CFI Job Locations/Availability/Concerns

Good Afternoon,

I’ll start off with my current situation; I will be retiring from the Air Force this fall/winter time with what I’m just going to consider zero time as I only have 5 hours before I was sent off to Korea. I already have my four-year degree and I will have to apply for a loan (which I think I have figured out given information in another post–Wells Fargo seems like a good option). I have the GI Bill but have been made aware that it can only be used for like a few things, I was driving so unfortunately I didn’t get to write down what exactly it covers.

So what I am trying to gather is how much do CFI typically make, and this isn’t to get in someone’s koolaid and know their financials, this is purely to budget so I can ensure that this plan will work when I transition out of the military. Given the figures on a financial page on the website, I see hourly rates, but idk how much that means on a weekly/monthly basis. If 40/hr work weeks are it, then that is an easy figure to come up with, and I’m sure that number will fluctuate given what exactly is going on at that time so I just need a general figure.

So now for the topic on hand, for this to work I have to get on at ATP Jacksonville. For my PPL/IFR/MEI portion, will I have to do any waiting? or will I be able to get on right away and start flying? Now, for the real concern that comes to mind is the ability to get a CFI job at that location, because it is my understanding that I possibly will have to wait for a job to open up. It would be difficult to move my family elsewhere with the pay, and I have a support system in Jacksonville to help with the 24 months (7 mo flying for myself; 15 mo CFI–if I have that right?). The furthest I think I could go is that new facility that opened up in FL.

Hopefully I didn’t ramble on too much haha, I just really want this to work out now that I have the opportunity and things somewhat line up for me.



My drive to the airport has taken me 16min, and taken 3hrs. You may have no wait to get a JAX slot (IF you’re offered a position which is not guaranteed) or it could take many months. No one can predict what will happen when you’re ready but I can tell you ATP will not overstaff a location. That means if they don’t need an instructor there when you’re not ready, you will have to wait and it will depend on many variables beyond your control or predictions. If there was just a big turnover and all the instructors are new it could take a while. There may be others waiting ahead of you. They’re could be none. Bottomline is you’ll need to either be lucky, be flexible or have a Plan B to work for another school.

As for pay again that can vary but the average is mid- high $20ks.


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As Adam said, if your preferred location is available you will get it. If not, you will be placed where ATP needs you most. If that happens, you can request a transfer to your preferred location. Again, it’s all based on availability.


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Hi Tyler,

ATP instructors get their 1500 hours and move on to the airlines, so the program has built in turn over for new instructors to come in. Depending on student load and instructor staffing there may or may not be an open spot when you finish. If not there is usually a wait-list for the location.

The length of wait and the number of people on the list are constantly shifting. I don’t know what the current need is in Jacksonville but I do know that it will be different when you finish the program.

One quick example I saw was that three instructors went to indoc on the same day with me, one of the three was on the wait-list for 6 months, the other 2 were on it for 6 days. So it can be luck of the draw sometimes, much like the nature of the aviation industry.

Hope this helps,


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I can see the availabilities and options though within a few months of finishing? that way I could plan in the event there isn’t a spot open up? or do you literally only find out at in-doc?

There is no official openings page available to students that I know of. However, at least at your own training center you will have a pretty good idea how many hours the instructors there have and how many hours they are getting per month. You only go to indoc if you accept an offer at a location, if there is no position available at the location you want you won’t be going to indoc until there is. So you aren’t going to indoc and they say “Surprise! You are moving to North Dakota!”

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When I went through it, you were offered a CFI position and given the available locations to chose from. You could accept one and go to Indoc right away or basically defer and be put on a waiting list for the location you want. Once you get access to the ATP Instructor Portal, you’ll be able to monitor the list of open locations and average hours at each location if you’re looking to transfer.

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