Part-time instructing at ATP?

Hello all,

Briefing Strip - 43 years old, 4-year degree, PPL with 127 hours, work in IT, live in Phoenix, single/no kids, no loan required, goal = regional and fingers-crossed majors, going to Mesa open house Saturday

Thanks to the mentors for answering all the questions. I did a quick check of previous posts and didn’t see an answer to… after completing the ATP training program, does ATP allow instructors to work part-time or must it be full-time?

I’m completely ok with working full-time as an instructor, however, I have an interesting job situation. I’m in IT and make amazing money (200K-ish) and incredible benefits. The company will let me take a six-month leave of absence. I’m really fortunate to have this job, BUT … computers aren’t planes.

So my crazy plan is go through the program, come back to regular job and part time instruct on weekends. I know that the local flight schools have PT positions, but not sure about ATP.

Time versus money

I realize it will take longer - probably 6 years instead of 2 years - to get 1500 hours, but I’m ok with the tradeoff since I will be collecting my day job check. I did a whole bunch of Excel-Fu and I’m in a “no mans land” territory for expected total income. Total airline pay, under the most optimistic projections, never catches up to my current pay.

I know this is probably an atypical situation… I’m ok going all in full-time instructing and hitting regionals fast, but I’d be leaving tons of money on the table.

Your situation is far from atypical (many prospective pilots have other careers, businesses, etc). The short answer is no. ATP requires their students to train full-time and therefore instructors must be available for them. In simple terms ATP students pay ALOT of money for continuity in their training and having an instructor only available part-time would not be fair to the them.


Thanks Adam, makes total sense.

That makes my decision pretty easy now !

You are not required to instruct at ATP after you finish the training. It will take you far longer to get to 1500 if you’re instructing part-time, but if that’s what you’re set on doing, there are quite a few smaller schools that operate on nothing but part-time CFIs. I also recommend that you do a reality check with a local flight school on the student load/hours per week you’d be able to fly. Even 6 years to build up to 1500 seems optimistic, but I may be looking at it too conservatively. In other words, computers aren’t planes and if that’s all you’ve ever wanted to do some extra footwork on your part to get additional details may make it clear whether the opportunity costs are worth it.

I would point out that you might have a hard time getting hired to be a part time instructor at any flight school. Students want instructors that are available when they are, not somebody who is also balancing a full time job. I got my private at a small local school, the CFI I was first assigned to worked very limited hours, three weeks into it I was so frustrated with his lack of availability that I transferred to another CFI that was far more available.

At some point you need to decide whether you want to be an IT person or a pilot, I think you will find it incredibly difficult to do both.


Thanks Chris… there’s a school nearby that caters to overseas students that was interested in PT, but I’m not sure my blood pressure would handle it!

“At some point you need to decide whether you want to be an IT person or a pilot, I think you will find it incredibly difficult to do both.” - Yup, I want my chicken and waffles at the same time. I’m a greedy SOB :slight_smile:

I’m sorry but why would that school raise your BP any higher than any other?


Accident/crash rate is through the roof on that particular school

Surprised they haven’t been shut down but I would argue it’s the instructors and the program to blame vs the “overseas students”.


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I am not tying to rain on your plans or discourage you from them, but I do think it will be difficult to do both. But hey, I have been wrong before.

All good Chris, I came here for honest opinions from the experts.

“Surprised they haven’t been shut down but I would argue it’s the instructors and the program to blame vs the “overseas students”.”

I absolutely agree… i was being intentionally vague on the school (if i mentioned name/airport people would know exactly the place) and the best thing I could think about was the overseas aspect.

And just plunked down the deposit… starting way out in January 28 because I haven’t dropped the bomb on my employer yet :slight_smile:

Time to start cranking on those written tests.

Thanks for the update, that should be plenty of time to finish every written.

Let us know how else we can help.