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Skydiving Instructor  What They Do

Just the Facts


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dotTom Pfeifer, chairman of the coaching and working committee of a sport parachute association, says it's important to know the difference between a skydiving instructor and a skydiving coach.

"An instructor takes the average Joe from the street and teaches him to skydive," says Pfeifer. "A coach takes a person who knows how to skydive and makes them better at it."

dotThere is one big reason to become a skydiving instructor -- a pure love of the sport. Al Gramando, owner of a company that sells skydiving equipment, advises anyone who thinks they'll make oodles of money as a skydiving instructor to think again.

"You have to do this because you choose to do it, because you want to do it," he says. "Most instructors live in a camper and don't have a lot of personal possessions. But they're doing what they love."

Instructor Madolyn Murdock says teaching students offers her the ultimate challenge.

"Some people shy away from becoming an instructor," says Murdock. "They don't want to make all the decisions, to take the responsibility. But it seemed like a natural progression to go from a novice jumper to becoming a jumpmaster and then an instructor."

At a Glance

Teach people how to safely jump out of planes

  • You'll need a cool head and experience
  • Most instructors have other jobs as well
  • You'll need at least 100 free falls under your belt before you can consider becoming an instructor