Certification FAQ

1: Who are you and how long have you been teaching SCUBA diving? My name is Lynn Marchant. I have been a SCUBA diving instructor since 1995. I helped out with classes for a year before I became an instructor. For more information about me check out my About Me and My Certifications page. Also take a look at Student's Endorsements and Thank You's. Comments from my students about learning to dive.

2: Where do you teach diving lessons? I use Dive Utah's facilities. It is a very nice new building with a covered pool. The address of Dive Utah is 4679 South 2225 East Holladay, Utah. They also have a facility near the Ogden airport if you live near the Ogden, Utah area. Both dive shops are very nice.

3: How long does the class take to get certified? Plan on four weeks, one night a week, plus two days for the open water dives. The sessions at the dive shop will run from about 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM. The dive shop is open late for classes Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Saturdays are available if needed. Can meet more than once in a week to complete the course faster. Half the time will be spent in the pool and half will be spent in the classroom.

4: What do lessons cost? The fee for the certification course is: $350 for a private lesson, $275 each for 2-3 students, and $250 each for 4+ students. You must have your own snorkeling gear or rent it for your open water dives. We have usually gone to the Homestead Crater for the open water dives. It costs each student about $25 each day we dive there.

5: Where are the places available to do the open water dives? Lately I have used the Homestead Crater for the open water dives. It is warm and fairly close to Salt Lake City. I have also used Blue Lake, Sea Base, Bear Lake, and Fishlake.

6: What do you teach in the class? The first course to become certified, the open water course, teaches the effects of pressure, we discuss the diving equipment, we talk about the water environment, and the time spent in the pool are geared for what "if" something happens and how to overcome it. Students will also have a final written test. Just about any healthy person can learn to dive.

7: Are there more classes after the open water class? Yes, a person can take many diving classes. Advanced courses, specialty courses (night diving, deep diving, photography, navigation, etc.), rescue, Nitrox, on up to actually helping with classes. The open water class is often called a license to begin learning about diving.

8: How long does a tank of air last? This question is asked very often. The quick answer is about thirty minutes, however it really depends how deep a diver goes. A diver uses his or her air faster at a deeper depth than a shallow depth.

9: A friend of mine told me he would take me diving. Why do I need to take a class? Unless your friend is an instructor don't do it. Diving is a very safe sport, however the proper training is necessary in order for it be safe. Instructors go through a lot of training in order to teach diving lessons. Another reason is unless you have a certification card you won't be allowed to dive or get air fills at any reputable diving resort or dive shop.

10: How long does a certification card last? Certification cards do not expire. Only a diver's skills expire. If a certified diver hasn't been diving for awhile, it is recommended to take a refresher course. I encourage my students to keep in practice by inviting them to dive at local places. I don't charge my students for a refresher course.

11: Are gift certificates available? Yes, gift certificates are available. Could give a gift certificate for Open Water, Specialty Courses, and Advanced Courses.

12: What course do you teach? This question is usually asked, Are you a PADI instructor? (For those of you that know just enough to be dangerous.) No, I am a PDIC instructor. I am a PADI Divemaster, so I am familiar with both organizations. PADI charges a premium for their instructor courses, materials, etc. The Recreational Scuba Training Coucil (RSTC) governs the scuba organizations and sets the standards, thus the diving organizations teach basically the same classes. I can teach you to dive safely, with an international certification course, and save you some money. The dive magazines occasionally run articles on which diving organization is the best --- the answer is always the same. It's not the organization, it is the instructor you feel the most comfortable to teach you to dive.