From what I've heard, given the realities of the current state of the industry, the answer is probably "no". Instructor demand isn't presently sufficient to assure even their airline career pilot program graduates a job--and to my thinking, the opportunity to instruct for them afterward is the ACPP's biggest selling point. I'm sure this point isn't lost on ATP's management, either.
Typical effects of the economy… Many are graduating in other fields to the unemployment line. Things are starting to turn around and will pick up in ’04-05’. Will things be as well they were 3-4 years ago? Not in the immediate short term but the economy has historically surprised us with returns beyond our expectations.
From what I have heard from others try to be as flexible as a “wet noodle” when trying to get a CFI position. This may mean doing a nationwide search rather than focusing on an area of preference. You may not have a chance to get a CFI job right out of school so have a backup plan when handling finances.
Don’t feel bad about the industry. I currently work in the I.T. industry and started working well before all the hype (Y2K, dot bomb, etc) and now I a looking for a change in my career to work on something I have loved to do on my spare time. Sure no industry is a “bed of roses” but lately (last 3+ years) this is what I have been going through:
·65+ hours per week to prove dedication to your bosses to keep your job
·Keeping certification/education current about every 18 months on your time and money because the industry doesn’t know what direction to head in. Also in order to keep your job. Also what you would be studying is considered obsolete once you start.
·Doing the work of 2-3 people by picking up the slack of incompetent others (still plagued in this industry) in order to save your job/company.
·Holding on the same salary that you earned before all the salary hype in the IT field because of a flood of cheap imported labor (H1Bs) and industry outsourcing to other countries.
·Over age 25? This is now the new benchmark to be considered too old and possibly too expensive/liability in this industry.
No, I not doing this for pay expectations. If it turns out to be a rewarding career then so be it. I would gladly trade a six-figure aviation salary for knowing and having the confidence that an industry will still be there in the future plus or minus the economic conditions.
Remember this country is currently focused on “instant gratification”. When we travel we want to get across the country in a few hours not a few days. We want our packages in a day or two not weeks. We want fresh products from all parts of the country/world. If this attitude continues then there will always be a demand for pilots.