Real Answers from Real Pilots

How much does a Flight Instructor earn?

Flight instructing wages and salaries vary. Some independently owned flight schools pay up to $50/hr and offer full benefits. A lot of pilots gravitate to these opportunities because it makes for a frugal yet livable lifestyle.

Instructing at ATP is just as livable, but the amount an instructor can earn depends on how much an instructor flies. CFI’s can also supplement their income through ATP’s Tuition Reimbursement Program and other Airline Sponsorship Programs.

ATP’s rates for CFI’s is simple. Here’s the breakdown:
- $18 / Flight Hour
- $15 / Simulator (AATD) Hour
- $15 / Pre- and Post-Flight Briefing and Ground Hour

When applicants pass a practical test on the first attempt:
- $125 Bonus for Private, Instrument, and Commercial
- $75 Bonus for all other ratings

An illustration of potential earnings can be found on ATP’s website:

As a personal testimony, I survived off of $2000/mo when I was a CFI from 2015-2017. According to ATP’s new payscale, a CFI can earn upwards of $3000/mo (gross) if they fly 100 hours per month.