Learning to dive with The Great American Diving Company is a unique and exciting experience.

Through our professional staff and a combination of at home study, pool instruction in our private pool and open water dives (with us or on your vacation) you will learn to become a safe and comfortable diver.

Why choose to learn to dive with us?

As the St. Louis area’s oldest PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center, we are able to offer you a unique and exceptional experience.

We have trained over 18,000 divers and our experience shows.

We are the ONLY dive shop in the area with our own pool and training center. Because of that, your class is easy, convenient and we can provide a clean and disinfected facility. All class and pool sessions are held at our AquaCenter, eliminating the hassle of traveling between locations and transporting gear. Everything is in one convenient location – classrooms, pool and gear. The AquaCenter provides a distraction free, family friendly environment unlike other pools with noisy and disruptive aquatic activities and residents.

Pre Requisites

10 years old
Comfortable swim ability


STEP ONE: Complete your elearning at home


Prior to attending your pool sessions, you will need to complete some home study. Using the PADI eLearning system, you will complete your basic knowledge development at home at your own pace. This option also gives you the ability to complete all studying at home and at your own pace with no pressure.


$199      See our Special on
We offer both weeknight and weekend classes to meet your busy schedule. Weeknight classes are 2 evenings, and weekend classes are 2 mornings. Class dates and availability can be seen in our online registration system. You are also welcome to visit our store or call us to register..
Private classes are also available, please call us for additional information



To complete your certification, you will do 4 open water dives with an instructor. This can be done with one of our instructors at our affiliate dive site near Metropolis, IL or on vacation with another operation. The latter option is called a “referral.” When choosing the “referral” option, consult the destination operation for scheduling and fees. Our open weekends include admission to the dive site, rental scuba gear (excluding mask, snorkel, fins and boots), certification fees and air fills (travel, meals and overnight accommodations not included). Check our online registration system for dive dates and availability. You can also register by visiting the store or giving us a call.


Each student is required to have their own personal gear which includes a mask, snorkel, fins & boots. When your purchase your 4 items from us, you’ll receive an instant $100 rebate on the gear. Properly fitting gear is important for your safety. Borrowed gear or gear purchased elsewhere may not fit properly, and is subject to our determination of its appropriateness.

Upgrades to your Open Water certification

Enriched Air Diver: Diving with Enriched Air is one of the easiest ways you can extend your time underwater. Becoming certified to use Enriched Air (Nitrox) is easy – after a short eLearning class your instructor will cover some simple procedures with you and teach you how to analyze your enriched air and record the results. There are no dives required and you can save 10% if you register for it at the same you register for your open water class….LEARN MORE

Drysuit Diver: Stay warm and dry when you complete your Open Water dives in a drysuit. Each student completes an additional class and pool session, one additional open water dive and will be able to use their rental drysuit on their open water dives. This option is $185 / person and includes all instruction, materials certification and the rental drysuit.

Peak Performance Buoyancy: Float effortlessly, drifting over reefs or exploring the underwater treasures at Mermet Springs. Build on the buoyancy skills you have developed in the Open Water class by completing two additional dives for Peak Performance Buoyancy class after your Open Water dives. This option is $75 / person and includes all instruction, materials and certification.

Time is a precious thing these days and we never have enough. Rest assured that we DO NOT cancel classes. If you sign up for one of our courses it will happen – no need to worry about it being canceled. In return we ask that you confirm that your class dates work for you before you sign up. Cancellations on your part are honored only in the case of documented medical emergencies.