Skydiving instructors make their living in the skies throughout the world. Instructors typically make the majority of their money in the five minutes it takes to travel from an aeroplane to the ground below. Instructors use tandem jumps with their students to create a hands-on approach to jumping and landing safely from an aeroplane.
Skydiving instructors are typically paid on a per jump basis by their students. According to Skydiving Magazine, skydiving instructors make a minimum of approximately £16 per jump with students. Some instructors can make £26 or more per jump depending on their experience and the size of surrounding cities. Skydiving instructors supplement their income by offering video services or photographs of their students skydiving. Additional income is made from packing suits and skydiving competitions.
Skydiving instructors teach prospective skydivers how to pack their parachute packs, properly exit an aeroplane at altitude, stabilise their bodies in flight, recognise safe altitudes in which to pull their parachutes, land safely and act in the event of an emergency. Skydiving instructors jump with their students in tandem for their first few jumps. After the skydiving instructor has judged that the student is capable of jumping on her own, the instructor signs the student's skydiving log book.
Skydiving instructors do not need a specific education to teach skydiving to students, only experience with skydiving itself. To achieve an A license in the United States, skydivers need at least 25 completed jumps. The A license is the lowest license offered for skydivers and a D license is the highest license. You cannot teach skydiving in the United States legally without at least an A license from the United States Parachute Association.
Skydiving instruction carries risk for both you and your student. If your chute fails to open, the plane experiences trouble, weather becomes unfavourable or any other problems arise, you could face a life-threatening situation. Additionally, skydiving is typically a seasonal occupation. Skydivers cannot jump during rainy or winter seasons due to environmental hazards. The seasonality of the work can lower your salary unexpectedly.