Types of PADI Scuba Diving Courses
Making Sure You Choose the Right PADI Diving Course For YouThere are dozens of scuba diving courses to choose from, so this article explains the difference between the different course so you can ensure you select the best scuba diving course for you. Some of the options including getting qualified to dive, learning to take underwater photos, learning to dive deeper and even becoming a professional dive instructor.
Scuba Diver CourseThis course is really designed for people who don’t have time to complete the open water course. It teaches you the very basics of diving and once completed you can dive with a PADI Divemaster or Instructor to a maximum depth of the 12m. We don’t tend to offer this course as the way our courses are structured it only takes 1 more day to complete the full open water.
Open Water DiverThis is where your underwater adventures really start. The Junior version that means that anyone above the age of 10 is eligible to dive. The only other prerequisites are that you are in general good health (you can meet the requirements of the PADI medical form), you can swim 200m and float/tread water for 10 minutes. The course consists of 3 parts; theory, confined water dives (such as a pool) and 4 open water dives. On completion you have a life-long qualification that enables you to dive around the world.
Advanced Open Water DiverTo become an Advanced Open Water diver you simply need to have completed your open water course. The main benefits are that you are then qualified to dive to 30m (yes it is worth being able to go that deep), you receive 5 more dives under instruction meaning that you become a much more competent, confident and ultimately and safer diver. The course consists of 5 adventures dives. The Deep and Underwater Navigator are mandatory and then there are a choice of three others which depending on your interests, the local dive site, conditions and your instructor/dive school.
Rescue DiverOnce you’ve qualified as an Advanced Open Water diver you can progress to become a Rescue Diver. This is possibly the most challenging course you will undertake but the most rewarding. You’ll learn how to minimise your chances of an emergency, prevent others having problems and if they do you’ll know how to handle it. As well as being an Advanced Open Water Diver you’ll also need to have completed a valid First Aid course within the last 2 years. Many parents choose to do this course as it means they can be much more responsible when diving with their children.
Master Scuba DiverThis is often referred to as the ‘Black Belt of Diving’ as it is the highest non-professional rating you can get. To become a Master Scuba Diver you need to have completed the Rescue Diver course, 5 specialty courses and 50 open water dives. With only 2% of all qualified divers achieving this level, you will be regarded as a the pinnacle of the diving world. You can choose all of the 5 specialties which means you can have fun on the way as well as learning new skills that interest you.
Scuba Diving SpecialtiesOnce you’ve learned to dive, you never stop learning and improving your skills. The Specialty Courses are designed to teach you new skills that you are interested in. There are literraly dozens to choose from including:
Deep DiverLearn to dive to 40m, the deepest you can qualify to go to as a recreational diver. Learn how to deal with Narcosis and what to do if you accidently exceed your no decompression limits.
Fish IdentificationWhere every you decide to go you’ll always come across interesting and local species. One of the most common questions dive guides receive is ‘what was that’. The Fish ID course teaches you about local species and how to interact with them.
Night DiverMany species come out at night and many others go to sleep. So diving at night gives you a totally different experience. Having a decent torch can light up the dive site and many divers love night diving just as much as diving during the day. This course teaches how to dive at night safely as well as navigating around the site.
Enriched Air NitroxThis course teaches you to breath a different blend of air to reduce the amount of Nitrogen going in to your system. This ultimately means you can stay down longer and you have more no decompression time. The course teaches you how to avoid possible complications to having too much Oxygen, how to plan your dive and how to analyse your air.
Wreck DiverThere are hundreds of historical wrecks around the world, as well as amazing museum pieces they act as manmade reef systems that can attract corals and marine life. Wreck Diving isn’t without it’s risks so you’ll learn how to navigate around a wreck and exit safely.
Professional Scuba Diving Qualifications
DivemasterThis is the entry level for the professional diver rating. You’ll need to be a Rescue Diver with 40 dives by the time you start the course and 60 dives by the time you finish. For those who wish to be the best diver they can be, or for those who wish to work as a Divemaster or progress to become an instructor then this is the course to take. As a qualified Divemaster you’ll be able guide dives, teach refresher courses and if you also do the DSD leader you can teach Discover Scuba experiences.
Open Water Scuba InstructorTo become a dive instructor you need to be a Divemaster with a minimum of 100 dives. The course is normally completed over a few weeks or several weekends. At the end of it is a 2-day open water instructor exam. Once you’ve qualified as an instructor you can work anywhere around the world – subject to local employment laws! You’ll get paid teaching the thing you love doing most, not many professions can offer that! You can find out more on our PADI courses at www.oysterdiving.com.
What is PADI and what does it mean?This is a question we are frequently asked. PADI stands for the ‘Professional Association of Diving Instructors’. PADI are the world’s largest diving membership and scuba diving training organisation. They were founded in 1966 by John Cronin and Ralph Erickson. They decided to have a diver training course that allowed divers to get in the water as soon as safely possible and to break it down in to several modules. PADI offer scuba courses from beginners to professional level. The PADI Open Water course is the world’s most recognised diving certification. By March 2017 over 25 million people had learn ’t to dive under the PADI centre. There are over 6,300 PADI dive centres worldwide and there are over 136,000 members, most of whom are instructors and divemasters. Certification Levels Children:
- PADI Seal Team (Age 8 and above)
- PADI Bubble Maker (Age 8 and above)
- Skin Diver (Snorkelling)
- Junior Scuba Diver (Age 10 to 14)
- Scuba Diver – subset of the PADI Open Water Diver course, must dive under the direct supervision of a PADI Professional
- Junior Open Water Diver (Age 10 to 14)
- Open Water Diver
- Adventure Diver – exposure to three elective scuba experiences
- Advanced Open Water Diver – expanded scuba skills through “adventure” dive experience: a “deep” dive (18–30m), an underwater navigation dive and three electives from a large choice
- Rescue Diver – Basic skills in stress management, self-rescue and buddy rescue for recreational diving.
- Master Scuba Diver – recognition of selected set of certifications and experience: Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, 5 elective specialties and 50 logged dives.
- AWARE Fish Identification
- Boat Diver – Boat terminology, boat diving procedures and etiquette, boat entries and exits, and basic boating safety.
- Cavern Diver
- Deep Diver – open water diving to maximum depth of 40 metres (130 ft)
- Digital Underwater Photographer
- Diver Propulsion Vehicle (underwater scooter)
- Drift Diver
- Dry Suit Diver – introduction to dry suit diving
- Emergency Oxygen Provider Course
- Enriched Air Diver – Recreational open circuit diving with Nitrox
- Equipment Specialist – Routine care and maintenance procedures and scuba equipment storage. Basic repairs and adjustments.
- Ice Diver
- Multilevel Diver – plan and execute a multi-level dives.
- National Geographic Diver
- Night Diver – buoyancy control by feel, low light communication and buddy skills, entries, exits and navigation in the dark, and handling a dive light.
- Peak Performance Buoyancy – trim correctly and maintain neutral buoyancy in mid-water.
- Project AWARE
- Search and Recovery
- Rebreather (Semiclosed)
- Advanced Rebreather
- Self-Reliant Diver
- Underwater Naturalist
- Underwater Navigator – navigation using natural clues and by following compass headings
- Underwater Photographer
- Underwater Videographer
- Wreck Diver
- Professional certifications
- Assistant Instructor
- Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI)
- Specialty Instructor
- Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT)
- IDC Staff Instructor
- Master Instructor
- PADI Course Director
- Technical diving
- Discover Tec (non-certification) – a short confined water experience that allows the diver to try out technical diving equipment under supervision.
- Tec 40 – limited decompression dives to 40 metres (130 feet) using backmount or sidemount cylinders.
- Tec 45 – diving using air or Nitrox to 45 metres (145 feet) with repetitive accelerated decompression dives using a single decompression cylinder using either backmount or sidemount.
- Tec 50 – diving using air or Nitrox to 50 metres (165 feet) with accelerated decompression using up to two gases, using backmount or sidemount with up to two decompression cylinders.
- Tec Trimix 65 – diving using trimix to maximum depth of 65 metres (210 feet) with accelerated decompression using two gases, using backmount or sidemount and two decompression cylinders.
- Tec Trimix Diver – diving using trimix to 90 metres (300 feet) during training (no limit specified after training) using backmount or sidemount, and more than two cylinders with decompression gas
- Tec 40 CCR – no stop or limited decompression dives using a Type T CCR (PADI approved technical CCR) to a maximum depth of 40 metres (130 feet)
- Tec 60 CCR
- Tec 100 CCR
- Tec CCR Qualifier
- Tec CCR Refresher
- Tec Gas Blender speciality – blend nitrox and helium-blend breathing gases using one or more blending methods.
- Tec Sidemount speciality – dive with four sidemount cylinders.
- Professional certifications 
- Tec Instructor
- Tec Deep Instructor
- Tec Gas Blender Instructor
- Tec Trimix Instructor
- Tec Sidemount Instructor
- Tec 40 CCR Instructor
- Tec 60 CCR Instructor
- Tec 100 CCR Instructor
- PADI Basic Freediver
- PADI Freediver
- PADI Advanced Freediver
- PADI Master Freediver