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Specialty Courses

SCUBA Diving is a way to explore the underwater world in new and exciting ways! PAID Specialty Diver Courses teach you new techniques and give you the tools to enhance your exploration! See what’s available from this list of great courses:

  • One to Two Days Depending On Course
  • Boat Trips Required

Adaptive Support Diver

Who should take this course?

Do you want to learn how to best support a dive buddy who has a physical or mental challenge? The PADI® Adaptive Support Diver course will increase your awareness of divers’ varying abilities, and explores adaptive techniques to apply while diving or freediving with a buddy with a disability.

PADI Open Water Divers or PADI Freedivers who are at least 15 years old and have completed the EFR Primary and Secondary Care course within 24 months are eligible to take the PADI Adaptive Support Diver course. It is also recommended that you complete the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy course beforehand so that you have better awareness of trim.

What will you learn?

Through knowledge development and two diving workshops – one in confined water and one in open water – you’ll learn useful techniques that will increase your ability to become a better dive partner to a diver with a disability. You’ll gain insight and practical experience as you learn about:

  • Becoming more aware and mindful of individual considerations when diving with people with disabilities.
  • Adaptive techniques that can be applied while diving with buddies with mental and/or physical challenges.

Adaptive Techniques

Who should take this course?

Are you a PADI® Professional who wants to become more aware of individual considerations when working with people who have physical or mental challenges?

PADI Professionals have a long and successful history of working with divers with disabilities. PADI’s approach to diver education is (and always has been) inclusive: Everyone who meets a course’s prerequisites is welcome to enroll. The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course builds on that foundation by enhancing the training PADI Professionals receive, and preparing them for student-centered and prescriptive approaches when adapting techniques to meet diver needs.

PADI Divemasters or PADI Master Freedivers who have completed EFR Primary and Secondary Care course within 24 months are eligible to take the PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course.

What will you learn?

The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course focuses on increasing awareness of varying abilities, and explores adaptive teaching techniques to apply when training and diving with physically and mentally challenged divers.

The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course will help PADI Professionals:

  • Become more aware and mindful of individual considerations when introducing people with disabilities to diving or freediving.
  • Explore adaptive techniques that can be applied while supervising and training divers or freedivers with disabilities in PADI courses and programs.
  • Properly counsel and direct student divers, based on their abilities, toward PADI certification, PADI experience programs or a disabilities-dedicated diving organization for limited certification programs.
  • Learn additional techniques to motivate and encourage student divers with mental and/or physical challenges.

The course consists of knowledge development, two confined water skill development workshops and two open water workshops. In addition, a subset of this course, PADI Adaptive Support Diver, will interest divers who want to learn how they can best support dive buddies who have physical or mental challenges.

Altitude Diver

Who should take this course?

Imagine descending below the surface of a clear mountain lake to explore a well-preserved wreck. Interested? Any time you scuba dive at an altitude higher than 300 metres/1000 feet above sea level, you're altitude diving. If you’re ready to discover a hidden world where few have ventured, then the PADI Altitude Diver Specialty course is for you.

PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers who are at least 10 years old are eligible to take the Altitude Diver course.

What will you learn?

Learning to adjust your dive plan for the reduced surface pressure at altitude is an important part of the course. You’ll complete two scuba dives and learn:

  • Altitude dive planning, organization, procedures and techniques.
  • How to adjust your dive computer for altitude diving or calculate altitude dive profiles using the RDP Table or eRDPML.
  • How to avoid problems and handle emergency situations, if they occur, at altitude.

Get credit! The first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification – ask your instructor about earning credit.

AWARE - Fish Identification

Who should take this course?

“What was that fish?” is a common question heard after a dive. If you want to be the scuba diver with the answers, instead of the one asking the questions, then take the AWARE – Fish Identification Specialty course. You’ll enjoy your dives even more when you recognize the creatures that you see and can identify the main fish families and their characteristics.

If you’re at least 10 years old and a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver or higher, you can enroll in the AWARE – Fish Identification course.

What will you learn?

Once you learn to recognize what types of fish you see, you’ll find it easier to reference the exact species after a scuba dive. For example, a butterfly fish in the Caribbean has a similar shape to a butterfly fish in Southeast Asia, but colors and markings may be wildly different. If you know what fish family it belongs to, you can more easily look up the local name or at least be able to intelligently ask the local scuba instructor what you saw.

During two scuba dives, you’ll learn:

  • How to identify characteristics of local fish families and species.
  • Fish survey techniques and strategies.
  • About Project AWARE activities that can help protect aquatic life

Get credit! The first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification – ask your instructor about earning credit.

Boat Diver

Who should take this course?

Much of the world’s best scuba diving is accessible only by boat. Whether you’ve never made a boat dive or you’ve logged dozens, the PADI Boat Diver Specialty course will benefit you because boats in various parts of the world do things differently. Scuba diving from a boat is fun and relatively easy because you usually descend directly onto your dive site.

If you’re a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver who is at least 10 years old, you can enroll in the Boat Diver course.

What will you learn?

The PADI Boat Diver course will expand your knowledge about boats from small inflatables to large liveaboards. You’ll gain experience scuba diving by completing two dives from a boat in your local area and learn:

  • Boat terminology.
  • Boat diving procedures and etiquette, including how to enter and exit, and where to stow your gear.
  • Boating safety, including how to locate safety equipment.

Get credit! The first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification

Cavern Diver

Who should take this course?

Caverns exist in many areas where scuba divers venture – from freshwater springs to volcanic island walls and limestone coasts. In these locations you’ll find large, dark spaces that seem incredibly inviting, yet are potentially dangerous. The PADI Cavern Diver Specialty course gives you the knowledge and skills to explore caverns correctly – allowing you to enter far enough for adventure, but staying within the light zone for an easy exit to open water.

You need to be PADI Advanced Open Water Diver who is at least 18 years old to enroll in the Cavern Diver course.

What will you learn?

Ready for a challenge? You’ll complete four scuba dives with the first focused on line handling, reel use and emergency procedures outside a cavern; and the next three dives put your new skills to use inside a cavern. You’ll also learn about:

  • Other specialized equipment for cavern diving, such as lights and redundant breathing systems.
  • Avoiding disorientation and anti-silting techniques.
  • Dive planning, including depth and distance limits and air management for cavern diving.

Deep Diver

Who should take this course?

The lure of the deep. There’s something exciting and mysterious about exploring deeper dive sites while scuba diving. Sometimes it’s a wreck that attracts you below 18 metres/60 feet, and on wall dives it may be a giant fan or sponge. Whatever it is, to scuba dive with confidence at depths down to 40 metres/130 feet, you should take the PADI Deep Diver Specialty course.

If you’ve earned the PADI Adventure Diver rating or higher, and you’re at least 15 years old, you can enroll in the Deep Diver course.

What will you learn?

Your training starts by reviewing reasons for deep diving and how important it is to know your personal limits. During four deep dives with your instructor, you’ll go over:

  • Specialized deep diving equipment.
  • Deep dive planning, buddy contact procedures and buoyancy control.
  • Managing your gas supply, dealing with gas narcosis and safety considerations.

You may be able to get college credit for the Deep Diver course – ask your instructor.

Also, the first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification – ask your instructor about earning credit.

Digital Underwater Photographer

Who should take this course?

Underwater photography is one of the most popular diving specialties, and with so many underwater cameras to choose from, it has become easier and more fun than ever to capture images of your underwater scuba adventures. The PADI Digital Underwater Photographer course gets you going quickly, whether you use a point-and-shoot camera or a sophisticated dSLR like the pros.

PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers who are at least 10 years old are eligible to take the Digital Underwater Photographer course.

Because underwater photography is also popular with snorkelers, there is an option for avid snorkelers and skin divers to complete the course. Check with your PADI Dive Center or Resort if this interests you.

What will you learn?

Through hands-on training during two scuba dives and guidance from your PADI Professional, you’ll discover:

  • How to choose the right underwater camera system for you.
  • The PADI SEA (Shoot, Examine, Adjust) method for getting great shots quickly.
  • Principles for good composition of underwater images.
  • Practical techniques to take great photos with your digital camera.

Get credit! The second dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification

Diver Propulsion Vehicle Diver

Who should take this course?

DPVs offer a thrilling way for scuba divers to see a lot of underwater territory in a short amount of time. They scoot you through the water allowing you to glide over reefs, buzz around a large wreck or weave through a kelp forest. Whether making a shore or boat dive, a DPV is a great way to see more and have fun doing it.

If you’re at least 12 years old and a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver or higher, you can enroll in the PADI Diver Propulsion Vehicle course.

What will you learn?

The PADI Diver Propulsion Vehicle course guides you in choosing the right DPV for you. You’ll make two dives and learn about:

  • Maintaining your DPV.
  • How to plan dives, including procedures for staying with your buddy.
  • DPV-handling skills, such as making proper descents and ascents.
  • Potential problems and ways to deal with them.

Get credit! The first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification

Drift Diver

Who should take this course?

The PADI Drift Diver Specialty course teaches you how to enjoy going with the flow as you scuba dive down rivers and use ocean currents to glide along. It feels like flying – except that you’re underwater using scuba equipment. Drift diving can be relaxing and exhilarating at the same time. If this sound like fun, then the Drift Diver course is for you.

If you’re a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver who is at least 12 years old, you can enroll in the Drift Diver specialty course.

What will you learn?

Along with drift diving techniques and procedures, you’ll:

  • Receive an introduction to drift diving equipment – floats, lines and reels.
  • Get an overview of aquatic currents – causes and effects.
  • Practice with buoyancy control, navigation and communication during two drift dives.
  • Learn techniques for staying close to a buddy or together as a group as you float with the current.

Get credit! The first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification

Dry Suit Diver

Who should take this course?

Want to stay warm? Want to extend your scuba diving season? Then dive dry. A dry suit seals you off from the water and keeps you comfortable, even in surprisingly cold water. There is incredible diving in the world’s cooler regions and in some areas, conditions are even better in colder months. Becoming a dry suit diver allows you to expand your boundaries and dive more places, more often.

If you’re at least 10 years old and certified as a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver or higher, you can enroll in the Dry Suit Diver course.

What will you learn?

The first thing you’ll discover is which dry suit style and accompanying undergarments are right for you and the diving you’ll do. Then you’ll learn how to take care of your dry suit. During two dives, in addition to a confined water dive, you’ll practice:

  • Putting on and taking off your dry suit with minimal assistance.
  • Mastering buoyancy control using your dry suit.
  • Dive safety procedures when using a dry suit.

You may be able to get college credit for the Dry Suit Diver course – ask your instructor.

Also, the first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification

Enriched Air Diver

Who should take this course?

The PADI Enriched Air Diver course is PADI’s most popular specialty scuba course. Why? Because scuba diving with enriched air nitrox gives you more no decompression time, especially on repetitive scuba dives. If staying down longer and getting back in the water sooner sounds appealing, then don’t hesitate to become an enriched air diver.

If you’re a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver who is at least 12 years old, you can enroll in the Enriched Air Diver Specialty course. Note that in some regions the minimum age is older than 12.

What will you learn?

You’ll learn why diving with air that has higher oxygen and lower nitrogen content gives you more bottom time, along with enriched air equipment considerations. During a practical session, and two optional (or required) scuba dives, you’ll:

  • Discuss managing oxygen exposure.
  • Practice analyzing oxygen content in your scuba tank.
  • Set your dive computer for diving with enriched air nitrox.

You may be able to get college credit for the PADI Enriched Air Diver course

Emergency Oxygen Provider

Who should take this course?

Knowing how and when to use emergency oxygen is a great skill to have and means you’re ready to help others should the need arise. Becoming a PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider lets you breathe easy knowing that you can recognize scuba diving illnesses treatable with emergency oxygen, and are prepared to offer aid.

There are no prerequisites, age restrictions or water sessions required for this course – it’s open to everyone. Scuba divers, snorkelers and anyone who is around divers – boat crew, lifeguards, etc. – will benefit from having this training.

What will you learn?

You’ll learn about dive injuries, different types of emergency oxygen equipment and safety considerations when using oxygen. Then you’ll practice:

  • Assembling and disassembling emergency oxygen equipment.
  • Deploying a non-rebreather mask and a demand inhalator valve on a breathing diver.
  • Using a pocket mask on a nonbreathing diver.

Equipment Specialist

Who should take this course?

Don’t miss a dive due to minor issues with your scuba diving equipment. Whether it's a missing o-ring, wetsuit tear or a broken fin strap, the PADI Equipment Specialist course teaches you to manage basic repairs and adjustments. You'll also learn more about how your gear works, making you more comfortable with it and better prepared to take care of your investment.

If you’re at least 10 years old and certified as a PADI (Junior) Scuba Diver or higher, you can enroll in the Equipment Specialist course.

What will you learn?

You’ll learn about routine care and maintenance procedures as well as scuba equipment storage recommendations. Your instructor will show you how to overcome some common equipment problems and offer equipment configuration suggestions. You may even get to jump into the water to try new or unfamiliar equipment.

Multilevel Diver

Who should take this course?

In the old days, dive profiles were calculated from the surface down to a maximum depth, then back to the surface. Now, dive computers continually analyze your depth – giving you more bottom time for going shallower and allowing you to maximize your dive time. If you’d like to understand more about dive computers and learn how you can use tools like the eRDPMLTM to plan multilevel dives, then the Multilevel Diver Specialty course is for you.

If you’re a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver who is at least 12 years old, you can enroll in the Multilevel Diver course.

What will you learn?

You'll review decompression theory as it relates to multilevel diving and dive computer models, and plan multilevel dives using the eRDPML. During the first of your two multilevel dives, you’ll plan and execute a two-level dive, and on the second dive, you’ll complete a three-level scuba dive.

Get credit! The first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification

Night Diver

Who should take this course?

The thought of dipping below the surface at night seems mysterious, yet so alluring. Although you’ve been scuba diving at a site many times before, at night you drop into a whole new world and watch it come to life under the glow of your dive light. The scene changes as day creatures retire and nocturnal organisms emerge. If you’ve wondered what happens underwater after the sun goes down, sign up for the PADI Night Diver Specialty course.

PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers or higher, who are at least 12 years old, can enroll in the Night Diver specialty course.

What will you learn?

Scuba diving at night teaches you to focus on what you can see in your light’s beam, on controlling your buoyancy by feel, on staying with your buddy and on paying attention to details you may overlook during the day. During three night dives, you’ll practice:

  • Light handling and communication techniques.
  • Entering, exiting and navigating in the dark.
  • Identifying how plants and animals differ or change behavior at night.

You may be able to get college credit for the Night Diver course – ask your instructor.

Also, the first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification

Peak Performance Buoyancy

Who should take this course?

Excellent buoyancy control is what defines skilled scuba divers. You’ve seen them underwater. They glide effortlessly, use less air and ascend, descend or hover almost as if by thought. They more easily observe aquatic life without disturbing their surroundings. You can achieve this, too. The PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course improves the buoyancy skills you learned as a new diver and elevates them to the next level.

PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers or higher, who are at least 10 years old, are eligible to take the Peak Performance Buoyancy course.

What will you learn?

During two scuba dives, you’ll learn how to:

  • Determine the exact weight you need, so you’re not too light or too heavy.
  • Trim your weight system and scuba gear so you’re perfectly balanced in the water.
  • Streamline to save energy, use air more efficiently and move more smoothly through the water.
  • Hover effortlessly in any position – vertical or horizontal.

Get credit! The first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification

Public Safety Diver™

Who should take this course?

If you have the opportunity to work with local authorities and be part of a scuba diving rescue team, or conduct search and recovery dives, and maybe even underwater criminal investigations, this is the course for you. Although public safety diving can be a fun and exciting adventure, it’s serious and requires special training. The PADI Public Safety Diver Specialty course gives you a solid foundation to build upon and teaches you both surface and underwater skills that you may need on the job.

To enroll in a Public Safety Diver course, you must be certified as a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and at least 18 years old. You also need to earn your PADI Rescue Diver certification by the end of the course.

What will you learn?

You’ll be introduced to the special procedures, equipment, scene handling, communications and documentation requirements for a public safety diving operation. During four open water dives you’ll practice compass navigation, knot tying, arc search techniques, victim recovery, rope-pull communications and rescue techniques for a distressed public safety diver, plus plenty more.

Search and Recovery Diver

Who should take this course?

It happens: People accidentally drop things from docks, off boats or even while scuba diving. If you’ve ever lost something in the water and wanted to go find it, then the PADI Search and Recovery Diver Specialty course is for you. There are effective ways to search for objects underwater that increase your chances of success. And there are good and better methods to bring up small, large or just awkward items. Search and recovery can be challenging, but a whole lot of fun.

PADI (Junior) Advanced Open Water Divers who are at least 12 years old can enroll in the Search and Recover Diver course. PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers with a PADI Underwater Navigator certification also qualify.

What will you learn?

Gathering information and resources, then carefully planning a search are the first important steps you learn. During four scuba dives you’ll practice:

  • Swimming search patterns using your compass and natural navigation.
  • Locating large and small objects using various search patterns.
  • Using a lift bag for large or heavy objects, plus other recovery methods.
  • Planning a search operation based on facts gathered about a lost object prior to the dive.

You may be able to get college credit for the Search and Recovery course – ask your instructor.

Also, the first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification

Sidemount Diver

Who should take this course?

Having scuba tanks on your back isn’t a requirement for exploring the underwater world. Many scuba divers have discovered the joy of mounting cylinders on their sides. Sidemount diving gives you flexibility and streamlining options. Plus, you don’t have to walk with heavy cylinders on your back – just enter the water, clip them on and go. Sound interesting? Sign up for the PADI Sidemount Diver Specialty course.

If you’re a PADI Open Water Diver who is at least 15 years old, you can enroll in a PADI Sidemount Diver course.

What will you learn?

Along with learning about the many benefits of diving with a sidemount configuration, during one confined water and three open water scuba dives you’ll learn how to:

  • Properly assemble and configure sidemount scuba diving equipment.
  • Trim your weight system and sidemount gear so you’re perfectly balanced in the water.
  • Manage gas by switching second stages as planned, if wearing two cylinders.
  • Respond correctly to potential problems when sidemount diving.

Get credit! The first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification

Underwater Naturalist

Who should take this course?

Take the PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty course and you’ll see new things, even on the most familiar scuba diving sites. Why? Because when know more about symbioses, underwater ecology, and aquatic plant and animal habitats, you notice behaviors and see creatures you may have previously missed. Learn more about the local ecosystem and take a closer look on your next scuba diving adventure.

PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers who are at least 10 years old are eligible to take the Underwater Naturalist Specialty course.

What will you learn?

Through class discussions and on two scuba dives, you’ll learn:

  • Key differences between the terrestrial and aquatic worlds.
  • Major aquatic life groupings, interactions and information that dispels myths.
  • Responsible interactions with aquatic life.

The first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification

Underwater Navigator

Who should take this course?

Be the scuba diver everyone wants to follow because you know where you are and where you’re going. The PADI Underwater Navigator course fine-tunes your observation skills and teaches you to more accurately use your compass underwater. If you like challenges with big rewards, take this course and have fun finding your way.

If you’re a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver who is at least 10 years old, you can enroll in the PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty course.

What will you learn?

You’ll learn the tools of the trade, including navigation using natural clues and by following compass headings. During three scuba dives, you’ll practice:

  • Methods to estimate distance underwater.
  • Compass navigation while making at least five turns.
  • Marking or relocating a submerged object or position from the surface.
  • Underwater map making.

You may be able to get college credit for the Underwater Navigator course – ask your instructor.

Also, the first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification

Underwater Videographer

Who should take this course?

Video is the best way to share the sights, sounds, motion and dynamics of the underwater world. If you want to get the best clips and also learn to edit your scuba diving stories to share with friends through ScubaEarth® and other social media, then the PADI Underwater Videographer Specialty course is for you. Learn to create underwater videos that are interesting, entertaining and worth watching again and again.

If you’re a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver who is at least 10 years old, you can enroll in the PADI Underwater Videographer Specialty course.

What will you learn?

Your PADI Instructor will explain how to select, maintain and care for your underwater video equipment, whether it’s a housed unit with external lights, or your underwater camera that also shoots video. You'll cover fundamentals such as exposure, focus, story line and sequencing. Post dive, you’ll learn about the editing process and how to produce a video that truly captures your scuba adventures.

Get credit! The first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification

Wreck Diver

Who should take this course?

Whether purpose-sunk as an artificial reef for scuba divers, or lost as the result of an accident, wrecks are fascinating windows to the past. Ships, airplanes and even cars are fascinating to explore and usually teem with aquatic life. Each wreck dive offers a chance for discovery, potentially unlocking a mystery or spying something others have missed. The PADI Wreck Diver Specialty course is popular because it offers rewarding adventures while observing responsible wreck diving practices.

If you’re at least 15 years old and have earned a PADI Adventure Diver certification or higher, you can enroll in the Wreck Diver Specialty course.

What will you learn?

There are many different types of wrecks, some of which are protected by laws that guard their historical and cultural significance. Your training starts by reviewing guidelines for researching and respecting wrecks. During four dives you’ll learn:

  • Safety considerations for navigating and exploring wrecks.
  • Surveying and mapping a wreck.
  • Using penetration lines and reels to guide exploration.
  • Techniques to avoid kicking up silt or disturbing the wreck and its inhabitants.

You may be able to get college credit for the Wreck Diver course

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