So, you went skydiving for the first time and experienced the indescribable rush of exhilaration that only falling hundreds of feet through the air can bring. Upon doing so, you might have had a realization: you could really get used to this. In fact, you could happily make a living flinging yourself out of airplanes on a regular basis. If only there were career paths that involved skydiving as a key job responsibility. Well, fortunately, there are. If you’re interested in pursuing a career that involves jumping out of a plane, continue reading.
Perhaps the most obvious career that comes to mind when one dreams about jumping out of planes for a living is becoming a skydiving instructor. The main job duties of a skydiving instructor include teaching courses on the necessary safety procedures and processes of skydiving and taking beginner skydivers on tandem skydives.
In order to land this adrenaline-pumping job, you’ll need to log a minimum of 500 skydives and have spent 3 hours free-falling through the air. In addition, you must also become a member of the United States Parachute Association and hold either a coach, instructor, examiner, pro, or judge certification.
If skydiving alone isn’t dangerous and exhilarating enough, consider a career as a smokejumper. Smokejumpers are a type of wildland firefighter who are specialized in implementing an initial attack response on remote wildfires. Often, they’re one of the first groups tasked with mitigating a wildfire.
To provide rapid response in crucial areas, a group of around eight to 10 smokejumpers jump out of airplanes and parachute down to key locations where help is most needed. They use planes when driving or hiking to the scene would take too long. Once on the ground, they work to control and put out the fire in time-sensitive situations.
Another career that involves jumping out of a plane is paratrooping. Similar to smokejumpers, paratroopers are tasked with skydiving right into the action.
Essentially, paratroopers are military parachutists that jump out of a plane and parachute down into an operation. Typically, they help bring in any equipment and supplies needed for a mission, deploy on the frontline or behind enemy lines, and provide assistance in instances of natural disasters. To become an elite soldier in the Army’s Airborne unit, you’ll need to pass an extreme recruitment process, meet high fitness standards, and undergo extensive training.