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Enriched Air Certification or How to Become an Enriched Air Diver

Dreaming of longer dives without sacrificing safety? Say no more. You’re interested in the Enriched Air Certification. By obtaining it, the student learns to dive with Nitrox, also known as enriched air (EANx).

Unlock a new world of diving possibilities by becoming an Enriched Air Diver. With this article, you will learn all about Nitrox, from its benefits and certification process to course details.

This popular certification is a recreational diving specialty that provides the knowledge and skills to safely use Nitrox: a gas blend containing a higher oxygen content compared to regular air.

PADI enriched air certification - couple - bucear con nitrox

1. What is Enriched Air Diving?

Ready to explore the depths? Let’s dive right into it (pun intended). An enriched air diver doesn’t use the ordinary blend of gases that we find in our regular air tanks.

The air we usually breathe is about 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen. Well, in these enriched air cylinders, the oxygen percentage increases.

Things are about to get a bit technical but worth it. Drumroll, please!

The show’s star is EANx, aka Enriched Air Nitrox, and it comes in different mixes.

The top three are:

EAN32 or Nitrox I:

It is about 32% oxygen and 68% nitrogen. Suitable for recreational enriched air diving and permissible for dives at any depth within the recommended limits for recreational diving. Enriches air divers can experience this mix at most Dressel Divers centers without spending an extra dime.

EAN36 or Nitrox II:

To extend dives at intermediate depths this mix contains 36% oxygen and 64% nitrogen.


This one’s a bit daring with 40% oxygen and 60% nitrogen. This mixture is not used in recreational diving; technical divers use it.

When choosing an appropriate air mixture for enriched air diving, we need to take into account the depth and duration of our planned underwater stay. Consequently, rather than pondering the best or worst mixture, it is essential to concentrate on selecting the suitable one for that particular dive.


1.1. Why Do Divers Use Enriched Air?

Why should you consider getting certified in enriched air diving? It’s a game-changer for divers looking to enjoy longer dives with added safety. With the right blend of gases, you can extend your bottom time and reduce decompression illness.

As we’re aware, the nitrogen we breathe from diving tanks is subjected to varying partial pressures depending on the depth. The greater the partial pressure, the more nitrogen our bodies absorb. This phenomenon becomes more pronounced as dive durations extend.

In recreational scuba diving, adhering to ascent limits that avoid decompression becomes paramount, even when engaging in enriched air diving. The additional nitrogen our bodies assimilate is efficiently purged as we ascend, obviating the need for extended stops.

The differentiating factor between Nitrox-assisted diving and conventional methods lies in the permissible duration spent beneath the water’s surface without encroaching upon decompression limits. By opting for Nitrox-enriched air, which contains a reduced nitrogen content, our bodies uptake less of this element. Consequently, we gain the ability to prolong our time underwater during relatively shallow dives.

PADI enriched air certification - dressel divers - bucear con nitrox

1.2. The Advantages of Being an Enriched Air Diver

Building on the information we’ve just discussed, let’s explore the primary advantages of enriched air diving, also known as nitrox diving:

Reduced Exposure to Nitrogen: One of the key benefits stems from the lower nitrogen content in enriched air mixtures compared to regular air. As a result, when diving with enriched air, our bodies absorb fewer nitrogen molecules. This advantage leads to specific benefits such as:

Extended Dive Times: Enriched air allows for longer dives as we can prolong the dive until reaching recreational diving limits and before we need a safety stop.

Enhanced Safety: The reduced nitrogen absorption contributes to safer dives. By reducing the risk of narcosis and decompression sickness, enriched air divers can focus on enjoying their dive

Increased Dive Frequency: Nitrox diving also facilitates shorter surface intervals. This is because they have less nitrogen to off-gas from their body after a dive. This can be helpful if you want to do multiple dives daily.

In addition to these advantages, there’s another noteworthy perk: Dressel Divers centers offer nitrox certified divers the opportunity to experience nitrox diving at no extra cost in most of its dive centers.

Of course, to partake in nitrox advantages, you’ll need to complete a specialized training course to become a certified Enriched Air Diver.

Most diving agencies provide this type of training. We’ll delve into the specifics next.

1.3. Comparison of Enriched Air vs Normal Air

Aspect Enriched Air Normal Air
Oxygen Content Higher: Contains a higher percentage of oxygen, typically between 32% and 40%. Lower: Contains approximately 21% oxygen.
Nitrogen Content Lower: Contains a lower partial pressure of nitrogen, reducing the risk of nitrogen narcosis and decompression sickness. Higher: Contains a higher percentage of nitrogen, which can cause nitrogen narcosis and increase decompression obligations.
Maximum Depth Limit Shallower: Allows for extended bottom times due to reduced nitrogen absorption. Deeper: Requires shorter bottom times due to increased nitrogen absorption.
Decompression Stops Fewer: Extended no-decompression limits reduce or eliminate the need for decompression stops. More: Increased nitrogen absorption necessitates decompression stops to off-gas accumulated nitrogen.
Oxygen Toxicity Risk Higher: Enriched air divers must be conscious about to oxygen toxicity depth limits because they are more achievable than in a regular recreational dive. Lower: Oxygen toxicity is not a concern within the normal recreational diving limits.


PADI enriched air certification - divers - bucear con nitrox

2. What Enriched Air Nitrox Certification is About?

In the “Enriched Air Diver” course, you’ll gain comprehensive knowledge essential for planning dives using this specialized gas blend. This course covers various aspects including oxygen exposure, diverse mixture types, their identification through labeling, safety protocols, equipment usage, and utilization of the air analyzer.

Furthermore, you’ll become proficient in utilizing both dive tables and diving computers while adhering to enriched air-specific conditions. Upon completing the course, you’ll be adept at calculating partial oxygen pressures at different depths, tailored to the specific mixture you’ve chosen, thereby ensuring mitigation of oxygen toxicity risks.

2.1 How To Obtain the Enriched Air Certification?

Exploring enriched air diving, commonly referred to as Nitrox diving, presents a range of benefits and potential drawbacks. To effectively minimize the latter, it’s recommended to acquire the SDI Computer Nitrox or PADI Enriched Air Diver Certification through Dressel Divers or an equivalent course (SSI, ACUC, CMAS).


2.2. Enriched Air Diver Course Requirements

To enroll in any Enriched Air Nitrox course and obtain an Enriched Air Nitrox certification, there are a few prerequisites:

  • Certification: You must already be a SDI or PADI certified Open Water Diver or have an equivalent certification from another recognized diving organization.
  • Age: You must be at least 10-12 years old with parental consent or be 18 years old.
  • Medical Fitness: You should be in good health and complete a medical questionnaire to ensure you meet the medical fitness requirements for diving.
PADI enriched air certification - 2 - bucear con nitrox

2.3. PADI vs SDI Enriched Air Certification

When comparing the PADI Enriched Air Nitrox certification with the SDI Enriched Air Diver Course, there are a few factors to consider:

Course Content: Both PADI and SDI offer comprehensive courses that cover the knowledge and skills required for diving with enriched air (nitrox).

Certification Recognition: Both PADI and SDI certifications are widely recognized and accepted worldwide. They meet the standards set by the World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC), ensuring that the certifications are valid and respected within the diving community.

Digital Certification Card: SDI offers a digital certification card that allows divers to access their certification information online. PADI also offers a similar service, but it may involve an additional fee for the digital card.

Price: The cost of the certification may vary between PADI and SDI.  SDI courses tend to be more affordable compared to PADI courses, with potential savings of around $100 or more.


2.4. Cost Of Enriched Air Certification

Please note that the following prices are dated March 2024. If you are reading this article later, they are likely to have changed. Please contact us to confirm the price.

Price Price-20% online discount
PADI Enriched Air NITROX course, materials & after e-learning 320 USD 312 USD
SDI Enriched Air Nitrox Certification, materials & after e-learning 260 USD 208 USD

2.5. Advantages of the Enriched Air Certification Course with Dressel Divers

When it comes to diving, safety and excellence are paramount. At Dressel Divers, leader in underwater experiences in dream destinations like the Riviera Maya, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic, we take pride in offering our distinguished clients, like you, the best in enriched air certification diving.

Experience the Difference with Dressel Divers:

Exceptional Quality: Our commitment to excellence is reflected in every aspect of your diving experience. From the quality of our equipment to the training of our instructors, at Dressel Divers, we strive to offer you the best at all times.

Primary Safety: Your safety is our top priority. With the enriched air certification course, you will learn the techniques and protocols necessary to dive safely and responsibly in waters with elevated oxygen concentrations.

Schedule Flexibility: We adapt to your schedule to provide you with the training you need without sacrificing your comfort or time. With options for online and in-person courses, you will find the perfect fit for you.

Expert Instructors: Our team of highly qualified and certified instructors will guide you through every step of the learning process, ensuring that you acquire the necessary skills to dive with confidence and safety.

In summary, as an Enriched Air Diver, you can extend the duration of your dives, decrease the nitrogen saturation in your body, reduce surface intervals, and conduct more dives in a single day.

Additionally, you have the opportunity to obtain your enriched air nitrox certification with Dressel Divers, a highly reputable company with over 30 years of experience teaching scuba diving worldwide.

How much longer will you continue to miss out on these advantages? Take action now by filling out the form and contacting us.