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How Much Do Skydiving Instructors Make? (Average Salary Per Student)

Skydiving instructors are known to educate people concerning the safety procedures and equipment used while skydiving. These experts teach students about concepts and maneuvers like drop zones, freefalls, and canopy flights. They also cover important information concerning airplanes and landings.

Also, note that skydiving instructors may teach individuals or groups of people. Skydiving instructors often jump in tandem with their students, but they may also prepare students for their own jumps. Skydiving instructors are also expected to meet all licensing requirements and meet a required number of jumps and hours of freefall.

How Much Do Skydiving Instructors Make Per Student?

In the United States, skydiving instructor jobs tend to be seasonal or part-time. And while instructors can be hired as salaried employees, they are more or less paid for each class they supervise. According to reports, an instructor can be paid on a per-student, per class rate of about $20 – $30, although this figure tends to also vary depending on the instructor’s credentials and expertise, as well as other factors.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that self-enrichment education teachers, such as skydiving instructors, could expect a much faster than average job growth from 2018 to 2028, a 12 percent rate. The average salary will also be largely dependent on the reputation of the skydiving company and the location, which can help determine how many people are interested in trying skydiving.

Most skydiving instructors tend to venture into this field with a license and basic education, proving that they are well-versed and experienced in executing safe jumps, easy landings, and other job duties. However, just like was expressed above, the salary can be unpredictable; an increasing job growth rate highlights a very popular career for most people interested in teaching skydiving.

Skydiving is a job in which safety is paramount, especially since it is considered a high-speed activity in which you risk injury and death. If you have a history of epilepsy, obesity, heart problems or other conditions, you may not be able to work as a skydiver.

Howbeit, to stay on top of safety details, you will need to skydive regularly, consistently, and expertly perform all procedures, and maintain good judgment. Skydivers who are trained well, who stay current with safety precautions, and take a conservative approach to the job have very few accidents or injuries.

How to Become a Skydiving Instructor

There are many perks to the job – flying in airplanes all day, daydreaming with your head in the clouds, and of course, freefall. Being a skydiving instructor means getting paid to be a certified commando. Here are the steps to take to achieve this very inspiring feat.

  1. Earn a Skydiving License

In the United States, there are no formal licensure requirements to become a skydiving instructor. However, it might be nice to acquire one or more instructional ratings through the United States Parachute Association (USPA).

Before pursuing these ratings, you are expected to earn your voluntary skydiving licensure, which first requires membership in the USPA. There are four classes of skydiving licenses, which are awarded based on a skydiver’s proficiency.

But to get a license, you are expected to submit a log of your jumps that includes the jump number, date, location, exit altitude, and length of time in free fall, as well as the distance you landed from your target, equipment you used and a signature verifying the jump. In addition, logs need to show what kind of jump it was, such as flying, canopy formation, or style jump.

  1. Learn The Ropes

The two basic requirements to become a professional skydiving tandem instructor are 500 skydives and 3 years in the sport of skydiving. So when you first start skydiving it may seem like an impossible number to hit 500 jumps. However, once you get your license to skydive it becomes very easy to make several hundred jumps a season.

In the United States, lift tickets for licensed skydivers are only $27 which makes it much more affordable to skydive several times a day. Aside from requiring 500 skydives to become a Tandem Instructor, note that you need to have been in the sport for 3 years.

This requirement is to help skydivers learn all there is to know about the industry before they are allowed to start taking passengers on their first tandem skydives. There is so much to learn about the sport of skydiving that it takes several years of being around the sport to learn the fundamentals

  1. Pursue Instructional Ratings

In the United States, to earn an instructional rating as a skydiving instructor, you are expected to pass an exam administered by the USPA, have an advanced skydiving license, display mastery of skydiving techniques, and demonstrate teaching proficiency. Note there are three types of instructor positions you could hold, including a coach, instructor, and instructor examiner.

As an instructor, you will mainly teach jump courses in one or more of the following areas: harness holding, assisted deployment, static line, or tandem jumping. You also might oversee coaches, who could instruct students in certain jump and free fall skills while under your supervision.

The instructor examiner is the apex of the USPA instructional rating program. As such, you would represent the USPA regarding specific drop zones. This typically includes offering advice to skydivers and providing administrative services.

  1. Attend USPA Tandem Training Course

At this point, you’ve completed your training: USPA D License, 500 Skydives, 3 years in the sport, and USPA Coach Rating. Now it is time to hit the books and attend your final training course. In the United States, tandem instructors are required to take a course through the USPA.

This course is designed to teach the instructors how to take passengers on their first tandem skydives and to learn how to operate the parachute system.


Have it in mind that Skydiving tends to be seasonal work, based largely on weather conditions. You jump out of planes, focusing on the proper body positioning.

After jumping, you will free-fall for about 60 seconds, traveling at close to 120 miles per hour. Once you open your parachute, you will enjoy 100 – mile views as you float to Earth. As a skydiving instructor, you will train people in harness holding, assisted deployment, static line, and tandem jumping.

Note that most of your work will take place Earth-bound, more or less requiring you to oversee coaches or serve as an examiner of the instructional rating program of the United States Parachute Association (USPA). Also note that you will spend a lot of time checking and rechecking your gear and that of your fellow divers, making sure all parachutes will function properly every single time they are activated.