How Long to Get Scuba Certified and Will Your Certification Expire?

Last Updated: February 8, 2023

Scuba diving is a water sport that has massively grown in popularity over the years. From beginner divers eager to explore the wonders under the ocean to pro divers wanting to relive the experience we all have dreamt of trying scuba diving at least once in our life.

Even though it is a relatively easy sport, it still requires a little bit of training. If you want to scuba dive, you need to know the basics of swimming. A scuba certificate is one of the major requirements you need to get started.

It may seem a little annoying for some people, but scuba certification is here to help you stay safe during your scuba adventures. And the process of getting your certificate might not even be as complicated as you think it is.

how long to get scuba certified

This article’s main aim is to give insight into what potential young divers can expect when they first experience it and what they will need.

What is a Scuba Certificate?

A scuba certification (also known as a C-Card or Diver’s certificate) is a report that “certifies” that a person is eligible for diving. It lets you know that the person has also completed a training program and has achieved the required skill set for scuba diving.

Requirements to Get a Scuba Certification

To get your C-Card, you need to complete three rounds of training and testing.

Step 1

The first step is where you learn about scuba diving. You need to familiarize yourself with the sport, the equipment, and all the basics. This can be done online with the help of your iPad or Laptop, or you can purchase a DVD to complete this course. Reading books on scuba diving can also be done if you prefer something non-electronic.

Also read: Can You Scuba Dive Without Certification?

Spend at least 4 to 6 hours every day to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the theory. Get yourself acquainted with the equipment, the rules, the potential risks and hazards so that you will be well aware of the things going on underwater and can handle any issues.

Step 2

The second step is practical learning. Here, you learn all the basics of swimming in a pool. Any theoretical knowledge that you acquired in the first step can be applied here and practiced.

One of the most important things you need to master here is practicing breathing underwater. This is a crucial step because if anything goes wrong, knowing how to breathe underwater might save your life.

You should also practice how to use your breathing efficiently. This is one step you should never take for granted. When you are underwater, you need to know how to make maximum use of the oxygen you have with very tiny breaths. This will help you save oxygen in your scuba tank for a longer time in case of a mishap.

If you have any issues at any point in time, remember to inform your instructor. Keep practicing all the basic swim strokes and paddles until you can do it confidently without any supervision.

Step 3

The third and final step is moving from a small swimming pool to a bigger, wider, and deeper space. You will need to show the instructors at least 4-5 swim strokes that you have mastered.

You will take the final test in 2 days in open space like lakes with a maximum depth of 60ft (or 18 meters).

You will be given your scuba certificate once you successfully complete these three steps.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Certified Diver?

scuba ok

There is no particular duration as it solely depends on you. The first step (which is the theory part of the test) can be completed according to your convenience. Some people take a few days to understand the way scuba diving works, whereas some complete it in a matter of just a few hours.

There is no time limit or deadline, so you can do it at your own pace comfortably however you prefer.

The second step also depends on you. It usually takes a short period of about 3 or 4 days, but there’s no need to rush. You can always take more time if you need it.

Combined swimming classes usually take longer to complete as the instructor teaches a bunch of students and pays attention to them all. Private classes will speed along your process of getting a scuba certificate as the instructor has only one student and thereby gives you all the attention.

The third and final step to getting your scuba certificate only requires two days. You can complete this over a short weekend or whenever you are on vacation.

In theory, this sounds easy to complete and also seems like you can finish it in one week. This is possible but also keep in mind that there is no need for you to rush your lessons. You can do it at your pace, at your own level of comfort. Once you successfully complete this, you will be given your C-Card that will let you go scuba diving.

Does My Certificate Have an Expiry Date?

The answer is no; your certificate does not have an expiry date. But divers recommend people keep practicing diving and swimming if they want to try scuba diving again.

This is recommended so that people don’t forget about their skills. There are also refresher courses where all the requirements of scuba diving are taught again. This helps to refresh your memory and further develop your scuba diving skills.

Recommended read: Scuba Diving Refresher Tips

Can You Get Scuba Certified Online?

Yes, you can get scuba certified online as well. The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (or PADI) allows you to get your Diver’s Certificate online.

The PADI course for scuba diving consists of a wide range of topics that cover everything from basic definitions to full safety instructions. You will learn about the equipment needed, hazards, and risks of scuba diving and also learn what to do in the event of a mishap.

It covers all grounds and makes it an ideal program if you want to get your scuba certificate online.

How Long Does it Take to Get PADI Scuba Certified?

The scuba diving course offered by PADI consists of different programs that can be completed at your own pace. Know that PADI is an online scuba certification website, and you can complete both the confined diving (2nd step) and open water diving (3rd step) through the internet.

Also read: How Much Does it Cost to Get Scuba Certified?

Your personal tutor from PADI will have only one goal in mind – to help you become an excellent scuba diver. The time that you take to complete the course is not a problem as learning capabilities vary from person to person.

Summing Up

Scuba diving is open for everyone. However, you need certain qualifications to be eligible for trying it out.

The most important requirement is owning a scuba certificate. This helps divers know whether you have successfully completed the training program and are physically fit to scuba dive. Getting a scuba certification is not a difficult task.

Are you wondering how long does scuba certification last? Once you get your certificate, it will never expire. However, divers do recommend you keep in touch with your skills.

Once you get your diver’s certificate, you’re good to go!

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