Start Getting Ready to be a Licensed SCUBA Diver

I have always been intrigued by outdoor sports. Whether it’s skydiving or snowboarding, I am in search of getting as many certifications and experience as possible. One of those paths has led me to study the process of receiving your SCUBA certification. I’ve written this article so that I can come back to it when I’m ready to embark on this journey (and move to California). Hopefully you will find it useful as well.

SCUBA, otherwise known as Scuba diving, is an acronym for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. These terms plainly show what Scuba's all about: using an apparatus to breath underwater without being connected to anybody or anything else.

If you are reading this article to find out exactly what you need to do to become SCUBA certified, then continue reading. We'll discuss many different aspects of the SCUBA experience, but most importantly, we'll give you the needed information to not only get started on this path, but if you so desire, to become a professional Scuba diver. If you find this article helpful, please feel free to leave a comment below for others to see your success. Thanks!

PADI - The Way the World Learns to Dive

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) was founded in 1966 by John Cronin and Ralph Erickson; and is the world's largest recreational diving and diver training organization. Diver training once consisted of a single course that exhausted the whole training process needed to become certified divers, but Erickson and Cronin believed in breaking the curriculum down into sections, or courses, so that one could take the classes one step at a time. PADI is a member of the World Recreational Scuba Training Council.

Many divers and professionals believe that PADI is currently the best place for receiving the proper training and certification needed to be an entry-level diver (Scuba Diver or Open Water Diver) to a Master Scuba Diver to an instructor.

If you are interested in finding other organizations that will help you become certified, you will find their names at the bottom of this article. This post was written to show you the best of the best training organization in mind.

The Chart of Opportunities

You may be asking yourself whether there are actually options for you to do exactly what you want to do when it comes to Scuba diving. Well, here’s a chart that will give you a glimpse into what types of programs and courses that are available while showing you what steps it will take to become a certified diver.

SCUBA Certification OptionsCredit: PADI

Non-Certification Programs

Through PADI, you can receive a number of certifications that can expand from non-certification levels to a plethora of professional certifications. Following you’ll find a list of each level and what courses and certifications are found in each. We’ll begin with non-certifications you can receive through PADI.

  • Discover Scuba Diving
  • Discover Snorkeling

Kid’s Programs

  • Seal Team (ages 8 and up)
  • Bubble Maker (ages 8 and up)

Recreational Diving Certifications

  • Skin Diver (Snorkeling)
  • Junior Scuba Diver
  • Scuba Diver
  • Junior Open Water Diver
  • Open Water Diver
  • National Geographic Diver
  • Adventure Diver
  • Advanced Open Water Diver
  • Rescue Diver
  • Specialty Courses
  • Master Scuba Diver

Then there are the many specialty courses that PADI provides. These include, but are not limited to:

Specialty Courses and Programs

  • Altitude Diver
  • Boat Diver
  • Cavern Divers
  • Deep Diver
  • Digital Underwater Photographer
  • Diver Propulsion Vehicle
  • Drift Diver
  • Dry Suit Divers
  • Emergency Oxygen Provider
  • Enriched Air Diver
  • Equipment Specialist
  • Ice Diver
  • Multilevel Divers
  • Night Divers
  • Peak Performance Buoyancy
  • Project AWARE Coral Reef Conservation
  • Project AWARE Fish Identification
  • Project AWARE Specialty Course
  • Search and Recovery
  • Semiclosed Rebreather
  • Underwater Naturalist
  • Underwater Navigator
  • Underwater Photographer
  • Underwater Videographer
  • Wreck Diver

And then there are the professional certifications if you desire to step even further into this path.

Professional Certifications

  • Divemaster
  • Assistant Instructor
  • Open Water Scuba Instructor
  • Specialty Instructor
  • Master Scuba Diver Trainer
  • IDC Staff Instructor
  • Master Instructor
  • Course Director

Wow! What a load of amazing courses that are provided for anybody interested in diving in! If you strive hard to become certified, you can do it.

The Different Course Options

As you can see, there are many different options for receiving your certification; even which certification you’d like to receive depends upon what you’re looking to do. But you should know that there are different options of taking these courses as well.

For most of the beginner and entry-level courses, you have the option to take them online. What a great opportunity to start this process: from home! Here’s a list of the courses that you’re able to take through their online program:

  • Open Water Diver Online
  • Scuba Tune-Up Online
  • Advanced Open Water Diver Online
  • Rescue Diver Online
  • Enriched Air Diver Online
  • Digital Underwater Photographer Online
  • Dive Theory Online
  • Divemaster Online
  • Instructor Development Online


Again, if you’ve found this article helpful, then we’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below that will encourage others about the possibilities (and even challenges) when it comes to training for Scuba certification. What are your dreams? Do you want to see yourself instructing Scuba classes someday? Or would you simply like to show off your skills by becoming a Divemaster? In any case, we wish you the best of luck and hope that you will find more success by reading this report.

Below you will find the other options for receiving your SCUBA certification. PADI may not be the best option for everybody, so search out your favorite (or nearest) organization and get started. Once you get started, you will not regret it. The key to success is persevering throughout the courses that you'd like to receive certification for. Good luck to you!!!

Other Legitimate Organizations for SCUBA Certification

American Canadian Underwater Certifications (ACUC)

British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC)

National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI)

European Committee of Professional Diving Instructors (CEDIP)

Professional Diving Instructors Corporation (PDIC)

Scottish Sub Aqua Club (SSAC)

International Training SDI, TDI, and ERDI

Scuba Schools International (SSI)

YMCA Scuba