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For every scuba diving certifications, there are three parts: knowledge development, skill practice, and open water dives. So, if you want to enroll in a diving exercise, we have a list of the best scuba diving certifications here.
Before we dive into the details, it’s important you understand what is SCUBA and what is stands for. SCUBA stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, and it was formed in 1952 by Christian J. Lambetsen.
It is a form of sport that involves underwater diving, where divers use breathing equipment that is independent of a surface air supply. So, SCUBA diving certifications are certifications that Scuba divers earn, certifying that they are fit to engage in the sport.
In SCUBA diving, divers carry their source of breathing gas, which makes them comfortable, be able to move freely, and stay for longer hours underwater. SCUBA Diving can be done for both domestic and professional purposes.
Scuba diving certifications are certifications issued to scuba divers, certifying them as professionals in scuba diving.
Different scuba diving certifications can be acquired, ranging from confined water diving, open water diving, advanced open water diving, divemaster, etc.
There are three prominent certifications in SCUBA diving, and they are run by:
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There are different kinds of equipment and apparatus that are used by scuba divers when underwater. This equipment is to make them comfortable and stay longer underwater. They are as follows:
This is an important apparatus, which contains pressurized breathing gas that enables divers to breathe well underwater.
This is because the pressure of the inhaled air must balance the surrounding or ambient pressure, to allow inflation of the lungs.
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This refers to the equipment scuba divers breathe through when underwater. It provides the appropriate breathing gas, at an appropriate ambient pressure, ensuring that divers breathe well underwater.
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The buoyancy control device is used to help divers control their buoyancy, while underneath the water.
This helps one stay at a certain depth, without needing to use force by kicking with the fins. The buoyancy also helps one stay longer underwater, by helping one conserve energy.
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This is a scuba diving mask made from tough materials, which can withstand underwater pressure. Scuba masks are made of high-quality materials, such as tempered glass, silicone, etc.
It helps divers see underwater.
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The fins used by a scuba diver are to help he/she move swiftly and efficiently underwater with less effort.
Just like the fins of a fish, a scuba diving fin helps the diver swim easily.
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This is to keep the diver warm, while they dive. This is because the human body loses heat about 2 times faster when in water than in air. So, a wetsuit is important to slow down the heat loss.
Here, the wetsuit traps a layer of water between one’s skin and the suit, which the body then heats to the normal body temperature, and the neoprene material of the wetsuit slows down heat loss.
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This helps scuba divers stay underwater since the gas cylinder and wetsuit make the diver buoyant.
Weights are made of lead, attached to a belt, and worn around the waist, while diving.
In getting a scuba diving certification, the first step is to take an online course that would expose one to the basics of scuba diving. And this costs about $185.
Afterward, one proceeds to take a pool diving exercise, to practice what one has learned in the online course, and that costs about $200.
And for the open water course, the price varies depending on whether one is close to the ocean or not.
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Every sport has an element of risk, and scuba diving is not an exception. There is an element of risk in scuba diving, and even though accidents are rare, it is still important to take precautions.
Hence, as an intending scuba diver, you should go through the scuba diving classes, to familiarize yourself with the process and equipment usage.
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One of the benefits of getting a scuba diving certification is that it helps you to put to practice what you learn about scuba diving. This is because, without a scuba diving certification, you would not be allowed to dive in open water. So, once you get the certification, you would be able to explore open water and practice all that you have learned.
Another benefit of getting a scuba diving certification is that it helps you to be able to buy or rent scuba gear at a professional dive shop. This is important because, professional dive shops would not sell or rent out scuba gear and equipment to you, without a scuba diving certification, which confirms that you are qualified to dive.
Getting a scuba diving certification allows you to explore deeper open water bodies. Without a scuba diving certification to certify your competence to swim under open water, you would be limited to close waters, such as pools and other small water bodies.
Scuba diving helps you to explore new places and visit new areas, while in water. And without a scuba diving certification, this is not possible.
Also, since swimming helps to eliminate stress and help the body to relax, one can enjoy the benefits of swimming, while engaged in scuba diving.
There are various steps to take, in the process of getting a scuba diving certification, and they are as follows:
To start with, look for the nearest Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) office, or other SCUBA organizations, and sign up for the online course on scuba diving. In this course, you would get access to knowledge on scuba diving on things such as safety protocol, scuba diving terminologies, etc., through written materials, videos, etc.
After enrolling in the course, you would have to take tests at the end of each module. And after the entire course, you would be required to write and pass an exam, before moving on to the next stage.
The next stage is the confined water diving stage, which has to do with swimming in a body of confined water e.g., in a pool. In the pool, you start practising all you learnt in the online course, and after this, you are technically certified to dive in a pool.
Then you move to open water diving and keep logging in diving hours, till you move up the rank to advanced open water diver, rescue diver, master diver, etc.
There are other specialized courses in scuba diving, such as cave diving, ice diving, wreck diving, etc.
There are different levels of scuba diving certifications, from basic level to advanced level. The following are 10 scuba diving certifications to take in 2023:
This is the first course to be taken before one fully enters the scuba diving world. It involves theory and practical sessions, where you learn the theoretical aspects of scuba diving, before going on to practice in the water.
The theory aspect consists of five sections, out of which three are required. The same applies to the practical section, which involves three of five required confined water dives, and two of four required open water dives
It is most suited for individuals who are not sure of their swimming abilities. And it requires you to dive to a maximum depth of 12cm while being supervised by a scuba professional Afterwards, you can decide to obtain your open water diver certification.
The PADI Open Water Diver Course is an entry-level scuba diving course that is targeted at recreational diving. It is a basic level diving certification, which serves as the first step into the scuba diving world.
To take the course, divers need not have any experience as they would be exposed to essential diving techniques and develop skills for safe diving in open waters. To enroll as an open water diver, you must be able to swim and be at least 10 years old.
The PADI open water diver course promotes performance-based learning through online or offline theory classes and practical sessions in water bodies.
The cave diving certification is a certification course for divers interested in learning overhead environment diving, and expanding their diving skills, range, etc.
In this certification, one would be exposed to standard cave diving policies, psychological considerations of cave diving, gas management procedures, different swimming techniques, such as buoyancy control, line-following, body posture, finning, etc.
Problem-solving techniques such as silting conditions, emergency procedures, etc. would also be taught. Accident analysis and cave diving etiquette also form an important aspect of this course.
A wreck diving certification is a kind of certification that enables one to explore and navigate a shipwreck safely. It also enlightens one on how to carry out topographic surveys and mapping with underwater tools, to understand how to navigate shipwrecks.
Also, since wrecks differ from one another, one would be exposed to how to explore different kinds of wrecks by inspecting their history, layout, hazards, as well as practicing specialized wreck diving skills.
In scuba diving, one of the important pieces of equipment is the air cylinder which contains enriched air, for breathing underwater. Enriched air nitrox is any nitrogen/oxygen mixture that has more than 21% oxygen than is found in normal air. This
Certification course is, therefore, targeted at teaching learners how to analyze an air tank, set dive computer for nitrox, and fill out enriched air logs.
The Rescue Dive Certification is an important diver certification, in which divers specialize in learning rescue dive techniques, to help in situations of emergencies.
Hence, to acquire this certification, one must have complete rescue exercises, as well as practice rescue scenarios.
Rescue divers must be at least 12 years old and he/she should be able to perform CPR and first aid, having been trained in the past 2 years.
Also, the diver must have deep knowledge of rescue techniques, stress management methods, etc.
The adventure diver certification is a thrilling certification, which falls under the advanced open water diver course.
Some of the requirements for the adventure diver certification include being at least 10 years old, the completion of three adventure dives chosen based on one’s preferences, etc.
Some of the skills to be acquired in the adventure diver course include altitude diving, boat diving, boat diving, recovery diving, etc. This certification immerses you into adventure diving experiences below the surface.
The advanced open water certification, just as the name implies is advanced and involves more technicalities, beyond the basics. Here, the diver gets advanced knowledge on what has been learned in the basic and entry-level certification programs.
To be certified as an advanced open water diver, one must complete two required adventure dives, which are the deep navigation dive and the underwater navigation dive.
Afterward, one would be also required to complete five supervised adventure dives. This is an advanced-level scuba diving certification and the minimum age requirement is 12 years.
The master scuba diver certification is a well-respected, top-level certification in the scuba diving world, which has some specific requirements.
To start with, you need to have obtained your open water diver certification, an advanced open water diver certification, rescue diver certification, and five other specialty diver certifications. You must have also logged at least 60 dives and be at least 18 years old.
The Master Scuba Diver is the first certificate that one requires in becoming a professional diver, to be able to assist other divers in their diving training.
It is an elite certification, which ranks you high in the scuba diving community. To be enrolled in a master scuba diver course, you must be perfect in your diving and rescue skills.
Commercial diving certifications are certifications for individuals who want to fully dive into the diving industry, as professional divers.
A commercial diving certification empowers learners with skills, such as gravity surveying, floatation devices maintenance, life-support systems construction, marine environment control checks, medical and emergency care for diving illnesses and accidents, etc.
Various institutions offer commercial diving certification, to equip individuals with relevant knowledge and skill in this field.
Scuba diving is a recreational activity, as well as professional work for some people. It is a great way to relax, have fun and experience another world, different from what you are normally used to. Acquiring your scuba diving certification is surely a worthy investment.