Real Answers from Real Pilots

CFI location question

Transitioning careers and starting ATP at Long Beach in October. Trying to plan ahead, I am married and live local to the training location. We own a home. What are the chances I will be offered a CFI job locally? I ask since due to paying a mortgage and $735 fir Sallie Mae, I would not be able to afford housing elsewhere.

David,

The odds are literally impossible to determine before you’re actually at that point. If there’s a slot available and no one is in line before you who wants it you’ll get it. If not you won’t. It’s really that simple.

What most people do is as it gets close to the end of their training they start visiting other flight schools in the area for options while trying to get a better idea from the company what will and will not be available. Again this far out it’s impossible to predict.

Adam

Adam that is what I figured. It is a calculated risk, part of getting established into the career. Is it common for ATP CFIs to work at other local flights schools outside ATP?

David,

Not sure I’d say it’s common, but it definitely happens. While most would like to instruct for ATP, location can be an issue so they go elsewhere.

Adam

Well the good thing is I live “Driving” distance between 3 ATP locations (Long Beach, Riverside, and San Diego).

David,

Well then your odds just went up 3 fold!

Adam

David,

I do not have a crystal ball and certainly cannot make any promises, but being within driving distance of three locations will really help and I think give you a very good shot and landing a position at one of them.

I have known several ATP grads to work at other flight schools, usually because they wanted to return to an area of the country that did not have an ATP location.

Chris

Hey David, I trained out of Long Beach and graduated in February. There is an extremely long wait for a CFI position at KLGB right now but that could change as time goes on, and if you are open to those other locations (Riverside and the two locations in San Diego) then it is much more likely you will get a position without too long of a wait (especially with the industry continuing to recover) if ATP offers you an instructor position.

-TJ