How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Skydiving License?

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After a few tandem skydiving falls, you might be thinking about jumping on your own. In order to solo skydive, you’ll need to get a formal license, specifically the “A” license from the United States Parachute Association (USPA).

Pursuing a solo skydiving license takes time, effort, and money. 

Generally, you can expect to spend more than $3,000 to get your first-level, “A” skydiving license

In this blog, we’ll break down the specifics of the pricing. 


1. Ground School: $150 (or Free)

Before you take to the sky, you’ll learn the basics safely grounded in the dropzone. During this training, you’ll get to know your freefalling equipment, learn safety protocols, understand what a license means, and a whole lot more. 

At the conclusion, you’ll be required to take a written test before any jumping is involved.

Here at Chicagoland Skydiving Center, we’re proud to offer certified skydiving classes and licensing as a USPA-affiliated dropzone — and this ground school training is a part of our Freefall University (Freefall U). 

For a private lesson by reservation, your ground course will run you $150 per person. We also offer free ground school courses once a month, which you can sign up for online.

 With the paid course you are paying for the individualized, one-on-one attention from a jumpmaster instructor, at your discretion, versus attending a free introductory group seminar. 

Many opt for the private lesson not only for the added attention but also because our free courses book up fast— and you can’t always get into them if registering late.

2. Training Jumps: Varies

After taking your test and feeling confident about your gear, the in-sky lessons will begin! 

Before starting your license-specific training, we’ll require you to complete two training tandem skydives before your first “solo” jump. 

During these assisted freefalls, a jumpmaster will be strapped to you, but instead of just enjoying the fall, you’ll be receiving schooling mid-air. You’ll learn about specific maneuvers, monitoring altitude, deploying the parachute and how to land.

Pricing isn’t always available for these kinds of jumps because other factors impact their availability and demand, such as the availability of an instructor who can help others get their licenses. 

Generally speaking, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars per training jump. 

3. “A” License Jumps: $3,200+

Once you have the ground exam and two training jumps under your belt, you can pursue your USPA A Skydiving License.

To do that, you’ll need a total of 25 jumps across four categories. Each category also has a minimum number of required jumps to earn your license. 

These jumps include: 

  • 7 accelerated freefall (AFF) jumps ($1,400)
  • 6 coach jumps ($900)
  • 2 hop n pop jumps ($150)
  • 10+ student solo jumps ($750+)

With these portions of your skydiving license training, that brings the total cost to get your skydiving A License to approximately $3,200+.

Additional Costs

Depending on your journey to get licensed, you may need a handful of additional items to earn your skydiving license. These can include things like recurrency training, which you need if you allow too much time to pass between licensing activities. 

Often, these additional costs fall into these categories: 

Unlicensed Recurrency Training: $70-$220

The United States Parachute Association wants to make sure you’re staying on top of your training. That’s why they have a policy that if 30+ days pass without jumping mid-training, you’ll be required to enroll in recurrency training. 

Here at CSC, there’s a $220 fee for this added training. Like our ground training, you may only pay $70 if you can attend one of our monthly group recurrent training events.

Equipment Rental: Varies

While a part of our License A training program at Freefall U, you will be provided gear to skydive. However, additional gear for rental is available until you are ready to purchase your own equipment and want more. 

Don’t forget to factor in the fact that once you have your skydiving license, purchasing your own freefalling gear will come with its own costs.

USPA Annual Membership Fee

In order to be a member of the United States Parachute Association, you will be required to pay an annual membership fee.

You can choose to pay a lifetime membership fee of $2,500 to retain membership forever. You can also opt to pay $78 per year or $66 per year on a recurring basis. 

The USPA includes other opportunities with corresponding fees as well, any of which you may want to purchase depending on what you want from the USPA. 

Ready to Start Freefall University?

If you’re eager to start pursuing your dream, there’s no better time to start than now. And we honestly think there’s no better place to learn near Chicago than here at CSC.

Sign up for Freefall U today!

Learn More about Freefall University



Douglas Smith is CEO/President, and Guest Relations Associate at Chicagoland Skydiving Center. He has owned and operated the business since 2000. He has been skydiving since 1994, and in addition to leading the CSC Team, is currently an instructor, videographer and pilot for CSC.

Topics: Freefall University