The Total Cost of A SCUBA Course in the Bay Area

A genuine summary of one cost to take a SCUBA Diving Course with SBA and in the Bay Area overall

-Data pulled from open source webpages from all dives shops in the area- 

  • Tuition: $340.00 - $550.00

  • Book's and Materials: $140.00 - $270.00

  • Personal Gear: $210.00 - $550.00

  • Cert Fee:$40.00 (your certification)


Total cost for a "referral Diver"  

This means you're not going to Ocean with the dive shop and

"referring out" to a place that's warmer. Don't worry we get it. 

Still think you should give it a go, here, with us!


If you are going to the Ocean with the Dive Shop, keep reading!

  • Rentals: $127 - $200

  • CheckOut Fees: $100 - $150

  • Lodging Considerations: $200-$400

  • Meals Considerations: $75-$150

  • Vehicle Miles: $45

  • Parking $24 (assumed Monterey CA) 


Giving you a median average cost ​of $1300 per student. 


SBA Cost: ~1362.00 (yea we did all the math) subtract $150 for a couple OR/And $300.00 if you have your owner personal gear. Personal gear being; Mask, Fins, Gloves, Boots, Snorkle.


That the scoop! the real scoop! a "Deep Dive" if you will! 


If you would like SBA's cost breakdown:

Summary of class PDF

You can always call us, we realize the feeling of link stranger danger 



Read and let's be honest about your shopping experience: 

This undertaking, when it comes to first-time open water students, is going to cost you about $1,200.00 regardless of how you execute it or whom you learn with. Scuba Bay Area loves all dive shops! however, we note the trend in low tuition but high rates in the rental cost. We often see a lack of transparency on pool fees or gear requirements of what one must own vs what one can rent. We understand companies do this to be competitive. It is also a standard in the Bay Area that you are required to own or have possession of Mask, Fins, Gloves, Boots, Snorkle which is another large investment in the event you do not have this gear.

Bottom line: don't be bought into an ad that tells you tuition is $100.00 (for example). Places outside the United States may have such a deal but we would leave it to you making sure the dive shop is safe.


 Diving in Monterey is hard! to do it safely and correctly this diving adventure is going to cost about $1,200.00 when you put it all together.


For example; gas, hotel, rentals, meals, everything that it takes to do this course.  We at S.B.A save you a little money by sending you the book, giving you access to the hotel, and vs a private session about 50% on tuition. S.B.A. cost overall 7.5% more because we cut the class in half which, from surveying students, makes a massive difference in the experience. 


Diving Monterey is hard, but with smaller class sizes, the right instruction, we get you ready and many of our students continue on. Bamboo, HaborDive Center, Sinoma Coast Divers, Diver Dans, they are all great shops and will teach you how to build confidence in the water. Despite whom you decided to learn with, we all have two things in common, we enjoy being under the water and we want you the student to become confident. 


MORE Fine Print on Cost

Scuba Bay Area LLC and Bamboo Reef have a partnership for rental and pool use. As do many dive shops we will require you to buy your own personal gear. This is your mask, fins, gloves, boots, and snorkel. Bamboo Reef sells nice packages ranging from $175.00 - $800.00 depending on what you want to spend vs quality and the newest thing on the market. You are not required to buy this gear from Bamboo Reef, you are required to have it. You may barrow or go online. The risk of buying online, you're unable to return the items after use. Bamboo reef will allow you to return an item if it does not fit while you're conducting your pool training.


You also should consider the price of hotels if you're going to the Ocean, most people drive to the lake if you choose the lake. Your dive instructor does happen to be an Army Officer (Part-Time) and if planned correctly can get you a room for $85 - $120.00 + tax per night. He/they, however, can't give you a ride. 

It's true! Diving with Scuba Bay Area costs about 7.5% more than other dive shops. Now, if one takes advantage of the lower cost hotel then you are saving money. However, none the less, you're paying for smaller class size, more convenient gear accessibility, higher quality gear, close-nit instruction, and as many past students would attest to much better instruction overall.  Just remember, total cost overall, just plan to pay over 1K for this endeavor, trust us it's worth it!  

Why this class?

Welp, you get a smaller class size which makes a massive difference, additional dives, access to the lower-cost hotel if going to Monterey, much better gear than other dive shops, a one-on-one session if needed, and a lot of individual attention. 


This class is intended to appeal to folks that work in downtown San Francisco and want to go for that nice morning swim prior to work. The major plus (as you can read in the Yelp reviews) is the instruction. Here is a yelp link