Real Answers from Real Pilots

Finding a job as a CFI

After finishing my commercial rating at ATP, I was considering going to a smaller flight school to get my CFI. However, I was only planning on getting my CFI initial, at least to start, as it would be more convenient in terms of cost and works better with my school schedule. Will a flight school hire a flight instructor that only has the CFI initial completed? If so, what might be the differences in hours and pay? Also, is it true that some flight schools offer their employed CFI’s discounted training to finish MEI and CFII?

Kevin,

First you cannot just finish your CPL with ATP. ATP’s program includes all 3 CFIs so I’m not sure what you’re referring to? I honestly couldn’t say what any flight school will or will not do or who’ll they will or will not hire. I honestly am only familiar with ATP and their policies. That said I’d ask. Contact some local flight schools and ask? That said while I can understand the problem getting your MEI if you don’t have the rating or access to a twin the CFII is an add-on that really only requires another written exam and a checkride so why wouldn’t you at least get the II? Most students want some continuity in their instructors and most schools would want an instructor who could at the least take a student through their PPL and Instrument (the 2 most common certs).

Adam

Hi Adam,

I do my training through ATP as part of an program through my university, so I am only required to finish my ratings through commercial-single.

I ask if flight schools will hire instructors that only have the initial CFI completed because I’ve seen flight instructor job postings that only require a CFI and wasn’t sure if they would hire someone with the bare minimum lone CFI certificate.

That said, I wasn’t aware that the II was an add-on. I already passed my FII written exam, so I may just go for the add-on.

Thanks for the help!

Kevin

Kevin,

Gotcha with the university. Seriously though if you’ve completed the FII the CFII checkride is really a fairly simple checkride. Talk to the school, other than maybe some practice and the use of a plane for the checkride I can’t image it being a terribly expensive procedure and definitely worth the small investment.

Adam

Kevin,

A flight school might hire just an initial CFI, but they might not also. Furthermore, you will be severely limiting your potential to get flight hours as there will be many different types of students that you cannot instruct. ATP will not hire CFIs that do not have all of their ratings.

I think this is a bad idea, whatever you save in training costs will not be worth the lost opportunities.

Chris