What is a certified flight instructor?

what is a certified flight instructor

Looking to build flying hours and get paid or a change of career to make a living, you can choose to become a certified flight instructor.

I have explained in detail everything you need to know about the instructor pilot course here.

I have discussed the length of certified flight instructor training, the cost and everything you need to do to get your first instructor pilot job.

What does a certified flight instructor do?

A certified flight instructor is responsible for teaching pilot students entirely about flying an airplane.

A flight instructor may teach the theories of flying an airplane during the ground classes as well as during your initial actual flights.

As an instructor pilot, he/she will teach a pilot student all the required maneuvers and guide a student on how to control an aircraft safely.

A flight instructor can have ratings for teaching on several different aircraft.

Depending on the flight instructor he/she may only master the skills for flying one specific aircraft.

Every airlines and flight schools have instructor pilots. Airlines have instructor pilots to teach the cadet pilots.

Having friendly, knowledgable and skilled flight instructors can enhance the reputation of a flight training institute massively.

Being a knowledgable and smart instructor pilot will encourage students wanting to fly with you more often.

Because all the students are willing to learn more and have a friendly person next to them during their flight training.

While flying as a certified flight instructor with student pilots, the flight instructors get paid hourly as well as build hours for themselves.

To become a certified flight instructor is fairly easy if you are focussed and dedicated.

How do I become a certified flight instructor?

To become a certified flight instructor you have to get your flight instructor license first.

However to take the instructor pilot course you have to have a commercial pilot license first.

If you are thinking of a career change from your office job to a flight instructor, I will suggest you prepare loads of money first.

Because becoming a certified flight instructor is not just one step away.

You will have to get a few licenses before you can get your instructor pilot’s license.

I will discuss further about getting the instructor pilot license in the next paragraphs.

How long does it take to become a certified flight instructor?

This question cannot be answered just in one sentence. Because of the length of acquiring flight instructor license varies for every different person.

Assuming most of the readers here already have a commercial pilot license, I will discuss the length of instructor pilot training for commercial pilot license holders.

Having a commercial pilot license and intend to build hours to apply for airlines?

I can only say that this is one of the better options to build hours and experience.

As you already have a commercial pilot license all you have to do now is to fly the required hours to apply for flight instructor license.

Depending on each countries Civil Aviation Regulations, the hours you have to fly will vary.

Usually, the required hours for the flight instructor licenses are around 30. Most of these hours you will fly in the right seat.

Why the right seat?

Because as a flight instructor you will be teaching students to fly the airplane from the right seat. Students will occupy the left seat.

It makes sense. Right?

Once you complete flying the required hours and have finished the instructor pilot ground school, you are ready to apply for your license.


Pass all the exams and show satisfying performance to your check pilot to get your flight instructor license in no time.


The time to get your flight instructor license really depends on the flight school you enrolled for.

It depends on the school how frequently they can let you fly and complete the required hours.

Acquiring your instructor pilot license also relies on your performance and ability to prove yourself as a safe instructor pilot for students.

But I must say this:

Flying in a well-reputed school will not take more than 2 months to hold your instructor pilot license.


If you are someone who is having this idea of starting a new career as a certified flight instructor, it is easy as well.

The only con is that it will take longer for you to become a certified flight instructor if you already do not have a commercial pilot license.

Why is that?

Because as I have mentioned earlier that the minimum requirement for acquiring a flight instructor license is a commercial pilot license.

If you are just starting out in aviation, you will definitely need a lot of money and at least a year to 16 months for the full course.

It is not impossible because anyone can start flying at any time. Getting your private pilot license is similar to getting a driver’s license.

Once you have your private pilot license you have to fly more hours to get your commercial pilot license.

Flying more hours will require more money and more time. And more patience.

After you get your commercial pilot license now you can decide what kind of program do you really want to build hours.

If you intend to make a living by teaching pilot students how to fly the airplane then thats fine, get your instructor pilot license.

Do you want to build hours to apply for airlines?

There are many ways to build hours as a pilot.

If you already have allocated a budget for flying, you simply can pay for hour building packages as well.

Can you be a flight instructor with a PPL?

I guess by now you already have the answer.

No, you cannot be a flight instructor with a PPL only.

The minimum requirement for an instructor pilot license is having a valid commercial pilot license.

Once you have your commercial pilot license, you have to fly more hours and pass the exams to get your flight instructor pilot license.

How much does it cost to become a certified flight instructor?

If you already have a commercial pilot license it will be inexpensive to take the instructor pilot course.

It will cost you around 6,000 USD to 10,000 USD to complete your instructor pilot course.

On the contrary if someone is fresh and has zero hours of flight training, you can contact your nearest flight school for the price.

Ask the flight school to give you a complete package from zero hours to acquiring your flight instructor license.

You can contact us here for the instructor pilot course cost in our school to compare the price with the flight school near you.

Certified flight instructor salary.

Certified flight instructors get paid hourly. Every school has a different rate for paying their instructors.

The more a flight instructor will fly the more he/she will get paid.

Being a flight instructor is fun because you will get paid and you can log the hours you fly with student pilots.

So if your goal is to build hours and apply for airlines then do not hesitate to take your instructor pilot course.

Get your flight instructor license and start applying for jobs in flight schools.

Flight schools are always looking for new flight instructors due to the rising number of pilot students around the world.

You can comment below for any further concerns.

One Reply to “What is a certified flight instructor?”

  1. Flight instructors in the United States must hold at least a commercial pilot certificate or ATP (airline transport pilot) certificate. Individuals wishing to give instruction in airplanes or powered-lift aircraft are additionally required to hold an instrument rating in the desired category and class. Holders of a sport pilot certificate (or higher) may obtain a flight instructor certificate with sport pilot rating, allowing them to give instruction for the sport pilot certificate in light-sport aircraft. All individuals desiring flight instructor privileges must pass two additional written exams (fundamentals of instruction, or FOI; and a knowledge test specific to the category of aircraft in which instructional privileges are desired, such as fixed-wing ) as well as a practical test.

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