PADI - Professional Association of Diving Instructors
Since the 1960's, over 17.5 million SCUBA divers have earned a PADI certification. Over 130,000 of those divers have gone on to become PADI diving professionals.
Almost everywhere you go, there is a PADI dive shop waiting, willing, and eager to teach you how to scuba dive. It may be the most recognizable name in dive training. PADI has its own world class magazine that you can find at any bookstore or newsstand. But the most likely reason you have heard of PADI is it is a for-profit company that markets scuba diving to the world.
PADI's efforts have paid off. PADI offers a quality, internationally recognized product. From the shores of Zanzibar to the lakes of Minnesota, it is always easy to find a PADI dive shop.
The PADI Recreational Route
- Open Water Diver - With PADI's new online training courses, this introductory scuba certification is a breeze. You can dive anywhere in the world after you complete online or classroom time, pool time, and open water sessions.
- Advanced Open Water Diver - After you complete 5 of 15 adventure dives, you can earn this certification. Underwater navigation and a deep dive are required. Then you choose three more dives such as photography, night, wreck, buoyancy and more. It may even be possible to earn college credit with this course!
- Master Scuba Diver - This one deserves some respect. You must be an advanced open water diver and have logged at least 50 dives.
- Rescue Diver - Be able to look after yourself and others with this rescue course. Learn self rescue, diver management, emergency equipment, rescuing panicked and unresponsive divers, and be able to help out in an emergency.
- Technical Courses - PADI's technical courses are run under DSAT (Diving Science and Technology) which offers courses like Discover Tec, Tec One, Tec Deep, Tec Trimix, and Tex Gas Blender.
The PADI Professional Route
- Divemaster - The first role as a dive professional allows you to lead dives and assist with instruction.
- Assistant Instructor - Through classroom, books, and practical application this certification gets you ready to teach the PADI system up to the divemaster level and assist instructors.
- Open Water Scuba Instructor - Being able to instruct through the level of divemaster is pretty cool, but you'll need to know your stuff. Classroom presentations, skill demonstrations, and dive theory are all critical to passing this exam.
- Specialty Instructor - You'll have to certify a bunch of divers and have logged over 20 dives in each specialty niche you want to instruct.
- Master Scuba Diver Instructor - When you can teach 5 specialties, then you can apply to be a master scuba diver instructor.
- Technical Instructor - Be able to teach Tec diver courses and take divers to the unexplored deeps of the ocean.
- IDC Staff Instructor - Train all divers up to the level of assistant instructor.
- Course Director - These are the guys that instruct the instructors. With this certification, you'll be on top of the diving game.
Be sure to check out PADI's website, www.padi.com to find dive shops and instructors near you. You can also find links to job posts, gear links, detailed course descriptions, and much more. PADI is a pretty great and easy way to start your life as a scuba diver.