Apprentice Cave Diver course

If your goal is to become a fully certified cave diver and you are already a trained tech diver with doubles or sidemount experience, this is where you start. This course represents the first half of the Cave Diver training curriculum. It is where we cover the most critical skills. These include:

  • Basic guideline and reel use
  • Emergency procedures, including lost diver, lost line, lost visibility and gas sharing under adverse conditions

Students who complete this course have the option to make limited cave dives with similarly qualified buddies before continuing on to the full Cave Diver course. Depending on circumstances, your instructor may even recommend this.


  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have 50 or more logged dives
  • Be certified to the Advanced Open Water level or equivalent
  • Possess Nitrox Diver certification

As you will be diving either backmounted doubles or sidemount during this course, you need to have prior training or experience in its use. We can combine this with your course if need be.

Time frames

  • The Apprentice course generally takes five days and approximately eight dives.
  • If need be, we can break this into two- or three-day blocks.
  • With sufficient notice, we can usually accommodate requests for specific course dates.

Required equipment

  • Mask and flat-bladed scuba fins with adjustable or spring heel straps
  • Adequate thermal protection for prolonged exposure to 21° C/72° F water
  • Sidemount or backmounted doubles harness
  • BC air cell with adequate lift for the cylinders used
  • Either backmounted doubles or two sidemount cylinders
  • Two separate regulator first and second stages
  • At least one mission-capable dive computer
  • Slate or wet notes
  • Two Z-knives or comparable cutting tools
  • One primary light
  • Two backup lights
  • Two safety reels/spools with a total of at least 50 m/150 ft of line

Be aware that any equipment you use must meet very specific requirements. Learn more…

Items such as cylinders, deco bottles and primary lights, which may be difficult to travel with, are available for rental. Be sure to alert us if you will need any of these.

 Choose your price

Know what you’re getting: Prices include instruction and eLearning fees. Bear in mind, the cost of eLearning, by itself, can be worth anywhere from $140 to $280 or more. Thus, a $640 course from us may actually cost the same as a $500 course from someone else if you have to pay for elearning separately.

Certification cards: We issue these only when earned. Simply taking part in a course does not guarantee certification. For cave courses, certification cards from multiple training agencies may be available. C-cards generally cost around $30 each, depending on agency. Your instructor can tell you more.

Apprentice Cave Diver

Assumes you have previous sidemount or doubles experience
$ 1,500 Includes eLearning
  • An affordable way to start
  • Five days
  • Eight or more dives
  • Inquire about multi-student discounts

Apprentice Plus

Adds Tech Sidemount Diver or CDS Basics
$ 1,900 Includes eLearning
  • Save by signing up for both
  • Six days
  • Ten or more dives
  • Inquire about multi-student discounts
Best value

eLearning included at no extra charge

Computer-aided instruction is an integral part of nearly every course we teach. The Why? is simple: eLearning helps get our students in the water sooner and spend more time there. It’s why we include the cost of any applicable eLearning programs — usually a $140 value — in our courses at no extra charge. This translates directly into an extra day of in-water training. The value of that? Priceless.

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