Working Two Jobs as a CFI


New Member
I have a question regarding the practicality of working two jobs as a CFI. I'm working on a business degree with a concentration in computer information systems, and while I'm sure that flying is what I want to do for the rest of my life, I really like computers alot too. Would it be possible to work as a CFI and at the same time, do at least part time work with computers? My other reason for asking this question is that I've heard its hard for CFIs to support themselves with a CFI income alone. I'm already having a hard enough time getting the money I need with my job at K-Mart, and I'm not sure CFIs make that much more money than what I'm getting from there. If anyone here has actually had experience working another job while instructing, your input would especially be valuable. Thanks...
While I don't have personal experience, I don't think it's unheard of to have a part-time job besides a CFI job. My flight instructor bar tends a couple times a week besides working more than full-time at my flight school.
I am not an instructor, but I can tell you that yes, you can do this. My flight instructor has 3 jobs - He teaches at the local college, writes computer programs for a local company and also finds the time to instruct at two airports (he is a busy guy!). Even so, when he is instructing me I know I have 110% of his attention and he is great to fly with and learn from.
Yeah, I know a lot of CFI's that work other jobs at the same time. Not me though (at least not yet- maybe this winter)...since I am paid a base salary, my boss keeps me on a tight leash- I hardly have enough free time to sleep, let alone work another job.

Also, even if I wanted to I couldn't take a second instructing job- I had to sign a contract saying that I would not accept employment as an instructor within a 70 mile radius of this airport. I'm not sure if its really legal for him to make me do that, but whatever. If it ever became a factor, I'd tell him where to stick his contract.

Anyways...good luck!
That was legal in like 1972....but I don't think that would fly in any modern court of law...
. Why do employers do that? It drives me crazy.... IF somebody happens to know the legal aspects of this, please enlighten us!!!! Enquiring minds want to know!!
I had to sign a contract like that before, after signing it I noticed that clause and showed it to a friend of mine who was a lawyer, and he basically said the law protects a indiviuals right to work in his/her own profession and that their is no way a court would/could enforce that provision PROVIDING, I didnt steal former or present clients OR decide to open my own business down the road from them competing with them which is the reasoning behind the contract to my understanding..

Your lawyer friend gave you good advice. A "no-compete covenent" is pretty much "toothless" in the eyes of a judge and jury - you have a "right to work"

But, be extremely cautious if the contract includes a "liquidated damages".clause. I.e., violate the agreement and you own the damaged party some money.

I think this is pretty unlikely in the case of a low time CFI (can't get blood out of a rock). But if you happen to sell your new employer an ongoing business with assets, customers and "good will", expect them to put some "teeth" into the agreement.

I'm not an attorney, but paid for some good professional advice in the sale of my (drilling) business.

Happy flying and more importantly, C.Y.A. with the F.A.A.
I'm a CFI and desperetly seeking to find a second job. BUT I can't think any of any jobs out there that:
#1 Would allow me to make my own hours
#2 Pay me at least $20/hour.
Look at the reasons for becoming a CFI. If it is because you don't want to pay for time built, you are fooling yourself. You may not be paying in monetary terms, but you'll be paying in other ways.
I choose not to instruct due to that reason. Instead, I am getting a decent paying, aviation related gig and getting into a non-equity share of a plane. This way I can fly 50% of the airplane's time, help with maintenance, fuel, blah-blah-blah, and avoid a costly down payment considering it's only a short term investment. Luckily, I know the guy and can trust him in this endeavor.
This is the best route for me, but for you all I advise is to weigh all costs.
I am a contract engineer and part time CFI so the money isn't a problem for me. Actually I've been blessed so that I can put away at least 1k/month so that I can support myself as a full time CFI in a couple years.
Sprint2XC, I believe that if you have a good full time or part time job, being a CFI would be cheaper than buying a share of an airplane. I also think it would look better on your resume to have gone the CFI route rather than "buy" all your time. Just my $.02....
I agree braidkid. CFIs make better pilots. You don't know how little you know until you try to teach someone else how to do it
You don't know how little you know until you try to teach someone else how to do it

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That's the truth....I feel like I'm sometimes learning to fly for the first time!!
I think that is one of the things that I'm most excited about when I start instructing..... the learing aspect from the "other side".

My instructor continually tells me that he cannot believe how much he has learned... and is STILL learing... since he began instructing!

Can't wait for my turn.

My CFI made a similar comment to R2F's after I was telling him how much I learned flying along with another instrument student (as safety pilot) last weekend. Not only do I like to teach (I teach riding students currently), but I know I am going to learn tons doing so...

I'm most certainly holding another job(s) down while I instruct. Heck I have basically 3 right now (one full time) and still have plenty of time to fly, so why not?

I have been a full time and part time CFI. After working full time while in college, I instructed part time while working as a mortgage broker and, later, as an insurance agent. It's nice to have a stable source of income that doesn't depend on weather or students not finding something better to do.

There are some drawbacks. If you are instucting to build time, you have to realize that it will be a slower process. In the winter, you may only have enough daylight to teach on the weekends (although you can give lessons at night, it depends a lot on what you're teaching that day; I wouldn't introduce stalls at night).

Part time instucting will take up a lot of your free time. This may cause problems if you have a family. If the student is dedicated, they may want to fly several times per week and multiple lessons on weekends. This restricts the number of students that you can carry (I wouldn't go above three active students, that might even be pushing it; I found two to be a reasonable number). Usually one student after work and two per weekend day was as much as I wanted to handle.