Ensuring an ATP Instructing Job Offer

Maybe this is paranoid but you guys are so helpful, so here goes. . .

Are there any potential hiccups to be aware of that might jeopardize getting an instructing job offer from ATP after training?

Obviously I’m sure one needs to consistently work/study hard and display the kinds of qualities that make a person a decent teacher. I’m also aware that busting multiple check rides can be an issue. But what else?

Are there people who do fine on check rides but still fail to get an instructing offer and, if so, what could that have done differently?

Lastly, does ATP do all necessary background checks before beginning as a student or do they wait to do it before beginning as an instructor?

Thanks again!

Treat your training as one long interview. Don’t fail checkrides. Be respectful of other students, CFI and management—in public and in private. Then be flexible on locations and understand that your location offer is driven by student loads and getting that location at that time may be detrimental to your own hours as well as that of more senior instructors.


I’m not sure exactly what you’re looking for here? ATP needs instructors and takes no pleasure in turning people away. As you stated, work hard, do well, don’t bust checkrides, have a good attitude and you’ll get a job offer. Don’t and you won’t. It’s really that simple.

Colleges and universities don’t do background checks and neither does ATP. Fortunately the FAA does when applying for a First Class medical but even they ask you to volunteer the information. In theory a person could lie, say they’re clean and get the medical. Work as an instructor, build their time and even get hired by Regional. The good news is we live in the information age and they’ve gotten much better (and faster) at catching bad eggs.

While it didn’t happen often, when I was an instructor at the Regionals every now and then the Dir of Training would walk into the class and ask to see a particular newhire. After that they were never seen again.

Not sure if you’re just being hypothetical or not but it’d be a big mistake to try and hide something. Training costs almost $100k and if a person is caught they’re done and they’re ALWAYS caught.


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ATP does not do background checks per se, but your criminal history is reviewed by the FAA prior to issuing your medical certificate.If you have anything at all on your record, it is best to disclose it then. Even if the FAA does issue a medical certificate with a prior criminal background, an airline still might not hire the pilot in question.

Aside from criminal background issues, the path to employment with ATP is pretty straight forward. Do well in the program, don’t fail more than two check rides and be willing to accept the location that is offered.


Thank you! That is basically what I wanted to hear. I appreciate the response!

I’ll be fine on the FBI background check - no criminal history or, save for speeding tickets, traffic violations. The sector I’m currently in (small Tech/IT firms) is super relaxed (I don’t think I’ve ever had a real background check) so again I may just be getting paranoid when I read about just how thorough airlines have to be. I’ve also read some stories online of ATP not offering an instructing job and/or terminating students - sounds like those are probably due to people being unconsciousness or otherwise behaving poorly during training.

I’ll make sure to get my ducks in a row with items like cleaning up social media and an honest account of things like employment history gaps that may come up. I understand that these are probably important things to get a head start on in anticipation of a future airline interview. It is good to know, however, that as far as ATP is concerned the background check is rolled into the medical.

And so the main thing to do if/when I start at ATP will be to focus on training, training, training and making a good impression at every turn.

Thanks again for the thorough responses!


Anytime, I am glad we could be of help :slight_smile: