Dive Master Internship

In 1999 Mermaids Dive Centre created the Worlds first Dive Master Internship. The diving industry required a more professional approach to the training of a dive pro and we took the lead. Diving instructor internships followed allowing Dive Masters to progress into scuba diving instruction seamlessly.

All of Mermaids scuba diving internships are FULLY inclusive of agency fees, unlimited diving, full equipment (to keep), dive courses, training, materials and accommodation. Being ALL-Inclusive allows you the professional diver in training to concentrate solely on education and experience. We want you to become the very best diving pro possible and enjoy a wonderful life working in the scuba industry.

Located in Thailand Mermaids offer Dive Master and Dive Instructor training 365 days per year. With a year-long diving season we’re well placed to receive divers any time that is convenient to them. The local diving creates a perfect training ground with several penetrable ship wrecks, deep and shallow coral dives, slack and ripping currents – we have a wide range of diving experiences on our doorstep.

Diving internships allow you the ‘wet-side’ training in order to be a diving professional. Additionally Mermaids operate dry-side scuba repair training in the form of dive equipment maintenance and servicing. We offer a Scuba Engineer Internship that includes diving equipment, compressor strip down, engine rebuild, scuba tank testing and much more. Dry-Side scuba skills are looked at by diving employers very favourably.

If you are looking to become the very best dive pro possible then Mermaids can assist you with your dream. It is our goal to make you as employable as possible as a diver and work prepared. Mermaids have hundreds of ex-interns working throughout the world within the diving industry.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Internships... & Stuff Related
Hidden Charges?

There are NO hidden costs for the diving internship programs at all. A diver shall pay nothing more than the stipulated course fees for the diving. All PADI fees for each course and the IDC and IE are covered. All of the diving, equipment, materials, accommodation – all included. (the utilities for the accommodation i.e. water and electric separate. This averages at between $25-50 US per month – this is with normal usage i.e. 3 showers per day and only using the air-condition when you are in the room).

Intern Accommodation?

We use a hotel for our divers that we have used since 1999. It’s just meters from the dive centre with lots of convenience in being so close. The have double beds, Air-Con, warm water, private bathroom/shower, Wifi, Cable TV and a fridge – essentially a hotel room. Security is very good and 24/7 also. They are basically mini apartments / condos / hotel style. There is a real sense of community spirit. There are NO sharing of facilities – all apartments are SELF-Contained and private. Any dive intern that wishes for a spouse or partner to stay with them is perfectly entitled to do so at no extra charge – you have the room and it is up to you if you have guests or not. Make it like home as it will be for up to 6 months. (If you have further needs i.e. a bigger family etc then room upgrades are available.

You can see the website for the scuba divers hotel here.

Age Restrictions?

You do need to be 18 years old in order to become a PADI professional i.e. Divemaster or above. Having said that there is no reason why we can’t train 17 year olds to Rescue diver certification and then wait for the following training – as indeed we have. There is no maximum intern age for the inturnship. We have trained people from 17 – 59 years of age. I would not be surprised to have a 60 year old++ join the program at some stage.

18+ and willing to put in the effort and we can make you a very employable diver.

Study Time Amount?

As a general rule of thumb look at 75% of your time here being dive study related. I.e. if you are here for the 6 month program then 4.5 months will be study and diving with 6 weeks of leisure time. This “leisure” time can be used how ever you wish – for a little traveling, meeting friends or take advantage of our un-limited diving policy. You can jump on any one of our 3 boats for pleasure diving when ever you wish.

Likewise, if you wish to train and learn 7 days per week – you are welcome to do so.

Best Time to Arrive?

The “Diving Life” program is a continuously running program that can be joined at any one of three dates every month. We have interns that are attending college with set holidays and semesters, gap year students, ex-forces re-settlement divers, trainees that are working overseas jobs, interns from the forces that have set time frames etc – we have to be flexible on the enrollment date and this is to assist you. The start date of any of the programs should not be a factor for anyone as they are only 10 days apart.

The weather does not affect the dive intern program as we are sheltered from the monsoon to a very large degree and are lucky enough to have a 365 day dive season. The main bulk of the rain is from May – Oct but this again does not interrupt the program. This is superb as it allows any dive trainees to arrive and complete their dive training in one sitting instead of having to carefully choose when they arrive and/or having to go to another area to complete. It tends to rain for an hour or so and then you’d not know that it had been raining. The chart below is a very general guide – it can get a lot hotter here in the months of Dec – April.

As you can see from the chart above (courtesy of our good friend at Asiadivesite.com – we have GOOD+ diving conditions ALL year around. Pattaya has a year-round dive season and hence perfect for the internships allowing for unbroken training – this coupled with the diverse training sites that we have make it perfect for hardy intern dive training.

Job Assistance?

In the entire time that Mermaids CDC have been running the diver intern program (since late 1999) Mermaids have been able to assist in placing all qualifying candidates that wished to for dive work in either Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam for diving jobs. Mermaids now have contacts in Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Crete, Egypt, Honduras, Belize, the Bahamas, Greece, The Cook Islands, Cyprus, Crete, Mexico, North America, Turks and Caicos, Canada, Malaysia, UK, Spain and Portugal. Turks and Caicos are actually becoming the most popular destinations for dive work.

Finding work is one of the most important questions any diver looking to turn professional diver can ask. Mermaids trained me through the instructor program and dive job availability was my main question. Although it was not a “diving life” trainee package that we have now, the late Steve Blumenthal found me dive work within 10 days of becoming a dive instructor. The quality of dive training that Mermaids offer ensures that excellent and employable PADI dive instructors are produced. The place where I had work requested that Steve give another Mermaids trained diver for another employee just days after I started.

With Mermaids scheme and some effort on your behalf, dive work can easily be found.

Arrive Anytime?

The Dive Master training is simple – the 5th, 15th and 25th of every month of the year. You really can arrive any time.

If you are training up to Instructor then we need to correspond about dates. Your arrival at the dive center needs to be worked so that your IDC is perfectly aligned with your training. Mermaids have approximately 8-9 IDC’s per year so we can cater for most schedules.

PattayaThis and That ...
Gyms / Nutrition

We understand that it is important to eat well and treat your body right. It’s easy to stay in shape in Pattaya.

Naturally you will be exercised by the diving and training within the program. At the Dive Master stage there are some fairly hardy swims to complete in order to pass. You’ll want to be in good shape for these.

For the exercise  bunny, there are Gymnasiums all over the town. Some on the same street as the dive centre. Gyms are quite inexpensive in Pattaya and most take non-members walk in clients. You can try them all out. For those that are serious about protein – all of your regular protein shakes and bars can be gained in Pattaya. There are specialised gym shops but also 7/11 (to be found everywhere) sell protein shakes also. (approx $1.5 per drink).

The dive center is based walking distance from a very popular park for running. The park has good inclines and a set of buddhas at the top to boot. Gyms in Pattaya are inexpensive to use and most accept non-member passes.

Literally every warm weather sport that you can imagine can be taken in Pattaya.

The intern accommodation has a fridge and hence there’s no reason not to have fruit on the diet. Thailand has a huge range of fruits and vegetables great for any diet and cheap at the market. We have a market with plenty of fruit near to the dive center.

You will find that most diets can be supported in Pattaya. Mermaids cater for both vegetarians and meat eaters.

Visiting Family?

It is very common for dive interns to have family or friends over visiting them – or maybe the intern wishes to return for a mother’s birthday or Christmas etc- as mentioned this is very common. Simply take all of the time that you need and then return to continue from the state of training where you left off. All of your equipment and materials will be safely stored in your personal locker and safely awaiting your return.

If any of your family or friends would like to gain scuba certifications or take day trips here (hey, you could lead them!) then they receive an automatic 20% discount on all regular scuba diving courses and dive trips.

Living Cost Pattaya?

Pattaya can be very reasonable or very expensive depending on what you are doing. The everyday prices for food and beer etc is very in-expensive indeed. An average (but tasty) western meal will cost approximately $4US+ (130 Thai baht)

If you like Thai food then you’ll save even more money – a good dish of Thai food can be $1.5+ (45 Thai baht). Beer is extremely cheap also, priced at $1US ++ (35 Thai baht) depending on what and where you are drinking – this is what I mean by “Pattaya can be very reasonably priced or expensive”.

If you are in the expensive (but not necessarily better) pubs, clubs and restaurants every night then money can slip through the fingers. If you enjoy a beer, a good feed and good company each day in a moderately priced place then bank on $10US per day.

A budget for spending money can be 15,000 baht ++ per month (approx $500US+). Bear in mind that you get fed very well on the boat each day also. Wait until you taste the food…it’s seriously good! With $500 you can stay here and dive a lot and relax have a good social life. If you are a partier then you would require more of a budget, accordingly.

Mobile Phone?

If you have a mobile phone and wish to bring it then there are plenty of SIM card deals that you can get – this will give you a local number and discount international calls.

There is Wi-Fi literally everywhere including the dive centre and accommodation rooms. If you have a smart phone then you could exist here on simply VOIP, SKYPE etc.

Not far from the dive centre is a super market / emporium that only deals in mobile phones and related technologies. You can get SIM cards at this superstore and indeed a phone if you require one.

You will not be short of communications during your training.

Transport Pattaya

Pattaya is an easy place for transport. Traffic can get quite busy on holidays or Thai weekends but you can get around swiftly.

There is no requirement to have personal transport whilst on the internship. All of the transport for the diving is laid on – we have a suite of minibuses that transport us between the ports and boats. Any special days out for the training will have transport included. The dive intern accommodation is 30 seconds walk from the dive centre and hence no transport is required.

You have everything that you could need immediately at hand – immediately or a short walk away. Near the dive centre and intern accommodation there are bundles of convenience shops selling milk, tea, coffee, sandwiches, water, toilet roll, lotions etc – there are restaurants lining the street and a stone throw from the intern accommodation. There are clothes shops, money changers, cafes, bars, open markets (offering so much), Pharmacies, dentists … If you only walk, then you still have everything to hand,

Pattaya has a route that works itself around the city and therefore has transport that runs that route (and many arteries between). To get any where in the city a ‘baht bus’ can be used. These are plentiful and you’ll never have to wait more than a few seconds to flag one down. They are open backed pickups that have bench rows off seats. A Baht Bus ride is inexpensive at around 20 baht to the heart of the city from the dive centre.

You simply jump on a Baht Bus heading in the right direction. When you’re close to your destination simply ring a bell adorned on the wall and the bus will stop. They let you get off and then make payment. Price can be bartered yet the costs are usually already reasonable.

If you wish to rent a motorcycle for your duration in town you can. A motorcycle is approximately 3000 baht per month. 100 baht of fuel usually lasts a week or so. They are incredibly efficient. Having a bike allows you to get out further and explore along the beach fronts and out into the paddies. Even Baht Buses will give you a rate to visit an area and then return you to the intern accommodation for example.

Dive Insurance?

There is no compulsory insurance in Thailand but it is recommended. A great DAN (Divers Alert Network) policy is aproximatly $100 per year (plan dependant) and well worth the investment.

Once you are qualified as a Dive Professional you will be able to gain professional liability and personal insurance. When working in a dive center or with students it is quite important to have yourself covered. The dive center that you work for will have their own liability insurance however you will need ot gain your own liabilaity insurance also. Many dive centers will insist on you having insurance for employment. Professional insurance acna only be gained once you are qualified as a professional.

Many divers ask if they can work in a dive centre as an open water diver or rescue diver. It is possible but you will not be qualified to work with students and not be much use to the shop other than in retail. Additionally and very importantly you will not be able to gain insurance as a recreational diver and hence a liability to the dive center.

Travel Insurance?

Some divers arrive with no insurance but it is recommended for a stay in Thailand. Medical treatment in Thailand is world class however it is not free. Many travel insurances include hospital cover but please check with your provider before travel.

Insurance for divers comes in many forms these days. Maybe you have will have separate insurance for your diving to your personal effects / hospital.

A lot of travel companies now offer all-inclusive extreme sports insurance – i.e you’d be covered for diving for up to 6 months (enough for training) AND have personal effects and health insurance.

Many of the large health insurers such as BUPA now offer extended travel insurance which is good for Thailand.

The area in which we are based is safe but it is best to be prepared.

Hospitals / Medical Care?

Pattaya’s hospital facilities are superb. The Bangkok Pattaya hospital is probably the most advanced around in general. You’d be amazed at the care here and the cleanliness of the facilities. Every time I have ever been for a scrape or knock etc the treatment has never been anything but superb. Most of the doctors and nurses have had western education.

The nearest facilities (re-compression chamber) are in Pattaya. This is a single chamber. Sattahip naval base which is 45 minutes from Pattaya by road has extensive facilities. During the Divemaster internship – interns are given an assignment to plan and ensure the fastest and safest emergency plan for recompression / decompression sickness. We have this plan and all necessary telephone and response numbers etc but it’s the Dive masters job to clarify all data etc and add to it. Helicopter assistance can take 15 minutes to the re-compression chamber. Bare in mind that we run these courses daily – we’ve an awful lot of experience in “dummy runs” to the chamber – believe me we know the drills inside out and upside down. – We have not had to use the plans in any real emergency.