While skydiving is one hell of an adventure sport, being a skydiving instructor is a dream job for many people. After all, who doesn’t want the perks that come with the role of being an instructor-flying in planes all day long, flying with clouds, and of course the free fall? Being a professional skydiving instructor means you are getting paid for being a certified adventure freak.
But that’s doesn’t also mean that all of this comes easy. What all it takes to get paid and jump out with the client from a plane, let’s take a look at some of the points on how to become a professional skydiving instructor.
- Getting your license:
First and the foremost thing is to get your hands on is a skydiving license. There are plenty of certified skydiving centers across the country that offer different training programs such as Accelerated Sky Free Fall. A standard license can be received only once you complete the training program. On completion, the United States Parachute Association issue the license to skydive. USPA Skydiving “A License” is the first license that you receive. It includes:
- 25 skydives
- 6 hours of ground school
- Parachute packing training class
- Wind tunnel training-This training is only offered at the elite training schools.
Once you are issued this license, you can skydive without using any aid of any instructor across the world.
- Build Your Skills
Now that you have your A license and 25 skydives, you can do free jumps with other divers. While you decide to take those jumps, you are also fulfilling the requirements for license B, C, and D.
Till now you must have outlaid too much money but here’s a piece of good news that you will start earning from here on. Fund your jumps by giving helping hands too busy and experienced divers.
Packing parachutes is time-consuming but also pays you well and help you rack up the number of jumps for next level instructor ratings.
- Learning the basics
The other two basic requirements to be a certified skydiving instructor is:
- 500 skydives
- Three full years in the skydiving sport
You may think 500 is a lot, especially if you have just started skydiving. However, after you get your license and go through your first few falls, it is very easy to complete a hundred jumps within one single season. Licensed skydivers are offered lift tickets for the minimal price, which makes it affordable for skydiving several times in a day.
Secondly, you need to be in the skydiving sport for almost three years, and the reason why this is important is to make you aware of the skydiving industry in and out.
You, as an instructor, should be well aware of what happens on the ground, in the office, and learn about everything that is there to know about the industry.
So, before you are allowed to take your first passenger, you should learn about the industry well. It takes several years for many instructors to understand the fundamentals of the sport.
- Get Your Introductory USPA Coach Rating
So, if you ask how the life of a newbie skydiver is? The answer is simple. It’s all about skydiving. Hanging out at Skydiving Dropzones, getting jumps and trying more and more.
You convincing people to go for a jump and learning about the fundamental of skydiving every day from everyone.
It’s one way to become the best of the next-gen professional instructor, but how can you get away from this newbie persona? Well, you get the introductory Coach Course from United States Parachute Association.
This coach rating gives you the opportunity that you have been waiting for; teach new people. After getting a B license and completing 100 skydives, you are eligible for Coach Certification Course.
The requirements of the USPA Coach Course are:
- You should be 18 years old
- Must have completed 100 skydives
- Hold USPA License “B”
- Skydiving Photographer:
Another way to add more skills to your skydiving career by becoming a camera flyer. Practice your skills and learn to frame your subjects while they fly at 150 mph!
- Time for AFF Instructor Rating
Once you have USPA C license and an AFF instructor proficiency certificate signed by the on-ground instructor at the drop zone, you will become eligible for AFF instructor course through USPA.
It’s a week-long course, and on completion, you will be ready to teach people. With this rating, you can teach ground schools, TDI level C to I, and all the levels of AFF. You are now a professional skydiving instructor. Tada!
- Final USPA Tandem Training
Now that you have the USPA coach rating, USPA license D, and have completed 500 skydives and have spent three years in the sport, it’s time you hit the final training course. And, that is USPA Tandem Training.
Tandem instructors need to take this course from USPA. It is designed to teach instructors on taking passengers for their tandem skydives for the first time and learn to operate the parachute during the fall.
The requirements for Tandem Skydiving Instructor are:
- You need to be 18 years or above age
- Should have completed 50 skydives within last year
- USPA coach rating
- 4 hours of total freefall time
- Medical: FAA Class III
Important Tip: During the course of training, try to know people at the skydiving dropzone and make yourself serviceable whenever you can. Building relationships with other instructors, regulars, and staff can help you grow your network and skills for getting jumps and additional help to pursue the ratings. You can pick from the ratings from Tandem to AFF or both.
Now that you have all the ratings and certifications required to teach and take clients, you are all experience the world’s best adventure sport all day long. Not only that, besides experiencing yourself, you are also going to introduce this amazing sport to others as well.
With consistency and dedication, you can complete 500 jumps within two years of the period.