NAUI vs. PADI SCUBA Certification

NAUI vs. PADI SCUBA Certification

Are you a water enthusiast, and you are ready to take a more profound step into what the underwater world has to offer? So you have decided to become a scuba diver, but first, you need to get certified! And you may have heard about different organizations that provide certification such as NAUI and PADI. Both organizations offer equivalent knowledge and have a few differences, but what are the differences between NAUI vs. PADI SCUBA Certification?

National Association of Underwater Instructors

NAUI is the oldest not-for-profit SCUBA certification organization, established in 1960. NAUI is US-based organization and offers courses all over the world.

Professional Association of Diving Instructors

PADI is a US-Based agency as well that offers many performance-based diving courses similar to NAUI. PADI established in 1966, and their centers are spread all over the world.

There are many similarities and differences between the two organizations. Keep in mind that both of them are good. No matter which one you get certified by at the end if you pass your tests and practice regularly, you will become an excellent diver.


NAUI is the oldest not-for-profit dive training organization. Generation after generation NAUI has trained divers on how to dive safely. Their courses are intense and detailed ensuring knowledge and safety. It’s no wonder they have become one of the top organizations to offer this certification.

NAUI offers multiple certifications depending on how much knowledge and skill you gain on each level.

Here are their courses at a glance

  1. Scuba Diving Training
  2. Advanced Scuba Diving
  3. Master Scuba Diving
  4. Technical Diving
  5. Specialty Diving Courses
  6. Professional Diving Courses


PADI offers certification to the scuba diving and water enthusiasts. If you are fascinated by what the underwater world has to offer PADI will give you a license to do so. Of course, after passing the certification process.

PADI offers an open water course certification, which is the most popular certification at PADI. It is the first pre-requisite for the rest of the diving courses that will lead you to be a certified scuba diver.

Open water certification at a glance:

  1. Phase 1: Knowledge Development
  2. Phase 2: Practical Suba Diving Confined Waters Dive
  3. Phase 3: Open Water Dives


Both NAUI and PADI are two of the most prestigious diving certification agencies worldwide that offer diving courses. Both are always enhancing knowledge and skills while ensuring that it is done safely.

NAUI will teach divers how to save an unconscious diver during the early courses, and PADI does not offer that.

NAUI is a not-for-profit agency, and its main focus is to make sure that all divers are well educated about safety during diving. Their motto is “Dive safety through education.” US Navy uses NAUI certification.

PADI, on the other hand, is a for-profit organization that profits mainly from marketing and selling their products. It has also trained divers all over the world.


No matter where you acquire your C-card either from NAUI or PADI you will be able to scuba dive all over the world. Both agencies will train you and give you the knowledge and skills needed to be a diver.

When trying to choose between the two, it will be more of what instructor I want to train with, and it will not matter what certification they have. The way of teaching is what matters, and if your instructor has high ratings, go for it!

So, whether NAUI  or PADI SCUBA Certification make sure you have the best trainer and scuba dive guide. San Diego Scuba Guide is NAUI certified company based out of the beautiful waters of La Jolla. We teach with passion and love for the ocean and always enhance the safety of all divers that will ensure a fun dive.

Ready to become a scuba diver? Join our SCUBA Diver Course. If you are getting back to it after a long time, join our SCUBA Refresher Training.

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NAUI vs. PADI SCUBA Certification