes:

  • Theoretical training of each certification/specialty
  • Practical training of each certification/specialty
  • Personalized training
  • Diving insurance during specialties.
  • Process and certify each specialty
  • Process and certify the MSD


How to become a Dive Master or Diving Instructor and turn your passion into your profession.


With the Dive Academy Internship…

You will be able to get your PADI Dive Master easily. Normally, it takes around 2 years to learn a trade.

Becoming a diving professional can take from 3 to 6 months.


Why become a PADI Dive Master or Diving Instructor?

More often than not people spend their lives doing a job that does not fulfill them. They long for their yearly holidays to come so they can do what they like the most.

Thanks to diving you can live you life while doing exactly what you are passionate about.

The best thing about this job is being in direct contact with nature. You can explore places where very few have been and have the opportunity to travel around the world diving. And in this case, earning money for it.

What requirements do you need to become a diving professional?

You must have the following certifications:


PADI Open Water. Basic title with which you can dive anywhere in the world up to 18 meters deepth.

PADI Advanced Open Water. You will learn more diving techniques, this will help you feel more comfortable in the water, being able to dive deeper (30 meters).

PADI Rescue diver: in order to start this course you must have the previous 2 courses and at least 20 dives.

To start the PADI Dive Master course you must have completed the three previous diving courses and have a minimum of 40 dives. Then to finish it you must have done at least 60 dives plus the theoretical and practical requirements.

With the Dive Master certification you can work guiding dives, doing snorkeling tours, assisting the instructors during the diving courses and doing Discover Scuba Diving experiences in confined water.

To become a diving instructor, the minimum requirements are to have the Dive Master course and at least 100 dives. Once you have completed these requirements, you can start the PADI IDC (instructor course) that lasts between 7 and 10 days. Then you must do 2 days of theoretical and practical exams with a PADI Course Director.

Once the course is finished you will be able to certify divers of all levels up to Dive master, guide dives and do Discover Scuba Diving experiences.


Is it very expensive to become a Dive master or instructor?

Like any course, it entails effort and an economic cost. But at Dive Academy Santa Pola we offer many advantages so that this course is accessible to everyone and you can become a diving professional.

At Dive Academy we have developed a learning program called INTERNSHIP.

In order to access this program we will ask you for some requirements and you will become part of the Dive Academy team.

You will learn everything about our dive center. The water part, how to deal with customers and students, logistics, office, equipment maintenance, boat handling (if possible). This way, when you decide to work as a diver, you will have very advanced knowledge that will be very valuable for other diving centers.

Is it difficult to work as a Dive Master or instructor after the Internship?


We prefer to hire the people we have trained, since they know perfectly how our dive center in Santa Pola works.

PADI also has a job platform where you can see job openings from around the world. The only thing you would have to do is send your CV to the dive centers that are looking for professionals and if they are interested in you they will contact you to work.

What certification do I need to start the INTERNSHIP?

You do not need to have a diving certification. Since you can do all the courses with us.

You only have one life so live it the way that makes you happy.

Contact us for more information, we will be happy to give you advise on how to fulfill your dreams.

5 common mistakes when diving

Hello everyone, diving friends and fellow Dive Academy members. Today I want to share with you 5 common mistakes made when practicing recreational diving.

These errors, although separately may seem unimportant details, they can negatively affect our technique and comfort when diving:

1. Diving with the wrong amount of weights (lead)

Frequently, we find divers that do not know how much lead they should carry and limit themselves to always using the same amount of lead. Variations in your body weight, the thickness of the wetsuit or the size of the tank influence our buoyancy, so it is necessary to regularly check how many weights you need.

It is important to carry the correct amount of weight, to have more control over your buoyancy underwater, and to have proper stability and balance.

good buoyancy diver

If we are over-weighted, we will be forced to compensate that additional weight by inflating our BCD more often. You will have to make buoyancy adjustments at different depths and throughout the dive, which is an unnecessary waste of air. In addition, the greater the weight, the greater the effort to move. With the correct weight, buoyancy adjustments are minimal and you have more freedom to move without depending totally on the BCD. On the other hand, excess weight makes it difficult for us to adopt a hydrodynamic or trim position, which will mean an added effort due kicking your fins constantly.

In case of carrying insufficient weights, we are going to find a clear resistance when starting the dive, this will cause us to struggle in order to descend. It also puts us in danger as we will have a higher risk of making an uncontrolled ascent when ending the dive or missing the safety stop. In addition, the position of our body will tend to head down, since we will have to move our fins continuously to stay down.

To calculate the correct amount of weights (lead), we do the following:

Once in the water, with our diving equipment on, completely deflate your BCD. If we have the correct amount of lead, the water should cover us up to eye level while maintaining normal breathing. We must vary the weights until reach this point. In case of doubt, you can ask your guide or PADI instructor for assistance. It is advisable to do this exercise on a regular basis, especially if we dive in different environments, with other equipment, wetsuits or if we are going to dive in fresh water.


2. Use your hands to move underwater

FIsh-common-mistake When we dive, we often come across people who depend on their hands to maintain their balance or propel themselves underwater. It would be convenient try and change this habit and the way to do it is to improve our fin movement technique. Otherwise, it will be an impediment when it comes to improving our navigation and buoyancy, not to mention the additional use of energy and air. In addition, by moving your arms and hands, fish and marine animals are often frightened away.

To address this habit, first of all, we must ensure that we carry the correct amount of weight. Additionally, perfecting the fin movements is key to improve our range of movements and achieve greater control of our body in the water. If there is any manoeuvre that you struggle with, talk to your Instructor or Dive Master so they can give you recommendations on how to do it. During the PADI Advanced Open Water course, we work on finning techniques and different manoeuvres are learned. For in-depth learning there is also the Buoyancy specialty (PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy)


3. Deflating your BDC using only the inflator

Using the BCD inflator to deflate the jacket is not an error in itself, but by doing this, we are at risk of acquiring the habit of depending on it as the only element to release the air from our equipment.

descenso-por-cabo Sometimes beginner divers lose control of their buoyancy and begin to ascend quickly. The first reaction in this situation is to kick your fins with your body facing down to try to maintain depth. In this position with your feet higher than your head, the air in your BCD is located in the lower part of your back, so you will not be able to empty it through your BCD inflator. You can end up ascending uncontrollably to the surface or using up the air in your tank very quickly from the effort of finning to stay down. Uncontrolled ascents put our health at risk due to pressure changes, so we must avoid them at all costs.

For this reason it is key to become familiar with the use of the valves of your BCD, normally located on the right shoulder and on the right side of your lower back. This way you can let the air out of your BCD when the inflator does not allow it. Personally, I only touch the inflator to inflate the BCD.


4. Not equalizing your ears and mask properly

When performing a descent, there are 2 factors to control: the rate of descent and equalizing your sinuses and ears. If you are an amateur diver, you should focus on keeping both under control, as they have a direct impact on your well-being underwater. With practice, it becomes a habit and you do it without realizing.

In my case, I usually equalize every 1.5 meters.

To equalize your ears, we perform the Valsalva manoeuvre. It consists in pinching your nose with two fingers, blocking both nostrils, and blowing through your nose, which equalizes the pressure exerted by the water on your ears. To equalize your mask, we simply blow out some air through our nose (most people do this unconsciously).

In case you notice excessive ear pressure, instead of forcing the equalization manoeuvre, it is better to go up a little until the pressure decreases, and then you will be able to compensate. In this way we avoid forcing the eardrums, and we are not at risk of damaging them.


Sometimes when we equalize we feel that one of our ears equalizes and the other does not.

To help equalize this ear, we can do several things:

  1. If you’re wearing a hood, open it up a little and allow some water to get into it and any air that may have been trapped inside get out, and try again.
  2. Tilt your head to one side, stretching you neck on the side that you are struggling to equalize, so that ear faces the surface. By stretching the muscles the flow of air eases. Then try again.
  3. Open and close your jaw and swallow saliva. Then we try to equalize again.

If you are unable to equalize correctly despite applying these tips, you should stop your descent. Your ears affect your balance and also allow us to hear so we should take care of them 😊

5. Being totally dependent on your guide or buddy

navegacion-subacuatica This is a mental rather than a behavioral habit. In my own experience, when I carried out my first dives, I delegated full control of the dive in all its variations to the Dive Master or instructor.

It is important that you are aware of your surroundings underwater from the very beginning, as well as your actions and your location. To achieve this, I have identified some areas to work on that are key:

a) Navigation control

It is key for your safety to be clear about your location throughout the dive, you must be aware of the starting point of the dive, and the end point.

b) Monitoring and control of your air consumption

Check the air in your tank regularly, not just when your Dive Master or Instructor asks you to. This way you will have a clear idea of ​​your consumption continuously, and you will control the impact of depth changes. As you already know, the greater the depth, the greater the pressure, and the greater the air consumption.

c) Depth control and diving time

A dive computer is an essential tool for diving, since it provides you with real-time information on the duration of the dive, the depth you are at, safety stops, time remaining to enter DECO, water temperature, etc. This data is necessary to have an active and strict control of your dive. If you go diving regularly, you should have one, and if not, rent one for your dive (dive centers normally have them). The sooner you become familiar with its use and start working hand in hand with your computer, the better. Do not delegate control of your depth or your safety stops to third parties.

d) Ask yourself if the dive you are going to do is according to your level and experience

If you are going to dive and you realize that due to depth, external conditions such as the current or the nature of the dive, if it is more difficult than the dives you have carried out in the past, do not hesitate, raise your hand and tell your Dive Master. He/she will be able to advise you and evaluate if the dive is suitable for you. In the event that, despite receiving individual indications from the guide, you do not see it clearly, do not hesitate and cancel the dive. This is not a bravery contest, it is a hobby and the objective is to enjoy it.

If you want to improve your skills as a recreational diver, the key is training, with the PADI Advanced Open Water or PADI Rescue Diver course you will learn a lot and gain confidence as a diver.

Do the training first and then test yourself, don’t do it the other way around.

Javier Ayensa Barabarín 03/06/2021