🀿 The Difference Types of Scuba Divers

Open Water Divers

Becoming an Open Water diver means that are qualified to go on lake or ocean dives to a certain depth with a ‘buddy’ (another diver) but without the supervision of a professional. It’s necessary to take a certified course – we recommend the one run by PADI. To embark on the course you must be in good health, reasonably fit, and comfortable in the water .If you are between 10 and 14 or have a child between these ages, there is also a PADI Junior Open Water Diver program available.

A PADI Jr Open Water Diver between the ages of 10 and 12 years may only dive with a PADI Professional, a certified parent or certified guardian to a maximum depth of 12 metres/40 feet.
Throughout the course, you’ll learn fundamentals of scuba diving, including dive equipment and techniques. You earn this rating by completing five pool dives and knowledge development sessions and by making four open water (ocean or lake) dives.

PADI programs are performance based. You proceed as you demonstrate mastery of the course skills. This allows you to work at a pace that is comfortable for you.

Equipment needed

  • PADI Open Water Crew-Pak
  • PADI Open Water Video or DVD
  • Log Book

Advanced Divers

If you are already a certified diver you can continue your adventures with an advanced training course. You may wish to pursue a specialist area of diving, or just wish to extend your expertise. Most advanced courses will include mandatory ‘difficulty’ dives such as night dives, deep dives and low visibility dives. There is usually the opportunity to take an elective element also, such as diving for search and rescue, or for photography. Scubadex recommends the Advanced divers course run by PADI (see our Associations drop-down for details)

PADI’s Adventures in Diving program offers both the Adventure Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver certifications. If you complete any three adventure dives, you can earn your PADI Adventure Diver certification. If you complete your Deep Adventure Dive, Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive and three Adventure Dives for a total of five, you can earn your Advanced Open Water Diver certification.

After your five dives, you’ll be more experienced, feel more comfortable in the water and simply enjoy diving more because you better understand the underwater environment. To enroll on the course you’ll need;

  • PADI Open Water Diver certification (or qualifying certification from another Association – see our drop-down menu)
  • Minimum age: 15 (12 for PADI Junior Advanced Open Water Diver)

This course includes five Adventure Dives, including the Deep Adventure Dive, the Underwater Navigator Adventure Dive and three of the following:

  • Altitude Diver
  • Boat Diver
  • Drift Diver
  • Dee p Diver
  • Dry Suit Diver
  • Diver Propulsion Vehicle
  • Multilevel Diver
  • Night Diver
  • Peak Performance Buoyancy
  • Search and Recovery Diver
  • Underwater Naturalist
  • Underwater Videographer
  • Underwater Photographer
  • Underwater Navigator
  • AWARE Fish Identification
  • Wreck Diver


  • Recommended Course Hours: 15
  • Minimum Open Water Training: five dives over two days


  • Adventures in Diving Crew-Pak
  • Adventures in Diving Video
  • Log Book

PADI Advanced Open Water Divers at least 15 years of age can enroll in PADI Wreck or Dee p Diver Specialty courses and continue on to the PADI Rescue Diver or Junior Rescue Diver course.

Master Divers

For advanced divers there are opportunities to extend your expertise, and become a solo diver or even a dive leader. Rigorous mandatory dives (including emergency procedure and rescue) combine with elective elements (such as hunting and collecting) to form the course. At this level, a highly tuned knowledge of the workings and maintenance of your dive equipment is required. Accredited Master divers can enjoy open water diving without supervision. Scubadex recommends the Master divers course run by PADI (see our Associations drop-down for details)

This certification denotes that you’ve reached the highest recreational diver level in the PADI System of diver education. PADI Master Scuba Diver indicates you have a significant amount of training and experience in a variety of dive environments.


  • PADI Open Water Diver certification (or qualifying certification from another organization)
  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification (or qualifying certification from another organization)
  • PADI Rescue Diver certification (or qualifying certification from another organization)
  • 50 logged dives
  • Five PADI Specialty course certifications
  • Minimum age: 15 years old (12 for Junior Master Scuba Diver)

The PADI Master Scuba Diver certification is the highest recreational level in the PADI system of diver education. But, you don’t have to stop there! You can continue on to become a PADI Professional. As a Master Scuba Diver you’ll be well qualified to begin your training as a PADI Divemaster.

Specialist Divers

There are any number of different specialisms on which you can focus in your further adventures of scuba diving. They range from a greater understanding of equipment such as gases and gas blends, new skills such as photography and videography, or new disciplines such as wreck or cave diving. Specialty training is an integral part of your attaining a higher level of qualification such as the PADI Master Scuba Diver certification. Some of the specialisms offered by accredited schools are as follows:

  • Equipment Altitude Diver
  • Night Diver
  • Boat Diver
  • Research Diver
  • Drift Diver
  • Underwater Hunter
  • Dry Suit Diver
  • Multilevel Diver
  • Underwater Navigator
  • Underwater Naturalist
  • Underwater Photographer
  • Peak Performance Diver
  • Underwater Photographer
  • Buoyancy
  • Underwater Videographer
  • Distinctive (many Distinctive Specialities such as Oxygen First Aid exist. These are devised by PADI Instructors and submitted to PADI for review and approval)

Instructor Divers

This is diving at the highest level – as an instructor you will be leading dives and are therefore not only responsible for your own safety but that of others too. Specialist training is mandatory at this level, and courses cover all aspects of safety and expertise in depth. Some dive centres offer an internship for a set fee, where you can complete your training all in one go. For others, the road to instruction is more fragmented, with courses building upon each other until the required level is reached. If you’ve ever dreamt of scuba diving all day and getting paid for it (and who hasn’t?) check out the professional training and advice offered by PADI (see our Associations drop-down for details)

If you want to train your dive students to the highest purely recreational dive level in the PADI System of diver education, you’ll want to be a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer. By attaining this level, your dive students will know where to come when they want to learn from an expert. To enroll you need to:

  • Hold five PADI Specialty Instructor certifications
  • Have at least 25 certifications

In order to become a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer you must apply directly to PADI.

The other alternative with the PADI scheme is to become a master instructor. Instructors:

  • Teach PADI Assistant Instructor courses
  • Help PADI Course Directors conduct the PADI Instructor Development Course
  • Help PADI Course Directors conduct instructor-level continuing education


  • PADI IDC Staff Instructor certification
  • Be a PADI Instructor for at least two years
  • EMERGENCY FIRST RESPONSE TM Instructor certification
  • Have certified at least 150 students as PADI Divers

To become a PADI Master Instructor you must apply directly to PADI.