Career Pilot Program/Flight Instructor (post-graduation)


My name is Elliott Rice. I will have my PPL in January 2024, and I will be enrolling in the ATP Career Pilot program (+100 Multi) in December 2024!

I have the following questions:
1.) After graduating how long does it usually take to get a job as a flight instructor? And does the school offer flexibility if you would like to delay the instructor offer 2 months post-graduation?

2.) What are the hours during school (ie 9am-5pm)? And what hours do flight instructors usually work at ATP post-graduation?

3.) While pursuing the +100ME program, I am aiming to be one of the multi-engine instructors. If the school site I attend doesn’t have a lot of ME planes, should I attend a site that does have a lot of them? Or will I be able (post-graduation) to work at a different location without actually attending that school site? Do the students have first-dibs on the jobs at the site they graduate from?

3.) If I start the career pilot program with a PPL, will I be ineligible for any program-exclusive offers (ie those offered to people who come into the program without a PPL)?


Welcome to the forum, the 100 HR ME is a good program if you can get in it like you’re seeking. One question I have for you before answering below… Why are you looking to get your PPL outside of ATP? We are currently 4ish months away from January (2024), have you started training elsewhere and expecting to complete by or in January? If you’ve started taking lessons and find this to be something you want to do, have you considered entering ATP’s program from “Zero Time?”

  1. I believe many students completing the program are getting very quick responses on job offers and starting indoc pretty quick. Is there a reason you would want to delay or defer a job opportunity for 2 months? That could be 2 months you delay your time building and seniority at an airline. Granted 2 months versus years at an airline seem benign to the career, it could make the difference especially as recently many regional airlines have halted FO hiring. You could be the lucky one securing a class while others sadly have to wait.

  2. ATP expects you to be available every day of the week, primarily looking to utilize M-F for training, but factors that are not in your control may need you to be available for a training event during the weekend. Below is a link from ATP’s website on “Flight Training Typical Day” schedule:

  1. Unless I’ve heard by rumor, ME is being conducted at specific locations? When you are discussing enrollment and admissions with the Admissions Department, they will be able to tell you the proper answer. Looking at the ATP Flight School location map on the website, I selected “Multi-Engine Location” and see around 20 locations where ME is conducted. As for the job, completing the program in good standing and being offered a job, you may have to wait for your seniority as instructor to get the opportunity - times may change and you may have the opportunity to start as MEI, I could speak wrongfully as time goes on.

  2. Whether you start ATP’s program at Zero Time or Credit Private, you will be eligible for the partnership opportunities and offers that ATP given that you complete in good standing and do well as an instructor, you will have no issues.


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  1. When you complete your training you’ll be given a list of available locations. If they’re available that means there’s a need there and in most cases they’ll need you asap. While you might be able to delay, as Brady said, you’re kind of defeating part of the goal of accelerated training. Further you might lose out on a location you want.

  2. Like ATP students, instructors are required to be available extended hours so no it will not be 9-5. While most days you will have a “regular” schedule, we’re doing flight training. That means there are night requirements and times you’ll need to come in early or work late due to weather, aircraft availability, etc. Long short you can plan on not having a very normal life while instructing. As for the ME stuff, the 100hr ME is only offered at certain locations and if you want to be an ME instructor, you’d be better served teaching at one of those locations.

  3. Not really sure why you think you wouldn’t?


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Hello Brady,

First and foremost I’d like to thank you for taking the time to provide an insightful response! I really appreciate it :slight_smile:

I found a flight school in California that offers a 3-4 week accelerated PPL program with a fixed cost ($15,000). It would end up saving me $6,000 if I completed it prior to enrollment in the ATP CPP.

As far as why I’d delay: I am considering returning to my current employer for two months if not immediately hired as a flight instructor. I’m unsure how long it takes to get hired as an instructor after graduation, so if it actually took longer than a month this was my way of padding my pockets for those two months until the opportunity presented itself.

Thank you Adam!

You make a great point, it’s important to stay on the fast track. I’m going to do some more research.

Also question for both you and Brady:
If selecting the +100ME program won’t heighten my chances of being a MEI, how would the +100ME program benefit my ascent into aviation?
Would it make my resume more competitive for the regionals, or could it help me skip the regionals and go straight to a major such as Spirit/Frontier?


The 100hr ME program will definitely increase your chances of being an ME instructor. But again the thing to keep in mind is you’ll need to instruct at a location that does ME training which they all don’t.

The real question is why do you want to be an ME instructor? People choose the 100ME program for 2 reasons. They either want the extra experience flying a complex airplane or they really don’t want to flight instruct (or at least not for long) and the extra ME time will help them get a gig flying corporate or part 91/135 (other than airline flying). It will not allow you to bypass the Regionals.

What will is doing really well in training and being a model ATP student and instructor vs someone who’s just checking boxes.


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The only reason we would recommend doing a PPL outside of ATP is to “dip your toes” for those not quite sure the airline life is for them. If you’re all in, best to start the program zero time and get used to the pace of the program as well as build good habits from the beginning.

Most people see the cost and think just that, “well I could save some money!” Not exactly, most schools budget off of the minimum 40 hours the FAR requires… most people don’t get it done that quickly. Plus if you come in credit private, you’ll also need 78 hours of flight time including the 8 XC PIC. Those extra hours need to be factored in to your PPL budget.

Also, after program completion you could be offered a job as a CFI. If you accept, you’ll be given a list of available locations to choose from. Then you go right to indoc and right in to instructing. No gap at all, unless you defer a position waiting for a different location (not advised since you can always transfer).


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