Scuba Diving

Different Levels of Recreational and Professional Scuba Certification

Geethanjali Jujjavarapu

Last updated: 24-01-2023

If you have decided to get scuba certified, it will probably turn out to be one of the best decisions you have ever made! Getting certified opens up an entirely new world to explore and allows you to dive more independently without depending on a dive professional. It would also mean learning a whole new skillset and being more confident in water! Certified divers are also able to enjoy the underwater world and their encounters with marine life or ship wrecks a lot more given that they have the confidence and skills to manage themselves underwater. So what are you waiting for? Go on and get your certificate! (Check out our Open Water Diver course and Advanced Open Water Diver course for those are already Open Water certified)

In this article, we elaborate on the different levels of scuba certifications for those of you who want to read up more before diving (quite literally) into it!


Different Levels of Recreational and Professional Scuba Certification


Open Water Diver

The Open Water Diver course is your gateway to the depths of the ocean. The course teaches you the required skills to manage yourself and your dive gear underwater. On completion of the course, you will be an independent diver who can dive anywhere in the world with another certified diver. You will no longer have to be accompanied by a dive professional. The Open Water course allows you to dive to a maximum depth of 18m or 60 ft.! 


Advanced Open Water Diver

If you wish to up your skills and also dive deeper, you can get certified as an Advanced Open Water Diver. The course teaches you some essential navigational skills and also allows you to dive to a maximum depth of 30m or 100 ft.! The course also consists of elective dives which you can choose from. These include night dive, wreck dive , underwater photography and so much more!


Different Levels of Recreational and Professional Scuba Certification


Emergency First Response and Rescue Diver

On completing the Rescue Diver course is when a scuba diver becomes fully confident and capable of handling emergencies both above and underwater. You will be taught how to respond in emergency situations and provide first aid to fellow divers or yourself if and when the need arises. The Rescue Diver course is known to be the most challenging and also the most rewarding course given the steep learning curve you will go through. It is also a step ahead if you are looking at scuba diving professionally and wish to have a career in the field.


Different Levels of Recreational and Professional Scuba Certification


Master Scuba Diver

This is the highest level of recreational scuba certification. This course requires you to have 50 logged dives and be certified as a Rescue Diver. The course primarily involves completing five speciality courses and learning a number of other skills, both in theory and practice. It is considered to be an extremely fun and knowledgeable course that is bound to give you dive experiences in different environments!


Dive Master

The Dive Master course is your gateway to professional diving. Once you complete your Dive Master training, you can start working in the diving industry! Remember the person who took you on your Discover Scuba Dive? Yes, you can now be that person and introduce someone else to the underwater world! The course is rigorous both in terms of theory and practical skills and typically takes 6-8 weeks to complete. You need 40 logged dives to start your Dive Master training.


Different Levels of Recreational and Professional Scuba Certification


Open Water Scuba Instructor

Also known as the Instructor Development Course or IDC, this level of certification allows you to work as an instructor at dive centers across the world and certify newcomers in the scuba scene. This role requires great levels of responsibility and patience which you would have seen in your instructor during your earlier scuba days!

While there are other scuba certification levels, these are the major ones that you will go through as a recreational or professional diver. We hope this answers your questions on different levels of scuba certification and that you will be taking the plunge very soon!


Geethanjali Jujjavarapu

Lawyer by education, Geethanjali loves travelling and documenting her travels through photographs an Read more

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