How Much Does Scuba Certification Cost? – How Expensive or Cheap is it?
As you’ve probably already guessed, the cost of scuba diving and your certification varies depending on many factors. The price will depend on where you plan to dive, and whether it is off-season or in-season.
We’re not going to leave you without an answer though. Here are some estimates on what you should expect to spend to get scuba certified.
Remember, scuba diving is not the cheapest hobby, but the price seems unimportant once you slide underwater and see all of the beauty surrounding you.
What does it mean to get certified?
Getting a certification in scuba diving means that you have participated in courses and passed a final test to show that you know at least the basics of the sport. There are many different certifications starting with the open water diver certification that you can take over time to qualify you for different scuba diving specialties like cave diving, etc.
The certifications and tests are performed by a scuba certification agency accredited by governing bodies like NAUI or PADI. After you successfully complete your training and test, you get an identification card to prove you’re a certified diver.
Having a certification makes many things easier with regards to scuba diving. Technically, you can dive without one but you will run into issues along the way.
Most dive shops will for example not fill your tanks or rent them to you without you showing your certification card. This certainly makes it easier to go scuba diving as you can go to close to any dive shop in the world and go diving without any additional training.
What are the Requirements for getting Scuba Certified?
There are not many requirements you have to consider when you want to get an open water certification. To begin with, you should be in decent physical shape. Not being afraid of water also helps a lot… 😉
Get your Health Checked out
If you have any medical preconditions or simply want to be on the safe side, then get checked out and cleared by your doctor first. There are a number of health-related questions you have to answer when you start your course.
You need to make sure that you’re healthy enough to start working towards receiving the open water diver certification. You won’t need to be in the best shape ever but you do require a minimum level of health so you won’t endanger yourself or your dive buddies underwater.
Be able to Stay Afloat
Besides that, you have to have some basic ability to swim and float. You’ll have to be able to swim 200 yards as well as to float for 10 minutes.
None of the tests requires a specific technique and for the swimming part, there’s no time limit. If swimming isn’t your strong suit then consider doing some open water diver and swim training to improve to those minimum requirements to take the first step towards a scuba diving certification.
In addition, you also have to be over 10 years old for both PADI and NAUI to take the course and get a PADI open water certification. If you’re under 15 and take the course with PADI you’ll get a Junior Open Water Diver certification. This junior license can be upgraded to the standard open water diver certification at the age of 15.
Your Cost For Scuba Diving Certification
Getting certified to scuba dive is becoming more popular every year. We get asked for prices constantly. As we mentioned before, there is no exact answer.
It very much depends on the course you’re looking to take. A PADI open water diver course will come with a different price tag compared to compared to a Dive Master or Open Water Dive Instructor course. In the cases of advanced courses you will also have scuba gear yourself so you won’t need to rent it.
It will depend on what type of training you want, where, and when. Following is a list of estimated costs for scuba open water certification to give you an idea. Check with your dive center to get their pricing.
Part 1 – The Classroom – Online, DVD or In-Person
The first part of your diving certification program is done in the classroom. You learn the basics of diving and get a good understanding of what to expect.
You can do the academic portion of your training online instead of in a classroom. The online course costs close to $200. If you want to get a textbook and a DVD, then it will be slightly cheaper.
Part 2 – Pool Dives – Learning In Safety
You need to start in a safe place to learn how your equipment works, which is done in a swimming pool. The pool dive section of your water training costs in the ballpark of $200 for adult divers and slightly more for children.
The children’s class is usually smaller, resulting in a higher price. If you choose to do this section of your training at another training facility, or pool, you will need to check their pricing.
Part 3 – Open Water Dives – Stepping Into Nature
Practicing in open water if the final phase of your scuba diving certification training. It requires four open water dives to complete the section of the open water course.
Prices to scuba dive vary greatly depending on location. You should expect your costs to be around $200 to $250.
Your Total Cost To Get Scuba Diving Certified
If we combine the costs of your classroom/online training, pool dives, and open water dives, your total cost for your scuba diver certification will be between $400 to $600.
Some trainers offer a complete package at a single price, but you should still estimate your total price will be between those numbers.
Scuba Gear – Getting Outfitted To Dive
Are you planning to buy your own scuba gear after you finish your certification, or to continue renting? Renting equipment is cheaper upfront, but if you dive frequently, the cost of buying may be cheaper.
The prices of diving gear vary greatly depending on the equipment you choose, and whether you buy new or used equipment when you rent.
Buying or Renting your Scuba Dive Equipment
It is easier to learn how to use one dive computer and use it continually, than learning to use a different brand at each dive location.
Buy the basic gear
To just get the basics, without the computer, you should expect to pay around $150 to $200. If you want to get fully outfitted, which would include the mask, fins, snorkel, BCD, dive computer, and a scuba regulator, you could spend over $1000.
If you are trying to save money, do not try to save it on the regulator. Your regulator can be the difference between life and death. Ask your dive instructor and dive shop for recommendations for a high-quality regulator. This same advice applies to all of your gear, quality is critical.
More gear to come later
Just getting your basic gear is not the end of your shopping. You may want to invest in a wetsuit, dive watch, a dive bag, and other diving accessories.
If you are like most divers, you collect these things over time as your budget allows. The basics will get you started and you can add accessories along the way.
Scuba Diving Prices – Fun Trips and Dives
Once you have that PADI open water certification in hand, you are going to be itching to go diving. You can already picture that first tropical dive. The most popular dives are a 2 tank boat dives. Your costs will vary depending on location, time of the year, and the operator.
Get Certified at International Dive Centers
For a Caribbean outing, you should estimate paying around $75 to $130 for a 2 tank boat dive, with most operators charging closer to $75.
You can find cheaper dives at international destinations, with dive prices dipping to around $50.
Renting your equipment will add a little more to the diving expenses. You should expect a full set of rental gear to cost about $25 to $50 for the day. A few operators include the price in their fees, but that is not common. If you are doing an entire week of diving, ask about weekly rental discounts, offered by most dive shops.
Are You Ready to Get Started Today?
Scuba diving is not the cheapest hobby, but it is one of the most rewarding. There is no other hobby that will give you the level of adventure and memories that scuba diving provides.