The life of an ATP instructor?


New Member
So whats it like to be an instructor for ATP. What kind of hours are you guys working each day? Approx. how many flight hours are you guys bringing in each month? Is it difficult to get time off around the holidays? Sorry for all the questions just curious about your guys' quality of life while instructing there.
I am the instructor at Richmond, and as the only instructor my life is quite different than that of an instructor at Jacksonville, for example. They work much more, but several of them post here on JC and will hopefully post a response.

When I don't have anything scheduled, I don't go to work. If there is a long stretch without any students, I'll go in every 3-4 days and do paperwork, update my schedule, make copies, etc. When I do have a student, we arrive at 0800 and can finish between 5 and 8, depending on how much flying we do that day. When I have two students at once, I typically fly 3-4 times a day and we finish even later. You're up against the clock, and a checkride 72 hours from now.

The number of flight hours varies by month, from 4 to my current record of 45. ATP gives each instructor 5 days off over Christmas and 3 at Thanksgiving.

Overall my quality of life is good. I have a lot of time to work out and do whatever. The instructors at the larger bases can work up to 7 days a week and have little free time, but they are flying much more that I am and I will likely call them Captain the next time I see them, since it will take much longer to get to an airline at my current rate.
Hey Paul, did you choose to go to Richmond, or was that just the first location that opened up? Did you know it was gonna be slow before you went?
I really wanted Stuart, but that will not be open for a very long time and Richmond opened up. (I'd still go to Stuart) Since I am basically from VA, it's comfortable and nice to be near the family, especially this time of year. I knew all the facts when I accepted Richmond, including the lack of business during parts of the year. It was nice as a new instructor since I had time to figure things out, and is nice now since I can give each student as much ground school or additional flying needed. On the plus side, I have lots of time to work out, a great apartment in a hip part of town and a cool roommate, my own office overlooking the runway, and a great relationship with the FAA examiner-he is actually referring students to me now, and that has increased my business tremendously.
thats cool how the FAA examiner is sending people your way, you must be doing a good job. good luck to ya.
How does ATP do regionally? IE Can we "request" an area to work in, if available? ATP has a "base" a few hours from my house and I have given some thought to commuting to that spot if I could get a job there.. The guy working there is trying to leave..
ATP did not stipulate that I live a certain distance away, but it would be difficult to work here if you lived far away. Last-minute schedule changes and very long days persuaded me to get a place about 20 minutes away. Also consider that if you are hired after the career pilot program, there may be others wanting that location with higher seniority.
Life in Phx lately has been 6-7 days a week, 8-14 hours a day, 5-8 of them flying hours.

the past 4 months I've averaged 85 hours, and 3 of the 4 instructors here are nearing the magic 1000 hour mark, though it's been a long time coming.

don't know about other locations, but phx is seasonal. summers are hot and hours are low. but when it rains, it pours.
Obviously i was exaggerating some on my previous post, but at one time we did serioulsy request a temporary instructor from another location!
what time of year does ATP generally hire the most amount of instructors? does anyone know what the current wait time to become an instructor is if you are an attractive employee?
Good question.. I was actually wondering the same thing. I took a look at ATP's website and from june last year up to this month, the months of october and november had the most placements with regionals. They had an instructor class of 4 start in sept. along with another class of 6 in november. I'm not sure if the late summer/fall seasons have to do w/increased hiring or not. But if anything I'm guessing its probably pretty randomn and trickles down from the regionals and there needs for pilots during a particular time. I'm interested though.. is their a time of year that hiring tends normally tend to pick up?