Going rate for independent CFI?

slushie

C56X ATP CFII MEI
What are people charging per hour for flight instruction when operating outside of a school?

If I were to go that route, it seems the best practice would be to make a win-win for you and the student. Attracting more business by charging less than the local FBOs, but more than the schools' CFI cuts.

That would be maybe $35 around here.

I see that and think of how much my roommate charges for private guitar instruction...$60/hr.

Kind of a crappy deal we pilots have.
 

juxtapilot

Snowflake
Everyone around Portland seems to be charging 35-40. There is one person who charged 44/hr though. 35 is a little cheap IMO... That CFI cost too much to charge 35/hr...
 

moxiepilot

Well-Known Member
Around Philly, I can charge $75 an hour.

You have to realize that that goes into taxes, insurance and take home pay. It still comes out to about $55/hr.

Don't shortsell yourself
 

CoffeeIcePapers

Well-Hung Member
Depends on the market. If you are too cheap, people will think you aren't good enough. If you are too expensive, you won't get clients.
 

EnnisLynch

New Member
There are two things to consider, 1) are you doing it for a hobby or time building or 2) are you trying to make a living being an instructor?

If it is a hobby or time building then you have the liberty of charging as low as it is worth to you. However, if you have bills to pay you need to charge enough to make a good income. If you don't own the plane you are in an even worse position because then you cannot make anything from the plane rental and can't combine the insurance.

For the making a living route there are 1920 billable hours in a traditional work year. If you are pulling 40 hours a week you would be looking at an income of roughly 43k after taxes and insurance at $35 an hour (trust me on the numbers). If you are average 20 a week that would be roughly 22k. Use those numbers as a guideline to determine what your time is worth.

(I am using my professional experience from my industry as a guideline for rates)
 

b3181981

Well-Known Member
only accept cash, get a regular job with a w-2 and don't report the cash on your taxes. for my private I bought a plane and only paid cash to my instructor. don't know if they reported it though.
 

EnnisLynch

New Member
only accept cash, get a regular job with a w-2 and don't report the cash on your taxes. for my private I bought a plane and only paid cash to my instructor. don't know if they reported it though.

And go to jail. Tax Evasion is how they got Al Capone. It is one thing to forget but to actually recommend someone commit a felony?
 

minitour

New Member
I'll agree with only accepting cash. In God We Trust......all others cash. I don't chase $.

$50 for me (/hr)

Yes, it's reported to the IRS every year.

-mini
 

b3181981

Well-Known Member
I don't see how keeping whats yours has anything to do with moral character. do you pay taxes on things you sell and buy off of ebay? because you are supposed too.
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
I don't see how keeping whats yours has anything to do with moral character. do you pay taxes on things you sell and buy off of ebay? because you are supposed too.
The point is that keeping income taxes that are due on wages you earn is not "keeping whats (sic) yours." They belong to the government. Not paying taxes that are due = stealing. Plain and simple. That's why tax evasion is a felony.
 

b3181981

Well-Known Member
no no my money belongs to me and if i was payed cash what ever I tell the federal government is what I owe them. I'm not stealing from them they are stealing from me. last year when I filed my taxes I tried to deduct my college classes like i did the year before, but thus year I had a decent paying job and you know what they say I made to much money to claim that deduction. what a crock you better yourself and the government takes a dump on you. doesn't really matter as I'm always 1099 or w-2 every year so they know what I made.
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
no no my money belongs to me and if i was payed cash what ever I tell the federal government is what I owe them. I'm not stealing from them they are stealing from me.
Regardless of whether or not you choose to report your earned income to the IRS, there is still an obligation to pay taxes on earned income. I hate paying taxes just as much as the next guy, but that's the law of the land were we live and that's how the government legally takes money from you instead of stealing it from you. (Although, it certainly feels like they are stealing half my paycheck!)

Failure to report earned income is tax evasion. Period. You can justify it to yourself however you wish, but I doubt you'd get any judge to agree that what you profess is anything short of illegal. That's why this you must sign this statement when you submit your tax return:

Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this return and accompanying schedules and statements, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct, and complete. Declaration of preparer (other than taxpayer) is based on all information of which preparer has any knowledge.
 

PDC

New Member
Paulson, when he was appointed Secretary of the Treasury, sold $500 million in Goldman stock. He paid no capital gains taxes, under a rule exempting government appointees from having to pay taxes on so-called "forced sales."
 

Blackhawk

Well-Known Member
I charge $40-$50/hour in a low cost area (Southwest Texas) for flight and ground instruction. I have more people calling me about flying than I can handle, so I will probably raise my rates.
I average 5-6 hours a day of billable time (I limit myself to 1-2 students a day), 5 days a week. I take off when my kids have long weekends.
 

kgflyboy

New Member
How do you manage to get 5-6 billable hours per day with 1-2 students per day? That seems like some really long lessons to me.
 
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