How old do you have to be to scuba dive?

How Old Do You Have To Be To Scuba Dive

If you can’t wait to take your kid with you into the thrilling realm of scuba diving, you are not alone. So, how old do you have to be to scuba dive? In order to become a certified scuba diver, most agencies require your child to be 10-12 years old. However, there are many other factors to consider before signing your child up for a scuba class.

Scuba Diving Considerations for Kids

Just because your child reaches the minimum age limit to begin scuba classes doesn’t mean he should. The following considerations must be made when contemplating scuba for younger children.

Young man in scuba attire

Does Your Child Want to Scuba Dive?

This seems like an unnecessary question, especially since you are already here. However, think about why you are considering scuba for your child? Is it because you absolutely love and want to share it? Or, has your child expressed a serious interest in going with you on your next dive?

Your child has to want scuba in order to be fully prepared for the risks involved. A child who is just doing it to make her parents happy, might not give it the proper attention required. A prime example was my lack of interest in the college courses my mother chose for me. Needless to say, I failed most of those classes. You simply cannot fail in diving, because failing can cost your child her life.

Maturity Level

Some 10-year-olds are reading Charles Dickens while others are still enjoying picture books. Just because a child has reached the magic number physically, does not mean they are mentally prepared for scuba diving.

This does not mean your child needs to be a genius to scuba dive. They simply have to have a maturity level capable of retaining information learned in class, making decisions on the spot, and even using some intuition while diving.

For example, maintaining buoyancy can be tough. Is your child able to recognize that his weights may be too heavy for him? Can he learn to achieve balance without continually inflating and deflating his BCD? Can he recognize possible malfunctions with his equipment, and either notify the divemaster or solve these issues himself while underwater?


Scuba Diving Certification Agencies

Instructor and students during scuba diving lessons

There are a few recognized agencies that offer scuba diving certification. The age requirements for certification varies with each organization, but generally the minimum age is 10. Until the child is 15, they will be certified as a Junior Open Water Diver after completing the training.

The following table is a list of the certifying agencies and their minimum age requirements to become a certified scuba diver. For the initial open water certification, there is little difference in the certifying agency. Your local dive shop affiliation will likely determine who you use.

 Certifying AgencyMinimum Age
PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors10
SSI (Scuba Schools International)10
NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors)12
BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club)12

How do you get your Child Certified for Scuba?

Your child is physically, emotionally and mentally ready to become a certified scuba diver, so where do you start?.

Visit Your Local Dive Shop

The very best place to start is your local dive shop. Even if you live in a completely landlocked state, you should be able to find a dive shop within a few hours drive. Starting here is the best choice because you can chat with a dive professional prior to your child beginning his or her certification.

Your dive pro can alert you to the ins and outs of the certification training, prepare your child for what to expect, and help you to pick out dive equipment. There is no better person to help you get your child started in diving.

Enroll in a Scuba Class

Your dive pro can set you up with class schedules and pricing. You may even like taking the class along with your child for a refresher. In the class, your instructor will cover the fundamentals of diving, including:

  • Being a Diver
  • Equipment
  • Problem Management
  • Dive Computers

There are five main chapters to the scuba certification. Each chapter finishes with a quiz. After all chapters are completed, a final exam will take 

Complete Confined and Open Water Dives

Your child will need to show the instructor he or she is capable of performing certain dive skills while underwater. This will be done with 3 confined dives which take place in a pool, and 2 open water dives which can be in a lake or ocean.

These skills will initially be demonstrated in the pool and later in a lake or ocean. As a diver, your child must be able to communicate underwater with his dive buddy. Divers have a universal system of hand signals to communicate with each other. From ear troubles to ascending, there is a hand signal to alert each other of potential problems. A few other skills your young diver must demonstrate include:

  • Clearing the mask of water while underwater
  • Safety Checks Prior to Entering the Water
  • Controlled Descent
  • Regulator Retrieval
  • Emergency Ascents

Certified Junior Open Water Diver

Once your child has successfully completed his training, he is good to go. It is important to note that the Junior Open Water Certification differs from the Open Water Certification in a few ways. The Junior certification requires that you can only dive with a dive pro at a maximum depth of 40 feet. The adult Open Water Certification allows for depths of up to 60 feet and you can dive with any other certified diver.

What if your Child Doesn’t Complete Open Water Certification?

If your child doesn’t pass her final exam or complete her open water dives, she can still participate in other scuba diving activities. Many agencies offer programs for children 8-years and older. These programs introduce children to the basics of scuba diving and allow them to get comfortable with it prior to going for their certifications.

PADI alone offers a Bubblemaker Program which is open to children 8-years and older. This type of program is a great way for children to figure out if scuba diving is truly something they will enjoy. It offers them the opportunities to get comfortable with scuba gear and being in the water.

These types of programs are under the strict control and supervision of a PADI professional diver. They only allow for your child to dive up to 6-feet and gain experience in the water. This is an excellent opportunity for those that might no quite be ready for a Junior Open Water Certification to learn the fundamentals of diving.

How old do you have to be to Scuba Dive?

As you have learned, the absolute minimum age to begin scuba diving certification is 10-years-old. Some agencies require your child to be 12-years-old. However, you can even find courses suitable to children as young as 8-years old.

No matter what, encouraging a healthy respect for marine life and environment with your children is always a good choice. Whether your child chooses to pursue a life of scuba diving or not, she will still benefit from a course in scuba diving.

Best Dive Watches Under $300 – (Guide & Reviews 2020)

Best Dive Watches Under $300

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best dive watches under 300$ is, then we recommend the Invicta Men’s 89260B Pro Diver Watch  the best one.

Dive watches have been around since the turn of the century and are considered both useful and fashionable to this day. A typical dive watch is larger than a regular watch and has a rotating bezel attached to a rubber stamp or metal bracelet. Dive watches help to monitor the length of time you have been underwater and how much air is left in your tank.

Read moreBest Dive Watches Under $300 – (Guide & Reviews 2020)

How to Get Scuba Certified | Become a Certified Scuba Diver

How to get scuba certified

Scuba Diving is an amazing, explorative experience both for veterans of the hobby and newcomers. It allows us to see a side to the world that we don’t usually get to see, whilst using the latest in underwater breathing technology. Thousands of people around the world scuba dive, some for their job, and some just for fun! It not only is a fantastic experience, but it also helps our scientists stay updated about life underwater, as well as harnessing and advancing the latest diving technology. It’s a fantastic thing to do, but before we go on to how to get scuba certified, let’s go over the basics.

Read moreHow to Get Scuba Certified | Become a Certified Scuba Diver

Can you Scuba Dive While Pregnant?

Can you Scuba Dive While Pregnant

Scuba Diving is one of the most exhilarating things one can do. We as human beings must live in land; we can’t survive underwater for any longer that we can hold our breath. So sadly, we are condemned to live on land for the majority of our lives. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t take excursions underwater! We do so even when swimming in a swimming pool, and we can get a great feeling of what it’s like to be underwater. But, Scuba Diving is one of those exercises that allows us to get a real, in-depth glimpse into what underwater life is like.

Read moreCan you Scuba Dive While Pregnant?

Is There a Difference Between Snorkelling and Scuba Diving?

Snorkelling Vs Scuba Diving

Exploring the deep blue sea is one of the most exciting things a person can do!

You allow yourself a window into the more unknown aspects of our world, enabling yourself to see weird and wonderful creatures, as well as the general beauty of nature. There are several ways to pay a visit to the underwater world, two of them being scuba diving and snorkelling.

But which one is which?

Read moreIs There a Difference Between Snorkelling and Scuba Diving?

Best Dive Computers – (Guide & Reviews 2020)

Best Dive Computers

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best dive computer is, then we recommend the Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer as the best one.

Are you in the market for a new dive computer? No matter if you are looking to replace your old dive computer or are looking for your first one you want the best dive computer there is. Dive computers are often times referred to as a diver’s best friend as they allow you to spend more time enjoying your dives and less times making dive calculations.

Read moreBest Dive Computers – (Guide & Reviews 2020)

Best Dive Watches Under 200$ – (Guide & Reviews 2020)

best dive watches under 200

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the Dive Watches Under 200$ is, then we recommend the Seiko Men’s Black Dial Automatic Divers Watch as the best one.

One of the most important tools for divers are dive watches. Aside functioning as a regular wrist watch, they are also used to gauge the amount of time spent by a diver underwater.

Regardless of whether you’re into other water sports, apart from diving, a good-quality dive watch will surely meet your expectations.

Read moreBest Dive Watches Under 200$ – (Guide & Reviews 2020)

The Best Dive Knives – (Guide & Reviews 2020)

best dive knifes

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best underwater camera for scuba diving is, then we recommend the Tusa Imprex X-Pert 2 as the best one.

You wouldn’t head out into a dark forest without a torch, would you? Yet many novice divers overlook the advantages of a good dive knife. In an emergency, having one available could be the difference between life or death. Other times having a good blade handy can allow you to free trapped animals or recover a tangled item.

Read moreThe Best Dive Knives – (Guide & Reviews 2020)