Scuba diving is one of the most exhilarating underwater sports out there, but you need to go through the scuba diving certification process before you get into it. Let’s learn more about it!
How long does it take to become a certified scuba diver?
To become a certified diver, you will need to complete a Professional Association of Diving Instructors diving course, also known as PADI.
You do not have to be anywhere near the sea or the ocean to get started with PADI certification. Here’s what you need to know.
The first thing you’ll want to do is finding your local PADI dive shop. The PADI diving courses are very flexible and performance-based, so you can easily complete your Confined or Open Water course in three or four days. Moreover, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors offers a variety of schedules that can be modified according to how quickly you progress.
All PADI diving courses are focused on making you a confident and comfortable diver, no matter how long it takes. You will need to complete the knowledge development part, which is available in the form of eLearning and other home study options.
This method allows you to progress at your own speed, depending on the time you need. Besides, you can ask your local PADI instructor for help if something is unclear to you.
To earn your certification, you will have to demonstrate that you know what you should do in several specific situations and that you can do what you want to do. Completing the PADI diving course is well worth the effort, as it is the only way to become a competent diver.
Moreover, there are several PADI courses for your whole family! Even your kids can get started with scuba lessons because, in most areas, the minimum age for the PADI certification course is only 10 years.
Upon reaching 15, the Junior Diver certification earned by your children can be upgraded to PADI Open Water Diver. But do not forget that your kids may need parent permission to register for the diving course.
How much does it cost for a scuba certification?
Compared with other popular outdoor activities or adventure sports, learning to scuba dive is not that expensive. So what goes into the price of the course and how much does it cost?
The PADI Open Water course is usually divided into three parts – classroom, pool dives, and open water training.
eLearning is the most popular and convenient way to complete academics, as you can do it at home. It is also the best option to get started with scuba diving basics since eLearning provides you with a lot of information you need to know.
You should understand the principal concepts introduced in the online course, as you will have to pass a quiz and a comprehensive exam to complete this part of scuba diving certification training. Most instructors want to ensure that you have mastered all the material, so they will go over any missed questions from the exam.
- Pool dives
The main goal of confined water training is to make the new divers feel safe and comfortable in the water. Pool dives are often combined with classroom sessions and are usually done over a weekend.
- Open Water training
Open Water dives are the final phase of the PADI scuba diving certification training. To complete this part of the Open Water diving course, you will need to show what you learned during four open water dives.
If we add the costs of the classroom training, confined water, and open water dives, the total cost for the PADI certification will be between $400 to $600, depending on your level.
What are the different scuba diving certifications?
Different underwater activities require different scuba diving certifications. Multiple organizations, such as NAUI, SSI, or CMAS, offer scuba diving certifications, but the Professional Association of Diving Instructors is the largest and the most recognized one. Here are the most popular types of PADI scuba diving certifications:
- PADI Scuba Diver – A good entry-level certification, which allows you to dive to a depth of 40 feet under the supervision of a professional diver.
- PADI Open Water Diver – A “diving license” that allows you to rent diving equipment, go on boat dives, and dive solo or with a partner to a depth of 60 feet.
- PADI Advanced Open Water Diver – A more advanced certification for those who have completed the Open Water Diver course. To become an advanced open water diver, you need to improve your underwater navigation and buoyancy skills.
- PADI Rescue Diver – A diving certification that allows you to become a rescuer. Before getting this certificate, you will have to learn how to help other divers during a dive and complete first-aid and CPR training within the past 24 months.
- PADI Master Scuba Diver – One of the most superior scuba diving certifications. To earn this certificate, you need to have at least 50 logged dives and earn at least five PADI specialty certifications.
Can you scuba dive if you are not certified?
Scuba diving without diving certification may sound lovely as you will save a lot of money and time that way. However, even though it is not illegal to dive if you are not certified, we strongly recommend you NOT do so.
The sport is pretty safe when you have certification, but it is also extremely dangerous when you are not certified. Moreover, no reputable dive club or center would let you dive with them without scuba diving certification.
This underwater sport requires a specific set of techniques and skills that you can learn when earning a dive certification. Besides, you will learn a lot of essential information, such as how to put your mask on, how to equalize your ears, how to read your pressure and depth gauge, how diving affects your body, and so on. And, what is more important, you will also learn about safety protocols and potential risks.
Scuba diving is an exciting adventure to the ocean’s underwater world. The principal goal of scuba diving certification is to make this adventure safer. So do not scuba dive if you are not certified – the risk is not worth the savings!