I’ve had a slight shift in questions from most of my readers. Now that I’m instructing here I get a lot more questions geared towards life as an instructor pilot. So I will attempt to cover the basics.
Once hired you will go through a standardization class which consists of ground school sessions as well as a few flights. These are to get you up to speed on all school procedures and how they expect you to teach your students. Depending on the size of the class this phase can take up to a full month. Most are completed in about three weeks.
Once you finish standardization and you receive your first students, the real work begins. You can begin work on your MEI if you don’t already have it whenever you like. They will not allow you to begin multi-engine standardization until you have at least 50 dual given. You will be unable to have multi students until you have 100 dual given. The multi standardization class is much shorter than single and can normally be completed in two to three weeks.
From there on, its all about how hard you want to work. For the most part you are in complete control of your schedule. This gives you flexibility, but also allows you to be lazy. You have to keep yourself motivated to keep your schedule full. The more you fly, the quicker you’re out of here, and the sooner you’re in the right seat of some regional(or whichever).
The pay is so/so. You are paid for flight time as well as ground brief time, and simulator time. What you’re not paid for is paperwork. There is a lot of paperwork. If a student were to ask me what makes an airplane fly my answer wouldn’t be lift. It would be money, and paperwork. In all seriousness though, there is a lot surrounding this job in regards to pushing paper. Most of that time is spent on: scheduling, flow charts, grading lessons, writing evaluations, weekly reports, logbook audits, signing students up for checkrides, etc. Sometimes all that can take up to an hour to two hours per day.
The benefits are excellent. I have everything I would ever need right now, and I pay a lot less than I use to. I’m unsure about the company’s 401k, but I know we have it in place.
You can expect, with a good student population, to fly around 3-5 hours per day. You can also expect 10-14 hour work days, with about 6-8 hours of pay. The more effectively you can schedule time, the more you will revenue each day. Keeping downtime between students to a minimum, and managing student cancellations and weather issues are key skills.
Right now the dual given contract is set at 600. If the student load remains the way it is now, you can expect to finish that contract in around 12-13 months. Unfortunately for me I signed on just prior to that contract reduction(It was previously 800 hours). However, I have another obligation due to a contract program that required a year commitment.
That’s about all I can really think of, if I can add anything, or answer any other questions, you know where to find me.