You are losing money and time working as a CFI

  • Timing building as a CFI can delay your career by an average of 2 years
  • CFI hours are limited and wages are low
  • Flying old Cessna's isn't any fun
  • Seniority means everything, and you are behind already

How much do Cfi's make?

Avoid the CFI path after flight school

The sooner ATP pilots get with an airline the better!

How long will it take to build 1250 hours?

According to industry flight school records, it takes about 2 years to time build 1250 hours as a CFI.

Compare hourly rates

CFI jobs pay about $30/hour, but you are only paid for the hours you fly.  After 2 years your 1,250 hours would have paid you $37,500.  That's just $18,750 per year or effectively $9.37/hour if this is your full-time job.

Considering that an entry-level First Officer job pays about $73,000/year any time spent working as a CFI is costing you serious money.

The truth about CFI Jobs


CFI's are looking for students! The Market is Crowded

Not every pilot can become a fully employed instructor.

It takes 4-5 full-time students for an instructor to make a moderate income. 

The Hours are Limited

Oftentimes, CFI's must live wherever they can find enough work to earn their hours and survive financially.

You Don't Learn Much

While teaching new pilots to fly can be rewarding, it can also be rather boring.  And a lot of your students are nowhere near as serious about flying as you are.

You Don't Have Much Fun

Flying right seat in a vintage Cessna 172 from the 1970's isn't something to brag about.


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Dear Future Airline Pilot;

As a young adult embarking on your life’s journey, the decisions that you make in the next few years will affect how happy and financially successful you will be in the next forty or more years. What is your career choice? Where can you find a job that pays $300,000 or more a year plus benefits.

If you love flying as much as I have for the last 50 years you have an advantage that few of your peers have. A successful career is one that you love and that pays very well. That describes the situation that airline pilots find themselves in right now. With the exception of being a doctor no profession pays anywhere close to the $300,000 that airline pilot can expect by mid-career. And no profession has a benefit package even close to an airline pilot. 

The need for airline pilots is so great that United Airlines just bought a Phoenix  Arizona  flight school in order to help supply 25% to 33% of the 10,000 certified pilots that they will need in the next ten years. That is just United Airlines! All of the other reginal, national, and international airline companies have the same problem. They all need English speaking certified pilots bad in order to replace their 65 year old retiring pilots. Many regional airline companies have been forced to cancel routes because of lack of pilots to fly the routes even though the regional carriers are offering pilot starting salaries from $60,000 to over $90,000 per year. The other problem that reginal carriers have is that as soon as their pilots have four years of reginal jet Pilot In Command time the majors offer these pilots $150,000 per year with mid-career salaries of $300,000 and more.

Why is the need so great? Several years ago the FAA raised the requirement for a commercial pilot to have a total of 1,500 PIC hours before they can take the ATP test. 

So how can a young pilot who has a Private, Commercial, and Instrument Rating quickly get the required, 1,500 PIC hours? In the past there was little choice but to spend the money to get a CFI rating and then spend years as an instructor in order to build time. 

Today there is another way. ATP Time Builders LLC, in (Las Vegas) Nevada has a program that allows you to build 250 hours PIC time in less than two months  or  1250  hours  in  six  months. NO  CFI  REQUIRED

JOE GEIGER, Author, Pilot, Professor, Entrepreneur


Present Time Building Clouds can only drop (1) employed CFI per (4) new students. The math is wrong!


SENIORITY has great value

Additional Information

Avoid the CFI path after flight school. The sooner ATP Pilots get with an airline the better.

Seniority gives you several advantages.

  • Higher Pay Rate
  • Choice of Home Base
  • Choice of Aircraft
  • Better Trip Choices
  • Choice of Off Time

Learn More

The airline business is all about seniority. The longer you work the more important you become and the more benefits you will receive.

ERJ is a larger jet. It pays more per hour. Note the date difference between First Officer and Captain. At some bases it is 5 years while LGA is only two. LaGuardia is not popular due to high taxes, congestion and high cost of living.

Consider new options:

You're having a great time but, is your instructor?

Even if every CFI could be an employed instructor, which is bad math, will they be a good instructor? 

Does every pilot want to be an instructor?

Until ATP Time Builders there was no good alternative.

If you needed PIC time, how else could you get it within some reasonable time like 18-36 months?

Who is your CFI?

The student who graduated just before you.

You're having a great time but is your instructor? 

Sorry, but it's true. Some instructors are just along for the hours. You  probably had a "not so great" instructor. Let's face it, most flight schools need CFI's. There is no incentive for a flight school provide cost effective time building.  Your CFI will cost ~ $10,000 and you will loose money ever month you delay. We get it! Do you? Every month you are not flying with an airline is costing you thousands of dollars in lost wages. Keep in mind: you're aviation career starts at the age of 23 and ends at 65

Imagine this...On your retirement day the airline hands you a one year severance pay equal to $450,000. Nice! But here is the hitch. It won't happen unless you leaped past your fellow CFI pilots and go directly to the airlines this year, not next. Get it while it's hot is not just a saying. The airline business is a little fickle with being so dependent upon the economy and government regulations. It makes no sense to delay another day. We are seeing First Officer pay as high as $96,000 first year.

Try our No Delay training program.

Envoy Cadet - 36 month Journey

Roughly 75% of all pilots will retire over the next 15 years.

“That’s 15,000 pilots and we’re replacing a lot of those, so it’s important that we start the supply chain and make sure we have a  good supply chain coming out of the universities or professional flight programs to fill those vacancies,” said Wilson.

The American  Cadet Academy has more than 15,000 applications on file and more than 300 in the program. American says more than 30% of the cadets are women. Read Article