As a certificated flight instructor, you can build flight experience quickly to meet airline and corporate hiring minimums. Flight instructors aim to be role models of the aviation community, sharing knowledge and experience with their students, and for many people it is the first job in aviation that earns them a paycheck.
Being a certified flight instructor is a challenging and rewarding career that utilizes all you have learned during your flight training.
The 30-Day CFI Academy is designed to build fundamental knowledge and develop teaching skills. The FAA has already certified that you are a competent commercial and instrument-rated pilot; our job is to ensure that you become a well-prepared aviation instructor. We will dedicate 104 hours of academy-style classroom and 10 hours of individual ground instruction to do this. You’ll spend your time in class learning about your responsibilities and privileges as a CFI, regulations, endorsements, teaching techniques, etc. Additional time will be spent daily in a “workshop” to practice teaching, writing lesson plans, honing your skills in the simulator, and studying with your classmates. The course includes 14 hours of dual instruction in a C172 and/or C172RG, to prepare you to fly from the right seat while performing private and commercial maneuvers along with IFR approaches, holds, and other procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should I Become a Certified Flight Instructor?
There are many reasons why pilots choose to become CFI, with the most common reason being to gain experience and build flight time. Most jobs in aviation, especially commercial airline pilot jobs, require a certain amount of flight time to be eligible. Many candidates opt to teach flight training to students due to the fast-paced environment and the opportunity for steady gains in flight time hours. By teaching students how to operate aircraft safely and effectively, flight instructing also reinforces the knowledge you gained during your own flight training. Over time, flight instructors become very knowledgeable, skillfully polished pilots that are also privileged to train and endorse other pilots to take FAA practical tests.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Flight Instructor Certificate?
While there is no specific time requirement to become a flight instructor, all flight instructors must obtain at least a commercial pilot license as part of their eligibility requirements. The commercial pilot license requires 250 hours of flight time as a pilot, with several associated sub-requirements. A pilot who plans to become a flight instructor is essentially preparing for the role from the first day they begin flight training, meeting the demands of each rating (essentially a milestone) along the way.
What Are the Different Types of Flight Instructor Certifications?
Further milestones may be met within the category of a flight instructor, earning you different types of certifications:
- Certified Flight Instructor (CFI): A flight instructor for single-engine aircraft
- Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument (CFII): A flight instructor that teaches instrument flying
- Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI): A flight instructor for multi-engine aircraft
What Is a Certified Flight Instructor's Salary?
Salary for flight instructors varies from state to state, is dependent on the company for which you work, and can vary widely depending on your qualifications. While some companies pay CFIs a yearly salary, most pay is earned as an hourly wage. Compensation at an hourly rate can also be paid at different rates for the different types of instruction you are providing. For example, one might earn a higher hourly rate for flights and a lower hourly rate for ground and simulator (AATD) instruction.
According to major online recruiting providers, CFI pay ranges from $15 per hour to $50 per hour and anywhere from $28,000 per year to upwards of $65,000 per year. With this type of pay structure, to earn the most as a certified flight instructor, it is important to have advanced sought-after qualifications coupled with a consistent and plentiful pool of students from which to provide instruction.
104 Hours Classroom Instruction
To help you find the help you need and build a network of fellow CFIs to collaborate during your CFI training, most lectures are conducted in a class setting as a group. You can share the information you receive with your cohort and use practice on lessons together. Group lessons on CFI trainings has shown far more effectiveness and pass rate than individual trainings.
10 Hours Individual Ground Instruction
Some skills require one-on-one teachings, but this segment of your CFI training is for you to teach your instructors on select areas to get you more comfortable to speak in front of a group as well as helping you find your teaching style.
14 Hours of Flight Time
From lazy eights and steep spirals to spin endorsements, your flight training takes on new meanings as you advance your skills are sharpen using lower minimums and acceptable levels of performance. The flight portion of your CFI training is explicitly focused on making you to become of the bests flight instructors upon graduation.
6 Hours Dual Simulator Time
Get real feel with an instructor acting as your student. Teach as you go and stop to ask all the questions you need to refine your teaching techniques. FAA Approved Aviation Training Device. Based on the popular Cessna 172, our One-G Foundation simulators are model specific FAA Approved Aviation Training Device that are designated as platform for integrated instruction.
Unlimited Solo Simulator Access
Use the simulators as much as you need to practice your maneuvers, procedures, and teaching techniques to feel comfortable on the airplane. Based on the popular Cessna 172, our One-G Foundation simulators are model specific FAA Approved Aviation Training Device that are designated as platform for integrated instruction.
Requirements for becoming a Certified Flight Instructor are:
- Be 18 years of age.
- Read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
- Hold either a commercial pilot certificate or airline transport pilot certificate and an instrument rating.
- Have logged at least 250 hours of flight time.
- Hold a valid FAA 3rd Class Medical Certificate (or higher).
- Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor on the fundamentals of instructing.
- Pass a knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought.
Reference 14 CFR §61.183 for the entire list of eligibility requirements.
FAR 135.338(b)(5) states that flight instructors (aircraft) must hold at least a third-class medical certificate; however, FAR 135.338(e) states that an airman who does not hold a medical certificate may serve as a flight instructor in an aircraft if functioning as a non-required crew-member. If you are under the age of 40, this is every 60 months. While if you are over the age of 40, you must renew your medical certificate every 24 months.
Cost of Training
Note: Cost estimates are based on FAA minimum training requirements. Individual experiences may vary. Actual training times may exceed these estimates. Costs are based on January 2022 effective rates.
Start with an Introductory Flight
Get your first experience of taking off, flying, and landing an airplane with a certified flight instructor by your side. Later, meet the team and current students to ask all the questions you have about becoming a pilot.
Start with a Zoom Consultation
Our Zoom consultations are the most convenient way of answering all your questions about starting your flight training to becoming a pilot. Zoom consultations are free of charge, but we require advance scheduling.