The dwindling number of Career Flight Instructors

With the airlines hiring at an all-time high, how many pilots will make the decision to be a, Career Flight Instructor, let alone instruct after they get that, real flying job?

After writing down a list of over two-dozen friends who are technically current as a Flight Instructor that fly professionally in the airline / corporate world how many do you think still fly as a CFI?,

I was stunned that only two of them are flying as a Flight Instructor after they got their dream flying job!

I’m not hating, but when I look at the flight instructor market in my area of Texas, I don’t see a ton of guys that actually have the desire to help train the next generation of pilots. The trend seems to be, fly the minimum number of hours until a regional, corporate operator or 135 charter can hire you. Once again, I don’t have a problem with that at all, put yourself first!

One of the large reasons a lot of my friends don’t instruct anymore is because of the hourly rate the guys are getting paid as a Flight Instructor. I can’t count how many flight schools pay their CFI’s $15-$25 an hour and cycle through them every few months. It’s just not fair to the student’s, the CFI’s and the industry in general. I get it though if you don’t have much experience you won’t make much per hour, but you could always become a contract / independent flight instructor. Just saying…

A recent article from the Washington Post found that

All 18 of the surveyed flight schools say that recruiting and retaining Flight Instructors is what is keeping them from producing pilots the most,

Some flight schools have finally caught on and now pay bonuses for check ride or stage completion, and some of them even pay over $40,000 a year for their instructors! But when the airlines are offering $15,000-$30,000 bonuses plus paying to give CFI’s seniority before they even start at the airline why wouldn’t you leave!?

I can’t blame them at all, me personally, I never imagined I would ever enjoy being a flight instructor. Back then I sadly viewed flight instruction as a stepping stone to what was required to get ahead. Nearly 3,000 hours of dual-given later, I believe I never started improving as a pilot until I started instructing as a CFI.

Nearly 3,000 hours of dual-given later, I believe I never started improving as a pilot until I started instructing as a CFI.


I’ll be writing soon about the contract / independent flight instructor world soon & the income you can make, but I will say this if you’re really getting paid less then $20 an hour as a flight instructor you’re doing it wrong.

If you’re not using this program for ground school, you deserve better!

Instructed in earning an actual living as a Flight Instructor? Send me a message HERE:





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