When I was a child my day dream was to join the air force and fly a plane. Well, my life didn’t go in that direction and now at 51 I’ve raised a family, traveled the world and have a career providing a good living. I now find myself single with grown kids, tons of experience and capable of doing anything I’d like to do for this second half. I’m seriously contemplating ATP flight school and going all the way since I still need to provide financially. I see this leading to a solid 10 year career, yes? I’m asking all comments about starting this at 51 and want to ask full transparency on potential income through the 1500 in flight hour time. What is the need for instructors and the potential revenue instructing until completion? Hit me.
I assume you, like the rest of the world, have heard about the global pilot shortage. This is not some clever marketing created by the flight schools, it’s real and prohected to continue for a while. The thing about aviation is its one giant food chain. The Majors take pilots from the Regionals and the Regionals hire flight instructors. So to answer your first question the demand for instructors is very strong (provided you do well in training).
As for pay it can vary but the average ATP instructor earns between $25-30k. If you go on the website there’s a breakdown of exactly how the pay works but that’s the quick and dirty.
Just out of curiosity, let’s say the regionals were absorbed by the majors they fly for (humor me here), who would flight instructors be hired by?
Would there be a dogfight for LCC positions and/or low time positions or would the legacies change their hiring requirements?
I suspect it would be some of both. Fun fact, most of the Majors have payrates for RJs (just in case). In all likelihood I imagine the Majors would have to hire directly on to the RJs unless they absorbed the Regional but continued to run them as a separate operation.
Yes, I think you could easily have a ten year career as a pilot, assuming you start training as soon as possible. Do keep in mind though that there is a significant cost involved in flight training. I have no idea what your financial situation is, but you need to make sure that it works for you.
Info on CFI pay is in the FAQ section which pulls info straight from ATP’s website. In addition to that, ATP also provides info on which airlines offer tuition reimbursement and/or signing bonuses. Both are good programs that I highly encourage anyone to take advantage of to supplement income.