Obtaining your flight instructor rating opens doors in the aviation industry. As well as boosting your career options, teaching students will build you an outstanding array of pilot skills, experience and confidence.
If you currently hold Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) then obtaining your Flight Instructor Rating is a genuine career starter. Options include doing a Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) or a Flight Instructor Rating (FIR). You can start with a Grade 3, and work your way up to Grade 1 or even Chief Flying Instructor.
As an instructor, you can build your flying hours, which will make you more attractive to the airlines. This is just the beginning. Which is why we wanted to share our top five ways a Flight Instructor Rating can benefit your pilot career.
1. SECURE YOUR FIRST JOB WITH GREATER EASE
The Flight Instructor rating is required to be held by Commercial Pilot Licence holders to be employed as a flight instructor to deliver training to students.
If you are interested in becoming a flight instructor, then you are in luck. Flight instructors are in high demand right now and are expected to remain so for many years to come. It is an easy way to land your very first flying job.
2. BUILD YOUR CAREER PATH
Pilots choose to become a flight instructor for many reasons. It can be a dream job and a primary source of income, and it’s the next step on the way to becoming an airline pilot.
Airlines do prefer pilots who are equipped with a Flight Instructor Rating as the concepts that the instructing environment deploys are similar to cockpit resource management. Besides, check and training positions within airlines also require an FIR.
More than 2000 flight instructors who met the airline’s requirements were recruited by the American airlines in 2017.
3. BECOME A QUALIFIED FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR
Junior Grade 3 instructors can build flying hours by teaching the next generation of pilots how to fly an aircraft.
To become a qualified flight instructor, you are required to take the FIR program. You can choose to do either a Recreational Aviation (RA) FIR program or a General Aviation (GA) FIR program, or both of them. RA & GA dual qualifications can maximise your opportunities of landing a job as it allows you to instruct both RA and GA registered aircraft.
4. FIND YOUR PASSION IN INSTRUCTING AND TEACHING
An essential element to becoming a flight instructor must be your passion for instructing and teaching. Some people see the flight instructor job as a stepping stone as it can build flying hours for getting into airlines regardless of the learning experience of students.
This role is more suitable for pilots who have passion and patience in instructing and have better communication skills to teach students from different countries and backgrounds.
If you find your real passion in being a flight instructor, you can keep pursuing the higher levels of instructing. Consider being a Grade 2 or Grade 1 instructor, or a CASA approved testing officer. Some flight instructors eventually become the school’s Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) or even open their flying schools.
5. GET YOURSELF READY FOR EVERY FUTURE FLYING POSITION
Becoming an experienced flight instructor presents an alternative entry into the industry to that of a charter pilot. It can also enhance your chances of becoming a check and training officer in an airline environment should your career take that direction.
Every flying position has a training element to it, from introducing a pilot to a new aircraft or explaining new rules and regulations. Therefore, a Flight Instructor Rating is practically always beneficial.
For more information about getting a flight instructor job, please check out The Australian Federation Air Pilots and explore our courses to pursue your Flight Instructor Rating.