Learn to Dive Online

Online scuba diving certification courses can save you time. Image copyright istockphoto.com, DrGrounds

Online Scuba Diving Certification Courses:

How is it possible to learn to dive online? Where's the water? Where's the gear? You can't complete an entire scuba diving certification course on the internet, but some certification organizations now offer students the option to complete the theory portion of scuba diving courses online.

Learn more about other open water certification course options.

Why Enroll in Online Scuba Diving Courses?:

Are you interested in scuba diving, but simply don't have the time to enroll in a scuba diving course with a fixed schedule? Completing an online scuba diving course may simplify the certification process. Online scuba diving courses allow student divers to:

• study anywhere there is internet access
• schedule study sessions whenever they want
• avoid studying on vacation

What You Need to Know Before You Enroll in an Online Course:

Completing an online scuba diving course does not necessarily qualify a person to continue with in-water dive training. Aspiring divers must meet physical and mental fitness requirements to be eligible to dive. Scuba certification agencies require that student divers complete a diving medical questionnaire before entering the water, but not before registering for (and in some cases paying for) an online scuba course. Make sure to check out the medical requirements for scuba diving before enrolling in an online course.

Most entry-level scuba diving certification courses require that students pass a water skills test. This test may include swimming or snorkeling a designated distance, treading water, or floating for a period of time. Potential divers should make they can complete the water skills requirements of their certification agency before signing up for an online scuba certification course.

Drawbacks to Online Courses:

Online courses may be difficult for some student divers. Before enrolling in an online scuba diving course, consider:

• Students must be self-organized.
• Students must master concepts they may find difficult without an instructor's help.
• Online courses do not introduce students to the local dive community. You may miss out on the camaraderie of taking a course with interesting and fun people.
• Computer access with the ability to stream videos is essential for some online courses.
• To ensure you understand dive theory, an instructor will quiz you and review necessary information before allowing you to enter the water.

What Portion of a Scuba Diving Certification Course Can be Done Online?:

Most scuba diving courses include:

• theory/ book work
• pool training
• open water dives

Online scuba diving certification courses allow students to complete the only theory portion of the course online. Online students can expect their diving instructor administer quizzes to ensure students have mastered important information.

Students should never attempt to dive without completing the in-water portion of the course with a certified instructor.

Online Courses and Educational Resources:


SSI allows aspiring divers to browse through basic dive theory and course work for free, helping them to determine if they want to pursue a scuba diving certification. To quote an SSI representative:

“The idea of the free online training is that it gives people a way to try something new without any commitment whatsoever. It's a very casual approach. Just driving to, parking and walking into a dive store is a bit of a commitment. . . you're not going to do that unless your pretty serious and have already made up your mind . . . and it can intimidate people or make them procrastinate about taking that step. ”

SSI offers the theory portion of three scuba diving courses online.

- Try Diving
- Snorkel Diver
- Open Water Diver


PADI offers the theory portion of many scuba certification courses online.

Students must purchase an online course and chose the dive center where they will complete the in-water section of the course before they are allowed access to the online study materials.

Keep in mind that the purchase of an online scuba diving course from PADI is non-refundable. Make sure that you fulfill the prerequisites necessary for completion of an online course such as medical fitness for diving and the minimum certification level to enroll (for example, those divers purchasing a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course online should already have an PADI Open Water Diver or equivalent certification).

Friends of divers (or aspiring divers) can give an online scuba diving course as a gift.

PADI offers the following online courses:

- Open Water Diver Course
- Advanced Open Water Diver Course
- Dive Theory
- Enriched Air Nitrox
- Scuba Review


NAUI has an online eLearning Center available to students who purchase the NAUI Diver Education System (course materials). The course materials come with internet access codes that allow a diver to log in and review educational resources. It is necessary to have a Dive Center ID number, an Instructor ID number, and an internet access code to login in.


BSAC has a variety of free quizzes on their site which allow diver to self-test their dive knowledge. The quiz questions are in-depth and cover most of the basic important information.