SCUBA Diving Organizations
When it comes to being certified in diving, it can be an overwhelming experience choosing the diving organization that's right for you. Talk about swimming in a sea of acronyms - PADI, NAUI, SSI, PDIC, YMCA, CMAS, BSAC, HSA, MDEA, IDEA, NASE, PDIC, and it just keeps going!
You're going to have lots of options when it comes to getting certified. And if you choose to become a dive instructor, it's a good idea to have a little bit of knowledge about all of the organizations. That way when a Russian visits your dive shop in Brazil, and is a self proclaimed "expert" certified diver, you'll know what level diver he really is. Just so you know, divers are notorious for exaggerating their skills, so always be sure to check a person's certification before diving with them.
It's time to simplify this whole decision - If you want to be the most employable diver worldwide, PADI is the way to go.
PADI - Professional Association of Diving Instructors - PADI is recognized and respected internationally. It is one of the largest players when it comes to certifying divers. With a PADI certification you will have the most job options. Its members are located in 175 countries worldwide. PADI is proud to boast over 100,000 dive professionals in its ranks. Most dive shops and instructors are PADI certified, along with 55% of divers around the world. The steps to employment go: open water diver, advanced open water diver, rescue diver, dive master, instructor development, assistant instructor, dive instructor, master instructor, and course director.
By no means is PADI the only player in the market. But when you are interested in working in the diving world, it is the best. If PADI isn't for you, both SSI and NAUI offer good programs and are easy to find. There are other dive organizations that are both highly respected and have excellent training. But they do not offer the same employability. But if your best friend runs a SSI dive shop, SSI may be perfect for you. So please take a look at other dive organizations and consider your personal situation before you commit.