So I don't want to flight instruct...

rwgb1984

Well-Known Member
Ok I have a question and hopefully people can fill me in on the pros and cons.

I am currently working on my CSEL and will be working toward a CMEL after that. I currently have a job with excellent pay, benefits and schedule that allows me to continue to going to school part time. I already know that based on pay rates at some local flight schools that I would take a pay cut and lose benefits that are really valuable to me and my family at this point.

My plan is to find local drop zones to work part time during the summers (my schedule gives me four days off every week.) to build time while I'm in school. (Probably another three years left before I graduate.)

I'm open to taken advantage of other opportunities as I build time (no rush to get to the airlines while I'm still in college) during my time in school. Is it impossible for someone who builds time like this to get a job sometime down the road to get a job in the future? Is Instructing experience favored when applying to jobs?
 

chrisreedrules

Master Blaster
Well... I'm not sure how things are around your area, but in NE FL there aren't ANY jobs for low-time pilots (500TT or less) these days. I scored about the only thing around about 6 months ago (flying traffic watch) and that still required me to have 250PIC. I did luck out with a job flying sky-divers for a bit but that was a super-sketchy operation and I didn't stick around for long. Most places that do skydiving ops require at a bare minimum 700TT and prefer 1,000 etc... I only had a foot in the door because one of the dive-masters was a childhood friend of mine. All of the jobs that would hire wet-commercial pilots have upped their minimums because the pool of pilots has become so much larger. There are no more pilots going to the airlines with 400 -700 hours and they are taking/staying with the jobs that would of been available to low-timers. Get your CFI. It wasn't something that I was totally floored on at first either but it has been a rewarding process and I have learned way more than in any other part of my training. Not to mention that it will open some doors for you as far as jobs. I've talked to many chief pilots at different 91 ops and its usually something like this, "Well, we prefer 500 to 700TT minimums but we will hire guys with a CFI or II with much lower time". So even if you don't want to instruct, it still helps a lot. It shows you are willing to go the extra mile and that you take your profession serious. (Not that those of you without a CFI don't take it serious).
 

A150K

Well-Known Member
If you dont want to instruct, please dont instruct. There are enough crappy instructors in the pool who dont want to teach already. Go buy a used Rotax powered experimental and fly it on car gas for a few years to build your time and then sell it when you're done.
I agree, but it sounded like pay was his main concern rather than simply not wanting to teach.
 

popaviator

Well-Known Member
I think everyone should give flight instructing a shot. I have gained a wealth of experience that pipeline and banner towing can't provide. It's also a great "plan B" if you ever find yourself furloughed and want to keep current while hunting for your next job.
 

jrwit

Looking to Ride-Along
I look forward to flight instructing, I've learned more about how to do things by teaching people than I have by teaching myself...
 

drunkenbeagle

Gang Member
It is worth becoming a CFI even if you don't plan on instructing. Lots of gigs will want you to be a CFI even if you aren't instructing. Lots of insurance companies will want you to have it. But if you aren't in a hurry, things do come up that don't require you to be a CFI.
 

HerrGruyere

Well-Known Member
I'm actually really excited to one day be sitting in the right seat of an old, beat up 172. Seriously. I've always been told I'd be a good teacher, so what better way to explore that realm than in a plane!

Edit: I even have a beard and my jacket has elbow patches. I was born to teach.
 

KSCessnaDriver

Well-Known Member
It can be done, avoiding CFI'ing. I took the job I have now, in order to avoid teaching. I have the CFI/CFII, but had no real desire to teach 18 months ago. Now, I live a miserable life, never get to go home, and basically have a negative quality of life. Hindsight is 20/20, but I wish I would have just sucked it up and picked up a CFI job for 12-18 months, rather than getting trapped in what I do now.
 

jrwit

Looking to Ride-Along
It can be done, avoiding CFI'ing. I took the job I have now, in order to avoid teaching. I have the CFI/CFII, but had no real desire to teach 18 months ago. Now, I live a miserable life, never get to go home, and basically have a negative quality of life. Hindsight is 20/20, but I wish I would have just sucked it up and picked up a CFI job for 12-18 months, rather than getting trapped in what I do now.

So what do you do now?
 

rwgb1984

Well-Known Member
If pay and benefits are a main concern, wrong industry to be in. Get out now and fly for fun.
I mean't pay/benefits in regards to my current job vs. instructing. I don't make a ton of money at my current job (I work in a walmart distribution center 3 days a week.) Without going into too much detail I bring home around $2000/mo. Most of the schools around here start instructors at $15/hr with raises as Dual Given increases. One flight school in particular offers a $2.00/hr raise after the 1st 100hrs DG so it would be possible to recover that cost in terms of wage/hr very quickly.

Mainly though, its the schedule and the benefits (walmart my be sketch when it comes to how they treat their retail employees but DC benefits are awesome.) I guess what I mean't primarily is that I make enough money to pay my bills and that's it. If I took a job for less (or the same hourly but no benefits) My budget would quickly run into the red.

I could swing taking an instructing job when I pay off my car next October as it would free up income/allow me to take a pay cut equal to that monthly expense.

As far as not wanting to instruct my lack of desire stems more from wanting to save $ on more ratings (initially) and also because I have three years essentially to build time slowly. While not all instructors who go through flight schools are there simply to get their time AQAP that seems to be the general attitude all around. I guess because I don't feel a rush to build time right now working part time doing something seems like a good idea while I continue working full time and going to school.

I will say that I do enjoy talking to people about flying/aviation. I've taken my brother in law flying and really enjoyed demonstrating the inherent stability of the airplane (we were in a Piper Warrior), the difference between towered and non-towered airports, etc... I get a lot of satisfaction from sharing my passion with others so I do think I would be a great instructor.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
Start part time.

The best ting about working as a flight instructor is the ability to set your own schedule. Keep working at the warehouse, and start building your client base working on the days you have off.
 

Stone Cold

Well-Known Member
Start part time.

The best ting about working as a flight instructor is the ability to set your own schedule. Keep working at the warehouse, and start building your client base working on the days you have off.
Exactly. I, at one point in life, was full time Navy on shore duty (non-deployable), flight instructing at the local airport during lunch and in the evenings, and on the weekends, working at a busier field a 30 minute drive away. Instructing, you can do as much or as little as you want, client providing.

I will add...not recommending what I did, as 6 months and I was burnt out, but it got me where I wanted when I got out of the Navy.
 
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