Our 5 Favorite SSI Specialty Courses for New Divers

Looking to improve your dive skills and knowledge but not ready to dive into an Advanced Open Water Diver course yet? SSI Specialty Courses are a great way to expand your knowledge and learn new techniques to improve your diving experience.
Check out the list below of our favorite SSI Specialty Courses for new divers:
Perfect Buoyancy

Buoyancy is an important skill for all new divers to focus on. Having better buoyancy will help you to extend your bottom time, feel more comfortable, and protect the sensitive sea life you come across on your dives. That’s why the SSI Perfect Buoyancy course is perfect for any new diver looking to expand their dive skills.


The Perfect Buoyancy specialty from SSI includes an online learning session, 1 confined (pool) session, and has optional open water dives, however, we highly recommend them so you can put your newly learned skills to the test in a real dive environment. You must be 10 years old and hold an Open Water Diver certification to enroll.

Deep Diving

We won’t say that deeper diving is better, but it does open up a lot of diving opportunities. Some of the most popular dive sites are located beyond the 60-foot (18-meter) depth limit an Open Water Diver certification allows and without proper training, surpassing this depth can put you at risk. This specialty will increase your max depth limit to 130 feet (40 meters) and is actually a requirement for many dives around the world as well as some advanced training. That’s why the SSI Deep Diving specialty is on our list of favorites!


The Deep Diving specialty includes 1 classroom session, optional confined water dives, and 3 open water dives. You must be 15 years old and hold an Open Water Diver certification to enroll in this specialty course.


Underwater navigation is a challenging and fun skill to learn! The Navigation specialty teaches you everything you need to safely and comfortably navigate and lead your dives. This includes using a compass, natural navigation techniques, estimating distance, basic navigation patterns, and how to leave and return to a designated point.


The Navigation specialty course includes an online learning session, an optional confined water session, and 2 open water dives. You will need to be 10 years old and hold an Open Water Diver certification to take this course.

Drysuit Diving

If you frequently dive in cold water, you may have considered purchasing a drysuit to dive in for a more comfortable dive experience. This certification is not required to dive in or purchase a drysuit, however, it is highly recommended as it teaches you how to safely and comfortably handle all dive situations with the added challenge of a drysuit. If you intend to rent a drysuit, your dive shop you rent from may also require proof of this certification before renting to you. In the Dry Suit Diving course from SSI, you will learn the special requirements for drysuit diving, how to use your new equipment, the benefits of a drysuit, and how to deal with emergency situations that are unique to drysuit diving.


This course includes 6 classroom sessions, 1 mandatory confined water dive, and 2 open water dives to put your new skills to the test. To enroll in this course, you will need to be 10 years old and hold an Open Water Diver certification.

Advanced Adventurer

The Advanced Adventurer course is a way for you to get a taste of many different specialties without having to take a full specialty course. In this class, you will select 5 different types of open water dives from the SSI Specialty programs list for your 5 training dives. This course is a great way to get back in the water after your Open Water Dive certification to practice and advance your dive skills and experience.


Note: the dives you do as part of this certification will not count towards your Advanced Open Water Diver certification. These dives can, however, count towards the training dives required for individual specialty courses if you decide to pursue them after completing this course.


The Advanced Adventurer course from SSI includes an online learning session, up to 5 confined dives, and up to 5 open water dives. You need to hold an Open Water Diver certification and be at least 10 years old to enroll. If Deep Diving is one of the 5 selected dives, you will need to be 12 years old to enroll.

We hope that these continuing education scuba courses sound interesting to you! We encourage divers to learn as much as possible about this amazing sport because the more you know, the more comfortable and safer you will be in the water.


Which one will you take first?