There has never been a better time to be a professional pilot. The job market is booming and opportunities seem to be endless. A short term side effect of this is that flight instructors are becoming harder to find. There are fewer people pursuing the CFI certificate, and those that do obtain one are heading to the airlines after only spending short amounts of time teaching. To remedy this, Horizon Aviation is reimagining the nature of the flight instruction profession.
Usually, flight instructors are paid only for hours they bill their students. For example, an instructor may spend a total of 3 hours with a student yet only bill them for 2.5 hours to account for bathroom breaks or time spent “hangar flying.” The instructor would only be paid for the 2.5 hours they billed. Repeat that several times in a day, and the instructor might only be paid for 60% of the time they spent in uniform that day. This model of pay has given the CFI position a poor reputation in the aviation industry. It is viewed as the “paying your dues” era of a person’s flying career.
A few months ago, Horizon Aviation reimagined what the CFI position should be. We introduced a salaried CFI position that pays $45,000/year, a wage higher than the average first-year first officer position at a regional airline. We have further offered a bonus structure on top of the salary and paved the way for new CFI’s to obtain advanced instructor ratings at discounted rates. Very few flight schools in the country are able to offer a similar program for new hires.
We are actively advertising on every major aviation job website available. Resumes are coming in, however we are not willing to compromise the quality of instruction we provide for the sake of adding names to our CFI staff. Poor instruction is not a solution, so we are only hiring the very best flight instructors we can find.
In the coming months we are hoping to add several instructors to our team at both locations. Some are currently training with us, others have found us through our marketing efforts. We will make announcements as our team expands and look forward to being able to offer you increased flexibility in your training schedule.