TheGetting scuba-certified takes about 30 hours. That’s the time 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 Do I Get A Scuba Certified?
1. Choose a Dive Center: The first step to scuba certification is to find a dive center that offers certification courses. Look for a dive center that is reputable and has a good safety record. You can find them at home in every big city or in holiday destinations, often in resorts.
2. Enroll in a course: Once you have decided on a diving center, you can enroll in a diving certification course. The course covers an academic part covering diving physics and safety, as well as a practical part covering diving skills such as using the right equipment, dive planning, and emergency procedures.
3. Pass the exams: To become certified, you must pass a written exam and a practical competency assessment. The exam tests your knowledge of scuba safety and theory, while the skill assessment ensures you can use the equipment correctly and safely.
4. Get certified: Once you pass the exam and assessment, you will receive your diving certification card. This will officially certify you as a diver and allow you to rent equipment and dive in dive centers around the world.
What Is Padi Elearning?
PADI eLearning is an online course designed to teach you the academic fundamentals of scuba diving before you hit the water. The course covers topics such as dive safety, dive planning and equipment use. You can complete the course at your own pace from the comfort of your own home, preferably using a laptop. As soon as you have completed all the theoretical modules, you can take the academic final exam. The next step is then to find a PADI Instructor or a Dive Center where you can do the practical part of your diving education, where you will receive your PADI certification card after successful training and skill assessment.
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 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.
Keep in Mind…
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. PADI certifications are recognized worldwide and allow 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. You watch instructional videos and complete knowledge reviews for each module. 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.