Recreational SCUBA Diver Certifications

If you’ve ever been fascinated by the BBC’s Blue Planet, dreamt of swimming with an eagle ray, or found yourself staring in amazement at the office fish tank, you should consider learning to SCUBA dive.

It’s not hard and it’s a lifetime of fun.

Water covers over 2/3 of the planet. The underwater world of oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, harbors, and dams are absolutely incredible and most have never been explored. Under the water, you can be a wildlife enthusiast, shipwreck explorer, or scientific surveyor. All it takes is a scuba certification and that world is yours.

Where to begin…If you Google “Scuba Dive,” you’ll find over 11 million results. “Scuba Dive Certification” brings back nearly 13 million. As you can tell, there is a lot of information. When you dive you travel into a world without air to see wildlife that humans don’t know much about. It can be dangerous. To be safe, you need proper instruction.

The best way to be safe is to get the proper training with a dive certification organization such as PADI, NAUI, SSI, or numerous others. These organizations work to teach divers how to dive safely. They certify you at a basic level and with experience and logged dives you can test into a higher certification. The certifications start with never-evers and progress to people who want to instruct the instructors. That’s right, diving can be a career where the learning and adventure never stops.

You need to research the organization that best fits your needs. You may pick the organization associated with the local dive shop because it is super convenient, the organization that certifies the most divers, the one that focuses on education, or the one your friend recommends.

When you are learning to dive it is valuable to have a dive instructor that knows his stuff and that you trust with your life. He is the person who is going to teach you underwater skills like what to do if you run out of air underwater, how to communicate without words, or how to navigate through caves.

Once you find an instructor that you are comfortable with, it is a good idea to stick with the same instructor as you work your way up the diving ranks. Most organization’s diver progression follows a similar course and looks something like this: Beginning Diver, Advanced Diver, Specialty Diver, Rescue Diver, and then professional roles of Divemaster or Instructor.

Every level requires new skills and has prerequisites. As you learn these skills, you’ll be in the safety of swimming pools, in controlled ocean settings, in classrooms listening to lectures and taking written tests, and finally out in the ocean putting your skills to use. To reach different levels you may have to have 100 hours of dives logged (an average dive is about 30 to 45 minutes), swim a mile in open ocean, or dive deeper than 30 meters (100 feet). Each organization has there own set of rules and regulations. No matter what the requirements are, each level of diving is rewarding and challenging.

As you ascend the scuba ladder, you will begin to realize why diving is such an incredible sport. Every dive is different. One dive you may spot the world’s largest fish, the whale shark, and on the next dive you may drift over a reef or explore a sunken pirate ship.

Deciding to become a scuba diver is an exciting decision. If you only do it recreationally you’ll love it. If you choose it as a career, you’ll love it even more.

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