PADI Scuba Diving Certification: What’s Involved?

Learn to Scuba
Scuba Diving in Cuba

I often get asked “how do I get a scuba diving certification” or “what is involved in a scuba diving class?”

First, to get a scuba diving certification, go find your local scuba diving shop. The minimum age for PADI certification is 10 years old. I tell parents it is a “mature” 10-year old that could do it, but I have taught plenty of young kids and am always surprised at how well they grasp the concepts.

PADI Scuba Class Work

For scuba diving certification, you will probably have a choice of learning in the class or e-learning. First, let’s talk about the classroom option. You get your book and materials ahead of time so that you have done some or all of the reading and completed the knowledge reviews at the end of each section before coming to your first class. There is also a DVD to view. Additionally, there is a medical form that can be found online and should be completed prior to coming to class. Sometimes, a person may need a doctor’s note before they can take place in any diving activities. In the class, there are quizzes and a final. In all, the classroom sessions take about 6 hours, more or less depending on the class.

If you opt for e-learning, you still have to do the pool and open water training sessions (we’ll talk about this later). You will also have to come in and take a mini-test so that the instructor can test your knowledge on the main concepts. Otherwise, this is a great option for those that have less time available to come in for multiple class sessions.

PADI Scuba Water Sessions

With either option, there are 5 confined water sessions that take place either in a pool or pool-like conditions. The sessions may be completed over multiple days so that the students are not overloaded with so much material. There is also a swim test that includes swimming and a treading component.

Once all of the skills are mastered in the pool, you head to open water which can be done in the ocean or lakes. There are 4 open water scuba dives. My students are always surprised at how easy the open water classes seem. There are a few skills, but it is mostly the students becoming comfortable in the water.

Becoming a certified scuba diver is not like learning how to ride a bike or play guitar. In scuba class, we teach you how to deal with problems that may arise. It really is a different kind of learning.

What do I get?

As an open water scuba diver, you are certified to dive to 60 feet (with shallower restrictions for younger kids). The certification also never expires! That’s right! However, it is recommended that you do a refresher course if you’ve been out of the water longer than 6 months.

How long does the class take?

The open water scuba class can be completed in as little as 3 days. Most places will stretch out the learning over a couple weeks.

Open water scuba certification is very book intensive. After you are certified you can move on to the advanced open water class or even other specialty courses. Learning more and more about diving is exciting!

Check out the place we take our divers for certification locally!

Take the plunge! Become a certified scuba diver!

2 thoughts on “PADI Scuba Diving Certification: What’s Involved?”

  1. Hi, such a wonderful blog! Your blog contains lots of information about PADI scuba diving certification courses. I am planning to do learn scuba diving course this upcoming vacation. Keep sharing such an informative blog.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I hope you enjoy diving as much as I do! Let me know if you have any questions about your certification.

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