Possible to make a living as a CFI or even a Sport CFI?

Finally, a place for sport pilot instructors and/or wannabees to talk about instructing.

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drseti
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Re: Possible to make a living as a CFI or even a Sport CFI?

Postby drseti » Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:12 pm

I've never been a regional or major carrier pilot, so I can't speak from experience. But consider that many CFIs teach as a way of building hours toward an airline job. I have never heard of a single airline pilot flying for the air carrier in order to gain experience toward a CFI job!
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
AvSport of Lock Haven
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Nomore767
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Re: Possible to make a living as a CFI or even a Sport CFI?

Postby Nomore767 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:02 am

N918KT wrote:Quick question about flight instructing compared to other aviation flying jobs. Is flight instructing at a flight school more of a 9 to 5 (or morning to evenings) kind of gig albeit working on weekends compared with the life of a regional airline pilot? How does the life of a CFI compare to a regional airline or major airline pilot?


When you talk about 'the life of' you have to put it in context. There are CFI jobs at smaller schools at smaller airfields where they may have only a few students a few times a week. A pilot working there as a CFI may also was planes, mow grass, fuel planes, do maintenance test hops etc A youngster hoping to build hours won't stay here long. An older pilot content to this is likely better suited.

Regional airlines have changed since I flew a Twin Otter for an Allegheny Commuter outfit. We flew about 100 hours a month with multiple legs a day 5 or 6 days straight into LGA, JFK, PHL, DCA as well as Bader field in Atlantic City ( short runway uncontrolled field water at both ends and lots of seagulls).
Low pay and long Tiring days in East Coast weather in East Coast ATC with no autopilots or glass cockpits. I moved on to a regional freight outfit all night flying in a Convir 580. Schedule was better as was pay so it was a no brainier for me struggling with a family.

Major airline was the promised land. First year was probation with a lot of grumpy captains who didn't like that we hired on unde the B Scale pay structure which was still much better than starvation pay as a CFI and regional pilot. Some guys liked to sit reserve but I didn't. I had yearned to fly the 727 so why would I want to to avoid that and sit at home? Flying as an FE wasn't the goal but it was a learning experience and great to learn the airline's culture and to watch some very good pilots ply their craft. The major did everything the best way ...professional training, full motion sims, etc although we still needed a union to fight for pay, pensions, benefits and retirement.
You bid your trips and everything is based on seniority, period. You can fly domestic turns or all nighters overseas.

Each type of job was different but none were 9 to 5. Perhaps a flight instructor job at a bigger school like Embry Riddle might be more structured in terms of days work hours etc. you can be a CFI as a vocation or to build hours but not many are well paid enough to make a decent living and to retire from although there are exceptions.

I don't know if this answer your question?

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Re: Possible to make a living as a CFI or even a Sport CFI?

Postby drseti » Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:55 am

Nomore767 wrote:I don't know if this answer your question?


You answered it way better than I could, Howard. :D
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
AvSport of Lock Haven
fly@AvSport.org
http://AvSport.org
http://facebook.com/SportFlying

N918KT
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Re: Possible to make a living as a CFI or even a Sport CFI?

Postby N918KT » Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:53 pm

Nomore767 wrote:I don't know if this answer your question?


Yes, you answered my question. Thanks!


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