I would like to know if people make a career out of being a CFI? As I mentioned previously, I don’t plan to have a career in a regional or major. I am also contemplating a career as an A and P mechanic. Any thoughts and advice are much appreciated. Thanks
Short answer is yes, you can be a career CFI if you’re content with the pay. Some people take instructing to the next level and become designated pilot examiners (DPE) where the pay is fairly well. I know a lot of mechanics and just like flying you’ll most likely get paid more at the airline level rather than being a piston general aviation mechanic.
There are plenty of people who make a career out of being a CFI. Many of these career types will also become a DPE as well. The more experience you have as a CFI, the more money you can demand from clients. I know of CFIs who charge $150 per hour and mostly cater to doctors and lawyers wanting instruction in their Bonanza or twin they just bought but know nothing about.
DPEs charge between $600 to $800 per checkride and can legally complete two checkrides per day. You do the math…there is plenty of money to be made as a career CFI/DPE.
Most people do not make a career out of being a CFI, the money is just not there. One way to increase pay while staying out of the airlines would be to become a Designated Pilot Examiner, which is somebody that administers FAA checkrides. They can make several hundred dollars per day, but it is also a job that entails a large amount odf responsibility.
Being a mechanic is a whole different career path, I am afraid that I cannot offer much insight into that.