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underwater-navigator

About the Course

Be the scuba diver everyone wants to follow because you know where you are and where you're going. The PADI Underwater Navigator course fine-tunes your observation skills and teaches you to more accurately use your compass underwater. If you like challenges with big rewards, take this course and have fun finding your way.

If you're a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver who is at least 10 years old, you can enroll in the PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty course

Take This Course If You Want to

  • Improve your navigation skills
  • Find the boat without surfacing
  • Learn natural navigation clues
  • Use a diving compass
  • Navigate making multiple turns
  • Estimate distance underwater

Learn How to Navigate Underwater

It’s easy to get disoriented underwater if you don’t know how to use a compass or natural navigation clues. Learn how to easily find your way back to boat or shore without returning to the surface and avoid long, exhausting swims.

PADI eLearning®

PADI eLearning makes it easy to improve your underwater navigation skills. Start your course online whenever, wherever it’s convenient for you.

Work at your own pace, online or offline, using a computer or mobile device. Connect with your instructor for inwater training, or whenever you have a question.

  • eLearning time commitment: 2-4 hours.

With Your Instructor

Practice using a compass on the surface, then apply your skills underwater during three dives. Learn how to estimate distance, follow natural clues and practice finding your way back to the boat or shore.

  • Prerequisites: PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver (or qualifying entry-level certification)
  • Total time commitment: 2-3 days
  • Minimum age: 10 years or older

More Info

Scuba diving requires a minimum level of health and fitness. Chronic health conditions, certain medications and/or recent surgery may require you to get written approval from a physician before diving.

Avoid disappointment, download and review the Diver Medical form to ensure you won’t need a physician’s approval to dive before enrolling in a scuba course. Instructors, divemasters and dive shop staff are not physicians and should not be asked for medical advice; only medical professionals can give medical clearance to dive.

If you (or your physician) have questions about medical fitness to dive, contact the experts at Divers Alert Network (DAN).

Minimum Age: 10

Course prerequisites: (Jr.) Open Water Diver or equivalent entry-level certification

Choosing a Dive Shop
You can complete this course locally or while travelling. 

Choose a dive shop close to home to:

  • Support your local diving community
  • Meet dive buddies in your local area
  • Learn about your local ecosystem

Choose a dive shop away from home if you:

  • Plan to travel to a dive destination on holiday
  • Like to meet new people when travelling
  • Have the time to complete your course while on vacation

This course requires both knowledge development and inwater training for certification. When you purchase PADI eLearning from our website, the cost covers the knowledge development portion only.

There is an additional cost to complete your certification with a PADI Instructor. The cost depends on class size, environment, and whether or not you need to rent equipment. Contact a PADI Dive Center or Resort for more information and pricing. 

In addition to basic scuba gear, you will need a compass and underwater slate. Your PADI Instructor or local dive center staff may suggest other gear to help you stay oriented, such as marker buoys or lines and reels.

Consider investing in your own scuba equipment so you can learn with it during the course and become familiar with how it works.

PADI eLearning: 2-4 hours

Entire course: 2-3 days

Spanish, French, Dutch, English.

For information on other available languages please contact your PADI Dive Center.

PADI’s online courses are designed to work on the browsers listed below. For the best experience, make sure your browser is up-to-date.

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If you plan to be somewhere without internet access, use the PADI Training app to download course content and study offline. Content can be downloaded in small sections with a total file size of approximately 188 MB. When you get back online, upload your progress so you can resume your training right where you left off. 

The PADI Training app is available for Android™ and Apple® iOS devices. For the ideal experience, devices should be no more than three models old and running with the most current OS (operating system).

The first dive of the PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty course may count toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification – ask your instructor about earning credit.


Every PADI Specialty you earn gets you one step closer to becoming a PADI Master Scuba Diver™. Only 2 percent of divers ever achieve this elite rating.