A Daily Adventure
Does a distinct profession choose the person rather than the person choosing the job?
Being intensely passionate about an activity or skill contributes to the path we decidedly take with a career choice. Having the aptitude for parachuting is an extraordinary strength to have. Not everyone can make a career out of something that is potentially dangerous on a daily basis.
Why yes…My Office IS in the Sky!
Believe it or not; some people actually get paid to jump out of an airplane! It takes a rare breed to be able to make the jump up to ten or twelve times a day. Something my buddy Tony was considering back in the day in our early twenties, but he decided to go ahead and start his own company www.plumbersofpalmbeach.com
The average pay of a skydiver is between $20,000 – $40,000. There are various classifications of “skydiving” careers and with that come specific requirements and training to become licensed.
The different professions in parachuting / skydiving:
- Military Paratrooper (Average Salary is $25,000 – $36,419)
- Skydiving Instructor (Average Salary is $20,000)
- Rigger (Average Salary is $24,000 – $49,000)
Being one of the “elite” Airborne takes a great deal of self-discipline to pass successfully. There is a process which one goes through to enter, train and graduate.
- Entrance – You must join the Army and pass Basic Training.
- Combat Training – Upon completion of Basic Training, you are required to complete Combat Training. This is a requirement for all Army personnel.
- Individualized Training – Upon completion of Combat Training, you advance to Individualized Training where you will learn paratrooping skills and undergo physical training.
- Physical – You must pass another physical and have no mobility, vision or hearing impairments. You must be under 36 years old to qualify for paratrooper school.
- Paratrooper Training – Now the “rubber hits the road!” You will undergo rigorous training beginning on the ground and ending in the air with jumps. If you successfully pass, you will graduate and receive your wings.
Advance to Assigned Installation – You will receive orders and go to your first military installation to report for duty.
As a Skydiving Instructor, your job will require a tight focus while being safety-oriented. You have the lives of others resting in your hands. As an instructor, you must be trained and licensed under the U.S. Parachute Association (USPA.)
Your duties will include helping beginning jumpers to have a firm understanding of what the safety procedures are and to ensure they have a successful jump. More experienced jumpers trying to earn their license will also require your testing them.
Training to become a Skydiving Instructor requires training and a certain number of jumps.
- Obtain your skydiving license. Having this license allows you to be able to make solo jumps with others.
- Must make 25 jumps – use these jumps to hone your skills and build upon them.
- Must make 100 jumps – once completed you can proceed to the Coach Certification Class.
- Must make 200 jumps – once completed, you qualify to skydive with a camera.
- Must make 500 jumps – once completed, you can get your AFF rating (Instructor Proficiency Card.)
- USPA AFF Instructor Course – this course lasts about a week; once passed you are ready to teach skydiving
Parachute Riggers are the ones that employ strict safety measures and ensuring that parachutes are maintained, inspected, packed and repacked. A Rigger must go through training and may be required to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.)
There are four types of parachutes:
There are two certifications for Riggers:
Senior Parachute Rigger
- To Obtain: Rigger must pack at least 20 parachutes (of each type; seat, back, chest, lap) while a credentialed Rigger supervises
- Must pass oral and written test
Master Parachute Rigger
- To Obtain: Rigger must have at least three years experience and packed at least 100 parachutes of two types parachutes.
- Must pass a written test if they do not have a Senior Parachute Rigger certificate. Both oral and practical tests are also required.