“….The money that had been made since the dawn of aviation by all of this country’s airline companies was zero. Absolutely zero.”
— Warren Buffett, billionaire investor, interview 1999.
There might be a number of flight instructors who feel that way about the money they’ve invested to get the apprenticeship job that so many think it is. The truth is that good flight instruction is some of the most challenging flying there is and we may have the whole pay scale in aviation upside down.
The compensation of CFIs is abysmal in many cases. The worst case is the poverty level wage, with few, if any, benefits and then only when the engine is running – rainy days and Mondays are pretty depressing.
Skilled labor for most any profession begins somewhere about $50 per hour and up. Auto technicians, sailing , tennis, golf, ski instructors and plumbers often do much better. True, they’re not in aviation but….
A friend who runs a flight school and was about to lose one of his senior CFIs offered him $100/hour as well as some benny’s and shazam! – the CFI decided to stay and took a whole new interest in being a really good value to his students.
Another Buffett quote applies here “Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.” i.e you’d better be worth it.
As we grapple with how to deal with a high dropout rate for both students and CFIs, I wonder what the community thinks about this?