How do I Earn PADI Certification?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2019
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The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is an organization that provides scuba diving training and education. An individual who wants to earn diver certification may do so through this organization. PADI offers several different types of certification, so the requirements for earning a diving credential may depend on the type of certification a person chooses. In order to earn certification, a person must master the skills that are required by the specific PADI certification program.

An individual may earn PADI scuba certification by taking PADI's Open Water Diver course. This course is open to individuals who are at least 10 years old. There's also an eLearning option, however, that requires a person to be at least 13 years of age. To earn certification through this course, a person has to learn the fundamental principles of scuba diving, do confined water dives as part of the learning process, and then perform open water dives with a PADI instructor in order to review and build his skills.


PADI also offers an Open Water Diver course that is designed just for people who are between the ages of 10 and 14. A child may complete this course and become a junior open water diver. With this PADI certification, a diver who is 10 or 11 can dive only when supervised by a PADI professional or a parent who is also certified. There are also depth restrictions for children of this age. Open water divers who are between the ages of 12 and 14 are permitted to dive with any certified adult.

Another option for a person who seeks PADI certification is the Adventure Diver Course. This certification course is intended for people who want to try things such as underwater photography and wreck diving as well as those who want to strengthen their underwater skills. There are a number of adventure dives a person may learn in preparation for certification. For example, he may learn to dive dry, wearing a dry suit that protects his body from the water instead of a wet suit, or he may opt to try PADI's altitude diver course. To earn certification, a person may choose any three of the specialty dive courses the PADI offers.

An individual may be surprised to learn that some of the PADI certification courses are offered online. To complete these courses, a person uses online technology to study the classroom learning parts of his certification course. Then, he does his confined dives in a pool or similar body of water. Finally, he'll do his open water dives with a PADI instructor. Once a person has mastered the classroom learning portion of his dive course and successfully completed the required number of dives, he is eligible for PADI certification.


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