Forums: Skydiving: Instructors:
AFF instructor salary

 


BMFin

Oct 23, 2012, 5:49 AM
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I would be interested to hear what do AFF instructors get paid at different DZs ?

Im not an instructor yet so I would be interested to hear also what are the different tasks:

1) holding a course
2) level jump
3) something else?

Thanks!

PS. I know there are some threads about this, but since many of them are so old, I thought of asking this once more.


(This post was edited by BMFin on Oct 23, 2012, 5:53 AM)


theonlyski  (D License)

Oct 23, 2012, 6:24 AM
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In reply to:
I would be interested to hear what do AFF instructors get paid at different DZs ?

Im not an instructor yet so I would be interested to hear also what are the different tasks:

1) holding a course
2) level jump
3) something else?

Thanks!

PS. I know there are some threads about this, but since many of them are so old, I thought of asking this once more.

You're probably not going to get a whole lot of responses from this one...

I get the same pay if I do a FJC, a level jump or a tandem video.

Tandem-I pays less unless you pack the rig yourself.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 23, 2012, 7:02 AM
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In Finland? Can't help you there.

In the US, I've seen anywhere from $15 to $25 per strudent to teach the FJC, and between $25 and $35 for the actual jumps.


Mr_Polite  (D 420)

Oct 23, 2012, 12:29 PM
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FJC - $100 - $25 additional per person over 4

Jump - $25 to $45 per jump
$25 if you just do the jump
$35 if both instructors do prejump/debrief
$45 if you do both prejump/debrief alone

Other -
Packing lessons - Case of Beer
Addtional Ground Prep - No charge
Recurrency - unless it's a long one No Charge / beer


SEREJumper  (D 29555)

Oct 26, 2012, 11:47 AM
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$USD

FJC - $60 first person - $30 additional per person.

Jump 1-instructor
$30 if you just do the jump

Jump 2-instructors
$30 for main side (you do the complete briefing/debriefing)
$15 for reserve side


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Oct 26, 2012, 10:36 PM
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Our DZ pays $35 for main or reserve side, doesn't matter. We also split up and share the work instead of insisting one person do it all. Smile


psychoswooper  (D License)

Oct 27, 2012, 7:33 PM
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Our DZ pays $40 on 1 JM levels and
$40/$25 on 2 JM levels. JM who does ground
prep gets the $40


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Nov 4, 2012, 5:59 AM
Post #8 of 100 (9958 views)
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We need a union. It really is pathetic that since the early 90's pay has basically stayed the same. Impossible to make a living. Even worse it encourages instructors to spend less time with students so they can get on to the next jump.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Nov 4, 2012, 7:30 AM
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In reply to:
We need a union. It really is pathetic that since the early 90's pay has basically stayed the same. Impossible to make a living. Even worse it encourages instructors to spend less time with students so they can get on to the next jump.
In the late 70's it paid $10/student to teach the s/l FJC. That price continued into the late 90's. I think it pays $15/student now for the AFF FJC. I'm not sure because I only teach once a year. It's not worth my time. . . .Unsure


Premier WickedWingsuits  (D 30916)

Nov 4, 2012, 7:35 AM
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In reply to:
We need a union. It really is pathetic that since the early 90's pay has basically stayed the same. Impossible to make a living. Even worse it encourages instructors to spend less time with students so they can get on to the next jump.

If it were simply % based on what the student is paying it would always keep up with price increase on the DZ and remain a fair split.

I hope the Union idea is a joke!?


Mr_Polite  (D 420)

Nov 4, 2012, 10:06 AM
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You will make more with a union, too bad you'll have to pay the union 2x what your raise was. Unions don't work, look at the auto industry....


markovwgti  (D 29993)

Nov 4, 2012, 12:13 PM
Post #12 of 100 (9873 views)
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75 per person for fjc
60 each level we do one instructor afp


Krip  (Student)

Nov 4, 2012, 3:55 PM
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In reply to:
You will make more with a union, too bad you'll have to pay the union 2x what your raise was. Unions don't work, look at the auto industry....


Some people have bad feelings towards unions. But why call it a union. When the intructor rateing system was started by USPA it was just a weekend thing, putting out static lines. Now the DZ staff has grown into a full time gig, AFF, tandems etc.

The PIA part of USPA and it isn't union, it's a association.

DZ's aren't a union their group members.

Dentists, Dr's and Lawyers don't belong to unions they belong to professional organizations..

If the DZ staff wants to be treated like professionals, be paid a fair wage have their gear insured if it's stored at the DZ etc etc. Than they need to get organized at a national level.

USPA and the DZ's aren't going to do this for the DZ staff.
I heard about this thing called social mediaWink Maybe you all should try using it if you want to see some changes.Wink

Or you could just whine and continue working for whatever the DZ wants to pay you.

R.




l


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Nov 5, 2012, 11:40 AM
Post #14 of 100 (9686 views)
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Oh Shit.

I was just kidding. Please dont start a movement against me for wanting to start USPA unions. lmao I have enough going on.

I am in the cold powerless house of mine just bored. But laughing how you have to watch whatever you say.


Premier WickedWingsuits  (D 30916)

Nov 5, 2012, 11:56 AM
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I kinda figured it was a joke but thanks for clarifying!


Mr_Polite  (D 420)

Nov 5, 2012, 4:24 PM
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And what exactly is social media doing to change anything?

You can try to start a professional organization (UNION) and fight for those higher wages you think you deserve. Add in some insurance for your gear, maybe a little health care and a 401k. Soon it's going to cost $1000 for an AFF level 1. Now you will have nobody coming to jump because it's a total rip off.

Being an instructor for most is a 2nd job typically used to cover the cost of jumping. If you decide to be a full time instructor and not work a real job that is on you. That doesn't mean you get all the benfits of a normal job.


Krip  (Student)

Nov 5, 2012, 5:00 PM
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In reply to:
And what exactly is social media doing to change anything?

You can try to start a professional organization (UNION) and fight for those higher wages you think you deserve. Add in some insurance for your gear, maybe a little health care and a 401k. Soon it's going to cost $1000 for an AFF level 1. Now you will have nobody coming to jump because it's a total rip off.

Being an instructor for most is a 2nd job typically used to cover the cost of jumping. If you decide to be a full time instructor and not work a real job that is on you. That doesn't mean you get all the benfits of a normal job.

Hi

I ont do social media: tweet, facebook, cell phone etc but from watching international news scoial media was given some of the credit for starting some of the political changes in the middle east, egypt. Like egypt.

I'm guessing social media could be used by the DZ worker bee's to discuss their concerns on a national or international level.

I don't know what you mean by a total ripoff, learning to jump will definatly be more expensive, but you get what you pay for.FWIW I was a fun jumper.

What do you consider a "normal job". Working on wall street, makeing the big bucks even if your pruduct is if a failur. Digging a dtch,, AMA Dr,, a stay at home mom,

BTW I don't argue.Smile

Have a nice day.

R.

R.


Mr_Polite  (D 420)

Nov 6, 2012, 3:59 AM
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Sorry but the only thing I hear you saying is "I want more money, I want more money". If you want more money start hucking tandems or get a real job. One that provides you with possible retirement benefits and health care. Keep raising the price of AFF and soon enough people will stop coming.


5.samadhi

Nov 6, 2012, 9:04 AM
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how much is AFF lvl 1 usually like 200 bucks? Well that is 3 slots for 75 dollars. Gear rental for 25 dollars, that leaves 100 dollars. 40 dollars each instructor and that leaves 20 dollars for the dropzone.

Levels with 1 instructor should reflect a 65 dollar drop in price (slot of instructor + instructor pay).

seems fair to me...isnt that how most dropzones work it out?


davelepka  (D 21448)

Nov 6, 2012, 9:13 AM
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Quote:
If you want more money start hucking tandems or get a real job. One that provides you with possible retirement benefits and health care. Keep raising the price of AFF and soon enough people will stop coming.

I think you're confused, or intentionally posting unrelated topics.

There's a big difference between upping the per-jump pay of your instructors by a couple bucks, and offering a pension and health care. I agree that being a skydiving instructor is never going to be a 'real' job in that you can make a career out of it, feed your family, send your kids to college and retire, but that doesn't mean that the pay should stagnate for decades.

The work hasn't gotten any easier, but the pay is the same as is was 15 years ago. Living expenses, gear and rigging, and gas to drive to the DZ all cost more, and jumpers are still limited as to how many jumps they can make per day, so I don't think that a 'cost of living' increase is out of the question.

Maybe base it on seniority, once a guy has been working there for 2 or 3 seasons, bump them up a notch in pay. Once they hit 5 or 6 years, bump them again. Sure, it's costs more to send the senior staffers up on a jump, but those same people have been helping the DZ make money for years, and probably spending money there for longer.

Again, it's a long way from a pension and health care. Kicking in another $3 to $5 a jump for some of your dedicated employees isn't asking much.


(This post was edited by davelepka on Nov 6, 2012, 9:14 AM)


theonlyski  (D License)

Nov 6, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Re: [5.samadhi] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
how much is AFF lvl 1 usually like 200 bucks? Well that is 3 slots for 75 dollars. Gear rental for 25 dollars, that leaves 100 dollars. 40 dollars each instructor and that leaves 20 dollars for the dropzone.

Levels with 1 instructor should reflect a 65 dollar drop in price (slot of instructor + instructor pay).

seems fair to me...isnt that how most dropzones work it out?

Most AFF level 1 prices include the FJC.


-ftp-

Nov 6, 2012, 12:29 PM
Post #22 of 100 (9431 views)
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In reply to:
Oh Shit.

I was just kidding. Please dont start a movement against me for wanting to start USPA unions. lmao I have enough going on.

I am in the cold powerless house of mine just bored. But laughing how you have to watch whatever you say.

Pretty cool how you have internet with no power Tongue


Mr_Polite  (D 420)

Nov 6, 2012, 1:09 PM
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Re: [davelepka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

Confused is for sure a possibility Wink

I like your idea of the more seasoned instructors getting more pay. That makes sense. If you really want to make money skydiving the way to do it is video and tandems. I know instructors/video people that make well over $1000 a weekend. Granted this isn't every weekend due to weather and other factors but still that's good money for a weekend worth of work.

Kicking in a reasonable raise isn't a bad thing, i just get the impression from whats his face that he feels he is entitled to more than that.


Deisel  (D 31661)

Nov 6, 2012, 1:43 PM
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Great ideas but this is the wrong way to go. Leave the DZOs to run their bussinesses how they see fit. Leave the instructors to work where ever they see fit. A good DZO will take care of his/her staff, which doesnt always mean more money. If they dont, the staff is free to depart for greener pastures. This is what happenned to Detroit. The labor now costs more than the cars they produce.

I would vehemently oppose a labor union in any form. It would be the death of any DZ whose staff was short sighted and selfish enough to join a union. Other than lower insurance premiums, I see no reason for a union to exist and that can be done through other means. USPA has been wise to stay away from this issue.

D


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Nov 7, 2012, 7:26 PM
Post #25 of 100 (9286 views)
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My laptop battery and a verizon wireless card. On a good note I now have power and will not complain any longer.


airtwardo  (D License)

Nov 7, 2012, 10:32 PM
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In reply to:
We need a union. It really is pathetic that since the early 90's pay has basically stayed the same. Impossible to make a living. Even worse it encourages instructors to spend less time with students so they can get on to the next jump.




SHHHHH.....don't wake the pilots! Wink


theonlyski  (D License)

Nov 8, 2012, 6:04 AM
Post #27 of 100 (3506 views)
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In reply to:


In reply to:
We need a union. It really is pathetic that since the early 90's pay has basically stayed the same. Impossible to make a living. Even worse it encourages instructors to spend less time with students so they can get on to the next jump.




SHHHHH.....don't wake the pilots! Wink

Relax, they can't hear shit while wearing those David Clarks.Laugh


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Nov 12, 2012, 11:41 PM
Post #28 of 100 (3303 views)
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In reply to:
how much is AFF lvl 1 usually like 200 bucks? Well that is 3 slots for 75 dollars. Gear rental for 25 dollars, that leaves 100 dollars. 40 dollars each instructor and that leaves 20 dollars for the dropzone.

Levels with 1 instructor should reflect a 65 dollar drop in price (slot of instructor + instructor pay).
The DZ is making money on the slots and the gear rental. Pay varies so your math is a touch off. Many DZ's are making pretty good $$ on student programs.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Nov 12, 2012, 11:45 PM
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In reply to:
You will make more with a union, too bad you'll have to pay the union 2x what your raise was. Unions don't work, look at the auto industry....
My union got me a very large raise, thank you. My dues are a very small percentage of that.

Unions and management have had to learn to cooperate from time to time, but life is a never ending battle between capital and labor. Unions used to be much stronger in our country and jobs paid better. Things have gone downhill the past 3 decades or so for the average working person. Do you like your 5 day work weeks, your paid vacation and other benefits. Thank the labor unions for making those things standard.


Abedy  (D 10153)

Nov 13, 2012, 10:10 AM
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In reply to:
Do you like your 5 day work weeks, your paid vacation and other benefits. Thank the labor unions for making those things standard.

Just watch this video Cool A persiflage of Monty Python, heh heh.
As far as I see it the vid was first made by Australian unions, watch here.

Quote:
My union got me a very large raise, thank you. My dues are a very small percentage of that.
Same with me, I cannot complain. Only about folks who profit from what the unions achieve without participating in any strikes, demonstrations, negotiations etc, take the subsequent raise for granted and complain about "them unions that always make such a fuss" Mad


EOCS  (C License)

Nov 13, 2012, 2:49 PM
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my 2 cents....

Our club works that the AFFI gets their slot paid and the next jump, so in our case its like being paid 23 eur a jump


Deisel  (D 31661)

Nov 13, 2012, 6:10 PM
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Unions used to be much stronger in our country and jobs paid better. Things have gone downhill the past 3 decades or so for the average working person.
Quote:

And there is the problem. Times have changed, as has the country, as well as the workforce. The unions have not.

Once upon a time unions were very necessary in this country. As were many laws that were enacted at the time they were needed. Our problem is that we can never seem to let go and update the laws for the current circumstances.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Nov 13, 2012, 6:16 PM
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In reply to:
Unions used to be much stronger in our country and jobs paid better. Things have gone downhill the past 3 decades or so for the average working person.
Quote:

And there is the problem. Times have changed, as has the country, as well as the workforce. The unions have not.

Once upon a time unions were very necessary in this country. As were many laws that were enacted at the time they were needed. Our problem is that we can never seem to let go and update the laws for the current circumstances.
Yes, times HAVE changed. Companies are using Chapter 11 laws to bust unions and void pension agreements while giving bonuses to top executives. The progress unions made is taken for granted by too many people. Witness the rise of so many part-time, minimum wage, no-benefits jobs replacing good jobs.

Walmart - Treats their employees like shit, yet the Waltons are filthy stinking rich.

Costco - Treats their employees very well, with benefits, pensions and decent pay. Their CEO makes 2.2 million a year, chump change in this day and age, but that should be plenty for anyone.

The world used to be very different, but the unions forced change. We're sliding back in the wrong direction today. Unsure


Krip  (Student)

Nov 13, 2012, 9:42 PM
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China doesn't have unions.Shocked But Nikes are still expensive.

The unions in the USA have changed since the days of Jimmy Hoffa, they have to be competitive with the non union shops to get the job so no more feather bedding: oiler & opeator for every compresssor etc.

YMMV due to local conditions like NYC.


steveorino  (D 26782)

Nov 22, 2012, 9:48 PM
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$40 for each AFFI out of a Cessna. Never figured why main should get more??? We both do gear checks and teach on the way up. While main side 'might' do more work, the reserve side in a Cessna leaves with max grips so is the one to stay in a cluster $%#@& exit. Plus I have pulled my share from the reserve side. Tongue


propilot  (C License)

Nov 23, 2012, 9:59 PM
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Your pay isn't based on what is fair. Your pay is based on what the market will allow. That is why some basketball players make millions while most teachers make 30-50/year.

It isn't about what you SHOULD be paid. Its about what you CAN GET. Realize that, and you will be able to see the picture clearly.

IMHO


steveorino  (D 26782)

Nov 24, 2012, 7:16 AM
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Were you replying to me?

If so, why? If not, your point is well taken, but so what? Perhaps I should have read all the pages, as I don't know what the posts are about rather than AFF salaries


propilot  (C License)

Nov 24, 2012, 8:08 PM
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In reply to:
Were you replying to me?

If so, why? If not, your point is well taken, but so what? Perhaps I should have read all the pages, as I don't know what the posts are about rather than AFF salaries


No, just a general comment to the entire thread.

We get these types of threads in Pilot forums too. Everyone gets very emotional because they fail to realize what I posted (or dont want to believe it).


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Dec 18, 2012, 8:27 AM
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I've seen drozpones pay as little as $30 (USD) either side (and for tandems) and I've seen dropzones that paid as high as $45 for maini-side (with the responsibility of briefing/training the category and responsible for conducting the debrief). It varies wildly.

I've worked at dropzones that pay $35 per student (maximum five students) for teaching the FJC ground course and I've worked at a dropzone that pays a minimum of $50 and another $30 per student on top of that. Again, it varies wildly.

Chuck


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Dec 19, 2012, 11:23 PM
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In reply to:
I've worked at dropzones that pay $35 per student (maximum five students) for teaching the FJC ground course and I've worked at a dropzone that pays a minimum of $50 and another $30 per student on top of that. Again, it varies wildly.
I've worked at DZ's that pay way less. I avoid teaching the class more than once a year. Unsure


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Dec 20, 2012, 7:21 AM
Post #41 of 100 (2383 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I've worked at dropzones that pay $35 per student (maximum five students) for teaching the FJC ground course and I've worked at a dropzone that pays a minimum of $50 and another $30 per student on top of that. Again, it varies wildly.
I've worked at DZ's that pay way less. I avoid teaching the class more than once a year. Unsure

I have been to a LOT of dropzones that have one or two people who ALWAYS teach the FJC. Whether it's because that's what they like or simply because they are too old, out of shape, or out of practice to be doing the actual work jumps. Still, they feel a need to stay as connected to the sport as possible. I find nothing wrong with that, generally, but I do feel it's important for every Instructor to teach at least a couple of FJC ground courses per year.

Chuck


baronn  (D 22387)

Jan 16, 2013, 6:00 PM
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Totally agree. I tried to organize this 5 yrs. ago. Got 0 support. Most instructors haven't the stones to stand up to DZO's and they know it. Most instructors will cut each other's throats for an extra jump. Would be nice to see some comradarie and support for other's. Doubt I will live long enough for that to happen. Hate to be so negative on this, I agree it's a pathetic situation but, it would take a larger picture mentality that I don't believe will ever exist. I personally will find a place that can accomodate my needs or I will simply quit being an instructor and go make some money for fun jumps.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jan 17, 2013, 6:18 AM
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Quote:
Most instructors haven't the stones to stand up to DZO's and they know it.

I doubt that's the reason it didn't work.

Unions are for people who hate their job. They'll strike because they don't care about building cars or houses or whatever. The job sucks and the money is the only reason to be there. None of them would mind losing their job as long as they could make the same money doing something else.

Skydiving instructors are different. They want to do that one specific job, and the money is a secondary benefit. Yes, you need the money to live, but if someone offered you a different job making the same (little) money, you wouldn't do it because then you wouldn't be jumping.

It's not tough to make the same amount of money as a skydiving instructor working outside of the DZ. In fact, you can actually make steady money, with benefits, and maybe even a 410K. The reason that instructors don't just get those jobs is that they want to jump, and that puts a damper on your ability to negotiate the working conditions. You want to jump, and if you don't to the point that you're willing to go on strike and risk losing the job in the sky, there are others out there who do want to jump.

Supply and demand, plain and simple.


Dutton  (D 15542)

Jan 17, 2013, 11:38 AM
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The smartest thing I ever did was to stop trying to make a living skydiving. I fly airplanes for a living instead. I jump for fun. I love to teach and all the money I make pays for my fun jumps, equipment and my wife's jumps. I have a self supporting hobby.

I don't worry about all the DZ politics, I just show up and do a good job. The rest takes care of itself. Plus, I don't live in a house with wheels anymore.

Flying is fun, so it really doesn't feel like work and the pay isn't bad for a guy who only has a high school edjucation.

Wink


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Jan 17, 2013, 6:03 PM
Post #45 of 100 (1983 views)
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In reply to:
The smartest thing I ever did was to stop trying to make a living skydiving.

There ya' go folks.
On the button.


Premier faulknerwn  (D 17441)
Moderator
Jan 17, 2013, 6:34 PM
Post #46 of 100 (1978 views)
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Re: [davelepka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd agree with that. I made over twice my current salary at a job in the high-tech industry. I skydive now for a living. I could pretty easily get a job again in the 'real world' for 20-50k more than I am making now. Yet I'm still living in a trailer on the dz. I don't particularly want to go back to the 'real world'.

If I get injured or physically can't skydive any more, I'll go get a real job with a 401k and health insurance. But I am not in any rush to do so. Quality of life ...


theonlyski  (D License)

Jan 18, 2013, 5:30 AM
Post #47 of 100 (1936 views)
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In reply to:
I love to teach and all the money I make pays for my fun jumps, equipment and my wife's jumps. I have a self supporting hobby.

I don't worry about all the DZ politics, I just show up and do a good job. The rest takes care of itself.

Bingo! That's the key to "making it"!


raff

Jan 18, 2013, 12:43 PM
Post #48 of 100 (1866 views)
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Re: [faulknerwn] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

  

....If I get injured or physically can't skydive any more, I'll go get a real job with a 401k and health insurance. But I am not in any rush to do so. Quality of life ...While it may not be true in your case, there is a sad underbelly to skydiving. That is, that a young person falls in love with the sport, blows off school/job/etc. and decides to become a "professional" skydiver. 2/3 years into said life he/she will have lost forever, the ability to get up in the morning, roll over, turn off the alarm, and go to work for 8-9 hours. 6-8 years later, while living out of a 1956 Pontiac station wagon, the "where's the brass ring" question is likely to occupy a lot of this person's thinking. I have seen a lot of burnout in these folks, but rarely with the part-timers.


bluskidave  (D 23569)

Jan 18, 2013, 4:50 PM
Post #49 of 100 (1828 views)
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Re: [raff] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

reminds me of a time long ago where a packer went up to the dzo and said we the packers have decided that we will pack for $6 instead Of $5. The DZO response " like hell you will you can pack your shit up and pack in Salado" Sorry Wendy.


dunks  (D License)

Jan 21, 2013, 7:10 PM
Post #50 of 100 (1679 views)
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Re: [bluskidave] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

$75 per person FjC, $60 per jump afp


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jan 27, 2013, 8:13 AM
Post #51 of 100 (2078 views)
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Re: [bluskidave] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
reminds me of a time long ago where a packer went up to the dzo and said we the packers have decided that we will pack for $6 instead Of $5. The DZO response " like hell you will you can pack your shit up and pack in Salado" Sorry Wendy.

That's some funny shit, Dave!


dontlikemustard  (B License)

Jan 29, 2013, 4:07 PM
Post #52 of 100 (1958 views)
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Re: [BMFin] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

Well how about the DZ takes a small hit on gear rental/gas and pays the instructors more. Proper instruction really matters in this sport; and paying instructors more, whether we like it or not, will make them instruct better.

It's hard enough for most whuffo's to make a skydive due to the fear factor, add the cost of AFF & careless instructors and it makes it easy for a lot of prospective jumpers to get turned off by the sport.

If you pay the instructors more, not only will the students get more attention and a better education (i.e. create a safer skydiving environment), but it will also add more fun jumpers to the sport.

If I was a DZO I would consider every AFF student an investment. Considering that an AFF student can turn into a jumper who will put hundreds if not thousands of jumps into the DZ, rent gear, bring his whuffo friends...

It wasn't too long ago I was taking my AFF courses, and while I did have some awesome instructors, I also had a few who did the bare minimum. It just kinda sucks, when you drive out a couple of hours, drop a couple of bills, get 15 minutes of instruction, jump out of a plane only to get a 1 minute debrief on your jump before the instructor is off running to a tandem.


theonlyski  (D License)

Jan 29, 2013, 4:24 PM
Post #53 of 100 (1953 views)
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Re: [dontlikemustard] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Well how about the DZ takes a small hit on gear rental/gas and pays the instructors more. Proper instruction really matters in this sport; and paying instructors more, whether we like it or not, will make them instruct better.

It's hard enough for most whuffo's to make a skydive due to the fear factor, add the cost of AFF & careless instructors and it makes it easy for a lot of prospective jumpers to get turned off by the sport.

If you pay the instructors more, not only will the students get more attention and a better education (i.e. create a safer skydiving environment), but it will also add more fun jumpers to the sport.

If I was a DZO I would consider every AFF student an investment. Considering that an AFF student can turn into a jumper who will put hundreds if not thousands of jumps into the DZ, rent gear, bring his whuffo friends...

It wasn't too long ago I was taking my AFF courses, and while I did have some awesome instructors, I also had a few who did the bare minimum. It just kinda sucks, when you drive out a couple of hours, drop a couple of bills, get 15 minutes of instruction, jump out of a plane only to get a 1 minute debrief on your jump before the instructor is off running to a tandem.

Run some numbers:

An AFF Cat B jump costs ya $195 Let's break it down:

Instructors pay: I'm guessing probably $40 each, so we're down to $115

Slots: $25/each times 3. and we're down to $40

Gear rental: $23/jump.

That takes us down to $17 going to the dz. Real money maker AFF students are.


(This post was edited by theonlyski on Jan 29, 2013, 4:29 PM)


Divalent  (C 40494)

Jan 29, 2013, 8:32 PM
Post #54 of 100 (1929 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Run some numbers:

An AFF Cat B jump costs ya $195 Let's break it down:

Instructors pay: I'm guessing probably $40 each, so we're down to $115

Slots: $25/each times 3. and we're down to $40

Gear rental: $23/jump.

That takes us down to $17 going to the dz. Real money maker AFF studends are.

Well, the DZ gets the slot and the gear rental $, and presumably there is some profit in those items. (and perhaps a cut of the gear store sales, when those students buy stuff, etc).

Plus, if you don't train students, there eventually won't be any fun jumpers to fill the rest of the plane. (Jumpers who sometimes go on to become TIs and AFFIs, etc.) I've made more than 30 jumps for every AFF jump I did. I don't mean to begrudge a DZ from profiting on every aspect of their busines, but one could make a plausible argument that it still would be a net financial benefit to the DZ even if they merely covered their costs on an AFF jump (say, if things got really bad economically).


Premier Remster  (C License)

Jan 30, 2013, 12:57 AM
Post #55 of 100 (1919 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Well how about the DZ takes a small hit on gear rental/gas and pays the instructors more. Proper instruction really matters in this sport; and paying instructors more, whether we like it or not, will make them instruct better.

It's hard enough for most whuffo's to make a skydive due to the fear factor, add the cost of AFF & careless instructors and it makes it easy for a lot of prospective jumpers to get turned off by the sport.

If you pay the instructors more, not only will the students get more attention and a better education (i.e. create a safer skydiving environment), but it will also add more fun jumpers to the sport.

If I was a DZO I would consider every AFF student an investment. Considering that an AFF student can turn into a jumper who will put hundreds if not thousands of jumps into the DZ, rent gear, bring his whuffo friends...

It wasn't too long ago I was taking my AFF courses, and while I did have some awesome instructors, I also had a few who did the bare minimum. It just kinda sucks, when you drive out a couple of hours, drop a couple of bills, get 15 minutes of instruction, jump out of a plane only to get a 1 minute debrief on your jump before the instructor is off running to a tandem.

Run some numbers:

An AFF Cat B jump costs ya $195 Let's break it down:

Instructors pay: I'm guessing probably $40 each, so we're down to $115

Slots: $25/each times 3. and we're down to $40

Gear rental: $23/jump.

That takes us down to $17 going to the dz. Real money maker AFF students are.

Bad math. There's profit in the gear rental and $23 slots too.


tdog  (D 28800)

Jan 30, 2013, 6:31 AM
Post #56 of 100 (1887 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

Run some numbers:

An AFF Cat B jump costs ya $195 Let's break it down:

Instructors pay: I'm guessing probably $40 each, so we're down to $115

Slots: $25/each times 3. and we're down to $40

Gear rental: $23/jump.

That takes us down to $17 going to the dz. Real money maker AFF students are.


Gear = $5000 to buy at dealer cost, 2500 jump life = $2.50 per jump. Add packing, rigging and repairs = less than $10 per jump actual cost.

Slots - if you consider the full $25 each, you assume there was a fun jumper going to fill the plane to take that slot and the profit built into that is lost... Actual cost is more like $20-22ish for the slot to fly the plane. Since most DZs need students + fun jumpers to keep the plane flying, lets just isolate costs.

So the AFF student =

$195 - ($20 slot cost X 3) - ($35 instructor X 2) - $10 gear costs = $55 gross profit on one jump.

Compare customer gross profits on a full plane:

AFF $55 profit / 3 seats on plane = $18 profit per seat

Fun jumper = $5 profit per seat

If the AFF student was not there, and there were a few open seats on the plane - then the cashflow the DZO will lose is even more...

As a business owner I fully understand that DZOs need profit to pay for aircraft maintenance, hangars, lofts, front desk staff, and room for the AFF instructors to work. I don't feel $55 profit is too much considering what it takes to operate a DZ - and without students we would not have turbines at many DZs.

But there is some wiggle room in the profit to give a thank you to the staff every once in a while (dealer cost on gear, free staff jumps, a little cash on record days, etc). And there is a little wiggle room to help students who need a little help to progress, such as a discount on a repeat jump....


(This post was edited by tdog on Jan 30, 2013, 6:36 AM)


Trev_S  (B 7866)

Jan 31, 2013, 7:08 PM
Post #57 of 100 (1803 views)
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I've finished AFF and am on to B rels and compeltely broke from it but I don't care! I could go to the DZ on Saturday and they could tell me it would cost $100,000 and my first born to jump. I'd have robbed a bank and knocked a chick up by lunch time on Sunday.


SkydiverShawn  (C 40994)

Apr 1, 2013, 6:15 PM
Post #58 of 100 (1535 views)
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In reply to:
We need a union. It really is pathetic that since the early 90's pay has basically stayed the same. Impossible to make a living. Even worse it encourages instructors to spend less time with students so they can get on to the next jump.

Yay! Just another way to make jumping for new student more expensiveCrazy What you need is to kick back and relax and enjoy the fact that you are getting paid for jumping and sharing something that I hope you still enjoy. If not, quit and get a job and let someone else do it.


becka  (D 30967)

Apr 2, 2013, 6:00 AM
Post #59 of 100 (1450 views)
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

So you want the people doing this full time (and thus are likely to be the most knowledgeable) to be scraping by? You want the people in charge of teaching students to save their own lives to have to scrimp on time with the students so they can afford both rent and groceries? Seriously?

Students will probably save money in the long run if their instructors pay at least keeps up with inflation. The instructor can then be expected and able to spend more time on instruction and debriefs. Less repeat dives, bad habits fixed faster, and less medical bills. A lot of instructors do these great things anyways despite it going against their best interest, but expecting them to is ridiculous.

Instructors spend hours per jump for $35 - $50. If one is part-time, maybe this isn't so bad. However, this is only in good weather and full-timers need to eat and have a roof over their head when it's raining/windy too. (Keep in mind that every time an instructor stops a student from jumping in questionable winds, he/she is choosing the student's safety over getting a paycheck.)

Learning to skydive is luxury. An expensive luxury. If you can't afford to pay your instructor a living wage, you can't afford to skydive. You too can go out and get a job the pays better so that you can be in the sport. Your job argument goes much better that way.


excaza  (C License)

Apr 2, 2013, 6:23 AM
Post #60 of 100 (1444 views)
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What you need is to kick back and relax and enjoy the fact that you are getting paid for jumping and sharing something that I hope you still enjoy. If not, quit and get a job and let someone else do it.

Good grief dude...


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Apr 2, 2013, 8:32 AM
Post #61 of 100 (1407 views)
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Re: [becka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Learning to skydive is luxury. An expensive luxury. If you can't afford to pay your instructor a living wage, you can't afford to skydive. You too can go out and get a job the pays better so that you can be in the sport. Your job argument goes much better that way.

I totally agree with that. Every bit of it.


BMFin

Apr 2, 2013, 8:51 AM
Post #62 of 100 (1400 views)
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Re: [becka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Learning to skydive is luxury. An expensive luxury. If you can't afford to pay your instructor a living wage, you can't afford to skydive. You too can go out and get a job the pays better so that you can be in the sport. Your job argument goes much better that way.

+1

In Finland, there hasnt been really any professional training. Traditionally all student training has been moreless a hobby for the instructor.

For 2 years now we have had our first commercial DZ. The difference in the professionalism of the instructors is huge IMO. No matter how good you are, an instructor who makes 200-400 instructor jumps per summer is going to be so much more professional in his job, than the instructor who only makes 20-50 jumps per summer.

You are not going to get professional instructors unless you pay a decent wage.


mik  (D 11111)

Apr 2, 2013, 9:39 AM
Post #63 of 100 (1391 views)
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Learning to skydive is luxury. An expensive luxury. If you can't afford to pay your instructor a living wage, you can't afford to skydive. You too can go out and get a job the pays better so that you can be in the sport. Your job argument goes much better that way.

I totally agree with that. Every bit of it.

I think I disagree with most of this. There are skydivers and skydivers. Some do 10-15 jumps a day, have multiple rigs, do tunnel time, have the resources to do multiple trips a year to improve skills, can take the best coaches etc etc.

Others simply don't have the money for this, and enjoy doing a couple of jumps on some weekends, coaching with friends only etc.

The "market" has set the rates for instuctors, including AFFI. If that rate is not a decent living wage, the instructors have the option of getting alternative employment.
If AFF students had the choice of paying $xx to do AFF with an AFFI who works part time, weekends only, or $xxx plus $1000 (or whatever) to do AFF with a full time professional AFFI, I would be surprised if many students would elect to pay the additional fees.

On the other hand, I know a coach who charges between $500 and $1000 a day (plus slots) but he has close to 18k jumps and seems to have no shortage of students.

The current system seems to provide for skydivers of different financial means to take up our sport, and thereafter to improve. It would be a shame to increase prices to the point where newbies are discouraged from starting to skydive or developing their skills, in my view.


(This post was edited by mik on Apr 2, 2013, 11:04 AM)


diablopilot  (D License)

Apr 2, 2013, 1:11 PM
Post #64 of 100 (1324 views)
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Re: [becka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So you want the people doing this full time (and thus are likely to be the most knowledgeable) to be scraping by? You want the people in charge of teaching students to save their own lives to have to scrimp on time with the students so they can afford both rent and groceries? Seriously?

Students will probably save money in the long run if their instructors pay at least keeps up with inflation. The instructor can then be expected and able to spend more time on instruction and debriefs. Less repeat dives, bad habits fixed faster, and less medical bills. A lot of instructors do these great things anyways despite it going against their best interest, but expecting them to is ridiculous.

Instructors spend hours per jump for $35 - $50. If one is part-time, maybe this isn't so bad. However, this is only in good weather and full-timers need to eat and have a roof over their head when it's raining/windy too. (Keep in mind that every time an instructor stops a student from jumping in questionable winds, he/she is choosing the student's safety over getting a paycheck.)

Learning to skydive is luxury. An expensive luxury. If you can't afford to pay your instructor a living wage, you can't afford to skydive. You too can go out and get a job the pays better so that you can be in the sport. Your job argument goes much better that way.


Well said.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 2, 2013, 6:37 PM
Post #65 of 100 (1278 views)
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In reply to:
We need a union. It really is pathetic that since the early 90's pay has basically stayed the same. Impossible to make a living. Even worse it encourages instructors to spend less time with students so they can get on to the next jump.

Bullshit.
-Pay stayed the same

-Quality tanked to near rock bottom.
I ain't payin' for mediocrity.


"....encourages instructors to spend less time with students ..."
So, you DO understand my point.

Yeah...those who don't give a shit about student and are only concerned with the money. Shove your money up your ass.


You figure out how to get the deadwood off the payroll and we'll talk.





Boy it felt good to get that off my chest!
LaughLaughAngelic


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 2, 2013, 6:46 PM
Post #66 of 100 (1275 views)
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Re: [becka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So you want the people doing this full time (and thus are likely to be the most knowledgeable) to be scraping by?

Your argument is not well thought out. It's driven by emotion.
Why the hell do you want to take a job that only let's you 'scrape by' and then bitch about it?

That's more of the "somebody owes me something" BS prevalent in the lazies these days.

Simplicity: If the pay won't support your living the life of luxury you want, don't take the job nor take it on a temporary basis until you find one that does. OMG, how utterly simple is that?
Crazy
In reply to:

The instructor can then be expected and able to spend more time on instruction and debriefs. Less repeat dives, bad habits fixed faster, and less medical bills. A lot of instructors do these great things anyways despite it going against their best interest, but expecting them to is ridiculous.

And more bullshit.
There are real expectations. If you don't want to meet them or if you are so immature that you refuse to meet them, turn in your rating. You have no business being an instructor.

That entire paragraph reeks of lack of responsibility, integrity. It's not an instructors job to shave the quality of his instruction for any reason...and money falls at the bottom of that list.

"Let's see now....I'll get paid $20 so I'll only cover exits. Freefall and EPs can come when they pay for that."

Extreme example? Yes. You DO get the point, I hope.


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Apr 2, 2013, 6:54 PM)


becka  (D 30967)

Apr 2, 2013, 8:29 PM
Post #67 of 100 (1259 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually my argument is well-thought out. And it is not in conflict with your insinuation that there are poor instructors who are only in it for the money. (Though let's face it, tandem instruction is far more prone to that as there is usually more money there.)

As in ANY profession, there are going to be bad workers. Does that mean that the hard-working qualified people who devote all their daylight hours to helping students save their lives and become better skydivers deserve to be paid at the poverty level? That is not well-thought out. That kind of thinking is why standards "need" to be lowered, because many of the best will leave and those who aren't as qualified or flat-out don't care will take up the slack for a few bucks.

AFF Instructors are in a business where many of the best decisions they make COST them in their paycheck. And yet many of them make those good decisions anyways.

I want to use my shiny new rating to help students learn. And I won't do less than my best. But I sure as hell won't do it full-time. My full-time job allows me to skydive and live without being terrified it will rain for a week straight. (Still don't like it, but my cat and I will get fed.) But the people who devote their lives to betterment of skydiving deserve a living wage. These are the often people that mentor the weekend warriors like me.

Now while I have never met you, I know that you have done and continue to do a lot of awesome things for jumpers. And it is so great that you do. Obviously you aren't in it for the money. You aren't the only one. I know many more. But if you want to keep most the people who care in the business, you have to take care of them. (This also can help rid you of shmucks who don't as their will be more good people to take their place.)

Really, it's not just ethically correct to treat quality instructors well, it's good business. And most people are just asking that wages keep up with inflation. How is that so controversial?


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 2, 2013, 9:06 PM
Post #68 of 100 (1255 views)
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In reply to:
Actually my argument is well-thought out. And it is not in conflict with your insinuation that there are poor instructors who are only in it for the money.
I didn't mean to 'insinuate'. I was trying to be very, very direct.

In reply to:
(Though let's face it, tandem instruction is far more prone to that as there is usually more money there.)
I'll give the TIs a bye...as long as they just do tandems and don't get involved in actually teaching skydiving.

Now before TIs go off on that,. be aware, yes, there are knowlegable TIs out the who can be trusted to teach properly and adequately. My direct concern is AFFI.


In reply to:
As in ANY profession, there are going to be bad workers. Does that mean that the hard-working qualified people who devote all their daylight hours to helping students save their lives and become better skydivers deserve to be paid at the poverty level?

Nope. You misunderstand if you think I'm saying all AFFI are bad. You are misunderstanding if you think I would not like to see everyone making the money they would like.

In reply to:
...That kind of thinking is why standards "need" to be lowered, because many of the best will leave and those who aren't as qualified or flat-out don't care will take up the slack for a few bucks.
It's appalling that you would think that and/or think that I was implying that. Wrong, wrong wrong...I don't often say that to people but this case justifies it. Standards are too low as it is. We do NOT need more monkeys. We need good, qualified instructors with integrity. Period.

In reply to:
AFF Instructors are in a business where many of the best decisions they make COST them in their paycheck. And yet many of them make those good decisions anyways.
True enough. We're not talking about the "good ones".

In reply to:
I want to use my shiny new rating to help students learn. And I won't do less than my best. But I sure as hell won't do it full-time.

And that's fine! Great! Part-time is wonderful! A "real" job coupled with part-time skydiving is a good thing for your financial well-being!

When you get more experience and you get out and about more, you'll see what I'm talking about. Right now, your foundation to make the judgements about the quality of AFFIs is not there. Your scope appears to be limited.

Here's something you can do to broaden your horizons on instruction.

Every DZ you visit, ask to sit in on an FJC. Ha! It'll hit you like a ton of bricks.....

In reply to:
But the people who devote their lives to betterment of skydiving deserve a living wage.
You seem to have thing backwards.
The people who want to devote their lives to betterment of skydiving should make sure the financials are in place before they jump on the bandwagon. If the financials are not there, they have a decision to make to commit to the program or go for the money. Their choice.

Let me ask...the job you have now...did you know whether or not it was going to cover your expenses before you took it?
If it didn't cover your expenses, what would you have done?

In reply to:
But if you want to keep most the people who care in the business, you have to take care of them. (This also can help rid you of shmucks who don't as their will be more good people to take their place.)
IMO, the ones who really care are here for the love of sport, not the money.

I strongly disagree that more pay will filter out the deadwood by attracting more integrity. IMO, quite the opposite. Integrity cannot be purchased...if it could, that only tells you that it's the money driving it....not real integrity.

Besides, it's not the money at all with respect to quality instruction. It's the instructional courses that they have to take are so poorly constructed that only the most dedicated have a chance to become "quality" instructors.

In reply to:
Really, it's not just ethically correct to treat quality instructors well, it's good business. And most people are just asking that wages keep up with inflation. How is that so controversial?
Nope. What IS controversial is the idea of agreeing to take a job, with ALL its responsibilities, and then not doing it for the wages you agree to in order to get the job.

IMO, this applies across the board, not just to skydiving. Want to increase your pay? Hell yeah! Nothing wrong with that and again, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that. I'd like to see everyone making $1mil...it ain't a-gonna happen but there ya' go.

You want to unionize? Ain't a-gonna happen. I can't think of but just a handful of DZOs who could afford union dealings.

And that's something I didn't want to get into but....how much money do you think is available for pay...for anyone, not just instructors.


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Apr 2, 2013, 9:14 PM)


diablopilot  (D License)

Apr 2, 2013, 9:09 PM
Post #69 of 100 (1252 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually Andy, you won't see it but your argument is full of shit. This has become a business and therefore profesional instructors should be treated as such.

It's great you think it's a hobby, but don't slam those of us that continually seek to become better instructors and professionals, and desire to make a living doing it.


becka  (D 30967)

Apr 2, 2013, 9:41 PM
Post #70 of 100 (1243 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

Like I said, I respect what you do for the sport of skydiving. A lot. But you are the one being driven by emotion. You are going off on things that I haven't even said. And you fly from one extreme to the other. I let you get away with insulting me in your first post, but that doesn't mean I'm going to let you railroad me either.

Your whole argument against mine was that there were bad instructors out there and so they shouldn't get more money to do bad stuff. I think everyone with any sense would agree that we don't want to keep, let alone reward, bad instructors (or any bad employees).

And you misread my note on standards. I'm AGREEING with you that standard have often been lowered well beyond acceptable levels. I certainly did not call for them to be lowered further. So if I am wrong wrong wrong, so are you. :)

It's by keeping the wage so insanely low that qualified people who do want to have a decent wage will avoid skydiving instruction as a full-time gig. Who the heck do you think you get instead? Hint: Only some of them are dedicated instructors with trust funds or satisfied by eating ramen noodles every meal.

I have been fortunate enough to know several instructors who love teaching skydiving enough that they have sacrificed their well-being to do it. But it sure isn't fortunate that this is the choice they had to make.

Here's the deal. There are some bad doctors out there, so let's stop increasing their fees for the next twenty years. Who do you think is going to become a doctor after twenty years? A few people who just have to because they want to save other people. But that's not enough. And so the rest are a bunch of folks who think it's cool to be called "doctor" and can now go to med school and get hired due to the lowered expectations.

Skydiving is not some magical field where employees don't need to treated like (and expected to behave like) professionals.


mik  (D 11111)

Apr 3, 2013, 12:46 AM
Post #71 of 100 (1244 views)
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Re: [becka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

I know instructors in various sports eg climbing, surfing, scuba diving, skydiving, gym instructors who do what they do mostly as a quality of life thing - because they love what they do. And that is great. But it comes at a cost in terms of typically low pay and benefits.

I work in the corporate world where some colleagues get paid $1m plus a year. Although I earn nothing like that, I would like to some day. But that day would only come (if ever) after a huge amount of time spent working many hours - including working extended hours and through the nights at times, cancelling holidays, no time for personal life, extended time working away from home, huge amounts of stress and pressure etc. This often results in broken relationships, not seeing kids grow up, poor physical health etc. And people earning 1/10th or 1/20th of that $1m salary suffer much the same pressure and working conditions.

At the end of the day, this seems to come down to choice. People can choose to be instructors with a cool job and a great work life balance. Or they can choose another career path with the associated benefits and disadvantages.

As far as I am aware, no one forces anyone to be an AFFI or a skydiving instructor. Sorry guys - I don't get your arguments. You know the salary and I am sure most of you could choose an alternative career if you wanted to. And you could choose careers that are known to pay not much, or perhaps careers that are known to pay more.

If the market "wanted" pay to increase (ie if DZ owners could afford to pay instructors more, and were willing to do so) pay would increase. It is that simple.

PS - I am not trying to criticise your choices or demean what you do, or trying to imply that instructors are not professionals who have high risk jobs. I just don't understand your logic in this argument.


(This post was edited by mik on Apr 3, 2013, 4:33 AM)


diablopilot  (D License)

Apr 3, 2013, 6:01 AM
Post #72 of 100 (1196 views)
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Re: [mik] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
If the market "wanted" pay to increase (ie if DZ owners could afford to pay instructors more, and were willing to do so) pay would increase. It is that simple.

Your model of supply and demand is flawed.

It assumes that "instructors" are all the same product.

The fact is an instructor who's received 2 or 3 ratings in their first 2-3 years in the sport is not the same as an instructor who's been doing it for 10, 15 or even 20 years. And the more instructors that bail out before they get to that experience level, the lower quality the younger instructors exhibit.


SkydiverShawn  (C 40994)

Apr 3, 2013, 5:26 PM
Post #73 of 100 (1114 views)
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Re: [becka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So you want the people doing this full time (and thus are likely to be the most knowledgeable) to be scraping by? You want the people in charge of teaching students to save their own lives to have to scrimp on time with the students so they can afford both rent and groceries? Seriously?

Students will probably save money in the long run if their instructors pay at least keeps up with inflation. The instructor can then be expected and able to spend more time on instruction and debriefs. Less repeat dives, bad habits fixed faster, and less medical bills. A lot of instructors do these great things anyways despite it going against their best interest, but expecting them to is ridiculous.

Instructors spend hours per jump for $35 - $50. If one is part-time, maybe this isn't so bad. However, this is only in good weather and full-timers need to eat and have a roof over their head when it's raining/windy too. (Keep in mind that every time an instructor stops a student from jumping in questionable winds, he/she is choosing the student's safety over getting a paycheck.)

Learning to skydive is luxury. An expensive luxury. If you can't afford to pay your instructor a living wage, you can't afford to skydive. You too can go out and get a job the pays better so that you can be in the sport. Your job argument goes much better that way.

Really? Students save money? You are oblivious to two things: Business and the history of unions. In reality unions have been the most destructive thing to happen to the American work ethic (or any work ethic for that matter) and unions have cost the American consumer more year after year. All you have to do is look at the UAW and the American Automakers. The cost of an American car has increased at a rate far above that of inflation and for what? are they any better than their foreign counterparts.

I agree that Skydiving is a luxury, but there is also the simple law of supply and demand, and I have met plenty of people that could not afford to rush through AFF. The higher prices would drive away some (no one knows how many) students away and that means less instructors needed. Are you willing to be one of those that goes to work saying "would you like fries with that" because the demand for your job was driven away due to higher AFF courses?

I worked as a tattoo artist and it was not unlike being an instructor. And that is part of the lifestyle. If you don't like that, there is always the drive through window at Jack n the Box...

Oh..and I do have a job a great one that allows me to skydive.


(This post was edited by SkydiverShawn on Apr 3, 2013, 5:44 PM)


SkydiverShawn  (C 40994)

Apr 3, 2013, 5:38 PM
Post #74 of 100 (1104 views)
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Re: [mik] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
At the end of the day, this seems to come down to choice. People can choose to be instructors with a cool job and a great work life balance. Or they can choose another career path with the associated benefits and disadvantages.

As far as I am aware, no one forces anyone to be an AFFI or a skydiving instructor. Sorry guys - I don't get your arguments. You know the salary and I am sure most of you could choose an alternative career if you wanted to. And you could choose careers that are known to pay not much, or perhaps careers that are known to pay more.

If the market "wanted" pay to increase (ie if DZ owners could afford to pay instructors more, and were willing to do so) pay would increase. It is that simple.

PS - I am not trying to criticise your choices or demean what you do, or trying to imply that instructors are not professionals who have high risk jobs. I just don't understand your logic in this argument.

I agree completely. I also want to say that I am friends with and love my AFF Instructors and Coaches, but I do not see there to be any basis for need for Unions in the skydiving world.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 3, 2013, 7:27 PM
Post #75 of 100 (1076 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Actually Andy, you won't see it but your argument is full of shit. This has become a business and therefore profesional instructors should be treated as such.

It's great you think it's a hobby, but don't slam those of us that continually seek to become better instructors and professionals, and desire to make a living doing it.

Well, you are right about the business part. Many have turned it into one. Not a good thing in my book and we are seeing one grand reason why.....greed. There's money to be made, yes....but if you think there's going to be a group of 6-figure instructors hangin' around, don't hold your breath.

Yep. It's a business for some. Funny how the 'hobbyists' keep the sport going isn't it? Yep.
Funny how it's the hobbyists are generating the cash to pay you. You may want to re-think bad-mouthing them.

Yep, once again *sigh* professionals should be treated as such. You ain't a-gonna get the 401k, the pension and the fat paycheck that pays your mistresses condos.
Treating the pros as professionals is easy to do...there's so few of them.

"I'm not gonna do an FJC until I get at least X number of students. It's not worth my time for less than that."
You think that's fiction?

If you think I was slamming those of us that continually seek to become better instructors and professionals, you have been sleeping and missed the entire point.

-Get rid of the deadwood.
-Change the training to accomplish the goal of creating professionals instead of driven-by-money bozos.
- Evidently you think this skydiving 'business' is flourishing and wallowing in money and that mean old DZOs are hoarding it and starving the 'professionals'.
- Check your DZOs wallet and see if he can afford to pay for the lifestyle you want.

It's time to wake up Diablo.

Are you feeling guilty about anything I said?


diablopilot  (D License)

Apr 3, 2013, 7:51 PM
Post #76 of 100 (2091 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Are you feeling guilty about anything I said?

Why should I?

I know plenty of wealthy DZO's and I applaud them for that. They are the ones who can offer the best of everything at their DZ's. The best aircraft, the best training programs, and the best gear. They run well organized businesses.

The skinflints seem to offer the opposite. Hmmmm.....

I have no illusions of 6 figure incomes, or 401k's, I shouldn't since like everyone else I'm an independent contractor. My own business.

What should be happening is a evaluative process that weeds out the non professionals, thus increasing the value of the instructors that put in the work to be the best.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 3, 2013, 7:51 PM
Post #77 of 100 (2091 views)
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Re: [becka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

If I misunderstood your statement about standards, I apologize.

What does 'insanely low' mean?

$35 + slot + pack was my pay.
Is that insanely low?
It's just about the norm. Some slightly more, some slightly less.

If I wanted more money, I'd go to a DZ with more volume and fewer AFFI...and bust ass making as many jumps per day as my body would allow.

At most DZs, it doesn't matter if you're brand spankin' new or a 30-year old timer...the volume determines DZ income and the cost of doing business and the needs of the DZO both come before you in the pay line. It's simple really.

Nobody owes us anything. Nobody forces us to teach skydiving. No DZO is going to let you take food off his table.

It's best to get a job that pays your needs and skydive for the love and fun of it ln your off-time.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 3, 2013, 7:59 PM
Post #78 of 100 (2089 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Are you feeling guilty about anything I said?

In reply to:
Why should I?
You're asking me? How should I know?

In reply to:
I know plenty of wealthy DZO's and I applaud them for that. They are the ones who can offer the best of everything at their DZ's. The best aircraft, the best training programs, and the best gear. They run well organized businesses.
I'd argue the use of the word plenty but yes, everybody knows a few. I think it woud be a grand mistake to think that the sport is all so well off as that in general. IMHO, far from it. For every big onje there's umpteen week-end Cessna places squeaking by.

In reply to:
The skinflints seem to offer the opposite. Hmmmm.....
Skinflints? Really?
Who's the guy making bundles and paying shit?
Let us know so we can avoid working there.

In reply to:
I have no illusions of 6 figure incomes, or 401k's, I shouldn't since like everyone else I'm an independent contractor. My own business.
So think of the day when you may have employees and they come to you demanding more money. Whatchyagonnado?

You'll examine the books to see if there's room for it with out running yourself into the gutter.

And if it's not there?

In reply to:
What should be happening is a evaluative process that weeds out the non professionals, thus increasing the value of the instructors that put in the work to be the best.
Dammit. What have I been saying all along except that it starts at the instructor training level. Get rid of the bozos. Train for success.

I assume you are saying something like an annual evaluation conducted by a subject matter expert that determines Renew or Suspend ratings. Good idea that been proposed multiple times. Who conducts? Who trains the evaluators? Who pays?


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Apr 3, 2013, 8:02 PM)


SkydiverShawn  (C 40994)

Apr 4, 2013, 3:14 PM
Post #79 of 100 (2013 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If I misunderstood your statement about standards, I apologize.

What does 'insanely low' mean?

$35 + slot + pack was my pay.
Is that insanely low?
It's just about the norm. Some slightly more, some slightly less.
In reply to:

This aint bad really, 35 +25 for jump + 5 pack = roughly 60 bucks. You got to teach, fly for free and someone else packed for you. That is a pretty good gig.
It's best to get a job that pays your needs and skydive for the love and fun of it ln your off-time.
In reply to:


I truly appreciate this last statement!


becka  (D 30967)

Apr 4, 2013, 4:01 PM
Post #80 of 100 (2004 views)
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

I never mentioned the word "unions" before now. I know plenty about them though, likely more than you. (Do not assume that because I believe in ethical business practices that I am somehow ignorant.) I don't have any interest in debating unions with you because it is not relevant to anything I said and hopefully won't be in the future.

I'm actually not interested in debating much anything with you at this point. I just hope that if you stick around, that you actually give back since you want everyone else to give you all that education for free or close to it. (For that matter, I hope I do a good job of giving back too.)

A big thanks to all of you that take the time (paid or not) to educate the rest of us.


SkydiverShawn  (C 40994)

Apr 4, 2013, 5:38 PM
Post #81 of 100 (1992 views)
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Re: [becka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I never mentioned the word "unions" before now. I know plenty about them though, likely more than you. (Do not assume that because I believe in ethical business practices that I am somehow ignorant.) I don't have any interest in debating unions with you because it is not relevant to anything I said and hopefully won't be in the future.

I'm actually not interested in debating much anything with you at this point. I just hope that if you stick around, that you actually give back since you want everyone else to give you all that education for free or close to it. (For that matter, I hope I do a good job of giving back too.)

A big thanks to all of you that take the time (paid or not) to educate the rest of us.

Look, I apologize for the fact that I came across in a way that upset you, or anyone else. I just have a real bad taste in my mouth with unions...I have managed several businesses that were union and several that were not. I never assumed that you were ignorant though.

This is in no way a reflection on you or any of the instructors that I have learned from. I want nothing for free...nothing. I was glad to pay for the instruction that I received and would gladly pay it again.

I do not undervalue the work that the instructors and coaches put into my skydiving. I appreciate all of those that have given, and that is why I am working on my ratings, no other reason.


(This post was edited by SkydiverShawn on Apr 4, 2013, 5:42 PM)


becka  (D 30967)

Apr 4, 2013, 6:01 PM
Post #82 of 100 (1979 views)
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate it and I apologize for getting overzealous my self.

And I think it's awesome that you are going to get ratings and give back. I'm sure you will be one of the good ones. Hope I am too.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 4, 2013, 9:00 PM
Post #83 of 100 (1967 views)
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Re: [becka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

I think maybe our contention stems from what we consider "ethical business practices".

Me? I don't believe it's a companies responsibility to see to it that you are living the lifestyle you want to live. A company's responsibility is to the owners.

I believe that it's the employes responsibility to do the job he was hired to do at the pay rate he agreed to up front.

If, at any time in the future, an employee decides that he wants to modify the original agreement he started under, he needs to negotiate with the company.

Depending on the results of the negotiation, he will face one of two choices:
- Stay and work at whatever modification, if any, he can get, or
- Look for employment elsewhere.

If, at any time in the future, an employer decides that he wants to modify the original agreement, he certainly can do so. Usually, that modification comes in raises and/or more perks. Unfortunately, sometimes it goes the other way. If it's to the employees detriment, the employee sometimes has recourse, sometime not.

By no means is company 'required' to do anything with respect to your wages other than meet federal/state law,

What's unethical is either employer or employee not living up to the mutual agreements made.


Naive? Maybe. Hell, I'm just a skydiver.


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Apr 4, 2013, 9:01 PM)


davelepka  (D 21448)

Apr 5, 2013, 5:47 AM
Post #84 of 100 (1934 views)
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I do not undervalue the work that the instructors and coaches put into my skydiving. I appreciate all of those that have given, and that is why I am working on my ratings, no other reason.

Like most things, plans like yours start off with the best of intentions. It's exciting to be a 'pro' skydiver getting paid to jump. It's exciting to have the status around the DZ and with the students. It's exciting to turn back-to-backs on busy days and really rack up the jump numbers. At first.

Sooner or later, it does turn into a job. When the DZO/manager really 'needs' you on a big weekend, and something in your non-jumping life (wife, girlfriend, family) does too. Or on the same weekend, when there's a boogie at a neighboring DZ, or skills camp at your own DZ. Or on the same weekend when all of your buddies are just having a blast doing fun jumps.

It's easy to sit on your end looking forward, and have the attitude that you do. Jump for 10 years, and invest tens of thousands of dollars in jumps, gear and ratings, see how you feel then. See how you feel about being told who to jump with, when to jump, and how long you have to jump for (all day, right to sunset, everyday).

Some people get there, and stick with it, but most don't. I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all the of accomplished, highly experienced TIs and AFFIs I know who have quit the sport.


adamUK  (C 104423)

Apr 7, 2013, 1:35 AM
Post #85 of 100 (1857 views)
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Re: [davelepka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Some people get there, and stick with it, but most don't. I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all the of accomplished, highly experienced TIs and AFFIs I know who have quit the sport.

This ^. Don't end up hating both a job and hobby that you used to love.


SkydiverShawn  (C 40994)

Apr 7, 2013, 5:30 AM
Post #86 of 100 (1839 views)
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Re: [adamUK] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Some people get there, and stick with it, but most don't. I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all the of accomplished, highly experienced TIs and AFFIs I know who have quit the sport.

This ^. Don't end up hating both a job and hobby that you used to love.

Years ago I was a tattoo artist, and that is exactly what happened. Shocked...


Andy9o8  (D License)

Apr 7, 2013, 4:34 PM
Post #87 of 100 (1802 views)
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
Some people get there, and stick with it, but most don't. I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all the of accomplished, highly experienced TIs and AFFIs I know who have quit the sport.

This ^. Don't end up hating both a job and hobby that you used to love.

Years ago I was a tattoo artist, and that is exactly what happened. Shocked...

OK, I'll bite... how does one get burn-out as a tattoo artist?


SkydiverShawn  (C 40994)

Apr 7, 2013, 6:13 PM
Post #88 of 100 (1788 views)
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Re: [Andy9o8] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
Some people get there, and stick with it, but most don't. I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all the of accomplished, highly experienced TIs and AFFIs I know who have quit the sport.

This ^. Don't end up hating both a job and hobby that you used to love.

Years ago I was a tattoo artist, and that is exactly what happened. Shocked...

OK, I'll bite... how does one get burn-out as a tattoo artist?

How does someone get burn out skydiving?

Likely the same way, it becomes nothing more than a job and the money is seasonal, and inconsistent...kinda like working at a DZ I would imagine.

Started as a hobby, then a fun job, then just plain work.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 7, 2013, 10:20 PM
Post #89 of 100 (1767 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Some people get there, and stick with it, but most don't. I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all the of accomplished, highly experienced TIs and AFFIs I know who have quit the sport.

This ^. Don't end up hating both a job and hobby that you used to love.

+1


davelepka  (D 21448)

Apr 8, 2013, 3:40 AM
Post #90 of 100 (1755 views)
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Likely the same way, it becomes nothing more than a job and the money is seasonal, and inconsistent...kinda like working at a DZ I would imagine.

Started as a hobby, then a fun job, then just plain work.

OK, so given the above, wouldn't more money have made it a more 'viable' career?

Wouldn't the point where you 'gave up' have been further down the road if the financial rewards were more 'liveable'?

Wouldn't there be more long-term, experienced tattoo artists out there, as opposed to the pre-burnout new guys, if the situation was such that you could support a reasonable lifestyle on the tattoo money alone?

I would suggest that you apply all those question to skydiving instructors. While there will always be the problem of trying to make a living being paid per-jump, if the money was better, so would the instruction.

There would be more full-time instructors. There would be more long-time, experienced instructors who would hang in there at seasonal DZs if they didn't have to make 95% of a living off-DZ, and then fit in DZ work when the sun shines. With a larger pool of willing applicants, and more of them being long-term, experienced instructors, you're going to raise the overall level of skill and knowledge.

The key difference is that you're dealing with peoples lives in skydiving. If you can follow the basic health code/starilization procedures, an inexperiecned tattoo artsist is only going to give you a bad looking tattoo. The implications of inexperience are a bit more severe in skydiving.


SkydiverShawn  (C 40994)

Apr 8, 2013, 10:44 AM
Post #91 of 100 (1728 views)
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Re: [davelepka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Likely the same way, it becomes nothing more than a job and the money is seasonal, and inconsistent...kinda like working at a DZ I would imagine.

Started as a hobby, then a fun job, then just plain work.

OK, so given the above, wouldn't more money have made it a more 'viable' career?

Wouldn't the point where you 'gave up' have been further down the road if the financial rewards were more 'liveable'?

Wouldn't there be more long-term, experienced tattoo artists out there, as opposed to the pre-burnout new guys, if the situation was such that you could support a reasonable lifestyle on the tattoo money alone?

I would suggest that you apply all those question to skydiving instructors. While there will always be the problem of trying to make a living being paid per-jump, if the money was better, so would the instruction.

There would be more full-time instructors. There would be more long-time, experienced instructors who would hang in there at seasonal DZs if they didn't have to make 95% of a living off-DZ, and then fit in DZ work when the sun shines. With a larger pool of willing applicants, and more of them being long-term, experienced instructors, you're going to raise the overall level of skill and knowledge.

The key difference is that you're dealing with peoples lives in skydiving. If you can follow the basic health code/starilization procedures, an inexperiecned tattoo artsist is only going to give you a bad looking tattoo. The implications of inexperience are a bit more severe in skydiving.

Would the money make a difference? only in delaying the inevitable. The fact is that there are millions of people in millions of jobs that simply change careers. Why? Because the extrinsic value of a job is NOT the most important thing that a person looks for.

I agree that there are risks for the instructor, but there are for Firemen, Police Officers and there are more of them injured and killed at work then there are skydiving instructors. Police officers have such an inherently dangerous job that they have to wear ballistic protection. Why then do the officers in New Orleans work in such a dangerous job? It sure aint for the money. They, or at least many, do it for the intrinsic value and what it provides them with regards to a lifestyle. Why do the teachers in Chicago do their job? Pay and benefits are likely on the bottom of the list.

In career choices I believe we can choose a job with the benefits of money and vacation, or we can choose jobs that have or can give us the other things we value, such as time off, the prospect of doing something that we enjoy.

Not only is skydiving a hobby, sport, activity that is enjoyed, but for some it provides at least a partial income. Now compare that to the police officers, teachers, firefighters, etc...what they do is not likely considered "fun" or a hobby that one would take up.

Not one of my instructors was a full time instructor, and they all seem to love what they do. I believe it is so because they also are not relying on it for their primary source of income.

It all boils down to the fact that you, or any other instructor chooses to be an instructor, and the benefits or lack there of when that decision is made. The choice was not made with eyes closed.

FYI...Tattoo artists are paid per the piece or time that they are actually tattooing, much like the skydiving instructor. And like a skydiving instructor, tattoo artists spend a great deal of time preparing for the actual tattoo, which is not compensated.


(This post was edited by SkydiverShawn on Apr 8, 2013, 4:17 PM)


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 9, 2013, 1:29 PM
Post #92 of 100 (1646 views)
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Re: [davelepka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
There would be more full-time instructors....

Only because people hung on longer for the money....hanging in there simply for the money just as always before. Just like retiring at 70 instead of 62.

In reply to:
There would be more long-time, experienced instructors who would hang in there at seasonal DZs if they didn't have to make 95% of a living off-DZ, and then fit in DZ work when the sun shines.
This assumes they have to depend on a DZ for ANY percentage of their living. Well, yes if you have no other skills, then maybe a DZ will hire you...at their rate, not yours.

In reply to:
With a larger pool of willing applicants, and more of them being long-term, experienced instructors, you're going to raise the overall level of skill and knowledge.
Well, that depends on what you have coming up.
Changing money scales is not going to change quality of instruction. Old bozos leave, new ones take their place. Good ones leave, good ones take their place.
Again, experience doesn't equate to quality.

How about this:
Since money doesn't generate quality, remove any monies involved. That would instantly weed out the money-mongers. It would instantly open doors for those who truly do it for the love of the sport.
(I can hear the love for this already. LaughLaugh)

In reply to:
... inexperiecned tattoo artsist is only going to give you a bad looking tattoo. The implications of inexperience are a bit more severe in skydiving.
Assumes an experienced instructor is going to give you good instruction and inexperienced giving you bad. I find it to quite the opposite in many, many cases as AFFIs get jaded, become the all-knowing skygod, take short-cuts and get secure in their position because of lack of oversight.


becka  (D 30967)

Apr 9, 2013, 4:18 PM
Post #93 of 100 (1634 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

Can I ask (seriously) what careers you find worthy of pay? There is a lot of investment in most career fields both in terms of initial education and experience to improve. Even if there is love to do it, people without trust funds need to earn a living.

You seem open to DZOs earning a profit, but I am curious why you think instructors must finance 100% of their living and then spend long hours working with students (only some of which appreciate them). This (as you probably know better than me) cannot leave much time/money for their own continued education in skydiving. If one loves the sport, he/she is going to probably want some time for that too.

I completely understand that you think there is a lot to be desired in the quality of some AFF instructors, but the animosity towards the field (and thus all the instructors) is truly puzzling to me. Especially since it is far easier to make money doing tandems. (No disrespect to all the great TIs out there.)

The way I see it is this: Is my dentist doing a lousy job because he makes (good) money doing it? I can assure you that he enjoys his work as much as anyone I know. Can I stop paying him because of this? He has been doing it quite awhile now and seems to be better than ever at his craft.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 10, 2013, 11:12 AM
Post #94 of 100 (1549 views)
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Re: [becka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Can I ask (seriously) what careers you find worthy of pay?
Sure!

In reply to:
You seem open to DZOs earning a profit, but I am curious why you think instructors must finance 100% of their living and then spend long hours working with students (only some of which appreciate them).
Your curiosity is misplaced.
- I didn't say "must"
- I didn't say anything about "long hours"
- Appreciation from students, while nice, is not mandatory nor the bottom line goal.

What IS the goal?
Having young jumpers grow up to be old skydivers.

In reply to:
This (as you probably know better than me) cannot leave much time/money for their own continued education in skydiving. If one loves the sport, he/she is going to probably want some time for that too.
True, but please do not assume that there is no time for anything. In real life, you make time for what you want...or go about sad that you didn't. Priorities.

In reply to:
...but the animosity towards the field (and thus all the instructors) is truly puzzling to me.
You assumed "the field" in error. You said, "all" in error.
Nope...just those in the field who have bastardized it to the point of releasing students who are unequipped to handle themselves safely and those in the field who refuse to help those students without being paid to do so.

In reply to:
Especially since it is far easier to make money doing tandems. (No disrespect to all the great TIs out there.)
"Far" is relative and well, some things "easier", yes....if you don't count the physical aspect of it. We'll not mention the total responsibility for their students. TIs get a tip o' the hat for that, at least.

In reply to:
The way I see it is this: Is my dentist doing a lousy job because he makes (good) money doing it? I can assure you that he enjoys his work as much as anyone I know. Can I stop paying him because of this? He has been doing it quite awhile now and seems to be better than ever at his craft.
Good for your dentist! AND for you!
Please note, one sample does not make for valid conclusions.

Your reference to "stop paying him" is off topic.

Are you trying to convince me that you are right and I am wrong? We have differing opinions...is that so terrible? I'm opposed to paying anybody anything just because they have a title of any sort. Pretty simple.


SkydiverShawn  (C 40994)

Apr 10, 2013, 5:14 PM
Post #95 of 100 (1517 views)
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Re: [becka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Can I ask (seriously) what careers you find worthy of pay? There is a lot of investment in most career fields both in terms of initial education and experience to improve. Even if there is love to do it, people without trust funds need to earn a living.

You seem open to DZOs earning a profit, but I am curious why you think instructors must finance 100% of their living and then spend long hours working with students (only some of which appreciate them). This (as you probably know better than me) cannot leave much time/money for their own continued education in skydiving. If one loves the sport, he/she is going to probably want some time for that too.

I completely understand that you think there is a lot to be desired in the quality of some AFF instructors, but the animosity towards the field (and thus all the instructors) is truly puzzling to me. Especially since it is far easier to make money doing tandems. (No disrespect to all the great TIs out there.)

The way I see it is this: Is my dentist doing a lousy job because he makes (good) money doing it? I can assure you that he enjoys his work as much as anyone I know. Can I stop paying him because of this? He has been doing it quite awhile now and seems to be better than ever at his craft.

Hi Becka...I can take a stab at this. There is a direct relationship in the pay for jobs and the time and money spent getting that job. I know that there are exceptions, but Dr's, lawyers, accountants etc make a lot of money because they spend a disproportional amount in getting their education, then becoming board certified. Skydivers learn to skydive, which I would hardly attribute that cost to "education" but then become a coach, possibly canopy flight courses, AFF course and are set back what, 1500 in actual training.

I think that there is something else to consider, the time actually working. As a coach I might spend a total of an hour on a jump, then what? wait for the next jump. DZ's operate with the greatest part of their expenses being variable costs so that the amount that they are paying is directly related to the amount that they bring in, that is why they pay TI's, AFF's and coaches by the jump, because that is how they are earning money.

There are likely some AFFI's out there that work 40 or more hours per week. but in that 40 hours, how many of these are actually working? How many jumps does even the most active AFFI do in a day/week? Just curious because where I jump, there are no full time instructors.

It all comes sown to supply and demand: there are enough AFFI's in the business to keep them getting paid what they do. Tthe cost of becoming an AFFI is low enough that a whole lot of people do it...


becka  (D 30967)

Apr 10, 2013, 6:51 PM
Post #96 of 100 (1505 views)
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Re: [SkydiverShawn] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

See I consider all the ground portion stuff (that is generally unpaid unless there is a jump accompanying it) to be work. And I see people who spend way more than 40 hours a week when that is factored in. The jumping (at least for those of us new enough to still be thinking AFFI is way more fun than work) is the part people are more interested in doing.

If someone else did the training and all the AFFI had to do was the jump and maybe a debrief, then I would agree that the pay is fine, the hours are not at all long, and that it would be quite easy to work in enough AFFI jumps to stay proficient as a part-timer with time to work on your own skills.

And at least for me, it cost more than $1500 to get that rating. I personally needed a bunch of practice before the course (and should have done more in retrospect). And that was working with people who didn't even charge me for the privilege. It was more expensive than 10 years of undergraduate/graduate education. Not many scholarships in skydiving. But for me, it was worth it even if I never earn it back. You learn a lot of stuff in the instructional courses that is good to know even if you aren't going to be an instructor.

I'm still very green in this sport which is why I keep bugging popsjumper about his views. I understand diablopilot's and davelepka's points which is why I'm not bothering them the same way on this. (This is not say you don't have good points too, but in terms of skydiving experience we are both still at the point where we don't know the whole story even at our own home dropzones.)


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 10, 2013, 7:40 PM
Post #97 of 100 (1502 views)
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Re: [becka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

He raises a good point. DZs get paid by the jump...so do we.

So, out of that money that comes in to the DZ, there's overhead, there's owners, pilots, fuel, maintenance (plane, building, gear, etc), gear repair and replacement, manifest people, ...and more to be paid out BEFORE we get to instructor pay. Just like any business. Certain expenses come first. You might say we get paid out of the net, not the gross.

And yes, you can lump in manifest people with us, if you like.

How do we pay more to 'employees'? We raise jump prices. I don't want to go there....especially so when all employees have other options they can exercise.

Union is a bad idea, IMO. Personally, I wouldn't join even if there was one.


And BTW, I appreciate the conversation not devolving to argumentation. Thanks for that.

Again, small DZs far out-numer large ones and I believe they cannot afford to pay much more than what's current.

In reply to:
If someone else did the training and all the AFFI had to do was the jump and maybe a debrief,
Funny you should mention that...I offered that option in another thread....Coaches teach ground, AFFI teach air.
There was some argument back...."that's not how we do it now". Of course it isn't. That's why it was suggested as a new approach.


To give an answer to your request:
In reply to:
Can I ask (seriously) what careers you find worthy of pay?

All careers.
Smile


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Apr 10, 2013, 7:43 PM)


Ron

Apr 11, 2013, 8:25 PM
Post #98 of 100 (1395 views)
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Re: [becka] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Can I ask (seriously) what careers you find worthy of pay?

All of them. Now the LEVEL of pay is commensurate with the length of the training and the cost of the training to work in that field.

And the final answer is all jobs pay what the perceived value is to the customer. We have a difficult situation when we have customers that want discounts (Groupon), but some want the people working to get paid as a professional.

In the end, the market decides. If DZ #1 wants to pay their instructors 10 dollars a jump and they can't get good instructors and DZ #2 wants to pay 100 per jump and can't get enough customers... The answer is somewhere between the two.... And the market will self adjust.

Me? I have a real life job that pays my bills so my AFF/Tandem/Coaching/tunnel coaching is just for fun. The money is nice, but I'd most likely do it for free (and have).


jumpwally  (D License)

Apr 23, 2013, 11:10 AM
Post #99 of 100 (1195 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

and on another note but similar vein,,,,what does tunnel instruction pay ?


adamUK  (C 104423)

Apr 24, 2013, 3:02 PM
Post #100 of 100 (1123 views)
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Re: [jumpwally] AFF instructor salary [In reply to] Can't Post

In the UK about $12/hr.



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