Skip to main content

What Is a Full Face Mask Diver Course?

Diving with a full face mask requires training
By Travis Marshall | Authored On January 26, 2023
Share This Article :

What Is a Full Face Mask Diver Course?

Full face mask diver course

Robby Myers and Candice Landau test full face masks in the Florida Keys.

Candice Landau

Typically, divers breathe air from their tank through a second stage regulator while holding the mouthpiece with their teeth, which is why divers use hand signals to communicate. But what if you actually need to speak underwater, or you need to protect your entire face from the cold, or you can’t use a traditional mouthpiece? For certain divers or types of diving—think scientists, search-and-recovery divers, or adaptive divers—a full-face mask may be a better option. The PADI Full Face Mask Diver course is the best way to learn how to use this piece of equipment.

Learn more about what it feels like to dive a full face mask >>


As the name implies, a full-face mask covers your entire face, which allows you to breathe from your nose and mouth much as you would out of the water. One of the biggest reasons divers may opt for a full-face mask is because they can be outfitted with electronic communications equipment, allowing them to speak with their dive team either in the water or on land. Full-face masks can also provide additional exposure or safety protection for people who need to dive in either very cold conditions or in contaminated water.

What You'll Learn

The PADI Full Face Mask Diver course can generally be completed in one day. It starts with knowledge review and confined-water sessions that cover different types of full-face masks, how to operate and maintain them, and techniques for diving with them. Once you’ve practiced skills like clearing a flooded mask and responding to out-of-air emergencies, you’ll make two open-water dives while wearing your full-face mask to perform the skills you learned at depth.

To take the course, you need to be open-water certified and at least 12 years old.

To take the PADI Full Face Mask Diver specialty course, divers must be at least 12 years old.