About the Course
The Advanced Open Water Diver course is all about advancing your skills. You'll practice navigation and buoyancy, try deep diving and make three specialty dives of your choosing (it's like a specialty sampler platter). For every specialty dive you complete, you can earn credit toward PADI® specialty certifications.
Here are a few of the many options: Enriched Air Nitrox, Deep, Fish Identification, Night, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Digital Underwater Imaging, Search & Recovery, Underwater Naturalist, Underwater Navigation, Dive Against Debris, Dry Suit, and Wreck Diver.
Check out the Frequently Asked Questions section for a complete list of specialty dive options.
Take This Course If You Want to
Learn How to
How to Become an Advanced Open Water Diver
Advanced Open Water Diver eLearning includes interactive lessons on 13 popular specialty dives: altitude, boat, digital underwater imaging, drift, dry suit, fish ID, night, buoyancy, search and recovery, underwater naturalist and wreck diving.
You'll study deep and navigation diving plus three specialties of your choosing.
- eLearning time commitment: 6-8 hours
With Your Instructor
- Prerequisites: Open Water Diver/Junior Open Water Diver (or qualifying certification)
- Total time commitment: 2-3 days
- Minimum age: 12 years or older
- Depth: The maximum depth depends on your age, but maximum depth is up to 21 metres/70 feet
Scuba diving requires a minimum level of health and fitness. Chronic health conditions, certain medications and/or recent surgery may require you to get written approval from a physician before diving.
Avoid disappointment, download and review the Diver Medical form to ensure you won’t need a physician’s approval to dive before enrolling in a scuba course. Instructors, divemasters and dive shop staff are not physicians and should not be asked for medical advice; only medical professionals can give medical clearance to dive.
If you (or your physician) have questions about medical fitness to dive, contact the experts at Divers Alert Network (DAN).
Course prerequisites: PADI Open Water Diver, Junior Open Water Diver, or qualifying entry-level certification.
The minimum age to start the Advanced Open Water Diver course is 12.
- Divers 15 or older earn an Advanced Open Water Diver certification
- Divers between the age of 12-14 earn a Junior Advanced Open Water
- Diver certification Divers 10-11 can earn a Junior Adventure Diver certification. Upon turning 12, they can complete the deep dive and earn a Junior Advanced Open Water Diver certification.
Divers certified as Junior Advanced Open Water Divers automatically become Advanced Open Water Divers at age 15. Any replacement certification card or eCard purchased the day after the diver's 15th birthday will automatically show an Advanced Open Water Diver (not Jr. Advanced Open Water Diver) certification.
You can complete this course locally or while travelling.
There are three parts to certification: knowledge development, skill practice, and open water dives. You can complete all three parts locally, on holiday, or split between the two.
Choose a dive shop close to home to:
- Support your local diving community
- Meet dive buddies in your local area
- Learn about your local ecosystem
Choose a dive shop away from home if you:
- Plan to travel to a dive destination on holiday
- Like to meet new people when travelling
- Have the time to complete your course while on vacation
Advanced Open Water Depth The Advanced Open Water Diver course includes one deep dive. How deep? The answer depends on your age, local regulations and dive site depths.
- The maximum depth for divers 15 or older is 30 metres/100 feet
- For divers 12-15 years old, the maximum depth is 21 metres/70 feet
The depths listed above are the maximum depth, your dive may be shallower. A deep dive is considered anything below 18 metres/60 feet. Put another way, a dive to just 19 metres/62 feet qualifies as a deep dive.
The PADI Advanced Open Water course is like a specialty sampler platter. Review the list below and contact your dive shop or instructor to confirm what they offer.
As an added bonus, each specialty dive may be credited toward the related specialty certification. For example, if you try a drysuit dive during your Advanced Open Water Diver course and like it, you'll already have one of the two dives required for the PADI Dry Suit Diver certification.
These specialty dives are available almost anywhere:
- Fish Identification
- Peak Performance Buoyancy
- Digital Underwater Imaging
- Search & Recovery
- Underwater Naturalist
- Underwater Navigation
The specialty dives below may not be available in all locations. If you see something that interests you, contact your instructor or dive shop to confirm availability.
- Adaptive Support
- Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB)
- Dive Against Debris
- Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV)
- Dry Suit
- Enriched Air
- Full Face Mask
- Self-Reliant diving
- Shark Conservation
This course requires both knowledge development and inwater training for certification. When you purchase a PADI eLearning course from our website, the cost covers the knowledge development portion only.
There is an additional cost to complete your certification with a PADI Instructor. The cost depends on class size, environment, and whether or not you need to rent equipment. Contact a PADI Dive Center or Resort for more information and pricing.
In addition to basic scuba gear, you will need a compass, dive knife/tool, dive computer and student slate. If you don't own these items, ask your dive shop about renting or purchasing these items.
You may also need specialized equipment for your specialty dives, such as a camera for underwater photography/videography. Your PADI Instructor will advise you about any specialized equipment you may need and how to get it.
English, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional.
For information on other available languages please contact your PADI Dive Center.
PADI's online courses are designed to work on the browsers listed below. For the best experience, make sure your browser is up-to-date.
If you plan to be somewhere without internet access, use the PADI Training app to download course content and study offline. Content can be downloaded in small sections with a total file size of approximately 540 MB. When you get back online, upload your progress so you can resume your training right where you left off.
The PADI Training app is available for Android™ and Apple® iOS devices. For the ideal experience, devices should be no more than three models old and running with the most current OS (operating system).
During the Advanced Open Water course, you'll try different types of specialty diving and discover your diving aptitude and interests. As an added bonus, each dive you make may be credited toward the related specialty certification.
For example, if you try wreck diving during your Advanced Open Water course and like it, you can credit that dive towards Wreck Diver specialty certification.
Here are some other courses to consider:
- If you like making multiple dives in one day, or taking multi-day dive trips, getting Enriched Air Nitrox certified will unlock longer, deeper dives and shorter surface intervals.
- Want to improve your confidence and become a better dive buddy? Sign up for the PADI Rescue Diver course.
- With each certification you earn, you'll be one step closer to earning the elite Master Scuba Diver™ rating.