It takes about 30 hours to get scuba certified, that’s the time needed it takes to learn the basics about diving and the practical skills that you need to scuba dive safely. Over which timeframe these “30 hours of learning to dive” are stretched, depends on how and where you take the course.
If you want to learn how to scuba dive in one go, it takes about five days to get scuba diving certified. If you do the dive course on the side then it can take several weeks or months. The info here relates to the first basic course commonly known as the Open Water Certificate.
How Long To Get Scuba Certified at home?
Learning to dive at home usually takes longer, you will likely have to do your regular job and only have the evenings or weekends off. Then the option of spreading the course hours over several weeks is the best.
That way you learn to dive step by step without time pressure at your own pace, but it can easily take three to six months to get your scuba diving certificate. An advantage of doing most of the course at home is, not “wasting” valuable time in a classroom or training pool while on vacation.
How Long Does It Take To Get Scuba Certified in Fiji?
The other option is to complete the diving course in one go, then it only takes about 5 days to get scuba certified. You might just go to a local dive shop, get enrolled, and when you are lucky and the course starts the next day. It is even better to learn to dive while on vacation.
The best is to book your diving course in advance with a diving school at your holiday destination. They will advise you about the requirements, course schedule, costs, and how long it will take to get scuba certified.
There are a lot of dive operations in Fiji so that you have the choice to do a diving course almost everywhere. Most of the dive shops in Fiji have on-site PADI instructors who will train you.
Beginner diving courses usually take about 5 days. Provided you meet all the requirements, you are healthy, are willing to learn the required theory, and master all the skills that are needed to scuba dive safely.
If the training was thorough, then after those 5 days you should have the knowledge and the skill to independently plan and safely conduct dives in environmental conditions and waters similar to those in which you were trained.
So we see, it doesn’t take too long to get scuba certified, but it takes much longer to become a good confident diver who can cope with unforeseen situations and does not panic. For this, you have to gain experience, and that takes a lot of diving.
It’s similar to taking a driving license, you do theory and learn to drive a car in 20-30 hours. After that, you are allowed to drive on the streets, but actually learning to drive takes many years. It’s no different with diving.
Fortunately in the real diving world, not all beginners dare to go diving on their own right away. That is a very sensible move, as there are still a lot of uncertainties and situations that could overwhelm a newbie diver and which could be even dangerous and end badly.
It is always a clever decision for a novice to dive with an experienced diving buddy or to join a group led by a divemaster. The same goes for me, even though I have many thousands of dives, if I arrive in a new location with waters unknown to me, I first get local knowledge from locally experienced divers.
It makes sense for those who are really interested in diving to enroll in further courses in which you deepen your knowledge and learn new skills under the supervision of a diving instructor.
PADI Open Water Diver course
This is the most popular and most taken diving course in the world. A complete beginner course that gets you a scuba diving certificate that is recognized worldwide and allows you to scuba dive anywhere.
– During 5 confined water dives (that’s in the pool or in shallow water), you will learn all the skills you need for diving.
– With another 4 dives in open water you will put these skills into practice.
– You dive to a maximum depth of 18 meters.
– After completing the PADI Open Water Diver course, you can dive anywhere in the world with an also certified buddy.
Learn in Modules Step by Step
Diving courses are taught in steps, in so-called modules. The modules build on the previous module, each including certain theoretical knowledge and practical skills that need to be learned. All successfully completed modules are logged in a referral form.
The modules do not necessarily have to be completed in one location, the referral form allows you to continue elsewhere. If all modules are completed, you will need 4 open water dives under the supervision of a certifying instructor.
As a rule, theoretical knowledge is acquired first. Nowadays that can be done in e-learning, conveniently online from home. For this, you watch instructional videos and have to complete knowledge reviews for each module and at the end of the theoretical study, there is a final exam that has to be passed. The diving theory is important so that one has understood important rules about basic diving physics and physiological aspects of diving that serve safety, before starting with the practical parts of becoming a scuba diver.