11 Different Types of Scuba Certifications

Scuba Diving Courses: The Diver Progression Explained

Why is scuba certification important?

Scuba diving is the practice of spending a lot of time underwater while wearing a breathing apparatus. Knowing how to use hand signals correctly, read your pressure and depth gauges, understand how each piece of equipment operates, and know what to do in a dangerous situation are all requirements for certification. After receiving your basic scuba certification, you can advance your career by gaining experience or earning additional certifications for instructing others in diving or using tools underwater.

There are numerous organizations that provide scuba diving certifications, but the Professional Association of Diving Instructors is the most well-known and reputable one. The National Association of Underwater Instructors, Scuba Schools International, Association of Diving Contractors International, and the World Confederation of Underwater Activities all provide certifications that are comparable to those provided by PADI. To learn and practice a more specialized form of diving, check with all organizations to see if they offer the certification you need.

Types of scuba certifications

As part of your scuba diving certification, you will participate in both classroom and pool exercises to train you and assess your understanding of the diving techniques. Before taking a test for most certifications, you must complete a predetermined amount of training and classroom time. Here are the most common types of scuba certifications:

PADI Scuba Diver

If a certified diver is with you, you are permitted to dive to a depth of 40 feet (12 meters) or deeper. No solo diving is allowed. For those who might be interested in pursuing a diving career, this is an excellent entry-level certification.

PADI Open Water Diver

With an open water scuba diver certification, also known as a “diving license” or “scuba certification,” you are able to:

When you have an open water certification, you can also enroll in classes for underwater filming and photography.

PADI Advanced Open Water Diver

Candidates who have completed the PADI Open Water Diver certification are eligible for this certification course. The certification is intended to show that you have improved your diving abilities and can:

PADI Rescue Diver

The Rescue Diver certification teaches you how to assist others while diving. Before receiving this certification, you must have completed CPR and first aid training within the previous 24 months. The following are some of the subjects and qualifications covered by this certificate:

PADI Master Scuba Diver

One of PADI’s most advanced scuba diving certifications is the Master Scuba Diver one. After obtaining the certifications for Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, and Rescue Diver, divers can obtain this one. Additionally, they must have at least 50 dives logged and at least five PADI specialty certifications.

PADI Wreck Diver

The Wreck Diver certification enables a diver to respect the ship and its surroundings by exploring and navigating around a wreck. They learn how to survey and map a wreck for a variety of purposes as well. Some of the education included in this certificate covers:

PADI Enriched Air Diver

Divers who want to stay underwater longer and avoid the effects of decompression after surfaceing frequently opt for the Nitrox certification, also referred to as “nitrous oxide diving” or “enriched air diving.” The use of enriched air reduces the amount of downtime between dives and prevents the “bends,” or decompression sickness.

Since nitrox scuba tanks contain less nitrogen and more oxygen than standard oxygen tanks, they need to be monitored more closely. The ability to control oxygen exposure, evaluate the oxygen content of the scuba tank, and correctly set the dive computer for the air mixture in the tank are all required for this certification.

ACDE Commercial Diver

The Association of Commercial Diving Educators is the organization that grants this entry-level certification. It attests that a student has finished instruction in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the ANSI/ACDE for beginning commercial divers.

Divers Academy International Certificate of Completion

The Divers Academy International Certificate of Completion is awarded upon successful completion of the commercial diving training course. Having this certification indicates that you were instructed in accordance with the U S. ACDE/ANSI 2015-01 Commercial Dive Training, Navy Commercial Dive Manual Revision 7. This instruction covers underwater welding methods taught in accordance with the AWS Underwater Welding Standards.

ADCI Commercial Diver

The diver’s training to meet the ADCI Consensus Standard for Entry Level Air Tender/Diver is evidenced by this certification. This certification is intended for commercial divers who are working toward obtaining additional credentials, such as a mixed-gas diver certification or an air diver certification, among others.

HAZWOPER/HAZMAT certification

Although it isn’t strictly a scuba certification, those who work on commercial sites must have it. A 40-hour course called HAZWOPER/HAZMAT teaches students how to handle hazardous material situations both on land and in the water. Although the two certificates can be obtained separately, getting both is strongly advised to increase your employment prospects. A HAZMAT certificate entitles the holder to work only on HAZMAT responses; however, a HAZWOPER certificate entitles the holder to work on both HAZMAT and HAZWOPER emergency responses.


What type of scuba certification is best?

The 5 Best Scuba Diving Certification Programs of 2022
  • Best Overall: PADI. …
  • Runner-Up, Best Overall: SSI. …
  • Oldest Agency: NAUI. …
  • Best British Contingent: BSAC. …
  • Best for Future Tec Divers: SDI.

How many scuba certifications are there?

You already know the 12 PADI Scuba Diving Certification Levels.

Is PADI or SDI better?

The open water diver certification and the advanced open water diver certification are the two primary scuba certification levels that the majority of recreational divers are interested in. If you have an open water diver certification, you can dive to a depth of 60 feet.

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