Most reputable diving certification courses include three parts to their teaching program: Book learning, pool dive, and open-water dive. This is seen as a natural and effective preparatory course to introduce, help you learn, and keep you safe when diving. It includes everything about basic information about rising too fast from deep water to properly using all the diving equipment to communicating with other divers and specific muscle movements that can help you maneuver in the water.
Most often, this is broken down into two separate days. However, there are locations and programs that will boil the instruction and certification down into one long day of training. Likewise, many certification courses offer separate pricing and options each part of the training program. As for cost, each part of the program typically costs a couple hundred dollars with a total cost often ranging between $300-$500.
SCUBA Diving Organizations
There are others, but especially in the U.S., there are three major Scuba diving organizations you should know about and which you’re more than likely to find when you search your area for certification programs. These organizations are largely friendly and collaborative in terms of the larger diving community. The main difference is that while NAUI uses a single and comprehensive training program, the PADI prefers a more modular approach that offers basic safety and competence instruction with the option for more advanced training for those who wish to accelerate their learning curve for expert-level skills.
Other Types of Diving Certifications
There are also commercial certification programs in many places for qualifying instructors as well as commercial diving operators. These programs themselves play a huge role in regulating the diving industry and encouraging safe practices. While diving without certification isn’t technically illegal in may places, there are business licensing regulations for commercial operators. And diving solo without proper training is an inherently dangerous activity that should be avoided by responsible individuals.
Thus, the best way to plan for and learn how to dive is to contact a commercial diving operator and asking what training they require and/or recommend. If you’re planning on traveling for your diving excursion, the good news is that most training and certification courses are recognized.