So you want to learn to scuba dive?
Great choice! Scuba diving is an incredible adventure. Divers often get to see a side of the ocean unlike any other, full of coral reefs, interesting fish, and maybe even shipwrecks.
To a lot of people, that sounds amazing, but there’s just one big question standing in the way of their underwater fun:
We know it can be daunting to understand how to become a certified scuba diver. That’s why this step-by-step guide exists. In this guide, we will teach you the steps to learning how to scuba dive properly. We’ll also share other tips for how to have the best scuba-diving experience.
Let’s dive in (get it?) and talk about how to become a certified scuba diver.
Wait, Why Do I Need a Certification?
Scuba diving can be dangerous without the right knowledge and skills. Becoming a certified scuba diver means you have the appropriate knowledge to handle yourself safely in the water.
Are there prerequisites?
Only one: that you are at least 10 years old, though many courses require you to be 15 years old.
Step 1: Scout and do some research
The first step is finding a diving agency and an instructor.
While there are many scuba diving agencies. The ultimate influence on your scuba learning experience is the instructor. Make sure you do some research into instructors, feel out their teaching styles, and choose the right one for you.
You can even “test drive” a few courses by auditing them for free!
Step 2: Enroll and start learning
After you’ve enrolled in a course, the next step is to start learning the actual theory behind diving.
While you may want to get in the water right away, there are a lot of essential skills to learn about before diving. How to clear your ears, what to do in emergency situations, how to physically dive…it’s all important knowledge to keep you safe!
Step 3: Pool training
Before executing “open water” dives, you need to learn some of the basics and emergency situations in a safe environment, usually a pool.
Keep this in mind when choosing an agency — agencies may differ in their standards slightly.
Keep it up — you’re almost a certified scuba diver at this point.
Step 4: Open water, exam, and C-Card
The last step is to execute your 4 open water dive and a final exam. This is a test of your ability — you’re exploring the ocean now!
While you can do your open water dives with your diving agency, many people choose to do them on a tropical vacation. All you need is your instructor to refer you to an appropriate instructor in the vacation area.
After you do all this, you’re officially a certified scuba diver! Congrats! This occasion is marked by getting your certification card (C-Card), which is good for life.
Now get diving!