Concerned about location as a CFI after ATP

Hello there,

I just graduated from school with an engineering degree and am really considering going to ATP to pursue this as a career as I’ve always been interested in aviation and becoming an airline pilot.

I live in northern San Diego (near Carlsbad, KCRQ) and am strongly considering training with ATP. After I get out of the program, I will probably instruct to build flight hours, but ATP doesn’t guarantee a specific location you’ll be teaching at, just that they’ll guarantee you a CFI job SOMEWHERE in the US at one of their locations.

This is somewhat worrisome for me since I don’t have any family outside of San Diego and I won’t have the financial means right after I get out of ATP to support myself wherever I’m called to teach. What can I do in this situation?

It’s these things that I really need to think about before I go into this wholeheartedly.


I apologize if I’m being harsh but these my friend are big boy decisions. Your are 100% correct that ATP will not guarantee your location. You can of course look for an instructor position near your home but chances are you will not fly as much nor make the same money you would working for ATP. Not to mention ATP instructors are eligible for Tuition Reimbursement after they reach 500hrs and sign a conditional letter of employment. You say you will not have the “financial means to support yourself”. While I don’t know your financial situation, I can tell you you’re not alone. Following ones dreams often requires sacrifice. ATP pays well and offers very low rate housing to it’s instructors. Factor in the Tuition Reimbursement and while you will definitely have to tighten your belt for a couple of years I think if you really sit down and do the math it’s doable (notice I didn’t say easy). My question for you is how much do you want this?


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I know how you feel. I started ATP after I graduated as well. I only had a
few thousand in savings.

Are you worried about how you’re going to support yourself during or after
training? Or both?


Thanks for the reply Tory. I am fine supporting myself during training because I can live at home still and focus solely on training. The part I’m mostly thinking about is the financial start up required if I were to teach somewhere other than San Diego and would have the additional cost of relocation included.

When you’re about to drop ~$70K on something, you need to know what other costs will be incurred before making a decision as big as this one.

Maybe it would help if I read the title :grimacing:

If you’re concerned about where you’re going to live after ATP, know that ATP has housing available for instructors. I don’t know what the rate will be, but when I was instructing from 2015-17 it was $300/mo. Rent was deducted from my paychecks.