All over the world, there are several levels of skydiving certification and different skydiving licensing costs. However, in the United States, there are four primary Skydiving certifications/licenses: A, B, C, and D. Note that the skydiving license most people have in mind when they begin considering skydiving certification is the “A” license. The “A” License is where every skydiver starts.
It is what shows to the skydiving world that you have received the appropriate amount of training to be able to jump with other licensed skydivers.
Once you have received your “A” License, you can start working toward several admirable skydiving goals. You could also choose to work toward completing the necessary canopy manoeuvres, water training and 50 jumps minimum to obtain your “B” License.
If you prefer to be like one of the coaches that helped you along the way, you could choose to acquire the United States Parachute Association Coach Rating. Note that this particular skydiving certification is the first instructional rating a skydiver can earn in the sport of skydiving.
But if you intend on acquire further certification to become an Accelerated Freefall Instructor or a Tandem Skydiving Instructor, you will have to start with the coach rating too because this rating is required to attend any other instructor rating course.
Have it in mind that every skydiving certification opens up new and exciting opportunities within the skydiving community. It might take some time and an investment of your funds but receiving your skydiving license is well worth the cost.
With your skydiving certification achieved, you will be able to start focusing on one of the many disciplines of skydiving, building your skills and having a lot of fun in the process! One of the most common disciplines preferred by new skydivers is formation skydiving, where you learn to jump with other people safely and to make formations by holding onto one another’s arms and legs during freefall.
Also note that you can use your skydiving certification to jump overseas, either with the license you have, or by converting it to the local license type. However, it will depend on the specific skydiving centre you’re visiting, so be sure to check in advance.
As well as the practical applications of your skydiving certificate, you also have the mental benefits too. Note that by working toward the certification and then achieving it, you will get a great sense of pride in a job well done. Also note that you will build up the knowledge and skills you need to be fully responsible for yourself and your equipment, which is very empowering.
Additionally, there’s the whole community aspect to skydiving. So by acquiring obtaining your skydiving certificate, you will be part of the global skydiving community of wonderful people who love doing awesome things. It’s a hugely sociable sport and something you will enjoy once you’re part of it.
Major Types of Certifications for Skydiving and How Much They Cost
First and foremost, the cost of acquiring any skydiving certification will mostly depend on the skydiving centre you choose and the system they use. However, you can get your skydiving certification in as few as 8 training jumps and 17 consolidation jumps.
Each training jump is properly designed to equip you with the skills you need to be a successful skydiver, operate all of the equipment and deal with any possible situation that might occur.
Skydiving A License
The first license or certification that a jumper can acquire is the A License. An A license opens the door to the skydiving world. After completing a series of jumps showing to experienced skydiving instructors that they have the skills needed to skydive safely and competently by themselves, a jumper can receive their A License.
However, a jumper is expected to be able to remain stable in free fall, pack their own parachute, complete a written and oral exam, and a whole list of other requirements as identified by the United States Parachute Association. Once a new skydiver successfully completes their training and demonstrates the necessary skills, they are awarded an A license.
- $3,900 (three jumps that are tandems, $650)
Skydiving B License
To acquire a Skydiving B License in the United States, a jumper is expected to have clocked at least 50 jumps. These skydivers also must have proven their canopy piloting skills by completing the:
Canopy manoeuvres required by the United States Parachute Association, have live training to make a water landing, have passed a written exam, and have successfully completed the required freefall flying manoeuvres. Note that by showing that you have the skills to attain your B License, it shows that you are ready to handle even bigger and better things.
This includes jumps at night, jumps from high altitude (up to 30,000ft!) jumps from helicopters, and jumps from hot air balloons. Howbeit, if you have your B License and reach 100 skydives, you are eligible to receive training to become a skydiving coach and assist other skydivers to progress in the sport.
- $1,600 (incl. water & canopy training, 25 jumps, 22 rentals)
Skydiving C License
A skydiving C license is a step higher than the B license. A C license holder can do all of the things listed under A and B and is also eligible to get their USPA instructor rating (though not the Tandem rating). They can also be a passenger on a USPA tandem instructor training course and rating renewal jumps and can participate in certain more advanced level jumps.
The C License is achieved by jumpers who have reached 200 skydives. These jumpers have also been able to land within 7 feet of a target on at least 25 skydives. Note that to be awarded a C License, the skydiver is also expected to pass a written exam. C License jumpers can also now begin looking into wingsuiting and now qualify to take a wingsuit course.
- $5,600 (including 200 regular jump tickets)
Skydiving D License
The skydiving D license is the top license you can achieve. Skydivers holding a D license have proven a wide range of skills and have a great depth of experience, having completed a minimum of 500 jumps. D license skydivers have all of the privileges of A, B and C license and are eligible for all USPA instructor ratings.
D License holders are able to apply for all instructor ratings provided by the United States Parachute Association including pro ratings and the ability to jump into stadiums! To obtain a Skydiving D License, these skydivers have also made at least 2 skydives at night and have passed a written exam.
- Varies according to location, Skydiving centre and system used.
Once you have that USPA A license at hand, you will be very ready to move on with the next steps. The more advanced skydiving certification levels–the B, C and D licenses–will move you well into your skydiving career, and the ratings you can earn will allow you to do demonstration jumps, participate in incredible air sports events and even teach new jumpers how to skydive. Howbeit, with time, effort and dedication, you can even become a certified skydiver instructor.