Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

5 Answers

CFI Training Options

Asked by: 2906 views Commercial Pilot, Flight Instructor

Hi all,

I am looking for some advice regarding where to earn my CFI certificate (I currently already have my commercial).  I have several options in my area including a flying club, and two flight schools (one Part 141 and a Part 61).  I ultimately would like to get a job CFIing at the 141 school (I think they would have more students, maybe?), but the flying club seems like a more affordable option, so here is my question:

Would earning my certificate at the 141 flight school enhance my chances of getting hired on with them or would I have just as much chance of getting a job if I get my certificate somewhere else?  I understand that a flight school would most likely hire their own over an outside applicant, but would it hurt my chances enough that I should stick with the 141 for the whole process?

Due to a lay-off in my future, I will be trying to make a living off of being a CFI (if possible), so I am definitely looking for the best options.

Thank you in advance for the help!


Ace Any FAA Written Test!
Actual FAA Questions / Free Lifetime Updates
The best explanations in the business
Fast, efficient study.
Pass Your Checkride With Confidence!
FAA Practical Test prep that reflects actual checkrides.
Any checkride: Airplane, Helicopter, Glider, etc.
Written and maintained by actual pilot examiners and master CFIs.
The World's Most Trusted eLogbook
Be Organized, Current, Professional, and Safe.
Highly customizable - for student pilots through pros.
Free Transition Service for users of other eLogs.
Our sincere thanks to pilots such as yourself who support AskACFI while helping themselves by using the awesome PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android aviation apps of our sponsors.

5 Answers

  1. Best Answer

    Kris Kortokrax on Apr 29, 2012

    Your decision should be based upon where to obtain the best training.  Find out the first time pass record for each school.  Talk to some clients who received their training at each school.  Sometimes the reality doesn’t match the advertising.

    +2 Votes Thumb up 2 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  2. Wes Beard on Apr 29, 2012

    The initial CFI practical test is by far the most difficult test to pass.  I thought it was more difficult than the ATP / type rating practical test.  The national average for first time applicants to pass is below 10% meaning that 9 out of every ten instructor candidates fail on the first attempt.  
    The best way to pass this test is to read and study all the material referenced in the instructor PTS book.  I was able to get all of my CFI candidates throug the oral the first time by making them create lessons for every single topic in the CFI PTS book.  If my students, taught me the subject on a very shallow lesson I would would provide resources to read and make them teach it to me again.  If it was acceptable, but missing some things I would provide those additional resources and move.  By the end of the training, I could not provide any more information as my candidates have completed read all the materila contained in the PTS book.  It was quite fascinating.  
    Most flight schools tend to hire those candidates that went through their program.  It is a kind of self promotion.  But every school will hire outside as they see the need to.   
    My advice to you is simple, before you start paying for a “senior” CFI to walk you through the course.  Read, read and read some more all the references in the CFI PTS book. 

    +1 Votes Thumb up 1 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  3. Ron on Apr 29, 2012

    Thank you Kris and Wes.  The reality is that I haven’t taken a flight in over 4 years so I am just getting back into the flying game with the goal of getting my CFI.  I will be taking the FOI written in a couple of days, then I will be hitting the FIA material right after that to get them out of the way.  Then I will read read read and take extensive notes.  
    I feel that paying an instructor at this point would just be a waste until I at least relearn all the things I’ve forgotten over the past 4 years, so I definitely agree with you.  I just like having a plan and a goal in mind and what to expect.  It keeps me motivated while flipping throught the endless supply of information.  9/10  failure rate is a little scary though.  Thanks for that Wes… 🙂

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  4. Bob Watson on May 08, 2012

    When I was in a similar position, I asked the flight schools around here if they would hire a CFI (me) who got the ticket at their school. Some said they would, others said they wouldn’t, for a variety of reasons (not becuse their training was bad, of course). Some already had more than enough instructors, some needed business (so they’d hire you if you brought in some students). It was all over the map.
    Studying: learn the subjects backwards and forwards. Practice teaching topics to someone who doesn’t want to learn to fly. If you can explain turns around a point to your mom (assuming she’s not a pilot), then you probably have a good understanding. For my practical, I had to explain the same topic three different ways to show I could adapt to different types of students.
    And, of course flying and talking.
    But, the skill I’m still working on is showing fear on only the right side of my face. 🙂

    +1 Votes Thumb up 1 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  5. CFI Academy on Sep 04, 2012

    Try your local flying clubs as well – once you have your CFI, you always have an option to join a local flying club and do your own marketing and get your own students. It might be slow at the beginning, but if you do the job right, word gets around, and pretty soon “they’ll” be coming in asking for you specifically. Of course, you set your own hourly rates as well – so better earning potential.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

The following terms have been auto-detected the question above and any answers or discussion provided. Click on a term to see its definition from the Dauntless Aviation JargonBuster Glossary.

Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.