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Nicolai

Working as a packer

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Hello there!
I am an 18 year old skydiver from Denmark. I currently have 56 jumps. I have my own skydiving gear.


I finish high school July next year and I was wondering how it is like working in a big, commercial Drop Zone like Skydive Perris, DeLand, Eloy .

I know how to pack parachutes and I hold the Danish parachute riggers certificate, meaning I am allowed to pack a square parachute with slider and bag I am not allowed to do reserve packs, and putting lines on slinks and slinks on risers and other stuff like that).

I am not a very fast packer but speed, I think, comes with the experience you get when you pack a lot.
I am not used to pack tandems but as stated earlier, I am willing to learn and it has been shown to me before.


That was my background for asking these questions:
IF I am coming a big DZ to wor(packing, manifesting or other(?)):

• What is the basic salary I can expect?
• Where will I live? I can live in a tent, but a bunk would be nice.
• Will I be able to make a few skydives a’ week?
• Can I afford some time in the tunnel?
• Maybe I should start by with saving some money and just go to the big DZ’s and have fun and see if it is a place I would like to work?

Can I use my Danish skydivers license?


That was pretty much my skydiving resume, I am well aware of that it is a short one but I do believe I have the needed passion for the sport that is required to have it as a job.

Blue skies
Nicolai Vangsgaard

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I worked for a large dropzone (Eloy) for two years packing full time. To get your own packing tent you have to be a rigger.There also has to be a tent opening at the DZ which is rare. You get $5.00 for sport rigs and how much you make depends on how busy the DZ is and what the weather is like. Most packers do not jump much.

You can pack for the DZ school and get $5.00 for Instructor gear, $7.00 for student gear and $10.00 for tandems. But again, when everyone else is jumping you are packing and can usually only make the first load of the day during the busy days. If it rains a lot or the school is slow you may go some weeks with no pay and starve. Sucks. And if you party a lot you will not have money for food which leads to other things.

I would recommend getting a real job or go to school. Continue jumping and when you have enough jumps to get your ratings or fly a camera then consider working for a DZ is you still want to. (At least 500 jumps). You will end up making more jumps if you work full time and jump on weekends then if you pack for a DZ.

Most packers don't jump all that much do to not enough time and money. I think you will find that at all dz's.

;)



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I agree, go to school and get a real job.

If it rains you dont eat. Then again if it does not rain you could be packing alot but then again it would be best if you held a Riggers ticket.. meaning you could do reserves and minor repairs on the spot etc....

Just my two cents...
Kenneth Potter
FAA Senior Parachute Rigger
Tactical Delivery Instructor (Jeddah, KSA)
FFL Gunsmith

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I worked at a full time DZ as a packer for a season. About 90% of my income came from just Saturday and Sunday. Your best bet is to get a real Monday-Friday job (or college), and only work in skydiving on the weekends.

Good advice for a lot of DZ professions, such as rigger, instructor, etc. :)

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Thanks a lot for the answers.

The reason I was considering going to the states to work is I am siick and tired of going to school. That combined with a crappy ´Danish skydiving season(feels like it has been Fall all year round so not really a lot of jumping going on).

I'll try to get my s**t together and finish school and get a job. I am definetely not going to college anytime soon.

Anyway thanks again, It made me think twice about going to USA to pack.

Blue skies

Nicolai

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I kind of skipped over this thread so i could be wrong but what no one has mentioned so far is your biggest problem with moving to the US to work on a DZ is working legally.

None of the big DZ's, Perris, Eloy, Skydive Chicago, etc will take you on as a packer or any other form of employment unless you are allowed to legally work in the US, and getting a work visa is incredible difficult. [:/]


Advertisio Rodriguez / Sky

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: I kind of skipped over this thread so i could be wrong but what no one has mentioned so far is your biggest problem with moving to the US to work on a DZ is working legally.

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None of the big DZ's, Perris, Eloy, Skydive Chicago, etc will take you on as a packer or any other form of employment unless you are allowed to legally work in the US, and getting a work visa is incredible difficult.

He could always dye his hair black, get a tan, and come across the Southern border. No problemo!

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It also is expensive and tedious. Not worth it when you want to work as a packer.

Like others said, get a regular job, then go from there.
Why don't you just go to the police station in a red clown suit and let everybody know what we're doing here?

I have a phobia for moobs. Thanks, youknowwhoyouare.

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You will be working illegally in the US. LOL, like that doesn't deter the 12-15 or so million Mexicans working illegally in the country. But if the immigration people do catch you, you may be permanently banned from the country. Once again, like that doesn't deter the 12-15 or so million Mexicans working illegally in the country.


Try not to worry about the things you have no control over

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You will be working illegally in the US. LOL, like that doesn't deter the 12-15 or so million Mexicans working illegally in the country. But if the immigration people do catch you, you may be permanently banned from the country. Once again, like that doesn't deter the 12-15 or so million Mexicans working illegally in the country.



Not just mexicans, may want to check the packers next time your at a dz:D
http://www.skydivethefarm.com

do you realize that when you critisize people you dont know over the internet, you become part of a growing society of twats? ARE YOU ONE OF THEM?

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Working as a packer is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Also, as so many people are taught to believe, a college degree is not necessary in order to live a meaningful, happy, and comfortable life.:)
When I was 18 I moved to California to be a full-time packer for several years, and I made plenty of money. I worked hard, but I also played hard. I was able to make enough to pay all my bills, vacation in Australia for a season and to make about 1,000 jumps in 2 1/2 years. I also got my riggers ticket and coach rating in that time.

During that time I realized that I did not want to pursue a career in skydiving. I had considered working as a rigger or a DZ employee, but discovered that it was not really my cup of tea. I began researching my options and then I found a profession that I wanted to pursue as a career and actually had a reason to attend college. I graduated in June and thanks to packing was able to pay for about 90% of my living expenses for my four years in college by working summers and weekends. (And pay for almost 600 more jumps, some gear and camera equipment.)

If you work hard at packing and find a job at a DZ with nice weather and good business, you can make a decent living. I personally wouldn't make a career out of it, but I don't think there is anything wrong with trying it on for size, maybe someday you could own/manage a rigging loft.

Oh.. and living in a tent is not such a bad life. In my opinion, more people should do it.

-Karen

Edited to add: If you get on the first and last load of every day you work and work five days a week for say, 48 weeks of the year that is 480 jumps a year. You can always get on first and last load!B|


"Life is a temporary victory over the causes which induce death." - Sylvester Graham

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im also 18 years old 59 jumps and living in spain i fort about moving back to england to be a packer and went and spent my summer packing and jumping in england but my advice has to be to get a proper job that can fund your skydiving better
i come from a skydiving family and my dad made the desision to devote his life to sport and work through parachuting and allthough in the end he ended up owning his own dz he got lucky he spent alot of time living in a tent not even being able to afford to go the bar

after spending my summer jumping and working to buy all my own gear im now cracking down in school and hoping next year to move back to england and go through uni while packing an working on weekends/summer but linking my degree to do with parachuting and aircraft to try keep my interested

also rather then the usa england may also be a place to look at working if you are still interested allthough the weather isnt as good it can $10 for sports and $15 for tandems and theres a few busy DZs one of my friends will do 80 a day on a gd weather day

hope that helps
Falling from the top floor
your lungs fill like parachutes

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Stay out of the fishing industry! I worked for a deep sea fishing fleet for awhile, as a "baiter"....preparing the bait and dressing the rigs. I learned fast, became good at it and was soon put in charge of all the baiters in the fleet. The pay wasn't so bad but I didn't care much for having the title of "fleet master baiter". :|

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Come to Wisconsin next summer. 6 days a week, 100 dollars a day average during the week, 250 to 500 a day Sat. and Sunday. Camper on site for cheap rent. Otter flies all week, cesena and beaver also. Get your working visa and come on over. Check out SkydiveTwinCities.com
Oh yeah packing isn't a bad job as long as you are willing to work hard. The people who can't make a living are the one's who need fancy car's and big tv's and material things.

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Come to Wisconsin next summer. 6 days a week, 100 dollars a day average during the week, 250 to 500 a day Sat. and Sunday. Camper on site for cheap rent. Otter flies all week, cesena and beaver also. Get your working visa and come on over. Check out SkydiveTwinCities.com
Oh yeah packing isn't a bad job as long as you are willing to work hard. The people who can't make a living are the one's who need fancy car's and big tv's and material things.



There's more to the work visa than just get it and come over. The cost and amount of paperwork, not to mention securing a job first and covering your bases in terms of immigration laws, is enough to get anyone pause to think.
Why don't you just go to the police station in a red clown suit and let everybody know what we're doing here?

I have a phobia for moobs. Thanks, youknowwhoyouare.

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He has six months, if he really wants to do this it is possible. It just matter's how bad he wants it.
I'm not saying it's easy but if you commit to it you could be making bank and a whole bunch of jumps.



He's got 6 months with a visitors visa where he will be allowed entry into the country, but this does not mean he is allowed to work in the country. Please inform us of the appropriate work visa he must apply for in order to be legally allowed to work in the USA as a DZ packer. It just doesn't exist, this work visa you speak of.

It still amazes me how little Americans know about their own country. When I had my TN-1 temporary NAFTA work visa I can't tell you how many people just said "why don't you just become a US citizen" when I told them I was only in the country as a temporary worker. You should educate yourself about your own immigration laws before you tell people on the otherside of the world to just come on over. Sure he can still come and work under the table and he may just pull it off. But if he gets caught, it could result in a permanent ban.

Then again, he could learn spanish and disguise himself as a Mexican willing to work for slave wages and then he will have no immigration worries at all. Got to love how the US government works. They penalize the people who try and do things the legal way while they turn a blind eye to the millions of illegal Mexicans all because America is addicted to slave labor. :ph34r:


Try not to worry about the things you have no control over

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Well that sounds exactly like the thing for me!

I'll check with the embassy to see how all the paperwork sets me back!

And of course I pack everything i can get my hands on at my DZ! Gotta get speed in those pack jobs.

I'll try to get the tandem masters to teach me how to pack our tandem rigs (I'm pretty sure they are Vector).

Blue skies

Nicolai

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