How To Become A Professional Skydive Instructor

October 4, 2018

Dream Job - Apply Here

So you think you want to become a skydiving instructor? Being a full time skydiving instructor sure sounds like a dream job to many people. There are many perks to the job - flying in airplanes all day, day dreaming with your head in the clouds and  of course, freefall. Being a skydiving instructor means getting paid to be a certified bad ass - but what does it really take to get paid to jump out of perfectly good airplanes? 

Tandem Skydiving


1. Get Your License To Skydive 

Ok, first things first. You need to get your skydiving license. Most skydiving centers offer a skydive training program called Accelerated Free Fall. A license to skydive is issued through the United States Parachute Association. The first license you can get is called your ''A License".

Learning to Skydive

USPA Skydiving "A License"

  • 25 skydives
  • 6 Hour Ground School
  • Parachute packing class
  • Wind tunnel training (offered only at the most elite skydive training schools)

Once you have earned this license you are free to skydive without the aid of an instructor anywhere in the world.  Have more questions about obtaining a license to skydive? Take a look at our blog What Is Accelerated FreeFall and How Do I Get My License To Skydive for more details. 

Learning to Skydive

Learning to Skydive USPA A License

2. Learn The Ropes

Two of the basic requirements to become a professional skydiving tandem instructor are:

  • 500 skydives
  • 3 years in the sport of skydiving

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 quite easy to make several hundred jumps a season. Lift tickets for licensed skydivers are only $27 which makes it much more affordable to skydive several times a day!

Not only do you need 500 skydives to become a Tandem Instructor, but you need to have been in the sport of skydiving for 3 years. This requirement is to help skydivers learn all there is to know about our 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. 

Professional Skydive Instructor 

3. Get Your USPA Coaches Rating

What is it like being a newbie skydiver? You hang out at the dropzone every day trying to get jumps and quickly lose any friends who aren't skydivers. You want to talk about skydiving to everyone, every day. You try really hard to convince people to go skydiving. Newbie skydivers eat, live and breathe skydiving. We love them and need people who are passionate about skydiving to become the next generation of professional skydiving instructors.

How do you get out of this Newb Skydiver persona? You attend an introductory USPA Coach Course. This skydive rating allows you to start teaching people even newer than you about skydiving.

USPA Coach Course Requirements

  • 18 years old
  • 100 Skydives
  • USPA B License

4. Attend USPA Tandem Training Course

Alright, you've completed your training:

  • USPA D License
  • 500 Skydives
  • 3 years in the sport
  • USPA Coach Rating

Now it's time to hit the books and attend your final training course!

become a skydiving instructor at skydive danielson

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.

*Are you a first time skydiver of Massachusetts, Connecticut or Rhode Island? Check out Skydive Danielson for your first skydive! 

Tandem Skydiving Instructor Requirements

  • 18 years or older
  • 50 skydives within the last year
  • USPA Coach Rating
  • 4 hours of free fall time
  • FAA Class III Medical

learning how to pack parachutes for skydiving

Ready to quit your boring office job and become a Professional Skydiving Instructor? Make life more interesting and pursue your career in skydiving.

Being a professional skydiver as well as a USPA licensed skydiving instructor, you have the opportunity to work ANYWHERE you want. The sport of skydiving is very open to travel and many instructors find it exciting to work in other countries during the off season.

professional skydiving instructor

For More Information:

If you're interested in getting your USPA A-license and want more information on how to go about starting the Accelerated FreeFall program at Skydive Danielson, visit Learn To Skydive. If you'd like more information about making your first tandem skydive visit our blog- Tandem Skydiving -Step-By-Step