Looking For Ways to earn A great Living as a CFI? Here are the 10 secrets by Kevin Garrison
The best reward you can get as a CFI is when a student called to report their flight report. You feel this Inner pure happiness that you will be always willing to share with anybody that comes across your way.
However, A lot of flight instructors complain that they can’t make a living flying around with students. They are more wrong than a chipmunk at an accordion factory. I have been a flight instructor since 1974 and I have been alive at least most of that time. The real complaint, I think, is that you can’t make much of a living flight instructing.
Part of what I do now for “a living” is to teach flight instructors a little bit about flight instructing. The money question almost never comes up, but I think flight instructor income is like erectile dysfunction and painful hemorrhoids — it is better to do something about both than just talk about them. Using the same logic, I have decided to list 10 possible Ways to Earn a Great Living as a CFI.
Here they are:
- Marry somebody rich.
- Become a professor at a flying college. You may not get tenure, but you will probably at least get insurance.
- Get your money from your student upfront. It is harder for them to ask for it back than to not give it to you in the first place.
- Charge at least as much for your time as the local lawnmower shop charges for working on your weed-whacker. Mine bills his time at $85. How much are you charging for your time?
- Barter. Not only is a used car better than cash, but it is also probably tax-free. Need dental work? A new patio grill? You get the picture…
- Combine students. If you can ground-brief them three at a time you just tripled your hourly rate.
- Get a real job and fly for free. Work for a boss who wants to learn to fly. Job security and you’ll need “extra” time for his or her flight instruction.
- You could become an aviation writer as I did and supplement your income that way. Unless your last name is Machado, I don’t see a lucrative future in that field, but you never know. Richard Bach was a flight instructor until he met that seagull…
- Promote yourself. I know it is hard, but would a little self-promotion hurt? How many people do you know who don’t know you are a CFI? How many want to learn?
Well — there you have it. What are your ideas? Send them, along with one hundred dollars to the comment section below…
About Kevin Garrison
Kevin Garrison is a pilot, writer, producer and creative mind. He has deep experience in aviation, humor writing and creative projects that serve the aviation community. Garrison combines his talent, professionalism, and enthusiasm and applies it to help his clients prosper and grow. 10 possible Ways to earn A great Living as a CFI is of his latest articles on LinkedIn
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