Survival while gaining hours as a CFI

Anyone have experiences on living after training? So you’ve become a CFI, then the loan repayment for this program starts. How are individuals surviving? Someone with no debt and no other financial responsibilities, other than rent, food etc. That repayment is still significant. Does anyone have experience with this?

Michael,

Last year 1200 ATP students got hired by the airlines and virtually EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM had to take out loans and deal with repayment while instructing.You ask about someone without debt, how about the people with ALOT of debt? With partners, children, mortgages, car payments, college loans, etc etc etc. How do they do it? They save prior, they budget, they sacrifice, they defer their loan payments, they get conditional offers from ATPs Regional partners and receive Tuition Reimbursement. There are many ways people make this work. Browse this forum and the student experiences for more specifics but suffice to know you’re not unique and those with the will find a way.

Adam

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Thanks, Adam

Michael,

Welcome to the forum. I’m a current Lead Flight Instructor at the Trenton location.

First off, the sacrifice to make the change in career is the hardest part for some - regardless of coming in with fully funded or having to take a loan. I took a loan, not at a cheap rate either, but fully committed to the idea of ATP. I signed the loan agreement papers to make my dream into reality. That doesn’t mean I can’t refinance after a few payments in hopes for a lower rate. Some refinance after they land a job in the professional field. I meet my monthly loan payment plus some. Tuition Reimbursement is also a thing. Most of the regionals have some sort of cadet program or commitment bonus that you can receive in part of instructing at schools like ATP. For example, Piedmont & Skywest offer $17.50 per flight hour; whereas, Republic offers $5. Now the dollar amount doesn’t mean a difference to their operations, it’s just each companies offering to retain future pilots for their companies. Every regional has its operating procedure and culture. To find information on the partnerships visit this link: Airline Pilot Hiring Partnerships / ATP Flight School

We’re experiencing the goal of instructors flying an average of 60-80 hours a month currently. ATP structures their student to instructor ratio so that quality instruction is being given and they can still get the instructors to the airlines like they promise - The Fastest Path To The Airlines. Today on a Nationwide meeting that the projected hours to be flown in the next year is well over 6 digits.

On the side of living, I feel I am healthy. I’m able to afford healthy meals or prep food in a way that I can consume a healthy diet. I haven’t once went starved. I rent, it’s not cheap to rent some places. There are tons of housing opportunities in the world, I could go to Facebook and search “Roommate in city” to find an apartment or room to room ‘n board at. Lots of locations CFIs and students will get a house and share the costs.

I saved up a little money to help offset any deficit that I could encounter. I haven’t thankfully had to tap into any emergency fund that I set aside for those purposes.

Brady

Thanks, Brady

A post was split to a new topic: Multiple Checkride Failures

Michael,

I survived by flying as much as I could, getting committed to a tuition reimbursement program and making frugal financial decisions. We didn’t have the graduated loan repayment options when I went though. It was cover it yourself or get an airline too. So that’s what I did. You have to remember, it’s temporary. You make it work because you have the eye on the prize.

Hannah

Thank you, Hannah

Michael,

When I went through, I had a small savings, I added living expenses to my loan, I had roommates, I used credit cards, and then I earned Tuition Reimbursement.

Looking back, I could have benefited from the Flexible Loan Repayment Option. Tuition Reimbursement alone would have covered my interest.

It wasn’t easy or glamorous, but like Hannah said, it was temporary. So, it was worth every cup of noodles :wink:

Tory

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Every once in awhile a good old styrofoam cup of noodles still hits the spot.

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Thanks, Tory. You are correct, Chris!

Still keep these in the cupboard. A little pricier than the Styrofoam cup Ramen (about $1) but I’m a Capt so I can splurge! :wink:

Adam

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Adam,

I should have figured you for a Maruchan guy. There is only one proper form of ramen noodles:

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The only “chicken” flavor I need in my life is Chick-fil-A :cow: :heart_eyes:

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:joy::rofl::joy:

Since we’re talking about chicken flavor survival foods, let me throw this out there. You guys may direct me somewhere else, how about some recommendations of where to go for training. I’m lucky enough to be fully open and looking forward to a move. I have nothing holding me back. I currently live in VA, I keep seeing Florida is the best because of the weather. I’m fine with that, but am I gonna die in the heat and humidity? Maybe that’s a thought that crosses no one’s mind, but it does mine.

Michael,

I instructed for two months in FLL and yes, I felt like I was going to perish from the heat and humidity everyday. I know a lot of people love Florida, but the heat is not for me.

I would encourage yo not to get too hung up on this. I did all of my training in Virginia and actually think it has pretty decent weather for flight training. If you are considering going to ATP, I would say that any location would be just fine. ATP has been doing this for a long time and knows where to locate training centers, including factoring weather into the equation.

Chris

Yeah, the heat really isn’t for me either. Thank you for the response

You must have family money or are collecting some of that Tuition Reimbursement! :wink:

Adam

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To be honest, it isn’t option #1, so I’ll say option #2… Shoutout to Republic Airways :clap:

Brady