Real Answers from Real Pilots

How long does it take for the average flight instructor at ATP to get finished will all of his hours?

How long does it take for the average flight instructor at ATP to get finished will all of his hours? From reading online and talking with a couple pilots even one from ATP I have heard a wide range of answers and would like to know an average time I can expect to instruct. I know it probably depends on locations and form what I understand I am going to a busier location but I would like a more general idea from those who have actually been through it in ATP’s program.

Thanks

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Dustin,

ATP quotes the current average time to 1500 hrs at 18mos (give or take). That’s approx. 75 hrs a month (plus the hours earned during training) which is the average built at all ATP’s locations.

Adam

Dustin,

It all depends on you and your priorities. I personally instructed for just over a year to reach 1500hrs, but I rarely took time off and worked longer days. Other people that I know were in it for much longer (2+ years), but they generally preferred to take weekends off and work normal hours.

I’d say the average is between 60-80hrs a month typically.

Yarden

Yarden, is it easy to get time off? Let’s say you wanted to head home for a week or take a Friday and Monday off to get a long weekend to head home, is that easy to do? I figure it would be nice to get home a few times in the 2+ years I’m gone!

Tucker,

I would say that most instructors chose to work on weekends and do not take time off. The more time off that you take, the longer you will be instructing. I will let Yarden speak to the current scheduling situation, but I doubt that many instructors are taking a week off.

Chris

I mean I guess with way ATP structures their pay a week off could be a few hundred dollars off that paycheck, looks like it may just be some weekends making the trip back home! Thank you as always!

Tucker,

The time off that you can get is a factor of how your students are doing in the program. The way it works when you are an instructor is you get a few students assigned to your schedule along with their syllabus. It is your responsibility to keep them on track and meeting deadlines (checkride dates). If you can manage that correctly and all of your students are on time, or you make sure that their events are covered by another instructor when you leave, then you can take extra time off (within reasonable limits of course, don’t plan on a week off every two or three months).

I had a wedding to attend back in June so I needed 10 days off (it was overseas). I gave the TC manager a heads up as soon as I knew the exact dates (2 months prior) and I worked with my students to get them through their checkrides and handed off to other instructors before I left. Once I got back, I was assigned a few new students. So basically if you need time off, just make sure it does not affect anyone and you should be fine.

Yarden

That makes sense! Thank you!

I toured the Richmond location (probably one of the smaller ones) a couple weeks ago and the instructor I talked to said he averages around 60 hours per month FWIW.

Evan,

Obviously the monthly average can, and does, vary (that’s why it’s an average). I would also ask how long he’s been there since it’s mid winter and generally slower this time of year in some locations. That said, 60 hrs isn’t terrible.

Adam

Yarden,

I saw that you took ten days off but would it be possible to take a full month off? I’m not looking to be lazy, like most people I want to get through instructing as fast as possible, but I’m in the army reserves and my unit is in South Korea so instead of doing one weekend a month they push everything together and fly me there for 27 consecutive days. I’m being called to active duty for that time and receive orders for it every year so there are laws to protect me from adverse actions due to getting called away for service but I understand that it still will be a big inconvenience to my students and the other instructors at my location. Do you think atp will have any issues with this? I don’t plan on taking any other time off while instructing and want to get as close to maxing my hours every month as possible so I’ll be happy to make it up to the other instructors whenever they want to take time off.

And for anyone that can answer,

do you know of airline pilots that also serve in the reserves or national guard? Do the pilots doing that recommend it? How flexible are regional airlines (I should be eligible to retire before getting to the majors) with reservists? Do they try to avoid people with other commitments?

Any info would be appreciated,

Gavin

Gavin,

I’m sure Yarden can give you a more “current” answer and you can talk to ATP for a more definitive one. That said while the laws protect you and your service (and it’s greatly appreciated and admired), how would you like it if your instructor took a month off during your training? since it’s only once a year, I’d encourage you to possibly schedule it BEFORE you begin instructing and then the next one a year later when you may very well be close to completion and it won’t as much as an issue.

I know a TON of men and women who are either Reserves or in the Guard. It’s actually very common (I’m at Hawaiian and probably 50% of our pilots are former and/or current military). The airlines (both Regional and Major) are very military friendly. In fact back when first year pay was really pitiful, I know a number of pilots who got hired, then would got “activated” (I’m not sure what you actually call it but basically went full time military for a year). That way they had the job but were able to make a decent wage the first year rather than endure the lousy pay and schedule. Definitely not an issue other then making the rest of us jealous :slight_smile:

Adam

Caleb,

The best way to handle this would be to start instructing after your month long deployment, that way there is no interruption to your student or the student’s schedules. If that is not possible then you will simply take your month off and then return to your job instructing when you are finished. ATP fully respects military service members and is always willing to work with them to accommodate their commitments to the military.

The airlines, both regional and major, are very familiar with reservists as a very large percentage of pilots are in the reserves. They will do whatever necessary to work with you on your schedules and will not shy away from hiring you because of this.

Chris

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Caleb,

Let’s put it this way, when you are instructing at ATP you are responsible to get each and every one of your students through training for a (the next) successful checkride. When a student is handed off to another instructor in the middle of a training phase, it often causes problems. After the checkride, it is not as big of an issue transferring a student between instructors.

So if you know of your assignment well enough in advance, you can work to get all of your students past their next coming checkride and handed off to other instructors. Once that is done, I am sure ATP will allow you to take as much time as you need for your military duties.

Yarden

What is the average pay for a flight instructor at ATP after training without tuition reimbursement. Just base pay? And is it hourly? Any benefits? :Like Insurance?

Scott,

Yarden recently did a great job breaking down ATP’s CFI pay structure, you can read his description in the second pst at this link:

Chris