What does a Flight Instructor do?

Flight instructors teach students how to fly aircraft safely. They teach students safety rules and basic principles of flight and aircraft operation. They teach students about flight conditions, instruments in the cockpit, landing, takeoff, and how to check all systems aboard the plane. They take students through various instruction levels until they have met all the requirements to obtain a pilot's license and must adhere to FAA safety and instructor regulations while following the approved curriculum.

Flight instructors educate students on how to gain their pilot licensure or certification; they are responsible for providing, enhancing, and evaluating aspiring pilots’ knowledge and skills. They cover important topics including flight safety, aircraft maintenance, making safety calls during in-flight emergencies including engine failure, bad weather, or other aircraft malfunctions. Flight instructors need a minimum high school diploma, an airline transport pilot certificate, and an FAA-approved commercial pilot's license and special rating certifications.

What responsibilities are common for Flight Instructor jobs?
  • Provide suggestions to improve and update training policies and procedures.
  • Evaluate student progress and make recommendations as to training progression and status.
  • Coordinate emergency responses with local, state and federal agencies.
  • Personally responsible for proper classification and marking of all information and materials, in any form, produced by the incumbent.
  • Review curriculum, assess and recommend improvements to the training program.
  • Provide Pilot procedures instruction in aircraft, classroom, and simulator or other platform environments.
  • Conduct ground training for other crewmembers to include diagnosis and remediation of student issues.
  • Respond effectively to sensitive inquiries and complaints.
  • Oversee the coordination of maintenance activities and repairs of all aircrafts, aircraft refueling, security and storage of aircrafts, flight communications, customer relations and services, and maintenance of the runways, heliports, builds, grounds, hangars, and instrument landing system.
  • Schedule pilots and available crew to the different aircrafts based on their skills.
  • Attend and participate in staff meetings, conferences, budget meetings, administrative meetings and other activities and events, as required.
  • Responsible for the accomplishment of ground-based and/or aircrew training devices (ATD) training of aircraft crew members either individually or in combination with pilot instructors.
  • Conduct scheduled Instructor-led/supported training for Training Device and Systems Training (including briefs and debriefs) using traditional and modern tools such as interactive whiteboards, computers and video projector systems.
  • Assist in training device testing/evaluation associated with the introduction of new weapon systems or Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs) as they affect the training system.
  • May provide additional special services such as courseware review and other additional administrative duties such as publications, safety, quality audits, FCIF, scheduling, and other duties as may be assigned, etc.
  • Manage and supervise aviation staff.
  • Promote a positive attitude towards learning and embracing new technologies and tasks.
  • Participate in the development, implementation and maintenance of strategic, fiscal and capital improvement plans for the department.
What are the typical qualifications for Flight Instructor jobs?
  • Graduate's Degree in aviation or engineering and pilot's license.
  • Experience with applicable software and systems such as R Language, C, or ROTOR.
  • Completion of trainings and exercises and demonstrated attention to detail.
  • Is a professional at all times with an eye on continuous improvement.
  • Comfortable logging experiences in a logbook.
  • Can confidently work with machines and is fluent in assembly and disassembly processes.
  • Demonstrated leadership and positive attitude.
  • Is comfortable instructing in crucial choices moments such as decision making and accident investigation.
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.2 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience5-7 years

How much does a Flight Instructor make?

Confident
$97,493 /yr
Total Pay
$74,774
 /yr

Base Pay

+
$22,719
 /yr

Additional Pay

$97,493

 / yr
$61K$158K
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

Flight Instructor Career Path

Learn how to become a Flight Instructor, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Flight Instructor
$97,493/yr
Adjunct Flight Instructor
$76,117/yr
Flight Instructor

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
19%
2 - 4
16%
5 - 7
45%
8+
20%
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Flight Instructor Insights

Read what Flight Instructor professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Pacific Flying ClubPacific Flying Club
Flight Instructor
Sep 6, 2022

“Great learning experience that will bring benefit to your aviation career in the long way.”

American HelicoptersAmerican Helicopters
Certified Flight Instructor
Aug 23, 2021

“Seeing what they do to other’s GI Bill benefits was terrible and they’ve left many vets in bad positions from a college they teach for.”

Air Force ReserveAir Force Reserve
KC-10 Instructor Pilot
May 7, 2020

“Every time I show up to work I feel like I’m going to work with close friends and family.”

Toronto Airways
Pilot Instructor
Mar 23, 2021

“Good people to work with and well maintained aircrafts”

Indian OilIndian Oil
Senior Aviation Officer
Jan 29, 2021

“Best place to work and grow”

AeroGuard (AZ)AeroGuard (AZ)
Flight Instructor
Aug 8, 2020

“You work 10 hour days but your salary is only decently okay based on 8 hour days.”

OxfordSaudiaOxfordSaudia
Flight Instructor
May 4, 2021

“The pay is great and I liked living in Saudi Arabia.”

Moncton Flight CollegeMoncton Flight College
Flight Instructor
Feb 1, 2022

“pay was not good enough”

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Flight Instructor Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Flight Instructor

When working as a Flight Instructor, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Aircraft Systems, Top Secret Clearance, Written Communication, Security Clearance, and CRM.

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Flight Instructor Jobs