Scuba diving is an activity that you are allowed to pursue on your own only if you possess a diving certificate, so if you are currently in the process of calculating how expensive such a hobby can get, you will have to include the scuba diving certification cost as well.
The certificates you can obtain vary not only in terms of scuba diving certification cost implied by the course and the exam, but also in terms of the level of education provided. If you are just about to try diving, you will need to take a beginner-level course and to obtain a certificate (also called C-card) that proves you are able to manage yourself as well as your gear under the surface; if you already have this basic-level C-card, you can move on to the advanced level, and then you can become a rescue diver or even a dive instructor – these are the four certification levels.
Besides covering the scuba diving certification costs, you will also need to take an entry test to demonstrate your water skills. During the entry test, you will be required to swim about 200 meters in your mask and snorkel and you will have to prove that you are able to float and tread the water for 10 minutes. If you are able to meet these entry requirements, you are ready to start learning how to scuba dive.
There are numerous dive centers that provide courses of various levels and with varying scuba diving certificate cost structures, of course. Various certification providers may use different systems, the most common ones being PADI (the system developed by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and SSI (the system developed by Scuba School International). Neither of the systems used is stricter or more lenient than the others – they are just slightly different in terms of the practical knowledge they offer and in the structure of the courses.
Whatever type of course you choose, you are surely in for an experience of a lifetime. At the end of the day, the skills you will need to be able to master are the same, no matter what learning system you use, and the professional dive centers will surely offer you the knowledge you need to enjoy your diving trips to the fullest!