Hey everyone, I recently got fully approved for financing and should begin training fairly soon but had a random thought pop in my head about what happens after graduation. I know I have to obtain my hours as a CFI to eventually make it to regional then commercial but I’m wondering what was the process like after graduation. Did you apply to be a CFI with ATP with only 2 availabilities and 140 candidates, is there anyway to stick out when applying, did you have to relocate for a position, and how’s your experience as an instructor for ATP been.
Do well and you’ll be offered an instructor position. At times there’s a wait to start but I’m most cases it’s not more than a few weeks, provided you’re flexible. Some are fortunate and get their first choice, others are not. Being flexible creates options and I highly recommend it.
A few years ago I was in EWR with just a few weeks left before starting training at my Major. I ran into a pilot who I had met at ATP literally 8yrs prior. He was deadset to instruct at a particular location that already had a waiting list. I said hi and he explained he waited 6mos, got frustrated and told ATP to whistle. He got another job at a small mom and pop airline which wasn’t really busy. Quit there, then bounced to another, then another. Long short it was 8yrs later, I was a Capt and Instructor at my Regional preparing to leave for a Major and he was an FO flying turboprops for a lower tier carrier. Decisions have consequences.
As for my experience instructing it was excellent. Lots of support from ATP and I built my time quickly. That was a few years ago and I’m sure some more recent instructors (like Brady) can give you new updated info.
There are a lot more opportunities than you think. As long as you do well in the program, there should be a position available to you somewhere. Now it might not be your first choice location, but you can always transfer back to where you want to be.
Instructing at ATP was all I could have hoped for. It was tough and they expect nothing but your best for your students every day. I knew I had safe and reliable airplanes. I had a huge support staff and straight forward lesson plans to follow. I had motivated students and flew a lot of hours. Ultimately it got me to my 1500 hours in 12 months and prepared me for the rigors of the airlines.
When I finished the program, I applied for the first position available and took it. It was not where I wanted to be, but it was apposition with the company and I gladly took it. A few months later, I was able to transfer back to the location I wanted and did the rest of my time instructing there.
The best way to stick out when applying is to do a great job in the program and treat every day like an interview. You never know who you are talking to, it could be another student, it could be the President of the company.
Anytime. Let us know how else we can help you.
I’m late to the party, been extremely busy in the training center this week and finally getting a chance to embark on some questions I’ve missed. During your time in the program there are times where you may stumble across training centers that is not your primary base; Aviation is a small community, so you don’t want to burn any bridges. I think just being polite, helpful and motivated is a great way that you can stay successful as a student and recommended for an instructor role.
For me as I approach the airlines very soon, I have loved every minute of my time as an ATP instructor and student! While as a student I got the opportunity to network and tour so many private airplanes such as Boeing 737s, Phenoms, Learjet, Challengers, etc., everyone loves showing off their ride. During my time as an instructor, I’ve been able to meet previous alumni that are now in the Part 91 and 135 operations, while getting business cards to contact them when I hit X number of hours because they know that as an ATP alumni the quality of training you receive is top-notch. Throughout my last 12 months at ATP, I’ve been able to accrue enough hours that I have successfully met a start date at a regional, while training in the most up-to-date aircraft and well maintained throughout the nation.
Hannah maybe I’ve missed it in the bio or other posts. After graduating from Charlotte, did you instruct there as well? If not, which location?
Yep, I was fortunate that there was a few instructors headed off to the regionals when I was graduating the program. That opened up a few spots so I went to Indoc and got right back to the Charlotte location as a CFI.
Unrelated to training/CFI, as a place to live how do you think Charlotte compares to Raleigh?
@StevenJay I’m far from impartial… I love Charlotte. It’s a great place to live. Great place to do flight training. Raleigh is growing and getting more popular though!