The PADI Scuba Diver course is a subset of the PADI Open Water Diver course. If you’re short on time but really want to become a diver, the PADI Scuba Diver rating might be right for you ̶ particularly if you expect to go scuba diving primarily with a dive guide. This course is an intermediate step for earning an Open Water Diver certification, if that’s your ultimate goal.
PADI Scuba Divers are qualified to:
- Dive under the direct supervision of a PADI Professional to a maximum depth of 12 metres/40 feet.
- Obtain air fills, rent or purchase scuba equipment and participate in dive activities as long as properly supervised.
- Continue dive training by completing the PADI Open Water Diver certification and taking certain specialty diver courses.
To enroll in a PADI Scuba Diver course (or Junior Scuba Diver course), you must be 10 years old or older. You need adequate swimming skills and need to be in good physical health. No prior experience with scuba diving is required, but you can try it first through the Discover Scuba Diving program.
The PADI Scuba Diver course consists of three main phases:
- Knowledge Development (online, independent study or in a classroom) to understand basic principles of scuba diving – just the first three of five sections of the Open Water Diver course.
- Confined Water Dives to learn basic scuba skills – just the first three of five dives of the Open Water Diver course
- Open Water Dives to use your skills and explore – just two of four dives of the Open Water Diver course.
You learn to use basic scuba gear, including a mask, snorkel, fins, regulator, buoyancy control device and a tank. The equipment you wear varies, depending upon whether you’re diving in tropical, temperate or cold water. Your PADI Instructor will explain the equipment you need and may suggest additional educational materials, such as the required logbook.
Check with your local dive center to get advice about everything you need for your diving adventures.
Get started by registering for Open Water Diver Online – PADI’s eLearning option. The web-based system gives you the background information you need to dive safely and allows you to study at your own pace through an easy-to-use, interactive program. You only need to complete the first three sections, but have a year to complete the whole program if you choose to go on to earn your PADI Open Water Diver certification.
There are other home-study materials you can choose from including the Open Water Diver TouchTM (a tablet app) and the Open Water Diver Manual and Open Water Diver Video (a book and DVD package). Stop by your local PADI dive shop to enroll in the course, get your materials and start reading the book and watching the video. Your PADI Instructor will meet with you to schedule knowledge review sessions, confined water and open water dives.