Certified Flight Instructor | CFI

What is a Certified Flight Instructor?

A certified flight instructor (CFI) is an individual who teaches student aviators how to operate an aircraft. As a CFI, you will be able to train other students and provide flight reviews, proficiency checks, or insurance checks. This certificate enables you to become part of a larger network of aviators and will help you expand your knowledge, flight and abilities as an aviation professional while being paid for your services.

New commercial pilots pick this career to complete the flight hours they need to be full-fledged commercial airline flight pilots. This is a good career move, as you gain experience while you are getting paid at the same time.

Flight instructors are the source from which future flight pilots learn everything they need to know about different aspects of flight such as taking care of an airplane and how instrumentation works among other things. They do this by teaching others through a formal training process and those who lead them do so while gaining themselves valuable flight experience – which they can then use beyond just the classroom or their regular day-to-day flight.

What is a Flight Instructor Certificate?

A flight instructor certificate is needed to teach people how to fly an airplane and perfect flight. To get one, you need to pass a required knowledge test and have a pilot’s license. The certificate lasts three years and can be renewed if you are still a qualified instructor.

When you have a flight instructor certificate, you can get paid to teach people how to perfect flight. It’s a rewarding career, but it’s not easy! You have to work long hours and it’s not uncommon to be tired at the end of the day. It might be best for someone who is a hard worker who doesn’t mind staying up late!

Eligibility Criteria to become a Certified Flight Instructor

You must be at least 18 years of age, able to read and write in English. You will either need an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and an instrument rating or a commercial pilot certificate with 250hrs flight time experience. You should have completed a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor on the fundamentals of instructing. For this, you would need to hold at least a 3rd Class Medical Certificate (or higher) from FAA.

  • At least 18 years old by the time of your “FAA Checkride”
  • Be able to read, speak, write and understand english
  • Hold at least a Commercial Pilot Certificate
  • Hold an Instrument Rating
  • Must have logged at least 15 hours total flight time as a pilot in command in the aircraft to be taught in
  • Have received “Spin Awareness” training from an authorized instructor
  • Exams Required for Certification
    • 2 Knowledge Tests
      • Multiple choice exam administered by FAA authorized facility
    • FAA Checkride
      • Oral Exam
      • Flight/Practical Exam

Why Should I Become a Certified Flight Instructor with best standards?

Becoming a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) may be one of the easiest flight you ever have to take. Many pilots have chosen this path because they like teaching and being around aviation, so it’s only natural that some of them might choose to work as a CFI in order to gain experience teaching and build flight time. To many people, gaining a certain amount of hours flying is vital when looking for jobs in aviation and want your flight. Commercial airline pilot jobs, for example, usually require about 1 year or so. You must be able to prove you are safe enough to be flying an aircraft on your own and manage a perfect flight, at least if many airlines follow their typical regulations!

Flight instructors are an essential part of the aviation community. They guide students through every step of getting their wings and help them understand from a very early age why the flight is what it is – safe, responsible during flight, and rewarding. When you choose to become an instructor, you’re able to promote your love for the skies and what life has in store underneath it by sharing your knowledge and experience with up-and-coming pilots. So when you’re looking for a career that can help you connect with others who share the same passion for flying in flight or just teach those who wish to learn how to take off flight, be sure to check out flight instructor schools as a potential option

How many hours does it take to become a CFI?

You don’t have to have landed on the Moon as an astronaut for NASA in order to become a flight instructor. But you do need to obtain a commercial pilot license with 250 flight hours before becoming a flight instructor. Let’s talk about that for a moment.

To obtain your commercial pilot license, you have to meet several associated sub-requirements such as the written test and flight test categories which consist of 19 rated performance areas each. A pilot who plans to become a flight instructor is essentially preparing for the role from the moment they start flight training, meeting many rating requirements along the way.

What Are the Different Types of Flight Instructor Certifications?

If you’re currently a pilot, you have the option to expand your options for different careers under the umbrella of being a flight instructor. With each new certification, you’ll unlock new options to pursue in this field too as well as opportunities to open doors of ground school that aren’t available at the lower certifications.

There are three types of flight instructor certificates: certified flight instructor (CFI), certified flight instructor – instrument (CFII), and multi-engine instructor (MEI).

    • Certified Flight Instructor (CFI): A flight instructor who teaches how to fly a single-engine aircraft
    • Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument (CFII): A flight instructor who teaches instrument flying
    • Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI): A flight instructor who teaches how to fly a multi-engine aircraft

How much does a Certified Flight Instructor make?

Salary for flight instructors can vary from $20 to $40 per hour depending on the state in which you work and the company for which you work as certificated flight instructor. The wage is dependent on your qualifications and experience as there are not much certificated flight instructors in market which are approved. Hourly pay can be broken down into legal categories, such as a per-hour salary or an hourly wage for one’s type of instruction, for example, instructional time in the air or on the ground, or in a simulator (AATD). We do this to ensure that every instructor is fairly compensated.

According to online providers, certified flight instructor pay ranges from $28,000 to upwards of $65,000 a year. With such a wide spectrum in which you could potentially operate within your local market, it is important to obtain qualifications that are sought after in this line of work as well as maintain a good pool of new and current customers that you can offer instruction for.

Is it worth becoming a flight instructor?

When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

Leonardo DaVinci

There are many different ways to use your skills as a pilot— some pilots leverage the job’s flexibility in order to further their own personal interests by becoming instructors, while others choose to follow a more practical path and become professionals and help other to clear pilot practical test. The most common idea of a career in flying is that of an Airline Pilot however many pilots, following their dreams and choosing instead to be flight instructors decide to also obtain their instructor certificate.

We have listed 10 reasons why becoming a flight instructor is worth it.

It can be a stepping stone to becoming a commercial airline pilot.

The most common reason people become flight instructors is to gain experience in flight and if you want to gain experience you must have some academy where you can practical test of your x-plane flight training. Working in this capacity can help pilots acquire a large number of flight hours needed to become commercial airline pilots and they always want search certified flight. Commercial airlines require a lot of flight experience before they will even consider interviewing a pilot candidate and many post-secondary students use their free time to build up their resumes while they are going to college.

You can start your own flight school (once you get certified!).

As a flight instructor, there are several options for progress outside of working for an educational institution or opening up one’s own business. For those who enjoy independence and freedom in their careers and want perfect flight, this is an enticing choice of pursuit and it is almost your flight instructor instrument and you can also enhance your instrument pilot rating with this course. Please be advised that, like other flight instructors, you may have access to opportunities and resources that others might not be able to tap into because no one will know your profession better than you. With hope and a bit of skill, one’s business could blossom into something very successful.

You’ll experience how rewarding teaching is.

When you’re asked what they love most about their job, the first answer that flight instructors give is the thrill of passing on their knowledge and skills to students who will in turn be able to take their passion for flying to even greater heights. Any experienced teacher or instructor knows what it feels like when they see a student learn something they’ve been trying to teach them. And this is no different for instructors with flight students. Knowing that what you know has helped others achieve something gives flight instructors an indescribable sense of satisfaction and fulfillment because ultimately, your goal as a licensed instructor is to see your students soar!

Working as a flight instructor will make your heart race!

As a flight instructor, you are responsible for educating and training people on how to safely operate an aircraft. This is not meant to be an easy task. A lot goes into learning how to fly, from the basics of taking off and landing flight to learning about weather patterns and instrumentation as well as airspace rules and regulations. As a flight instructor you will find your days busy, but also fun and social – all while gaining experience similar to that of being a pilot working towards your ratings.

Flight Instructor jobs are in demand.

Flight instructors are currently in great demand and are expected to stay that way for many years. This is due to legislation being introduced by the US government about pilots needing to renew their licenses more often and also because airlines have been growing rapidly as a result of business aviation. One of these changes is expected to be a shortage of pilots which means that flight instructors are constantly being hired by airlines faster than they can be replaced.

Flight Instructors are highly respected just like atp flight school.

Telling others you’re a flight instructor will bring on an engaging conversation and people will want to know more about the career and make career like atp flight school professionals. Some may treat you differently, but it’s good to be in a position where you are looked up to. The key question here: why become a flight instructor? To answer that, consider the excitement and respect that being one entails!

Flight Instructors meet a lot of people.

As a flight instructor, it’s important to remember that you’re not just teaching someone how to fly. You are inspiring them to go out into the world in a way that most people never experience a flight before. You will meet both local and international students and based on your tutelage they will become pilots themselves or they may start off another business venture associated with aviation.

Flight Instructors get a competitive salary. What you can do as flight instructor refresher?

Over the past few years, stability and compensation for full-time flight instructors have been fairly limited as flight instructor refresher. As with all businesses in today’s economy, the field of aviation was facing a lot of competition from new technologies and companies. However, we’ve seen a shift this year. With the current shortage of certified flight instructors that are able to handle the increased number of requests for lessons and training across the country, pay for this position is rapidly rising and if you want to survive in the industry you must enhance your skills and complete your firc flight instructor course. All you need to do is work properly as an instructor with adequate compensation and benefits of flight, and you will be quite successful in this position.

Flight instructors are getting paid to fly with commercial pilot license.

The most important and rewarding reason to become a flight instructor is you get the opportunity to have an occupation doing what you love – which in this case is flying! Many people wouldn’t even pursue a pilot’s license if they didn’t love flying, so the fact that you can actually make a living by doing something that brings you so much joy is something not many people are lucky enough to have.

Earn your Certified Flight Instructor Certificate at Santa Monica Flyers!

 “Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.”


Santa Monica Flyers offers training to help you become a certified flight instructor. Become the person who gives the flight classes and teaches the students. You’ll have a great time at the airport, meet some amazing people and learn to build a new career – flying! With the CFI certificate, you will be more marketable and more open to these new career opportunities. We can help you become a CFI in just 7 weeks! Contact us and let’s take you to the next level of your aviation learning!


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