Order of ratings...


Antisocial Monster
Heya everyone,

As much as I thought I had everything figured out this summer, I am starting to think about what ratings I should go through and do this summer. Right now I have my private and instrument with about 170 hours. I figure I should get the commercial done this summer, but I'm not sure if I should do the CFI also or the multi rating. I don't have the cash to do both, and I think it'd be a little cheaper to do the commercial and multi this summer.

What order would YOU do things in? Multi, or CFI first? I was thinking about the CFI, but I'm not even sure if I can do the commercial and the CFI all in 4 months.


John Herreshoff
Welcome to the club. I too vascillate between getting the multi right after Comm. or just heading straight into the CFI.

At the moment, I'm in the "Head straight into the CFI" pool. Why? Logic would have it that I can start instructing first and get the rest later.... in a perfect world that is.

The bottom line is how much time and how much money you have.
Also take into account how many hours you need to reach 250TT to qualify for your commercial. You can use your ME training to beef up your total time, or you can burn holes in the sky in a SE. In the long run, it will save you money to get your ME rating before your commercial, if you need the hours.

But, once you have your CFI you can start earning some money to pay for your ME. It's a conundrum.

Are you getting your ratings at WMU?
Personally, I'm in no rush to get into the job market right now given the current economic climate, so I'm going to go ahead and get my Multi after the single engine commercial.

For one, this affords me the ability to build some multi time should some kind of opportunity to arise.

Second, I don't want to get my CFI and then have it sit unused in my wallet for a year or two while I finish school (doubt I could find a flight school that would work around my academic schedule). I'd rather have a guaranteed steady job lined up before I invest the time and money to get the CFI ratings.

Yeah, the thing I'm looking at is that I have about 80 hours to fill. I know it's more economical to do the CFI, commercial and multi all doing those 80 hours, but I don't have that much cash avalible to me at this point in time. I'd really love to do all three ratings, but I don't think it's a possibility at this point. I guess the way I look at it is that I don't think I'm going to be able to find a part time CFI job while I'm at school. I do know a place that is expanding and looking for instructors, but I talked with them today and the owner told me that he'd be happy to look me over, but he's got some of his own guys coming up right now and they obviously have first dibs.

Nope, not doing the ratings at Western. I came here for flight science, switched to administration, and now I'm doing political science. I came in with my private license, and after seeing how things are run I decided that I didn't want to waste my money here. I love Western, but the flight program is not all it's cracked up to be. It's overpriced, it's overpriced, and it's overpriced some more. That and I have an 8,000 hour master CFI back home that can get me my ratings, and I think I'll get better training from her than a 500 hour CFI at Western. Not to say that they are not good, but I don't think many instructors can match my instructors experience. That being said, I'm flying out of Bay City, Michigan.


John Herreshoff
I agree with the above however wouldn't you rather have the Comm at a cheaper price (i.e. build time in a single), then go on and do the multi after you get the CFI? That way you will be able to
-keep current
-possibly get a discount at the school
-get the MEI soon afterward and get paid for it

I guess if you have the $$$ and really want a second engine then go for it; it just makes more sense to me to get paid to fly as soon as possible, then use THAT money to get the ME.
Wow two repies all during the time it took to write that. Well if you don't have a place to work after getting the CFI then my point is kind of moot; so go for the multi.

However it does go both ways. When the market is slow the market is slow all around; the extra (expensive) mutli hours you'll have won't help all that much right now or in the long run IMHO unless you have a TON of $$$ to get a LOT of multi time; even then it's still the same deal: send in an app and hope for the best. I'd do the CFI and get the apps out ASAP, meanwhile you'll have more single time and experience, which is what you'll be teaching in anyways.

I think if you view it objectively (don't let the lure of engine #2 draw you in) it makes more sense to do the CFI; but that's just me.
I did mine the FlightSafety way (private multi., instrument, commercial multi, commercial single, then CFI, CFII), but if I had it to do over again, I would have done a multi-ad instead of a single-ad. I have 70ish hours of multi time that is useless to me right now, and all but a very little bit of that I had to pay for. Sure its a good start, but its not enough to really get a job anywhere (other than instructing, and I don't have my MEI) and it came at a very high price. I wish now I would have done it all single engine, then gotten my MEI and tried to find a job where I could eventually build multi time.

So, my advice, would be to do your CFI first. You can get paid, and build hours at the same time. Yeah, multi time is gold, but its also about as expensive. In my opinion, paying for any more multi time than what is necessary to get certified (COM-ME, MEI) is a waste of money.

Like I said, just my $.02. Good luck, and have fun!
My opinion would be to definately get the CFI first and multi later.
You want to get yourself employable as fast as possible and the only way you're going to be able to do that is if you get your
CFI. If you get your multi-commercial rating first, you'll have two ratings commercial ASEL and AMEL that won't do you any
good or enable you to build any hours. You might not be able to find a CFI job right away but the point is that you'll be
qualified the second one presents itself.
I would suggest getting CFI, CFII, multi comm, MEI in that order. Seems the most logical way to go in my opinion and keeps
your options more open to possibilities.
I would have to agree with SkyGuyEd. If you are limited in money, spend what you have on cheap time building and not on the expensive multi-engine time. Finish up your commercial SE and do the CFI right afterwards. While you are building time, ask your instructor to let you get proficient in sitting right seat and even begin to work on your CFI training. This way while you are building your 80 hrs needed for the 250 mark, you will be getting ready for both the commercial SE and CFI simultaneously. I am a week or two away from my commercial SE checkride and was in the same position as you months ago. I will be jumping into my CFI training right after my commercial SE checkride. The time building portion is what took me forever. I spent some time flying in the right seat and doing some XC's that I hadn't had a chance to do yet. That keeps it fun and interesting. Also, since you said you were low in cash - you might want to look into education/career advancement loans. There are a ton of banks that offer those loans and since you are still in school you can often defer your payments until you graduate. The interest rate on education loans are really low so its a great time to get them. I am not a huge fan of going more in debt but it helps you get the ratings you desire in a timely manner. Also once you are close to the 250 mark, take your commercial, FOI, and CFI written exams. That way you will be very well prepared for your commercial oral exam and you will be ready to jump into the next stage of your training. If you have 80 hrs to go, then I would fly about 50 hrs of XC and then start training for the commercial and CFI. By the time you hit 250 you will be proficient and feel confident about your checkrides. Keep in touch with us this summer. I graduate from WMU on Saturday but will still be living in town. Good luck with your decisions!

Happy Flying!
I agree with Bluestreak 100%. If you have 80 hours to go, fly 50 more x country and the last 30 in the right seat. Start thinking
now how you would explain things and talk out loud in the aircraft. If you do it right there's no reason why you can't take the
CFI checkride the day after your commercial checkride and not go over 250 hours.
I got my CSEL/CFII first and then went back later for multi and, much later, MEI. The beauty of doing it this way is that you can start flying for money sooner, even it is "only" in a single. The down side is that it took me nine years to get around to earning a lot of ME time.