The number of jumps you need to be a skydiving instructor will vary depending on your personal goals as well as the certification you are aiming for. However, note that you can become a skydiving instructor with as few as 100 jumps, or you can choose to aim for IAD or Static Line instructor certifications that require at least 200 jumps.
Aside from these, you can aim for 500 jumps to ensure you can work as a Tandem instructor. Howbeit, note that to become fully licensed as an examiner, you will have to attain thousands of jumps.
Becoming a skydiving instructor is certainly not an option considered by many, howbeit it is a form of employment that is as lucrative as it is exciting. However, since the role of a skydiving instructor is nothing close to a typical job, the career path is mostly unclear.
Most often, even individuals looking to work within the industry tend to be often uncertain of where to start and exactly how to attain the relevant certification.
Nevertheless, it is imperative to reiterate that there are various kinds of skydiving Instructors in the United States and each type tends to possess its own criteria or steps. However, just as was noted above, you will have to accumulate at least 100 skydives to start your skydiving instructor journey.
Once you have attained at least 100 jumps, you can continue to accumulate more and more jumps until you’ve completed every other stage.
Remember that once you attain 100 jumps, you are qualified to apply for the USPA Coach Rating. In the United States, USPA Coaches are eligible to function as supervised assistants to USPA Instructors as well as teach some portions of the first jump course.
Once you attain 200 jumps that will also include at least 60 minutes of controlled freefall, you then become qualified for a C License. Afterward, you can train to apply for one of the numerous USPA Instructor certifications.
Different Types of Skydiving Instructors
Just as was noted above, there are various kinds of skydiving Instructors in the United States and each type tends to possess its own criteria or steps. Nevertheless, below are well-known types of skydiving instructors and the necessary things required of each one.
Skydiving Coach Rating
This is more or less the first instructional skydiving rating that any person can obtain in the United States, and it is considered a foundational rating necessary to achieve every other instructional rating in this field.
With this rating, the skydiving instructor is permitted to teach the general (or non-method specific) portions of the Accelerated Free Fall first jump course. They might also educate and jump with skydiving students as they continue to boost their group skydiving skills.
Have it in mind that these instructors tend to work in close alignment with and under the supervision of Accelerated Free Fall Instructors.
However, to become eligible for the Coach Rating, you will have to be at least 18 years of age, accumulated a minimum of 100 jumps, and must have obtained a USPA B license. Aside from that, you will also need to have successfully accomplished the Coach Certification Course.
Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) Skydiving Instructor
Skydiving instructors with this rating are tasked with teaching AFF students how to skydive and also making sure that those students comprehensively learn new maneuvers in the sky from their first jump until they have obtained their USPA A license.
Coupled with freefall skills, instructors with this rating are also permitted to educate Accelerated Free Fall students on topics like canopy flight, gear and equipment, spotting and aircraft knowledge, emergency procedures as well as laws and guidelines from the Skydiver Information Manual.
Since AFF students tend to be overly dependent on their skydiving instructor, the role of the AFF instructor is quite serious and should not be taken for granted.
To become eligible for this rating as a skydiving instructor, you will have to be at least 18 years of age, must have obtained a USPA Coach or other Instructor rating for nothing less than one full year, or have accumulated a minimum of 500 jumps.
Tandem Skydiving Instructor
Tandem skydiving represents one of the most widely recognized ways to experience skydiving for the first time. Note that the client will have to be attached to a tandem skydiving instructor who does most of the work, which often includes jumping from the airplane and free-falling for around 50 seconds before the parachute opens and both glide back down to earth.
To be eligible to become a tandem skydiving instructor, you will have to be at least 18 years of age, have a USPA instructional rating, accumulated 500 skydives, obtained a USPA D license, have a minimum of three years experience in skydiving, and have a current FAA Class III Flight Medical Certificate.
To get this skydiving instructor rating, you must have successfully completed a USPA Tandem Instructor Rating Course, and this will most often include both a written exam and practical jumps with a simulated student and USPA Tandem Instructor or a USPA Tandem Instructor Examiner as judges. Aside from that, the tandem skydiving instructor will also need to obtain manufacturer-specific equipment training.
The number of jumps you need to be a skydiving instructor will vary depending on your personal goals as well as the certification you are aiming for.
Prior to becoming a full-fledged tandem skydiving instructor, ensure to develop both your teaching skills and your skydiving skills. Have in mind that you can get both by attending a USPA Coach Course and obtaining your USPA Coach rating