Flying Instructors & ExaminersA place for instructors to communicate with one another because some of them get a bit tired of the attitude that instructing is the lowest form of aviation, as seems to prevail on some of the other forums!
I am a recently qualified instructor, I had the misfortune of obtaining my rating just as Cabair went under and I'm based in the South East so I have had little joy in finding any form of employment as a Flight Instructor over the winter season.
I have however been fortunate enough to keep a well paid shift job throughout all of my flight training. I have done an honest review of my finances and I have concluded that I would be unable to survive on a full time FI wage.
In short I am looking for part time work and I was wondering if any other part time FI's manage to Flight Instruct whilst working shifts (I have 16 rotating days off per month). I have the overiding impression that Flight Schools only want part time instructors who can work fixed days on the weekend.
You may well struggle, as most schools/clubs like people who can pick up the slack on the weekends with trial lessons, especially if you're only working part time.
What you would need to do is find students who want to learn to fly on the days you are available. Otherwise, if they are unable to consistantly put the same students with you, you will not have any work.
It's difficult for anyone to get by on a full time instructor wage, but it's a sacrafice many of us make to do the thing we love. Unfortunately, I don't see instructor wages going up anytime soon, with flying school margins already pretty tight.
When I started instructing part time I was also doing full time shift work as a supermarket manager, milking my landlord's cows four times a week in lieu of rent and doing the occasional shift as a hire car chick. So it can be done but don't expect to have any kind of social or home life. good luck
Check the secondary employment conditions of your main employer to ensure that part-time paid employment is 'permitted'. My main employer (NATS, bless their hearts...) made it very difficult for some (but not all... ) employees to engage in part-time paid employment particularly within aviation-related activities.
Flying schools used to be grateful for P/T FIs whom they could call upon at short notice to address a shortfall. Expect many trial lessons and do not expect much continuity with individual students. It's true that schools prefer regular and predictable availability especially at weekends. Be prepared for the remuneration to be not much above minimum wage. If you become addicted it could put a strain on domestics.
Yes its possible, but frankly will be difficult, the work will be infrequent and pay poor, with EASA coming in RTFs will have to become ATOs which means more expense, and a few more closing Im sure. The instructing fine and fun, but finding work is begining to get tougher than is worth the effort finding it, if that makes sense. Of course may change if economy picks up, but that doesnt look likely. A student of mine who has paid 50K for training is now working for 30.00 a day at one school and for free at another to build hours, thats how sad Instructing has become. He is lucky as he has another job but works most weekends as I can see. Ok I guess if you young no kids etc. Best to drive to all local schools and present yourself and your CV as spring is approaching you never know. Good luck chap tough old game at the moment.
think you said you had a PPL, Well add exams 3K CPL 7K FI 7.5K IMC would also be useful 4K but may to late to do that, looking at 20K to earn maybe 10 -15 p h. With all the hassle that goes with getting the ratings.
If you read his post he already has the Instructor ticket
I am a recently qualified instructor,
As said, not easy to get regular work on shifts, but with 16 days/month some schools may look at you, especially over the summer so persist.
If you can wrangle a part-time F/I role and it suits your long-term ground job, it suits the flying school and it suits your home life, then why not. But you don't write that the flying schools are chasing you, you are in fact chasing them.
How close you are to your two areas of work, how old you are and what you have to offer are to be considered also. Why? Part-time positions imply short notice engagement, if you're an hour or two away from the a/c, it's not convenient for anyone. Every flight school has a truckload of pubescent-like grade 3s with the ink still wet. What they don't have is mature age greybeards, even newly qualifieds, who bring a whole new range of skillsets to current and potential students.
As a greybeard myself, I once went to a flying school to hire an Arrow for a day or two and the CFI asked if I was interested in increasing the average age of his flying school's instructors on a part-time basis; the CFI apparently recognising an imbalance. I would have loved to have done so but was heavily involved in other matters.
See what I'm saying here? Convenience, life/work balance, added value.
In short I am looking for part time work and I was wondering if any other part time FI's manage to Flight Instruct whilst working shifts
Have you considered offering ground-school classes. It can be far more lucrative than flight instruction and it will put you in contact with students. You can build a reputation and from that schools will get to know about you. I know others who have done this quite successfully whilst holding down a full time job.
FM sorry should have read through it all without going for tea in between, have edited it now to make sense.I gained my ground examiners ticket to do ground school which does help, and the ability to sign SEPs gets you into the school and in front of them, not sure what experience you need to get the GRE rating, think it maybe a paperwork exercise, but the form did ask for licence and experience, I actually love groundschool and as others have said it can pay quite well, look at google people are charging £1000.00 for a 5 day PPL course, ATPL GI could earn 35Kpa before the training industry went up the spout. I know because I was being interviewed for such a role before one certain FTO went belly up.
not sure what experience you need to get the GRE rating
To teach ground-school you don't need any specific qualifications however being a FI realistically gives you all you need. To become a GE you must be sponsored by a School which in this case probably isn't a hep. If you produce well trained candidates to a school you will soon be noticed.
Firstly thank you for everyone for some very well written and decent replies. I would certainly be qualified to teach ground school considering my Aviation background outside of flying. This is something I would consider, however as pointed out the flight training industry is going through some hard times at the moment and these jobs are rare.
I am not employed by NATS, but I do something similar and my employer views my Instructors rating as a valuable asset and has no objection to part time FI work.
I understand that living off a full time FI wage is a sacrifice that many make and I admire that, but I have financial responsibilities which I must keep and cannot forfeit at the moment. I think the best thing to do for now is to market myself to flight schools during the build up to summer as a part time FI who has lots of availability and can be at the airfield at short notice!
When I first got my instructor (AFI) rating, I was in a similar position to you. I had a decent job working shifts, with quite good salary and benefits, which I didn't dislike too much. It was the thick end of twenty years ago, but I chose then, not to give up the lifestyle I had to go instructing FT. My shifts were 12 hours, 4 on - 4 off, so about the same time off as you, but predictable months in advance, which may have helped. What I did initially, to get my first job, was agree to teach groundschool for the MoD FSS. They were getting 30 hours each at the time, but you couldn't do it unless you had at least 100 hours instructional. Of course, once I was working for the club, I started getting TLs and checkouts to do and once the first course was finished, the ones that opted to pay to complete their PPLs needed an instructor, so I got quite a few of those to do as well. The important thing is getting yourself a start somewhere, whatever the job, be it op's, groundschool or whatever, once you're there the flying will start to happen.