Flying Instructors & Examiners A 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!

Flying instructor jobs

Old 1st Feb 2014, 20:58
  #41 (permalink)  
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I think it is a non-starter under current regulations and economic climate.

The salaries at FTOs for CRI/IRIs just do not justify the huge expenditure to gain the necessary qualifications.
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Old 1st Feb 2014, 21:34
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What are these salaries you speak of?
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 00:57
  #43 (permalink)  
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DeanP. Kind of concerned that you think 25K is a reasonable salary for a ME/IR instructor. The going rate at the big schools is nearer 50K.

Beware of jokers like this though TP&P Aviation Recruitment

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Old 4th Feb 2014, 01:57
  #44 (permalink)  
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someone said don't instruct unless you want to be an instructor. I don't think I grew up dreaming of being a flight instructor, it was a step towards being an airline pilot.

but to be sure, you do have a responsibility to your student to make sure you are teaching him to be a safe pilot.

I would ignore the comment about ''don't instruct unless you want to be an instructor". But do a good job while instructing whatever your reason is.

when I instructed , decades ago, I charged 20 dollars an hour and threw in the ground for free. (ground instruction). I was poor all the time, but had saved money up for survival during this time. I made the 1500 hours needed to be an atp and then moved on.

but I was a good instructor as all of my students are still alive and well and not involved in any crackups. Some are flying for major airlines now and we are still in touch.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 08:31
  #45 (permalink)  
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I can understand why you would be shocked at my "reasonable wage of 25k" remark. I suppose I wasn't expecting such a jump, however, I can see why a ME IR instructor deserves it with the amount of experience to be gained before gaining the necessary qualifications.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 08:38
  #46 (permalink)  
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"Beware of jokers like this though TP&P Aviation Recruitment"

Wow! That is a massive joke if 50k a year should be expected! That's almost insulting surely? Let's just hope it's a "probation wage" or something....
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 10:36
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Thumbs up If you have the gift to Instruct then do it

My feeling is " If you have the gift to Instruct then do it "!

I've conducted Instructing since obtaining my CPL & later my ALTP.
I still do that, even although I certainly don't " need the hours ".

There is a great satisfaction to be derived from imparting knowledge to students, and to either remain in contact with them or be recommended by them for your teaching as being well done.

Instructing purely as hour-building is a stepping-stone, but can then be cast aside when far more lucrative work-opportunities requires one's full attention.

What is nice to observe is when experience is later on again passed on to the younger generations.
Happy Instructing!
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 11:05
  #48 (permalink)  
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I agree with Glendalgoon
I would ignore the comment about ''don't instruct unless you want to be an instructor"
Theres a few heads of training out there with the attitude either 'Instructor for life or not at all' in my view they are taking an over simplistic view of instructing and in the process passing up the chance to employ some good instructors who also have other interests in aviation commercial ops ect. The skills they gain from other forms of flying are invaluable in instructing.
I think the best instructors I've met so far have gone onto other flying GA/airlines but also continued to instruct because they have a passion for aviation and enjoy helping others realise their own potential.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 13:13
  #49 (permalink)  
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Agree with you there justasmallfire, in any company I think it's best to recruit people from a variety of backgrounds and skill sets.

You need well rounded people, and while one person's passion for the teaching of flying might make him a great instructor of the basic skills of flying, another instructor's ambition to fly an airbus may well inspire the younger students to work hard themselves and keep them coming back for more lessons.

For a flying school to do very well, you certainly need a variety of skills in your team, including a good salesman to convert trial lessons into students (really my biggest weakness as a flying instructor), you need a very good pilot to be able to demonstrate and teach the basic lessons, and you need the motivational inspiring people to keep moral up.

A lot of people have two of the three, very few have all of them, hence the need to recruit a mixture of people who want to instruct for life, and those who want to move on, but still have useful skills to pass on.

Having said that, I cannot stand the people who purely see it as a stepping stone, only want the hours in their book, and don't really care about the end product for the student. I have no time for those instructors, and there are too many of them out there.

In my airline there is a healthy mix of people who got in straight from training with minimum hours, people who worked on the ground in the airline before, and people from an instructing background. If nothing else, it gives us all plenty to talk about on long flights, diversity is always good.
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Old 7th Feb 2014, 23:03
  #50 (permalink)  
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The jokers that TPandP recruitment are trying to find an MEP and IR Instructor for is suspected to be Flying Time at Shoreham..........I would love to know how many people have applied.
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Old 8th Feb 2014, 09:45
  #51 (permalink)  
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Pay at Integrated Schools

I am reliably informed that salaries at the UK Integrated Schools for suitably qualified IR/MEI Instructors starts for 50k these days and goes up to 60k with additional qualifications. The average pay at modular schools for the same work, however ranges from 20k to 30k.
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Old 8th Feb 2014, 10:16
  #52 (permalink)  
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Advice about Instructing

I am not a regular PPRuNer but a while back LAI (Lookout Attitude Instruments?) posted the following advice on this thread which I pass out the same advice, almost in exact essence of this most excellent post, to my FIC students:
1. Your instructors and friends are right; instructing is excellent for the person doing the instructing. It will improve your flying and aviation knowledge no end.

2. If you do not love the idea of teaching in its own right, DO NOT INSTRUCT. You will not enjoy it and your disinterest will show through to your students.

3. It is hard work. Think of all the briefs, debriefs, write-ups, ground lessons that usually you are not paid for (but are just as important to the progression of YOUR student). All of these require your best effort, despite not paying you anything. Think of that student who just can't quite get how to fly a level turn, but you've had a long week and can't be bothered to spend another five minutes reteaching it...Spend the five minutes!.

4. Recognise that you don't know much! Never ever bullshit a student if you don't know the answer to something. Admit you don't know and seek advice from someone who does. Then go back to your student with the correct answer (and you've both learnt something!). Same goes in the air; if you can't get something across to your student, ask someone else how they teach it. Don't waste your time and the student's flogging a dead horse.

5. Never forget what it was like when you were a student and how much you relied on your instructors (and probably believed 100% of what they told you, without reservation). It is a huge responsibility, so take it seriously.

6. Constantly assess yourself on every trip and every board brief. What could you have done better? Never allow your own personal standards of instruction or flying to slip. Go back to the books regularly to make sure you are teaching things correctly (don't let the bad habits slip in!).

So, to sum up, if you think this still sounds attractive, then go for it. The personal (not financial!) rewards are more than worth it. Seeing your student going off solo, the satisfaction when you finally manage to get them to understand landing without crashing , or seeing them coming back from their skills test with that big grin on their face is what it's all about. Do not do it if it is just a job and hours building to you
At a stage in life when most other people are pushing a golf cart around and enjoying the privileges of a bus pass I just can't get away from the enjoyment I get out of instructing, particularly teaching people to become Instructors. The other plus is on those grey days is when you are are on an Instrument training flight being up there in blinding sunlight when the golfers are out in the gloom and damp you are soaring above the pristine white cloud layer beneath you. These are things you just cannot give up. Keeping a class one medical means keeping fit for your annual Stress ECG, eating healthily and drinking moderately as one's years accumulate. It is worth all the effort and of course the lifestyle prolongs one's time on this planet too.
Money is important, but so is the satisfaction and enjoyment from the job as opposed to the "bus driver" role. Many airline pilots who started as instructors will tell you that the best time, if not pay, that they had was instructing!
Any job relates to how much you put in to it, to what you get out of it. Instructing/teaching of any kind can be the most rewarding occupation you can have in life!
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 11:58
  #53 (permalink)  
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I am a very experienced instructor/examiner and in recent times i have had several rookie instructors who are finding it difficult financially ask me why the pay and conditions are so bad, considering that they are now a professional pilot and teacher of aviation. I really do not have a definitive answer for them !!

There are many possible reasons, i have asked other instructors what they thought were the reasons for low pay -
Lack of union representation ?
That the job is of little importance in general ?
Bad management of schools ?
Hour builders?
Seasonal weather ?

Obviously financial reward is one of the main reasons for working, the mortgage and bills have to be paid, so serious consideration has to be given prior to moving into this trade and many people have come unstuck.

However if money is no problem for you instructing can be a very pleasant job.

Personally i think that in general that the job of flying instructor needs a new identity and with much better pay, condition and prospects. The skills, qualifications and responsibility of the job are not matched to the rewards.

Also as a previous post has mentioned - you will be a teacher and you need certain qualities to be a successful teacher. Many do not have these qualities !!!
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 17:00
  #54 (permalink)  
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Anyone with any long term involvement in flying should know all too well that to make profit from any General Aviation based activity while actually keeping all the paper work legal is difficult.

To increase instructors pay means one thing, pushing up the price of lessons even further, flying lessons have in the last 8 years increased by 40 to 60% in price. Any further increase in lesson price will only further reduce the student supply. Most schools now charge 140 - 160 just for a 152, PA28s are getting close to 200 an hour dual at some schools near London. None of these increases in the price of flight training has led to any increase in instructors pay. I don't really see how the GA industry could support better pay and conditions for instructors.

With fixed axis microlights becoming more capable and cheaper than most group A aircraft, then the future of light aircraft flying as a leisure pursuit is looking quite doubtful.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 17:57
  #55 (permalink)  
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Simple supply and demand, surely?

There is an over supply of willing low hours instructors, willing to accept whatever they can get just to get some hours in their book.

There is a shortage in supply of students, as prices have only gone up and up making having a PPL as a leisure activity harder to achieve.

Therefore instructors have to accept what they can get, and the schools have the power as there is a queue of people who would take any instructing job.

For things to change, there would have to either be a shortage of instructors, and I don't see that happening soon. Even an excess of students probably wouldn't turn it around, as the weather would still cut a lot of the work out.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 20:32
  #56 (permalink)  
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The margins are just too tight. There is nobody making serious money from running a flying school - at very best they have about 10% and most will be closer to 5%.

I would love to see instructors getting more than the girl who does accounts or the lad who is supervised by the chief engineer. In fact, it embarrasses me to see pilots trying to live on not much more than the minimum wage. But until the punter recognises that the business is expensive things will stay the same. We are actually guilty in adopting playground politics by trying yo under-cut the opposition. In some way it is a pity that there isn't dome form of flying school cartel. (Slightly tongue in cheek).

PS. I don't buy into any argument that the regulatory burden is the overwhelming factor. It is a combination of regulation, consumables, spares and other operating costs which make a 40 year old Cessna so expensive to operate.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 21:21
  #57 (permalink)  
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I'd vote primarily operating costs, but the rest's in there somewhere.

I instruct part time - as a CRI I suppose I'm lucky to instruct within a school, and get paid FI(R) rates which are - hour for hour spent on site, about a quarter of my day job as a senior professional engineer. Freelancing I manage to get away with charging about half what my day job pays.

Which I do because I enjoy it massively, but no way could I afford to do it full time. If I went up to full FI I might get back up to what I freelance at, working in a school.

So we have, for all reasonable purposes, no career for FIs, save for pure love of the job.

That is flying of-course. The range of pay for a professional engineer probably runs from about 25k to 60k: around 4:1 from least to best paid qualified professional. For a full-time pilot it probably runs from about 16k to about 160k - 10:1. Both probably run up around 100k in training debt.

The difference is that engineering employers are having to look hard to get the good graduates they need, whilst flying schools and airlines are beating the newly qualified bods away with sticks and the only real "sellers market" for pilot jobs is at the very top - training captain level, hence the high salaries there.

If the market could be modified in some way, so that there was real value to schools in having top-notch flying instructors (rather than just a suitably qualified and not too embarrassing body in a white short), then it might change. But I can't see that happening anytime soon.

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Old 16th Feb 2014, 00:54
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The only way the situation will change is if ab initio instructing is not the first job of a new commercial pilot. If you required say 500 hrs of flying time before you could take the instructor rating course the supply would instantly dry up and wages would dramatically increase.

Since there is zero likelihood of that happening then I foresee no change. In fact it is going to get worse as the training industry progresses to the MPL. Most of the MPL instructing has to be done by instructors with an airline background which means there will be no work for the traditional career instructor who will only have time in GA aircraft. Since most of the MPL is done in a sim the demand for instructors to teach in light aircraft will be drastically reduced.
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 18:15
  #59 (permalink)  
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There is an over supply of willing low hours instructors, willing to accept whatever they can get just to get some hours in their book.
I think its also getting more and more difficult for low hour instructors to get their first FI job. There are to many experienced instructors in the UK that has been instructing for the last 3-5 years and have not moved on to airlines or TP Operators. As the CFI ( soon to be HOT) we have not recruited a new FI fresh out of instructing school in the last 2 years. Its got nothing to do with the guys capability to become a good FI, its simply because we have a thin pile of CV's from unrestricted and experienced instructors.

To come back to the payment. A busy PPL instructor flies typically between 550 to 650 hours per year. At 30 / flying hour,a full time instructor can expect to take home between 16500 - 19500 per year. I now that one of our competitor schools/clubs pays their poor unrestricted FI's a pathetic 20/ hour with no retainer. Needless to say I basically have a CV from all of them.Places like that should be named and shamed.
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 18:31
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GgW, sounds like you are running a decent outfit there, 30 an hour is quite fair.

A lot of places only pay 20/hr flat rate, and I know some that pay 15/hr and 10/hr for trial lessons.

The other problem is that some schools take on far too many instructors, as they are self employed and have no retainer, so when the school is busy they can maximise the use of the aircraft, but when it's quiet or the weather is particularly bad, the instructors are stuck.

I've known guys fly between 400 and 500 hours, so even at your 30 an hour it's only 12,000 - 15,000, and at 20 an hour it's really not enough to live on.
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