Recreational diving is an incredible experience, but only gives us a taste of what the ocean has to offer. When you are certified as a recreational diver, you are able to dive into the underwater realm to explore coral reefs or look for sharks.
As a technical diver, your options open up vastly! To start with, you can venture to new places. Wrecks, caves, caverns, bottom time, ice water, altitude, and depth become a part of the diving excitement. And with these skills, come more risks, more responsibility, and more opportunities. It is also necessary to learn technical diving skills if you want to pursue a career in the commercial dive industry.
Early in your training, opportunities will come available to dive inside a wreck or venture through a cave of rock or coral. PADI offers specialties in most of these technical diving skills - skills such as enriched air, wrecks, dry suit, deep, cavern, drift, diver propulsion vehicles, semi-closed rebreathers, ice, night, navigation, and several others. Learning about these specialties benefits you. First you'll find what you like and what you don't like when it comes to diving. Secondly, you'll know if you have what it takes to be a commercial diver, if you don't freak out on a deep drift dive at night with an unknown creature larger than you swimming nearby.
PADI does an excellent job giving you the basic technical diving skills using your standard equipment. Plus, having these skills keeps diving fun and always leads you to new adrenaline pumping experiences.
These organizations certify you at higher levels. They bring in new equipment, more cylinders, more calculations, and more responsibility. But at the same time you get to dive deeper for longer, which is a real thrill in itself. The challenges of tech diving are fun. You'll learn about mixing nitrox, trimix, and other gas mixes. You'll become familiar with bubble-less rebreathers, like the Navy Seals use. It's pretty awesome stuff.
If you still love what you're doing after you become a fully certified technical diver, you can go on to be a technical instructor, or venture into the world of commercial diving. In commercial diving you'll put the skills you've learned to the test in some intense underwater conditions. Be sure to review the scientific diving page in this section too.
The ocean is a huge place and largely unexplored. Technical diving gives you the skills to go where few others have gone, and it gives you more job options. If your dream is to go deep and stay long or you want to pursue commercial diving - technical diving skills are mandatory!