Learn to Scuba Dive and Get Certified

Get CertifiedYour first step is earning your Open Water Diver certification — becoming what is commonly known as a “certified diver.” Even if you’ve previously taken part in introductory scuba experiences (commonly known as “resort courses”), you are most likely aware that the best opportunities in diving await those who are fully certified.

So, what does it take? Find out by watching this short video.

Would you like to know even more? You can watch this 12-minute, in-depth video on learning to dive, or just follow any of the links below.

Here is a summary of what’s involved in becoming a certified diver, along with links to dates, prices and other, more specific information.

Course Prerequisites

Anyone who is at least ten years old, is comfortable and relaxed in the water and who is in reasonably good health can usually learn to dive without difficulty. You do have to be able to swim; however, you don’t necessarily have to be a great swimmer. There are a few medical conditions that may require you to get a physician’s approval ahead of time. These are listed on the medical history form you fill out prior to orientation. Learn more…

Come by yourself or bring a friend

Even though diving is a buddy-oriented sport, you don’t need a family member or friend to sign up with you. Individual students are always welcome. In fact, you’ll discover that scuba class is a great place to make friends and meet prospective dive buddies.


Your first step is to attend one of our four-hour scuba orientations. (This does not apply to private lessons). These orientations cover a wide variety of topics and provide you with the first opportunity to get in the water. There are, however, some things you will need to do ahead of time. See dates and learn more…

Self Study

Prior to taking part in any of the knowledge review/skill development sessions, you will need to complete all of the self-study requirements. You will do this using SSI’s state-of-the-art eLearning program. You can even get started before attending the Orientation session. Learn more and get started now…

Knowledge Review and Skill Development

After you have attended the orientation session and complete all of the self-study requirements, the next step is to attend a series of knowledge review and skill development sessions. These are available in both weeknight and weekend formats. See dates and learn more…

Open Water Training

When you’ve completed your academic review and skill development sessions, you’ll be ready for your open-water training dives. These consist of five dives conducted over two days. Each of the dives provides the opportunity to apply the skills you mastered in confined water, and to make a guided dive under the supervision of your instructor and his or her assistants. There are several options available. Learn more…

Where We Train

Knowledge review sessions take place in our upstairs classroom. Skill development sessions take place in our own heated, indoor swimming pool. For open-water training, we go to the Florida Panhandle or you can join us on one of our many vacation trips. Learn more…

Required Equipment

Each student needs to provide his or her own scuba-quality mask, snorkel, wetsuit boots and adjustable scuba fins, along with a weight belt, weights and a few other items. These must fit very specific requirements, so do not purchase anything without consulting us first. You can either purchase the balance of the equipment you need for open water, or rent from us. Learn more…


How much you pay is largely up to you, and depends on questions such as: Do you want to take private lessons or one of our group classes? What equipment do you want to buy, and what do you want to rent? Where will you do your open-water training dives? Learn more…

FAQs and Other Information

Find the answers to several of the most commonly asked questions about becoming certified.


Download medical history and exam forms.

Get More Information

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