Flight Instructor (CFI) is a trainer for student pilots.

what is a certified flight instructor

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

I have explained everything you need 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 and your initial flights.

As an instructor pilot, they will teach a pilot student all the required maneuvers and guide a student to control an aircraft safely.

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

Depending on the flight instructor, they may only master the skills for flying one specific aircraft.

Every airline and flight school has instructor pilots. Airlines have instructor pilots to teach the cadet pilots.

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

Being an intelligent instructor pilot will encourage students to want 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 and build hours for themselves.

Becoming a certified flight instructor is relatively easy if you are focused 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 considering a career change from your office job to a flight instructor, I 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 getting the instructor pilot license in the following paragraphs.

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

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

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

Have 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, you must fly the required hours to apply for a flight instructor license.

Depending on each country’s Civil Aviation Regulations, the hours you must fly will vary.

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

Why the right seat?

Because as a flight instructor, you will teach students to fly the airplane from the right seat. Students will occupy the left rear.

It makes sense. Right?

Once you complete flying the required hours and finish the instructor pilot ground school, you can 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 depends on the flight school you enrolled in.

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 two months to hold your instructor pilot license.


If you have this idea of starting a new career as a certified flight instructor, it is also easy.

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?

As I have mentioned earlier, the minimum requirement for acquiring a flight instructor license is a commercial pilot license.

If you start in aviation, you will need a lot of money and at least a year to 16 months for the entire 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, you can decide what kind of program you want to build hours.

If you intend to make a living by teaching pilot students how to fly the airplane, that’s 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 can pay for hour-building packages as well.

Can you be a flight instructor with a PPL?

I guess you already have the answer by now.

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

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

Once you have your commercial pilot license, you must 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 our school’s instructor pilot course cost 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 its instructors.

The more a flight instructor will fly, the more they 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, 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 worldwide.

You can comment below for any further concerns.

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  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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