Real Answers from Real Pilots

About the ATP Admissions, Housing & Finance Questions category


Ask your administrative and financing questions here to receive answers from ATP staff members.

(Keith Heflin) #2

Hello, this is my first post. I have been studying you and Adam’s posts for a couple months now and wanted to start by saying that you guys are a blessing. So much valuable information! A little background on myself. Currently 29, will hit the big 3-0 in May. I have worked for my mother and fathers automotive shop since it opened 14.5 years ago. I now manage it and dispite exponential growth in competition we have grown every year. My father is nearing retirement age and I have decided I just dont want to handle another 30 years of automotive service. I have always been as excited to fly on an airplane as I qas to reach the destination I was traveling to. I have no military experience and 0 time flying. Also I wasnt much for college during that adolescent adult age, so I have a long way to go till I have any sort of degree. I am ready for an exciting career change that doesnt require a 4 year degree to get started.

I want to attend ATP and get the ball rolling asap. But I currently have a mortgage and bills that are supported by a salary that seemingly may take 5ish years from starting to instruct (post graduating ATP obviously) to get back to (roughly 67k). Obviously as Adam has said in the past posts, if your doing it for money look elsewhere. Its not about the money its about the passion for flying. Unfortunately I anticipate my debtors will not share the same opinion. That being said I believe i could finance most or all of my 9 month income when I ask for my school loan. Please advise if this is not correct or typical.

Post school, I worry that the instructor salary, even topped out at the quoted 42k, may not be enough to make ends meet. Is it feasible for me to assume I may be able to aquire more money than the 42k if I really hustle with instructing?
Also, assuming that the ATP location nearest me (Hooks in Houston,TX) does not have an instructing postion available and moving isnt an option, what are some great jobs to aquire decent compensation AND build hours quickly? Please advise. Thank you all for your time.



Welcome to the forum and thank you for your kind words.

Before you do anything else, you need to go take an introductory flight. It is one thing to enjoy riding in the back of an airplane and quite another to fly it. You can do this at your nearest ATP location or at just about any local flight school.

Call ATP and ask to talk to somevody in the admissions department, they are the experts on financing and can help answer your specific questions in this area.

I do not see any way possible to make more than $42k as an instructor. Being a CFI is an entry level position into the industry, as such it is hard to earn much more than what you described.

If your desired location does not have an opening when you are ready, I would suggest taking the next nearest location and then putting in a transfer request. As soon as Hooks opens, that slot will be filled in seniority order of those requesting it. It seems like the vast majority of people get their desired location.

It seems like you might have to do a little financial belt tightening, but if this is what you truly want to do, you should be able to find a way.

Please feel free to ask us any more questions that you can think of.


(Keith Heflin) #4

Thanks for the quick response and the wise words. In terms of tightening the financial belt I know what you mean. Making the gruelling decision to sell my truck. Thankfully i have plenty of positive equity in it to afford a new tiny car or a bigger used. That will help significantly. And the more I think about it, the more insignificant things I am finding in my life that I pay for as if they are life essentials. Ugh growing up haha. At any rate I will be doing my discovery flight on this upcoming Friday. If all goes well. Ill get the ball rollin’. Thanks again



I understand about having to sell the truck, I gave up my beloved GMC Yukon when I got divorced. It bothered me for awhile, but now I could care less. Someday I will get a Yukon again, but for right now my Mercury Mariner (driving excitement) gets me to where I need to be just fine.


(Bobby R Barker Jr) #6


I’m looking to attending ATP and hoping to CFI at Hooks since I’m only 20 min away from that location. I’m also looking to tighten the financial belt as well. I have decided to lease out my new home and move in with my parents for awhile or at least until the regionals hire me. Have you taken your intro flight yet? I’m looking to start this coming summer in 2018.

(Chris Varghese) #7

Good to hear that you’re starting with ATP soon.
The CFI thing, I believe you cant stick to a location as we’ll be required to move to to other bases where the requirement is there.