I’m wondering if anyone on these boards has attended ATP at the St. Louis location, and can give their thoughts on the size, and potential to instruct?
Long story short, I currently live a couple hours away with my wife and 2 kids, and my wife has family in St. Louis. In addition, I want to “settle” somewhere where I hopefully won’t have to relocate multiple times, and switch schools on my son again. I understand instructor spots aren’t guaranteed by location, but I’m assuming (maybe incorrectly) that a larger location will have more opportunities come up.
I am not sure if anybody here has gone to the Saint Louis location, hopefully somebody that has will chime in. It looks to be a smaller location with four instructors, which really has little bearing on future ability to land an instructing position there or not.
The bigger issue I see is that STL is only a base for one airline, GoJet Airlines. In today’s hiring environment it probably would not be too difficult to get a job with them, but what next? There are no majors based in STL, so that is setting you up to be a life long commuter, which I strongly recommend against.
If your goal is to only move one more time, I would focus on areas that are major population centers and thus have several airlines based at them. Places like LAX, SFO, DEN, IAH, DFW, JFK, EWR, IAD and of course ORD come to mind.
Take a look at this map that shows all of the pilot bases in the US: Airline Domiciles Map / ATP Flight School
This may be counter intuitive but while larger locations will have more instructors, they also have more students, all is whom want a slot. There is literally no way for you to predict staffing needs months or years from now. Choose a location you like based on convenience, family, or you simply always wanted to live in XYZ. The quality of instruction and resources available are the same throughout ATPs network of locations so that shouldn’t be a concern.
If you’re looking to move once and be settled your best bet is like Chris said, major cities with multiple airlines with bases. To help you nail down which city, I’ll post the ATP locations map below. Some cities have multiple locations increasing your chances of getting an instructor position near home.
For example, ATL. There are 4 ATP locations, and three airlines there: Endeavor, Delta and Southwest.