How To Get A Skydiving License?

If you’ve made a tandem jump or two and you’ve fallen in love with skydiving, you might be wondering how to get a skydiving license, or even how much do skydiving instructors make if you’re thinking about a career change. There are eight levels of skydiving licenses you can earn through the United States Parachute Association. While skydiving certification costs will vary by student, they’re worth it if you’re considering becoming a skydiving instructor or a sport skydiver looking to break some records in Bozeman, MT.

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Learn How To Get A Skydiving License

As mentioned, there are eight levels of skydiving license, and you’ll need to choose which one is right for your skydiving plans. Here’s a little bit about each level:

Category A and B

These two skydiving licenses include completing the same tasks, which include: 

  • Minimum of two tandem jumps that meet USPA standards
  • Deploy parachute in belly-to-earth position at the proper altitude without assistance
  • Completion of quizzes

The difference between skydiving license category A and B lies in your level of proficiency. Category A signifies that you have the skills to successfully complete a jump by yourself. Category B certification is earned when you’ve completed 25 tandem jumps. The skydiving certification cost for these categories ranges from $298-$498 per two jumps, based on location and weight. 

Ground School, Equipment, & USPA Membership

Before you move on to Category C you’ll spend some time in class. Ground school at our Boise, ID or Coeur d’Alene, ID location involves preparing for your first solo jump. Attendance is required, and can be completed before Category A, in between Categories A and B, or after Category B. This portion of the skydiving certification costs $98.

Before you make your first solo jump you’ll need to purchase a few pieces of equipment. You should already own your goggles from your first jump. Consult with your instructor on the best kind of helmet to purchase. We also recommend that you buy your own altimeter at this point, but it’s not required. 

You’ll also need to join the USPA before your first solo jump. Make sure you apply early so you don’t find yourself waiting for approval.

Category C

Once you’ve completed ground school, acquired the necessary equipment and gotten your USPA membership, you can train for your first solo jump! Category C focuses on relaxed freefall, how to plan a canopy pattern to fit the wind speeds and avoid obstacles, how to deal with turbulence, and more high-level skydiving skills. It ends with a quiz. This part of skydiving certification costs $298-$338. 

Category D

You’ll build your skydiving skills by learning how to do controlled 90-degree, 180-degree, and 360-degree spins while in freefall with a minimum of three jumps and a quiz to show your proficiency. This part of skydiving certification costs $298-$338. 

Category E

This is where you really get to enrich your skills by adding barrel rolls and flips in freefall, then regaining your stability. By the end of Category E you should be ready to self-supervise and demonstrate parachute-packing skills. You’ll also need to get a passing score on the USPA A-License written exam, and have an instructor sign off on your logbook. This level requires three jumps and costs $298-$338. You should also have your own altimeter by the end. Congratulations! You’re now able to jump alone or with an instructor! 

Category F-H

These self-guided categories give you the opportunity to expand your skills while preparing you for skydiving in groups in freefall and under canopy. All that’s left is the A-License Proficiency Card closed-book exam, and 25 completed jump to make you a fully licensed skydiver! 

How Much Do Skydiving Instructors Make? 

While many people get their skydiving license so they can compete for records, or just to expand their skills, some people love it so much they opt to go pro. How much do skydiving instructors make? At the end of 2021, the average skydiving instructor salary was $58,000, according to Many skydiving instructors do it as a hobby or a part-time job.

Get A Skydiving License With DZONE!

No matter which level of skydiving licensing you want, you can get it with DZONE! Take a look at our Jump School to find out how to get started.

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