There are several scuba certifications, which, we PADI scuba instructors can offer. From entry level, to advanced classes, to rescue diver course, to a range of different specialties. But there seems to be a slight confusion in between these two certifications, and here I will clarify the difference in between the PADI Scuba Diver and the Open Water Diver certifications.
In a nutshell:
The PADI Scuba Diver course is a subset of the PADI Open Water Diver course. Scuba Divers may dive under direct supervision of a PADI professional to a maximum depth of 12m/40 feet.
The PADI Open Water Diver course is the upgrade from the PADI Scuba Diver. As an Open Water Diver you are able to plan and execute dives on your own with a certified buddy to a maximum depth of 18m/60 feet.
Some people decide to attain the PADI Scuba Diver certifications for different reasons.
- Don’t have time to complete the entire Open Water Diver course
- Can’t finish their Open Water training for whatever reason
- As beginners, only want to dive with a PADI professional
As a PADI Scuba Diver you are also qualified to:
- Obtain air fills
- Rent or purchase scuba equipment
- Dive with a professional to a maximum depth of 12m/40 feet
- Participate in diving activities as long as properly supervised
- Continue your dive training by completing the PADI open Water Diver certification and taking certain specialty diver courses.
As a PADI Open Water Diver you will be qualified to:
- Obtain air fills
- Rent dive equipment
- Plan and execute your own dives with a buddy
- Dive on your own with a buddy up to a maximum depth of 18m/60 feet
- Book boat dives
- Take additional classes such as Nitrox or Underwater videography, etc.
Pre-Requisites for PADI Scuba Diver and PADI Open Water Diver are the same:
- Over 10 years old
- Be able to swim
- Be medically fit for scuba diving (having a medical condition does not prevent you from scuba diving, but you might need a medical certificate from a doctor)
- Complete and learn the scuba concepts through the PADI eLearning before the in-water training
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