CFI Pay

September 23, 2009 by Bruce Landsberg

instructing2“….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?

Bruce Landsberg
President, AOPA Foundation

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24 Responses to “CFI Pay”

  1. Dennis Moyes Says:

    While I agree that CFI pay is abysmal, if my CFI had charged the equivalent of $100/hour (or even $60) back when I was learning, the cost of my flight training would have been prohibitive and I would have made the choice to NOT fly. Consequently I wouldn’t have spent the money I did spend learning to fly plus all the money I have spent on aviation during the 15 years since including buying an aircraft and all the associated expenses involved.
    CFI’s do need to earn better than a living wage, but aviation can’t afford to price beginners out of the market. As it stands now, learning to fly is more and more a middle-aged, reasonably well-to-do guy ac/tivity, How do we get youngsters involved if training is out of financial reach?

  2. Bruce Landsberg Says:

    So what would be fair compensation for a good CFI?

    Suppose ground lessons and prep were largely self-taught by computer-based learning and the CFI was used primarily for training in the aircraft? Is that even a viable concept?

  3. Steve C. Says:

    Any of us who have been flying awhile know that there’s a wide range of skills/quality among instructors. Once you come to terms with this, it’s not a big stretch to realize that perhaps the pay curve should cover a range as well.

    Long ago, I remember spending some tailwheel time with the owner of a local school, who has Been Around (my scheduled instructor had a family emergency that day). After an hour in the pattern with him, I found myself pretty much exhausted from the workout he gave me. Yet, I later realized that I got more out of him him in that hour than I did in the 5 hours that I flew with the more junior instructor (who was outstanding in his own right), and to this day, I remember nuances out of that single hour even though it was 6 years and several hundred hours ago.

    Later, I did my commercial rating in an HP retractable (because I wanted the HP time), which pretty much required the 2 most senior instructors on staff to fly with me for insurance reasons. It was work to keep up with these 2 guys, yet, it was some of the best flying I ever did, and I came away from the checkride with a level of precision that really surprised me.

    The moral? Some of these high time guys really are worth a premium. Today, I seek them out when I want some specialized recurrent training, yet, they don’t get any differential that I know of; the price on the wall is the same.

    Most entry-level students do fine with less experienced instructors for the majority of their training, and this is as it should be (in my opinion, the senior ones have the potential to scare some of them off!), yet, for stage checks and advanced instruction (which is usually limited hours), a pay differential has merit.

    Bruce, you ask if ground school should be more automated? I can see some value in that, but I don’t think 100% automation is ever practical. Some of the best ground instruction happens in the 20 minutes post-flight. The instructor ought to get a ground rate for it, too.

  4. Josh Martin Says:

    When I was actively instructing I charged $30/hr for instruction (ground and flying). I felt this was adequate. Problem is most CFI’s, and I would do it too, charge the flying off the Hobbs time, when you typically spend a half hour before the flight and a half hour after. And then only charge ground when it’s a designated ground lesson. So you might have a two hour time frame blocked off for the student, you only fly for 1 hour (so you only charge the $30 x 1 hr) and then it equals $15 an hour which is abysmal.

  5. Gil Aguilar Says:

    I always charge students for all my time. If I block out a two block for them and fly only one hour in that block, they get charged two hours. However, I am always with the student during that time. I always spend that time imparting knowledge, observing and evaluating performance, and providing feedback.

    I am also not afraid to cut students loose or refer them to another instructor if we hit a roadblock. I also invested in learning about customer service and how that applies to student pilots. There are very specific areas that you must focus on or you risk poor student retention and as a result, poor pay.

    Too many instructors try to be everything to anyone who shows up. Know what you are really good at and only do that. Seems simple but rarely executed well. If you’re a great primary instructor, focus on primary. If you’re a great IFR instructor, focus on IFR. You’ll develop a high level of skill and will be able to charge a premium for being the master. You need to also think beyond the basics of being “the product”. How about your own training manuals, your own version of the POH, checklists, etc. All these products are added to your “brand” and add additional cash streams. Partner with other companies that will pay you for directing students to their business (only choose the best, not the ones that make you the most money – your student is your concern).

    CFI pay is low because of economics and the deficit of business skills. You’re more than a pilot, more than a CFI, you are a business person managing your business. Manage for the long-term, engineer for your market, maximize your potential, be unafraid to adapt and change.

    In the end you may never hit the riches of a politician or hedge fund manager; but they do not know the sheer joy in seeing the setting sun as you descend into the cloud deck to shoot the ILS to a perfect landing. Life is full of choices. Choose wisely.

  6. herb ludgewait Says:

    I disagree with almost all of the responses above. CFI’s complain about pay, then go to a regional where they make less but the work is easier. most are out of 141 schools where they don’t know how to fly themselves and are interested only in building time. I diagree with contributer that says old instructers should’nt teach primary. the primary student nedds to know why, the inexperienced instructor doesn’t know why. I believe instructer pay should be based on instructor experience and demonstrated accomplishment as an instructor. When i see a local instructor teaching out of the faa flight training AC, I know the student is in deep trouble. LUckily, I insruct in a part 61 envirenment where the instructers are older and teach for the love of it. In the past I was chief instructor of 141 ops, and had to supervise instructors very closely to insure any training happened.

  7. Billy Passinos Says:

    I have noticed for some time now that during the two year cycle for CFI revalidation new, and sometimes very important changes surface that the CFI needs to incorporate into his/her instruction. As I write this, I am in the midst of reviewing Part 61 and 91, and trying to interpret and understand all the recent changes. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if AOPA would allow me to monitor a mid-term revalidation at no charge (no paper work) so that I can get the benefit of the experience of the AOPA instructors who do this on a daly basis. I foresee this as a benefit to both CFI and AOPA (at no cost to AOPA). I believe that this would bring in some new customers (CFI’s) into the fold. I proposed this idea to the presenters at my last revalidation. What say you, Bruce ?
    Billy Passinos

  8. Richard Jenkins Says:

    The paradox is that many of those (the primary student) evaluating the worth of the instructor’s time are the least able to put a price tag on it. The result is that the buyer tends to make their decision based on the lowest price. This is perpetuated by the law of supply and demand. The supply of CFI seems to consistently exceed the demand in the primary market.

    I believe that CFI’s that focus more on advanced ratings and the proficiency market command a higher price. I fly with a CFI regularly ( 3 IPC’s each year along with the flight requirements for MASTER in WINGS) and pay $50 per hour based on total time spent with me (not flight time) and periodically question him as to whether the rate is enough. However, I have flown with some that should have been sharing expenses with me rather than getting paid.

  9. Bruce Landsberg Says:

    Billy…..

    I agree with you that there is plenty to keep up with. That’s why there is the requirement for two year re-validation. Especially now, with changes in security rules, international flight, and of course, Part 61.

    I wish the Air Safety Foundation, who provides the FIRCS (both live and online) could give them away but the economics do not allow that. ASF is supported tax-deductible pilot contributions, NOT by AOPA memberships. We give away our publications, conduct over 200 free seminars annually, have begun to add webinars into the mix and have over 30 free online courses available to all pilots – not just AOPA members.

    We’ve been renewing CFIs longer than anyone and maintain the largest following. The margins from these programs are minimal and we pay our instructors well because they are the best. You wouldn’t want it any other way.

    In the world of professional re-validation courses our prices are incredibly low – for the live program – just slightly over $100/day. If you know of a sponsor who ‘d like to contribute a several hundred thousand dollars a year to subsidize the re-validation programs, email or call me. I’ll contact them immediately.

    Wishful thinking aside, there is tremendous value to all the ASF programs and we strive daily to keep it that way.

    Many thanks for your comments.

  10. Mark Mattioli Says:

    One of the problems is that instructors charge Hobbs time instead of real time. This results sometines in a “rushed” pre and post-flight briefing. If you are scheduled for 2 hours, bill two hours. I have no issue with this, and in fact expect it. I currenty fly aerobatics and gladly pay more for a good instructor.

    Also, better use can be made of simulators during those days where wheter prevents flying. They are a terrific learning tool and great for maintaining currency – they are never grounded by weather (well if it is beautiiful day, I might say lets do it in the airplane).

    A diffiiculty I sometimes see (usually with young instructors) is attitude. Most students who pay well are either professionals, and/or have significant responsitilities in life. They will pay more, and will pay even if the flight is cancelled. Hence, if an instuctor wants these students, he or she may need to be at the airport at 6 am or 7 pm to fly. These students expect professionalism, and will pay for it. I would often take these instructors on trips to have a backup especially since I was a new IFR pilot and would pay them their rates to wait for me while I conducted business. They appreciated this and appreciated actually going somewhere, but I would only do it with the professional instructors.

    It is alwyas curious why some of the really good instructors don’t seek out this type of student. It really has nothing to do with age. I recall a young instructor who really had a professional attidude and students sought him out. Unfortunately, this guy was so professional the airline snatched him up at the first opportunity.

  11. Robert Ballou Says:

    $100/hour, wow! Wouldn’t that be nice. Writer Dennis Moyes was correct in saying he (and I) could not afford a certificate at those rates. It is simple supply and demand in a free enterprise system. $100/hour would put the entire industry out of business. It is not a matter of skill level (car mechanic versus CFI) or anything other than market price.

    Let’s understand that the younger CFI’s fresh out of their training also receive logged time as a benefit of their employment. This benefit is their investment to their future and a springboard to the commuters often times for less pay. Why? Again, logging time (and the coveted twin turbine time) is more important to them. It is the business model that allows the industry to survive. Independent CFI’s receive a different benefit in most cases. It might be a simple as sharing their passion with others. Independent CFI’S need to understand FBO CFI’s as their competition and that determines price in a free enterprise economy. I’m not saying this is right or the way it should be, but it is the way it is.

    Independent CFI’s also must understand this part of the business model: What the FBO charges for instruction and what the CFI receives in pay are not the same. The customer may pay $60/Hobbs-hour to the FBO and, in turn, pay the CFI $15/Hobbs-hour (plus the benefit of logged hours and a few other perks). In order to complete with this model, an independent CFI’s price must fall somewhere in between. He makes more than the FBO CFI and in turn charges the student a rate less than the FBO for a deal that benefits both.

    Independent CFI’s must also understand that when the airplane is down for maintenance, scheduled or not, often there is no flying. The FBO has a fleet of aircraft and if one is not available another one is. If the independt CFI is ill or otherwise not available he and his student are grounded. The FBO has a platoon of CFI’s lined up and ready to go. The FBO has at least one well lit classroom with white boards, training aides and computers. The typical indepentant CFI has a hot or cold and dusty hangar or maybe a local coffee shop or hangout. An FBO has oversight on their CFI’s and establishes an acceptable level of performance. The FBO is subject to greater FAA scrutiny than an independent CFI. The FBO covers their staff of instructors with liability insurance. Do you protect yourself? At what price? I might speculate most independent CFI’S accept the risk, myself included, which is a bad mistake (we all should know better).

    Like it or not, at least for initial flight training, it is difficult to compete with an established FBO. Students of independent CFI’s can meet all the requirements of certification as I did many years ago. I am not saying an independent is necessarily better or worse than a school CFI, but, in my experience, I find graduates from established flight schools better disciplined and easier to work with than those who chose the economy route with an independent CFI. It would be interesting to know if the FAA has run any numbers on accident and incidence rates against FBO and independent initial training.

    One final note about those “youngsters” building hours at the local FBO . . . these men and women met the same requirements of all CFI’s. While some CFI’s are better than others and some FBO’s are better than others, they all met the minimum requirements and I have yet to hear anyone say it was easy. Our motivations may differ but the end result is all the same which is to produce qualified pilots.

    That’s my nickels worth.

  12. Jim Seaman Says:

    The plain fact of the matter is that there is a large gap between the number of hours a person has out of school and the number needed to attract a job flying passengers. In the case of almost all pilots the only financially viable way to fill this gap is to instruct. That results in a lot of low time pilots chasing few dollars. Right or wrong it is simply a fact of supply and demand. I did, however, pick very experienced instructors for my instrument and ATP ratings and paid a higher price. I was fortunate enough to be able to afford it.

  13. James Says:

    Let us not forget the CFIs that do not care at all about ‘building hours’ but are in this profession for the love of teaching flying (and yes many of those CFIs are still in their 20s). These are the CFIs that are responsible for molding the future airline/cargo/corporate/medivac pilots into the professionals they will become. Of course, in addition to those that make up the nation’s private and commercial pilots/AOPA members.

    A personal opinion, observing a student master his first landings solo is much more rewarding than flying along J42 back and forth from JFK to BOS in a CRJ.

    Seek these instructors, although they may work 12 hours and get paid for 5, there is no better job in the world.

    A cup of coffee or lunch is always appreciated … Probably cheaper than ‘oral’ time pay…and students will learn just as much.

    ALL great pilots are always learning…

  14. Wes McKechnie Says:

    As an Operations Manager of a 10,000 + hr/yr GA flight operation affiliated with a large aerospace company, we see many “TDY” foreign students using the time they are here to aquire ratings. If I understand it correctly, (particularly with the Japanese), culturally foreign teachers/instructors in fields as technical and critical as flight instruction are actually considered at the top of the pack, rather than considered as the oft used U.S. phrase states, the demeaning “those who can’t do teach”. Their concept is those who are the best, that can do, in fact are the teachers, and the rest go to into business. There is an important “moral” there to consider both practically and financially. The disparity was further amplified when I decided to try golf and took lessons. $65 an hour while the instructor sat and essentially told me to keep my chin down, with the threat of perhaps being struck by a ball in an errant back chip from my woeful swing. Clearly a far better balance than there is now is needed to justly compensate the CFI yet keep the flight training as affordable as possible for the student.

  15. Sam Sharp Says:

    As CFIs, we are more than instructors. We diagnose the problems that the student has in mastering take-offs and landings, ADM, CRM, and how to leave those ‘nagging business problems’ on the ground.

    We help to keep our students calm and collected during areas of high stress (real or percieved), and yet keep the learning experience fun.

    I’ve never been to a ‘shrink’, but for my remaining in aviation for way too many years, I should have gone to several, just to have my head examined. How much does a psyco-therapist make for an hour’s worth of listening to some poor soul that can’t figure out his ills by himself?

    Ah, but for the hour of flight…what ills are we able to cure for our students? We teach them to leave all of that crap on the ground, and enjoy ‘the joys of learning’ about flying. And, just maybe, learn a little bit about ourselves.

    So, as a multi-functional CFI, one who performs as much instructing as we do lisnening, we should be able to justify our fees quite easily. Show us the money!!

    Before y’all think that I was a ‘silver spoon’ child; I was raised by a single parent after my father died at a very young age. My mother’s wages as a school teacher could’nt even begin to pay for my pilot’s training. $6.00 an hour for the Super Cruiser, and $2.00 an our for my instructor, was far more than the $1.25 an hour for washing airplanes.

    A few setbacks along the way, and almost 23,000 hours later, I’m back instructing-and loving it. And no, I’m not a rich retired airline captain. I chose far too many losing airlines to fly for. So I am instructing to put food on the table, and yet, to have any job other than flying is just plain unthinkable.

  16. Tony Weissgarber Says:

    It really doesn’t matter if you are paid $3 per hour or $100 per hour, if you kill yourself flying, does it?
    Go to http://www.pilotschecklist.com and live longer.
    I have been flying since 1951, first Air Force for 20 years and after retiring as an aerial photographer.
    Flying is the second best thing that ever happened to me.
    The first was my wife Ruth. We were married in 1951.
    Tony Weissgarber, LtCol, USAF, retired

  17. David McEntire Says:

    This subject brings to mind a conversation I had with a friend of mine. He is a drum instructor and makes around $50/hour cash doing it. He is very good and probably deserves what he makes. While I am sure that several of his students have caused him to wince in pain I doubt he ever had to take the drum sticks to save both of their lives as I have sitting in the instructor’s seat. One day he asked me what I made as an instructor. When I told him the average instructor probably makes between 10-20 dollars per hour he could not understand why I love to instruct.

    The only two ways that I can think of to increase CFI compensation is to completely change the current system. For discussion sake I propose that the FAA remove the ability to log PIC when giving instruction. That way the only people who instruct would be the ones who either do it for the love of instructing or for the increased pay that would surely follow. Dual given and total time could of course be logged. As stated previously part of the compensation a CFI receives is the ability to log PIC hours. Another and perhaps better option would be to increase the number of hours (experience required) before a person could become a CFI. Increase it enough so that the CFI certificate is not a viable means to an airliner cockpit and the instructor would have the experience to actually instruct. The total number of flight instructors would be reduced and as a result compensation would go up. Supply and demand as stated earlier.

    As a student pilot (we all are no matter what your certificate says) I have had two kinds of instructors. I had an instructor who simply loved to instruct. These are the people who no matter what kinds of mistakes I made had a solution to my problem. And if the first solution did not work they would try another technique until I finally grasped the lesson. These are the guys who deserve a higher pay. The other kind was the under 300hr pilots who had enough knowledge and skill to keep us upright but when things went beyond the rote knowledge passed down from the 300 hr instructor who taught them were at a loss. There are many techniques that can be used in every maneuver. Only experience can allow the instructor to tailor a lesson to the student. How many of us were abandoned by our instructors as they bailed out for the next rung up the aviation career ladder?

    Keeping costs low? I am all for that. A young person who wants to learn to fly can avail themselves of the many opportunities through the Civil Air Patrol or other aviation organizations. The CAP offers flight academies that compared to the most inexpensive fbo’s are a bargain. I have several people who participate in my unit who tell me how they wish they knew about the CAP when they were young.

    My only point is that until the current system is fundamentally changed CFI’s will continue to be underpaid for the ratings and certificates they have earned.
    I am not trying to throw barbs at low time instructors or those pursuing an airline career. They are only doing the best they can working in the system as it is currently designed.

  18. Christina M. Says:

    As a Professional Pilot and CFIIAIM for well over 30 years I agree with Bruce. The compensation for Flight Instruction is so low as to be abysmal. We are in a business that can and will save lives if we perform our roles with respect (for our students and ourselves), experience, continuing education, conscience, professionalism and love of our trade. It is truly a shame that the consumerism in America (referred to as supply and demand) results in our working for peanuts while golfers, guitar players, secretaries and dog trainers make more money per hour than we do. I have nothing against the foregoing talents, but have learned that because new students want to get the ‘best deal’ they forego the best training in many cases. Fortunately there are many of us who continue to teach for the sake of continuing to fly and to have the benefit of sharing our joy of flight. I always learn from other pilots in the experiences they share with me. This is not only other CFI’s, but the many pilots I fly with, whether it be a new aircraft owner, pilot wanting a refesher, flight review, or student. There has never been a flight on which I have not learned something.
    I worked my way up the difficult way, without any military training, sponsorship, or grants. I was a single Mom and paid for every single hour of dual and solo practice along with aircraft rentals until I was able to “fly the line” on two different major airlines over a period of fifteen years. Those were the only times I was economically able to fly for a living.
    Prior to the airlines, I, too, worked very diligently as a CFI to attain the necessary hours and experience to get that airline job in the cockpit. I also worked the desk of the flight school and learned to do bookkeeping part time (evenings generally) just to raise my Son and enable us to have a roof over our heads. Working full time as a CFII never compensated me to the extent I could give up other “jobs.” And I was a very busy CFI, booked every day I was available and every two hours another client (some were students, some aircraft owners, some potential CFI’s). I, too, was paid only hobbs time, earning not even half of the $20 to $25 the flight school charged, as we instructors were paid $10 to $12 of the fee the clients paid, giving half our time for free in pre- and post- flight. The school I worked for was the highest paying one on Van Nuys airport, as others paid us $6 to $8. It was also the best in the sense that CFI’s with the highest experience worked with us.
    Unfortunately in the thirty-plus years I’ve been teaching, very little has changed. There are CFI’s building time who work for so very little at the flight schools that there is no comparison to any of us independent instructors. Having the hours is the only way the airlines will accept new hires. Paying so little to CFI’s is one of the ways most flight school owners are able to stay in business. The flight schools have come and gone. So many at Van Nuys (CA) I stopped counting. The old joke still holds true, “If you want to make a million dollars in aviation, start with three million.”
    Fortunately there are enough folks with enthusiasm for flying and enough money (generally made in another business) to open flight schools. Unfortunately many also close for various reasons, including financial ones. The long-time schools are few and far between. (Thank you AOPA for your long running CFI renewal courses!)
    My bottom line: I charge $50 per hour, which includes all my time, not just hobbs. I know of other independent instructors who charge less, also some who charge more than I do. No, I still do not ‘make my living’ as an instructor, as CFI’s are a ‘dime a dozen’ here in SoCal, but I give 110% to each person I fly with. I’m sure that many flight students will find a ‘better price’, but they won’t get a better deal. Not with their family and friends onboard after their training has been with an experienced instructor, and there are many of us. Many of the new instructors are very sharp and certainly current on all the new rules and regulations, especially with the TSA, etc. and they are valuable in their own right. Each of us CFI’s had to start somewhere.
    I realize I really started my learning only after I began to teach. My experience is more valuable than continuing to prostitute myself to build time or continuing on with someone with more money than brains, always looking for a ‘deal’. Flying is my passion and by picking and choosing with whom I fly it stays that way.

  19. Bud Raymond Says:

    It all comes down to basic economics. An inexperienced CFI with low time is not in demand and is willing to accept the lowest flight school pay. High time, experienced, and insightful CFI’s have been known to charge over $100 per hour. They obviously don’t work as much, but then again they don’t have to in order to earn the same.
    I’ve found the best value are the old-timer instructor’s who often earned their CFI certificate later in life and teach because they enjoy it.

  20. Oliver Says:

    There are two kinds of flight instruction.

    Type 1 is instruction to meet minimum FAA requirements. Customers for Type 1 instruction will always seek the lowest cost instructors whose students consistently pass the tests. Type 1 instructors may typically be found at local flight schools. The economics will be brutal, because the lowest cost wins.

    Type 2 is instruction to achieve excellence, demanded either by the student’s own ambitions or to achieve success in a flying profession. Customers for Type 2 instruction will always seek the very best instuctors, and will pay them accordingly.

    If you wish to be a Type 2 instructor, you must identify your target customers and market yourself to them. One way is to join an organization like FSI, which takes care of the marketing for you. If you go it alone, you should learn some marketing skills.

  21. Bob Says:

    I would venture to guess that what a flight school charges and an instructor receives is not the same. I get $15/hour while the company charges $40 – $50 /hours. Looks like the company makes a lot more, but they do cover some of the liability insurance cost.

    Also, If I get my CFII, I will only get an additional $1.00 per hour.

    CFI’s are also somewhat to blame. We sell our services to companies or individuals far too cheaply. But we also, do not want to strangle the goose that lays the eggs for us to scrap a little of gold from for our needs.

    Sounds like we are between a rock and a hard place, so to speak.

  22. George K. Says:

    Christina M. hits on several facts about the business of flight instruction: a steady supply of willing new CFIs is required to operate the typical flight school. All the new instructors are there for a reason, build time for the next big thing. At its worst, the flight training industry does have more than a little in common with a pyramid scheme (the big payoff is just around the corner). This aspect will be dramatically amplified if the House bill, recently reported out to the Senate, requiring ATP certificates for all pilots in any seat in 121 operations. You’ll have the time builders sticking around to make 1200, then trying to leave (to where? we are always 5 years shy of a pilot shortage that never seems to get here). The CFI-as-stepping-stone is the real problem … most are not committed to the role of mentor/instructor and do just well enough to get along, build the time and move on.

  23. This is your Captain Says:

    I’m a retired Airline pilot now but remember that we were having this same conversation 40 years ago. As I remember CFI pay, it wasn’t good and the students weren’t reliable. Back then, I quit a good paying job with a future to fly because I loved flying. I took a 70% paycut and I’m sure most would have never done that.

    My advice is that you should do what you love doing and somewhere in the process, figure out a way to make it pay your bills. My moto back then was “persistance pays off.” I don’t know if this is a good moto for everyone but it worked for me. So, just like with flying, always have a plan B.

    Looking back over fourty years, I’ve had four aviation jobs and three of them made me a good living — guess which one didn’t. When you think about it, being a pilot is like so many of the real professions… Lawyers, doctors and dentist all work many years for free before the real earnings start. Why should pilots be any different.

    Go with God!

  24. Boilermaker Chick Says:

    I don’t know if $100 is exactly fair (although the risk with some primary students seems to make it so at times…), but I think wage should at LEAST be above minimum. I work at Purdue University and make a whopping $7.25 an hour, minimum wage. It’s sad, but I used to make more working the register at the McDonald’s on the corner. I’m not looking to get rich off of instructing, but with the time it requires from me, it would be nice to not to have a second job to cover basic expenses, seeing that I am also a full time student at the University. They say they’re out of cash and want to keep costs lowm, but what about that new Phenom100 and fleet of Cirrus SR20′s they just bought…

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