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Question of the MonthQuestion of the Month

How difficult are you folks finding it to get full time flight instructors?How difficult are you folks finding it to get full time flight instructors?

On October 10, Lou Fausak posted on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page the following question: “How difficult are you folks finding it to get full time flight instructors? We have a terrible time even with the best pay scale (and SALARY) in Texas.” His club is in Dallas and Fort Worth. His question generated a range responses including comments on the need for instructors, whether benefits are included, as well as locations that may be hiring next summer.

 Steve Rice We are at 5C1 in Texas and have plenty of good CFI's. Boerne Stage Airfield (5C1) is about 30 minutes north of San Antonio.

 Tracy Reed I am studying for CFI right now (taking a break from my FOI study guide to waste a few min on fb) but I will never be a full time CFI. I don't know how anyone could ever support a family as a full time CFI.

 David Marques Tracy, good luck with studying. FYI, a lot of full time CFIs are paid much more in comparison to most starting airline and charter pilot jobs. CFIs are also in high demand, which allows one to find some CFI jobs with actual benefits such as 401k, healthcare, and paid vacations. If you can't find decent paying jobs or local companies are "contractor" style then you are likely in a bad market, and need to look elsewhere. These jobs do exist throughout the country.

 Lou Fausak I don't know of anyone offering a 401k or some of those other benefits. However, those schools that bill customers $85 per hour and pay pay $18-$22 per hour make it difficult for new CFIs. We pay $50 flight / pre and post / ground.

 Brendan Keegan Have you considered hiring on part time? Most CFIs are going to NEED another job to make ends meet. Is that 50$ per hour of flight, or just 50$ per flight? Even so, I'm going to venture out on a limb here and say that most of your flight instructors in this situation only do 2 flights a day, leaving them with 2000$/month. That's virtually unlivable if you didn't have all your certificates paid for by mom & dad.

 Michael Vanderweide We don't have full (or even part time) CFI's. Never had any interest in running a flight school. All agreements for flight instruction are directly between our members and the CFI's at our local FBO and surrounding area.

 David Marques Places that give benefits are less and less rare. Markets that have a lot of competition tend to lean towards these benefits to attract talented CFIs. The outfit I used to be with did had full benefits, charged $65/hr (comparable with others in area) and paid instructors around $20-24/hr (low end for this market) competition in this market pay instructors $26-30/hr with no benefits.

 Julian Alarcon I still do instruction on the side, my full time instructor gig was above average. But the average local flight schools is very hard to stay competitive and make a descent living, or if you can make a living, it would leave you with no time off. Even do flight instructor are in high demand, I don't think we reach the point when employers have to PM CFIs to fly for them.

 R Don Guy Gosh, wish I was closer (North Texas). I've retired, sort of, but still have everything med.& CFI current, and over 2,00 hrs. instructing. But, under certain conditions, would pick it up again.

 Ned Hunter What's the name of the school? Will you be looking for someone with about 350 hours around June? How many students do you usually have?

Colin Maitland Here in Madison, WI, it's a revolving door at the FBO, varying frustrating for our members.

 Merlin J Bauer We have three instructors at ISW that have been here for ever, almost.

Topics: Flight School, Aviation Industry, Pilot Training and Certification

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