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12 Scuba Diving Certification Levels From Beginners To Professional

Scuba diving certification levels were born to maximize safety during the practice of this sport. Each diver has a certification card, which attests his qualification. This is important in order to book a diving trip, select the equipment, choose the type of air and even to find a job as a professional diver.

Depending on your scuba diving certification level, anyone will know that you have the experience, knowledge and skills required by the different training agencies. Some of the most known and recognized ones are CMAS, SSI, NAUI, and, of course, the largest diving training organization in the world, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). Reading this article, you will know its scuba diving certification levels.

Recreational Scuba Diving Certification Levels

Despite the fact that it offers us its “Discover Scuba Diver Program” (DSD) to have a first contact with scuba diving, this is not training for a certification.  The PADI recreational diving certification levels are the following:

1. PADI Scuba Diver Or Junior PADI Scuba Diver To Start

The PADI Scuba Diver is a scuba diving certification level indicated for those who do not have too much time. The knowledge you will acquire will allow you to dive to a maximum depth of 12m / 40 feet. But yes, you should always be accompanied by a professional diver. You cannot go diving on your own with only another certified diver as your dive buddy at this level. You need professional guidance.

 2. Open Water Diver (OWD) Or Junior Open Water Diver: A Scuba Diving Certification Level That Gives You Autonomy

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The main objective of this course is to learn to manage yourself and your scuba gear underwater. When you finish this course, you will be an independent certified diver, which means that you can choose your dive partner freely and just go diving by yourselves. You no longer need the presence of a professional diver. From this moment you will be able to dive with any other certified diver. But, keep in mind that there are depth limitations at this level: 18m / 59ft for adults and 12m / 40ft for juniors.

   3. Advanced Open Water Diver (AOWD) Is the Third Amateur Scuba Diving Certification Level

This recreational scuba diving certification level will allow you to improve your experience as a diver and expand your knowledge in this field. The biggest difference with the previous level is that being an AOWD you can dive deeper. Your new depth limit will be 30 meters or 100 feet.

You can get your certification as an advanced diver for free with Dressel Divers. Click on the link and ask us how, will you? 

4. There Is Scuba Diving Certification Level for Rescue Divers

The Rescue Diver course focuses its content on developing your rescue skills. When you finish this course, you will be a much safer diver capable of preventing problems and dealing with emergencies in the unlikely case that they occur.

5. Master Scuba Diver Is the Highest Recreational Scuba Diving Certification Level

PADI has developed a wide range of training options for those interested in improving their scuba knowledge. Deep, night or wreck diving specialty courses are some of them, but there are many more. If in addition to being a “Rescue Diver”, you have 5 of these specialties, you can certify yourself as “Master Scuba Diver”

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Professional Scuba Diving Certification Levels

6. Dive Master Is the Scuba Diving Certification Level to Start Your Professional Career

When you are certified as a Dive Master you can start working in the diving industry.  From the moment you finish this first level of professional training you will be able to help the Dive Instructors during their classes and you will become a group guide. This level of diving certification can still be awarded by an Instructor.

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7. Assistant Instructors, Always Ready To Help

Those who teach and train future divers are diving instructors. However, they often need assistants. This is the role played by this professional once certified. An Assistant Instructor can give theoretical classes to future divers during their training. In addition, he or she can evaluate their performance in surface exercises. However, this professional can certified nobody. Only a diving Instructor can do it.

8. Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) Is the Scuba Diving Certification Level That Allows You to Certify Others

Do the “Instructor Development Course” or IDC if what you really want is to become a Dive Instructor. Even though your “Course Director” is in charge of training you, an official PADI examiner will be the one who certifies you as an Instructor. Now, you will be the teacher and you will be able to train, and grant the different scuba diving certification levels as well. You’re interested, aren’t you?

If you want to know more, read the article How to become a Diving Instructor?

9. Master Scuba Diver Trainer, One More Professional Scuba Diver Certification Level

Those PADI Instructors who have certified 25 divers or more and who have also completed at least five PADI Specialty Instructor courses can be “Master Scuba Diver Trainers”. You can also do your MSDT course

10. An IDC Staff Instructor Is the Right Hand of a Course Director

An IDC Staff Instructor is for a Course Director what an Assistant Instructor is for an Instructor. They are the people who help to the trainers or Course Directors to teach the new Instructors. So, when you are at this level of diving certification, you can impart theory and practice under the supervision of a Course Director.

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11. Master Scuba Instructor, the Scuba Diving Certification Level That Recognizes You as An Elite Diving Instructor

Having issued 150 PADI certifications of different levels, taught 10 courses of “Emergency First Response” and having participated in 3 PADI seminars are the requirements to obtain this level of professional diving certification.

12. The Scuba Diving Certification Level of a Teacher of Teachers: Course Director

Course Directors are professionals who teach PADI Instructor Development Courses. In other words, they are the people who are in charge of training future diving Instructors. To achieve this scuba diving certification level, it is necessary to pass a PADI “Course Director Training Course” . At Dressel Divers we are really proud of having with us a Platinum Course Director (Paul Flower) who has certificated Dive Instructors since 12 years ago. Don’t miss his latest interview.

You already know the 12 PADI Scuba Diving Certification Levels. Are you ready to have yours?

Published on: Aug 19, 2020


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