How to get scuba certified?

We are happy to see that you are interested in learning how to scuba dive! But where to go from here? Keep reading and we will help you on your way. There are so many offers on the market and everyone wants to sell you their product. Preferably the whole package including a scuba dive course (or two) and a full set of dive gear. One organisation thinks they are better than the other and pretend to know what’s best for you. Don’t let them get to you and buy something you don’t need yet. Lets just start by introducing scuba diving to you by actually taking a dive. See if you really enjoy it. You don’t know until to try. Once you had the chance to experience an actual dive for yourself and you like it, you can continue and look for the right scuba dive course that suits your wishes and level. Now I can hear you think: how I can take a dive if I am not certified to dive yet? Is this allowed?

Do you have to be certified to scuba dive?

The short answer: yes and no.

Yes, you are allowed to scuba dive without a certification while under the guidance of a professional scuba instructor. This is what we call an introduction dive. During the introduction dive you and a professional scuba instructor, one on one, take a dive together. Before jumping in the water, the dive instructor will give you a briefing. During this briefing he or she will explain to you how to breath under the water, what to do when you get water inside your mouth or mask. They will also explain you how to move under the water and what to expect once you descend from the surface. We will teach you a few hand signals so we can communicate with each other.
After the briefing we will gear you up and enter the water. Of course you understand we will not take you to 15 meters depth. The maximum depth during an introduction dive is 5 meters. We will descend very slowly and make our way to 5 meters step by step. The instructor will hold and guide you the entire dive. Are you a natural under the water? Then we will let go of you and you can move freely. Of course we stay within arm’s reach so we can help you within a split second.
The average introduction dive takes about 20 minutes. The purpose of an introduction dive is for you to experience diving for the first time. This dive should be fun and relaxing. Did you enjoy the dive alot and wish to proceed in diving? Great! Now you can start to look for a scuba dive course. Did you enjoy it but are you not sure yet if taking a whole dive course is for you? Then start smaller and take a Discover Scuba Diving class.

As you can see, when you are not scuba certified, you are allowed to dive under the guidance of a professional scuba dive instructor as part of an introduction dive. It is not allowed to go scuba diving without a certification without the guidance of a professional scuba instructor. Even when you know someone who has been diving all his live and offers you to take you on a short dive: don’t. This person might be an excellent diver with thousands of dives, but he is not trained in guiding people who have never been under the water. They do not know how to help you in the correct way and most importantly: how to keep it safe for both you and him/herself. There are very good reasons for having very strict rules, standards and regulations to be able to teach people how to dive. Dive instructors are highly trained professionals. The training they follow is a very tough and not everyone makes it.
So; do you have the wish to experience scuba diving? Then do this in a fun and responsible, safe way, and start by taking an introduction dive or discover dive class, under the guidance of a professional dive instructor.

Discover scuba diving course

During the discover scuba diving course done in Hurghada diving center Seagate you will practise a few skills. The practise takes place in confined water: a swimming pool or in the sea with swimming pool-like conditions. The skills you practise are clearing your mask and regulator but also recovering your regulator after losing it. You will also learn how to control your buoyancy by inflating and deflating your BCD (trim-jacket).
After finishing the skills, your dive instructor will take you on a fun dive. The maximum depth for this dive is 6 meters. There is also the option of taking an extra dive in the open water, of course together with you dive instructor. The maximum depth of this open water dive is 12 meters. Once you get the hang of it and are enjoying the discover scuba diving course, you can take the next step and apply for the Scuba diving course or Open Water Diver course.

How to learn to scuba dive

Scuba diving is something your learn by taking scuba diving lessons at our diving center Hurghada or dive school. The dive instructors that will be teaching you, are highly trained professionals. Not only do they teach you in and under the water, but there is also alot of teaching involved above the water. Scuba diving consists of both a practical part (in and under the water) as well as the theory part. Your dive instructor will teach you both. Not everyone enjoys studying the theory part. But the fun thing about dive theory, is that you will soon start to use the theory in and under the water. You will start recognizing the things you studied and everything will fall into place and make sense.

Because every person is different, there are different ways for you to study. You can study in a classroom or at home using an e-learning. Of course there is also the option to study using a book or any combination of these options. This way there is always a solution for anyone to study the way that suits you best.
During the practical part of the diving course hurghada, we not only teach you how to dive. We also teach you how to solve any (emergency) situation you may find yourself in during a dive. For example: we teach you how to recover your regulator when you lose is, how to take off your BCD under the water and put it back on. We also show you how to share air in case you or your dive buddy runs out of air. Of course we don’t teach you these skills at 15 meter depth. We practise all the skills in confined water. This can be a swimming pool or a shallow part of the sea, inside a lagoon for example or close to shore on a beach.

Which organisation should I learn how to scuba dive with?

There are allot of different dive organisations your dive centre can be part of. For example: Padi, SSI, NOB, IDD, CMAS etc. In the foundation they are all the same: they will teach you how to scuba dive. However, there are some small differences in the way they might teach you. One may work only with digital theory (e-learnings) while the other prefers to have you sit in a classroom. There also may be slight differences in the way they teach the practical part. This can show in the amount of skills you have to master of the level of certification that comes with it. Some will certify you as a 1* diver and the other as an Open Water diver. You will be allowed to dive to 18 meters while with another organisation you can go as deep as 20 meters.

These small differences can be of high importance for you personally. Therefore it is wise to check how the dive centre works before you book your course with them. Simply ask them about the way they teach and what the options are. With how many other students will you be taking the course? Is it possible to have private lessons? Is the theory part online of do you need to attend a class? Does the dive instructor speak your own language? Are you taking the scuba diving course in your own country or while you are on a holiday abroad?

Can I learn how to scuba dive during my holiday?

There are allot of dive centres spread all over the world. So yes, you can definitely learn how to scuba dive during your holiday abroad. An important part of picking the right dive centre, is if they speak a language that your can understand. This doesn’t have to be your own language, it can be English or Dutch or Spanish or German. Just make sure that if they teach in a language that is not their own, they speak a in a certain (high) level. You do not want any miscommunications while learning how to scuba dive.

Another important thing to know before you book, is to ask what you can expect. How do they teach? Do you start in a pool of do you go straight into the sea? Do you dive from a boat or from a beach? In case you have a bad back or any disability: is there any help or assistance with carrying your dive gear? How can you get in the boat from the water? These are all very simple practical things that you should ask before booking. You will see that, if it is a good dive centre, there is always a solution for any situation. In scuba diving there is never just 1 right way to do something. Because of this, scuba diving can be enjoyed by people from all ages and is accessible for people with disabilities.

Whether you learn to scuba dive in your own country or some place tropical; the most important thing is your connection with your dive instructor. When you have a good connection with your dive instructor, they will be able to teach you how to become a good, safe and responsible scuba diver.

How old do you have to be to start scuba diving?

From what age are you allowed to scuba dive? This is a question we get allot. The answer is: you can scuba dive when you are 8 years old (Padi). From the age of 8 years old you are allowed to take your first breaths under the water. We do this in a very fun and playful way during our Bubble Maker course. During this course, they go with a dive instructor 1 on 1. Wearing the full gear, we go to a depth of maximum 2 meters. Here we will go find Nemo and play with the bubbles. After the dive, they receive an official Bubble Maker dive certificate.

How old do you have to be to do a scuba dive course?

You have to be 10 years old to be able to do a scuba dive course (Padi). When you are 10 years old, you are allowed to do the full Junior Scuba dive course, Junior Open Water dive course an Junior Adventure dive course. You are also allowed to do specialty courses: photography, navigation, fish identification, boat diving, peak performance specialist, equipment specialist, dry suit diver and altitude diver. The maximum depth for your age is 12 meters and you should always dive with a parent/legal guardian or a dive professional. Once you are older, you will be allowed to dive deeper and take more dive courses.

How deep are you allowed to dive at what age?

How deep you are allowed to dive depends on two things: age and training. The following schedule shows you a clear and easy overview:

age                         depth                    training
10 years               12 meter              Junior Scuba diver, Jr Open Water diver, Jr Adventure diver
12 years               12 meter              Junior Scuba diver
12 years               18 meter              Junior Open Water diver
12 years               21 meter              Junior Advanced diver
15 years               12 meter              Scuba diver
15 years               18 meter              Open Water diver
15 years               30 meter              Advanced Open water diver
15 years               40 meter              Deep dive specialty
18 years               12 meter              Scuba diver
18 years               18 meter              Open Water diver
18 years               30 meter              Advanced Open Water diver
18 years               40 meter              Deep specialty

How long does it take to learn how to scuba dive?

This is a bit of a tricky question. An average scuba diving course takes about 2 to 4 days for teaching the practical part of the course. Lets take the Open Water Dive course as an example. The practical part of this course usually takes 3 to 4 days. This depends on the dive centre that’s teaching the course. They can take extra days for teaching the theory part in a classroom, or you can study the theory from home using the e-learning. If you find a dive centre that sells the practical part of this course in 2 days, keep looking for another dive centre. There is not a single dive instructor that can teach you how to be a good, safe and responsible diver in just 2 days.

That being said: once you finish the Open Water Dive course, you are a certified Open Water diver. You are now officially allowed to go diving anywhere in the world, together with your buddy. However, you should ask yourself if this is very smart to do. Yes, you finished the Open Water dive course. This means you managed to perform all the skills your dive instructor showed you and you passed your theory exam. The actual ‘learning how to dive’ is starting now. Learning how to dive starts while you are in the water and are diving. On each and every dive you will learn new things and find yourself in situations you need to handle. You will dive with different buddies who have different levels of experience. You will start to notice that on each dive you will have better control of your buoyancy and air consumption. With every dive you will notice more of the surroundings and start paying more and more attention to navigating and making your way back to the point where you started your dive with enough air.

As you see, there are a thousand things you need to pay attention to while diving. No way you will master this in 3 or 4 days. So, to make every dive a safe dive, start diving with an experienced guide. The guide will do the navigation for you. They will check your air consumption and show you all the high lights of that particular dive. This way, you can start by learning how to dive, control your buoyancy, air consumption and diving with a buddy. A big plus: everyone can enjoy their dive to the fullest. Diving should be fun! Scuba diving is not about who is the fastest and best. It is about enjoying the underwater world in a fun and safe way. You will see that on each dive you take, you will learn something new and see how fast you are improving. There is no rush. So take your time to become a safe, self-secured, responsible diver.

Which dive courses are there?

There are allot of different dive courses. So how do you know which dive course is the right one for you? This depends on your personal wishes. Ask yourself the following questions:

Where do you plan on diving?
What is the water temperature of dive location?
How many dives are you planning to do?
Is there allot of current in the area I will dive?
What do you wish to see on your dives?
Do you want to dive on wrecks and also be able to enter them?
You want to do deep dives or stay shallow?
Is there an underwater cave you want to explore?

The answers to these questions play a big part in choosing the right dive course for you. When you start scuba diving, you need to start at the beginning: a good foundation.

The foundation of learning how to scuba dive

Being a good scuba diver, starts at having a good foundation. Learning this foundation starts at the Scuba dive course or Open Water dive course. During these courses you start by studying the theory of diving. You learn how scuba diving started, what the effect of the pressure under water is, how we breath under water and what our limits are and the reason for having limits. Safety rules and regulations are a big part of becoming a safe diver. Learning how to be a good buddy under the water and how to communicate are very important. You will also learn more about dive tables and how to read a dive computer. There is also attention for the aquatic live an the protection of the reefs. The effects of tides, waves, wind, and currents during a dive. You will learn more about preparing and taking care of your equipment.

When you have the knowledge from the book, e-learning or classroom, you will take all this into practise. You will prepare and check your dive gear. You will perform a buddy check before every dive and learn how to enter the water in different ways. Once in the water, you will have to descend and ascent in a safe and controlled way. We practise emergency situations with you both at the surface and under the water. After the dive you will wash your dive gear and store it in the proper way. Long story short: you will be taught a good foundation of scuba diving. After finishing the dive course, you will receive the dive certificate. You are now allowed to dive, with a buddy, to a maximum depth of 18 meter (10 to 14 years: 12 meter).

What dive course comes after Open Water diver?

Advanced dive course

Once you have a good foundation, you can take the next step after the Open Water course. The first step is the Advanced Open Water diver course. During the Advanced Open Water diver course, you get a taste of what else is out there. There is a total of 5 dives in this course. Two of which are mandatory: the deep dive and navigation dive. During the deep dive, you will dive to a depth of 30 meters. You will learn more about the effect of pressure at this depth, the loss of colour and the consumption of air. On the navigation dive, we will teach you a bit more about different ways of navigating during a dive. You will use a compass and start paying more attention to your surroundings: the reef, sunlight and depths.
Then we have the other 3 dives of the Advanced Open Water dive course. These 3 dives you are free to choose. You can decide to do a drift dive and use the current to take you to where you want to go. Or maybe you like to learn more about photography and the use of the light and different angels. If there is a wreck at the location you are at, you might want to explore this and learn more about what to pay attention to while diving on it. Another fun dive is fish identification: know what you see during your dive can make it a lot more fun and interesting!
As you can see there are allot of options for you to choose from and for you to gain more experience and knowledge in a fun way. After finishing the Advanced Open Water diver course, you are allowed to dive to a maximum depth of 30 meters (12 to 14 years maximum 21 meters).

Rescue diver course

The rescue diver course is seen as one of the hardest but also most fun and rewarding dive courses. Becoming a rescue diver will change the way you dive for ever. During this dive course we will teach you how to read certain situations, how to recognise panic in a diver, prevent it and help them. If a diver does panic, you will learn how to safely approach them both on the surface as well as under water. What to do when you find an unconscious diver? How to get them to the surface and start rescue breaths, get them to the boat or shore safely.
Another important part of the rescue diver course if the EFR: Emergency First Responder. During this part of the course you will be taught how to give rescue breaths, perform CPR, provide oxygen and give first aid. We will re-in act scenarios for you to manage by playing the first responder and victim as well.
A very intense but definitely a rewarding course.

Specialty dive courses

There are countless of specialty dive courses to take. Which one you want to take, depends on your wishes and goals. We will list a few specialties below:

  • Deep dive specialty
    You wish to go below 30 meters depth? Then the deep dive specialty is for you. During the deep dive specialty, you learn to dive to a depth of maximum 40 meters. This is the maximum depth allowed for recreational divers.
  • Wreck dive specialty
    Are you curious to see what a wreck looks like from not only the outside but also on the inside? Then you should take the wreck dive specialty. During this course you learn how to safely enter and exit a wreck.
  • Dry suit diver
    Do you plan on diving cold waters? Maybe ice diving is on your list? Then you need a dry suit to keep you warm. Diving in a dry suit is totally different from diving in a wetsuit because it contains air inside the suit. You will need to learn how to safely dive in it.
  • Cave dive specialty
    Is exploring a cave on your list? You see yourself crawling through tight spaces under the water? Then learn how to safely do this with the cave dive specialty.
  • Drift dive specialty
    You plan on diving a dive site that has allot of current? Then don’t swim against it: use it to your advantage! After finishing this specialty, you will know how to use the current during a dive. Let the current do the work for you: relax, hang back, and let it take you to where you want to go.
  • Nitrox or enriched air specialty
    By now you should know how oxygen and nitrogen effect our bodies under pressure. Now imagine you are planning to go on a live a board and do 5 dives a day. Of course you want your surface intervals to be as short as possible so you can dive as much as possible. Diving with nitrox or enriched air is a great advantage in this situation: because of the higher percentage oxygen, you take in less nitrogen. Therefore, during your dives, your body absorbs less nitrogen. This means your body recovers quicker and your surface intervals can be shorter and bottom times can be longer compared to diving with normal air. This is exactly what you want when doing 5 dives a day!

Professional level


You wish to turn your passion into your job? After finishing the Open Water diver course, Advanced Open Water diver course and Rescue diver course, you can continue to the first professional level in diving: Divemaster. As a divemaster your job is to support the dive instructor during teaching, you can independently guide groups of certified divers and are even allowed to (under supervision of the dive instructor) teach some classes or skills. You are closely connected to every single guest of the dive centre; from experienced divers doing fun dives to registering new students. You will perform briefings, answer questions on all levels and are easy to be approached by all the guests.

Dive instructor

Do you love being a divemaster and you want to take the next step? Then it is time to apply for the instructor diver course. During the instructor diver course you will be taught how to teach people that are introduced to diving for the very first time in their lives to training divemasters yourself. Not only do you know all the dive theory inside out from the Open Water Course to Divemaster level, you also know how to explain every subject on every level you teach. You master every skill there is and are an example to all divers, students and colleagues. And most important of all: you love what you do and effect every person you meet with your passion for diving.

How much does a dive course cost?

How much a dive course costs, depends on the country you take the dive course in and the dive centre itself. There can be big differences in price. The most important thing when looking at where to learn how to dive, is not the hurghada diving prices, but the quality. So please, don’t blindly choose the most cheap dive centre you can find. Of course you should compare dive centres, there is nothing wrong with that. But let the quality be more important than price. Ask yourself how the price can be so low? On what part did they safe costs…?

Always look at the reviews people post online and the way the dive centre communicates with you. Do they take the time to actually read what you are asking and write you a personal response? Do they  provide you with all the information you need and ask questions about your wishes and needs? Do they think in possibilities to provide you what you need regarding your personal situation? Are they open and clear about the price or are there surprises at the end? And most important: how do you feel about them after communicating? Ask anything you want to ask and make your choice based on their answers and the way you feel. You wish to know the prices for diving with us or booking a dive course in Hurghada? Click here and we will guide you to our price page.

*Written according Padi guidelines.