If you’ve ever been interested in the diverse and colorful world that lies beneath the ocean, then you might be wondering how to get scuba certified. And you aren’t alone. There are roughly 6 million scuba divers around the world. So, what does it take to become certified? Well, there are a few different scuba diving organizations. However, PADI is the most common. PADI offers several courses ranging from introductory scuba diving certification classes to specialty classes which can teach you about things like underwater photography and cavern diving. Keep reading to discover more about the different PADI scuba certification levels
Open Water Diver Certification
There are two main scuba certification levels that most recreational scuba divers are interested in: the open water diver certification and the advanced open water diver certification.The open water diver certification allows you to dive down to depths of 60 feet. To get this certification you must first take classes either online or in-person. Once you’ve passed the course, you move on to confined scuba dives. These usually take place in a pool and are meant to help teach you the basic scuba diving skills.Then, you move onto open water dives where you get more freedom to explore and practice your skills. Once all three parts of your training are complete, you will know the basics of scuba diving and get your open water diver certification.
If you are short on time, a scuba diving certification course is also available. It takes you through the same three steps: classroom, closed dives, and open dives. However, you only go halfway through each section so it can be completed in 2 or 3 days.
The main difference is that after passing the scuba diving course, you are only certified to dive with a guide or divemaster. Whereas an open water diver certification will allow you to dive alone.
Advanced Open Water Diver Certification
If you’ve already been on quite a few dives with your open water diver certification, you might be ready to move up to the advanced open water diver certification. In order to achieve this level, you will have to go on five different adventure dives. There are many courses to choose from, but a deep adventure dive and an underwater navigation course are the two that are required. These are designed to help you navigate and deal with the extra challenges associated with deep water diving. Once certified, you can dive to depths of 130 feet.
Other Scuba Certification Levels
Most recreational divers are interested in open water or advanced open water diver certificates. These are what you will need to dive alone, and PADI is a globally recognized company, meaning you can use your certifications to dive all around the world. For those interested in additional scuba certification levels, there are more options beyond this. The rescue diver certification and the divemaster certification can allow you to build a career on scuba diving. Courses specializing in boat diving, altitude diving, underwater photography, coral reef conservation, master diving, and adaptive support diving are among the various other options available through PADI.