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How Much Does SCUBA Diving Cost?

   July 8th, 2022   Posted In: Articles   Tags:

How Much Does SCUBA Diving Cost?

Many people interested in SCUBA diving always first ask the question “How much does SCUBA diving cost?” The answer to this question is almost always, “it depends”. Regional differences exist not just around the world, but also within the United States.

Basic Open Water SCUBA Diving Costs

The entry level to becoming a certified SCUBA diver is called Open Water SCUBA diver. Depending on the region you wish to get certified in, the cost of SCUBA diving certification courses can be anywhere from $300-$800 on average with even higher prices in big cities like New York or London. This is just the costs for the course. Sometimes books costs more.

Most places also offer an e-learning option that allows you to take the classwork on your own time. The fees for this are usually over $100. There are also the costs to travel to and from the certification spot and costs associated with the dive site entry fees. However, once you are certified, the certification never expires. Although, refresher courses are needed if it has been a while since you’ve been in the water.

SCUBA Diving Gear Costs

During the certification course, personal equipment is often required. A mask, snorkel, and fins are part of personal equipment that is needed during a certification course. If you are diving in a colder area, other personal items such as booties, gloves, hood, and wetsuit might also need to be purchased. 

Booties, gloves, and hoods can cost ~$55-$100 depending on the thickness and types. Wetsuit costs will also depend on the thickness of the suit and the company that makes them.

The cost of SCUBA diving masks can range from ~$80-$160. You do not want to buy a cheap mask from a retailer other than a SCUBA shop because they will not last long and can break more easily while you are diving. Snorkels can range from ~$25-$60. The more expensive ones are worth the investment because they are easy to clear water out of and some even bend to be placed into a BCD pocket.

Fins can range from ~$80-$300. Fins come in different shapes with different ribbing for pushing yourself through the water with every kick. 

Continuing Education

Many SCUBA divers do not stop at the basic level of certification. There are many different types of courses to take. Advanced Open Water diver and Rescue diver courses are logically the next steps for new divers to take. These courses run over $150 with higher costs in some regions. Books would be an additional $50 and up.

There are also many specialty courses that can be taken that offer divers the chance to learn new skills associated with SCUBA diving. The costs for each specialty course will depend on the course, but you can expect to pay $75-$300, again depending on the region. 

How much SCUBA diving costs is really about asking yourself what you value. Is a few hundred dollars worth the investment of a lifetime of SCUBA diving in some of the most incredible places in the world? Then you should take a course. Big equipment purchases can come later. What are you waiting for? Contact your local dive shop to get certified!

Candace is an avid scuba diver and freelance writer with a PhD in Biomedicine. She has been diving since 2002 and is currently a PADI IDC Staff Instructor. When she is not instructing, she enjoys writing about scuba and volunteering at the local aquarium where she dives with the sharks!

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