## What Certification Do I Need to Start Scuba Diving?

Scuba diving is an incredibly rewarding activity that allows you to explore the underwater world. However, before you can dive, you need to obtain the proper certification. This article will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the different scuba diving certifications available and help you decide which one is right for you.

### Beginner Certifications

Open Water Diver

This is the most basic scuba diving certification and is required before you can dive anywhere in the world. The Open Water Diver course typically takes three to four days to complete and includes:

Classroom lectures on scuba diving theory
Confined water dives in a pool or shallow water
Four open water dives in a natural environment

Once you have completed the Open Water Diver course, you will be certified to dive to a maximum depth of 18 meters (60 feet).

Scuba Diver

This certification is a bit less comprehensive than the Open Water Diver certification and is typically offered as a two-day course. The Scuba Diver course includes:

Classroom lectures on scuba diving theory
Confined water dives in a pool or shallow water
Two open water dives in a natural environment

Once you have completed the Scuba Diver course, you will be certified to dive to a maximum depth of 12 meters (40 feet).

### Advanced Certifications

Advanced Open Water Diver

This certification is designed for divers who want to expand their knowledge and skills. The Advanced Open Water Diver course typically takes two to three days to complete and includes:

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Classroom lectures on advanced diving topics
Five open water dives in a natural environment

The Advanced Open Water Diver course covers topics such as deep diving, night diving, and underwater navigation. Once you have completed the Advanced Open Water Diver course, you will be certified to dive to a maximum depth of 30 meters (100 feet).

Rescue Diver

This certification is designed for divers who want to learn how to respond to diving emergencies. The Rescue Diver course typically takes three to four days to complete and includes:

Classroom lectures on rescue diving techniques
Confined water dives in a pool or shallow water
Open water dives in a natural environment

The Rescue Diver course covers topics such as emergency oxygen administration, dive equipment maintenance, and search and rescue techniques. Once you have completed the Rescue Diver course, you will be certified to assist in diving emergencies.

### Specialty Certifications

In addition to the basic and advanced certifications, there are also a number of specialty certifications available. These certifications allow divers to develop specific skills and knowledge in areas such as:

Deep diving
Night diving
Underwater photography
Wreck diving
Ice diving

Specialty certifications are typically offered as one-day courses and can be completed after you have obtained the Open Water Diver certification.

### How to Choose a Certification

The best way to choose a scuba diving certification is to consider your experience level and diving goals. If you are new to diving, the Open Water Diver certification is a great place to start. If you have some experience diving, you may want to consider the Advanced Open Water Diver or Rescue Diver certification. And if you have a specific interest in a particular type of diving, such as deep diving or underwater photography, you can obtain a specialty certification in that area.

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### Where to Get Certified

There are many different places where you can get scuba diving certified. You can find scuba diving courses at dive shops, resorts, and community colleges. When choosing a dive shop, it is important to look for a reputable shop that has experienced instructors and a good safety record.

### Conclusion

Scuba diving is a great way to explore the underwater world and experience the beauty and wonder of the ocean. However, it is important to obtain the proper certification before you can dive. By taking the time to learn about the different certifications available, you can choose the one that is right for you and start diving safely and confidently.

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