How to become a Certified Scuba Diver
Scuba diving is an immensely enjoyable underwater activity, one which everyone should experience in their lifetime and learn how to scuba dive is the only way to gain entry into this world of adventure and discovery.
If you are thinking about becoming a professional scuba diver, there are certain steps which lead you to that desire. It’s relatively straightforward, and we give you the details below:
- What ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR TAKING A DIVE COURSE?
Before you become certified as a scuba diver, it means you have taken and passed any of the scuba diving courses offered by one of the scuba certification agencies such as PADI or NAUI.
A certified diver can fill their tanks and go diving on their own as they are often required to show a certification before their tanks are filled. During certification, they are required to swim 200 yards unaided although there’s no time limit. In addition, prospective divers would also be required to tread water and float for 10 minutes using any method they want.
The age limit for the PADI is 10 and above although students younger than 15 will only be given the PADI Junior Open Water Diver Certification which can be upgraded to the PADI Open Water Diver Certification once they turn 15 years. For the NAUI, potential divers have to be 12 and above to take the course.
The training for the scuba diving certificate consists of three parts:
- A book work which takes like 12 to 15 hours to complete and goes for $138 to write the exam.
- A pool environment training where you practice basic scuba skills such as putting on your gear, sharing air, taking off your mask, etc.
- The last part is the completion of 4-5 open water dives where you show the skills you have learned in the pool portion of the course.
Once a potential diver passes all three tests, he or she is issued a scuba diving certification card or a c-card.
- HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE TO GET CERTIFIED?
The amount of time it takes to get a diving certification depends on the route you take. There is an option for doing all your pool and book work in one weekend; this route is advised only when you have prior experience. There is also an option which takes six whole weeks to get done with the book and pool work; this is the options most persons choose. After successfully completing the book and pool work, the candidate then proceeds to the open water dive training where they are required to complete 4 or 5 successful dives.
- HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET THE CERTIFICATION?
On the average, you should complete your book and pool work portion of your scuba certification with about $200- $250. You would still need to pay for the open water dive sessions.
- WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF DIVE CERTIFICATION?
The first certification for recreational divers is the open water diver certification. The tests for this course are as outlined above and this certification qualifies you to dive as far as 60 feet down.
To go up to 130 feet, a diver would need the advanced open water certification which requires some book work and additional five dives, one of which must be an underwater navigation dive and the other a deeper water dive. You also get to choose from three other dives which interest you.
- WHERE CAN I GET CERTIFIED?
The first place to look at is your local dive shop which usually offers convenient certification courses. Another option would be to complete the book and/or pool portion before travelling and finish the certification with your open water dives once you arrive.
Once you have gotten your open water c-card, there are extra courses which you can take to bolster your scuba diving certification. These include:
- Deep diving
- Ice diving
- Cave diving
- Wreck diving
- Night diving
- Search and recovery
- Drift diving
No matter the route you decide on, just get started. That’s the most important step.