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Where to get instructor ratings?

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See you in the Wasatch!
Jan 6, 2002
I am about to finish CIME at Flight Safety, and I am wondering where I should get my instructor ratings. If I get them at FS, I have a chance of getting hired and the potential to build a fair amount of mult time, but the course is twice as expensive as many others and there is a 40 person pool (I'm guessing that equates to 6-10 months)

If I get my ratings elsewhere, I will have no chance at instructing at FS. If I get my ratings at FS, will I have as good a chance to teach somewhere else?

I figured I should look for an FBO with a decent fleet and a good instructor program, who has/might have openings in the future.

Any thoughts? Does it matter where I get the ratings? Know anybody who hires from within and may be looking for some fresh talent/meat?

You’ve got the right idea. Get your ratings at a place where you’re sure you’ll get a job when you’re finished. It’s tough to find a CFI job right now with no dual given.

I instructed at FSI ten years ago. A couple of my colleagues back then are still there as administrators. Get your CFI at FSI if you can afford it. Yes, it is pricey, but it'll be worth your while if doing so puts you in a position to work there because of the contacts you can make.

FSI or not, the number one thing is to get your CFI at a place that will hire you after you earn it. Hiring may be slow for a good little while yet, but after a while it'll pick up. After hiring picks up, places will go through CFIs like water through a sieve and you'll be considered.

Good luck with your choice.
If you can afford it I would secound the recomendation for doing the CFI at FSI. I know its expensive but I think you do get what you pay for. (I would definently avoid those "get your CFI in a weekend style schools") After I went through the program I was confident that- yes I could do this job.

That said I think your also on the right track in thinking that- hey after this training is over I'm going to need a job!
At FSI you have the opportunity to interview (no guarenties) and if you do land the job you have to consider that the wait list is long......

I was in your same boat about 6 months ago and this is what my plan was. Take the intial CFI class and interview, if I get the job I have that in my back pocket and when they call I can evaluate my situation then. If I didn't get it I was going to leave FSI and find a FBO to do my CFII/MEI that would hopefully hire me on after. Either way I was going to keep sending out resumes and see what came up.

As it worked out I got the FSI job and they offered to pay 50% of the CFII/MEI ratings now with the rest re-imbursed after I enter stand. The job search on the outside turned out to be very humbling, I sent a resume to absolutly everybody who was ever even rumored to be involved in flight instruction and heard-nothing. (post 9-11)

Thats just my thoughts/expierences good luck on the CFI!
Job search woes

FSIGRAD makes an extremely cogent point about job hunting. It's frustrating. I remember how I sent out tons and tons and tons of stuff when I began my job search. I sometimes received polite little rejection postcards. Most of the time I heard nothing at all. It's all part of the game and you go up and down with it emotionally.

You need to keep up your sprits and the resume spam because, eventually, someone will bite. Sometimes, you have to send resumes to the same place more than once because they get lost. You definitely should send a fresh one from time to time as you build time. Keep some money in reserve for postage and make sure your laser printer has a fresh toner cartridge so you can keep the presses rolling with your resumes and cover letters.

I used to send materials to flight schools that advertised in pilot magazines. I figured that if a school is advertising for students it could need instructors. These were schools I hadn't heard of before. This strategy worked for me twice. I applied to FlightSafety after I saw its Swissair ad in some magazine. Its initial response was the standard "we'll keep your resume on file" garbage. I sent another resume several months later and eventually I was hired. The second time, I saw an ad for Mesa's school. I had absolutely no idea that Mesa ran a flight school. Same story as above, basically. It took nine months, but I was hired there as well.

Good luck to everyone with their job searches.

I'd give sheble's a call in Kingman, AZ, http://www.shebleaviation.com/ You'll get your instructor ratings faster and cheaper than anywhere else. I know a lot of people have issues with places like this, but I've flown with instructors from a wide variety of backrounds and it really doesn't matter where you got your training or how many weeks you spent in a classroom. What matters is the dedication and professionalism of the individual.

I believe Sheble's is still looking for instructors. Their instructors fly a lot and there's lots of twin time there.


Thanks for all of the input. Best of luck to everyone in all of your endeavours. (sp?)

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