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HeliTorque :: View topic - Why are Flight Instructor rates so low?
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HeliTorque Forum Index » Student Pilots & Hour Builders

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ALFA8C
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject: Why are Flight Instructor rates so low? Reply with quote

As I had several cancelled lessons due to the inclement weather I decided to go clay pigeon shooting.

Having never fired a shotgun before I thought i'd take some instruction from the shooting ground's coach.

It shocked me to find out that the Shooting Ground's Instructor charges more than my Flight Instructor who has no doubt spent thousands and thousands of pounds to train to become a FI yet the shooting coach was most probably self taught!

A FI must be one of the most skilled occupations on the lowest hourly rate. I was just wondering if there was a historical reason for this?

Personally, i'd be happy to pay a higher hourly rate knowing the time and money they've put in to become qualified as a FI.


Last edited by ALFA8C on Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jimmy
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Working in the UK may be different however, I think the rates are low because there are lots of people wanting to get into flying helicopters for a living so no shortage of pilots wanting to work for low/no pay. Instructing is seen in many countries as a first/low timers job, a way to build up hours and experience to get into a REAL flying job.
Instructors here in Australia seem to do OK after they have been instructing for a while. I'm told about $60K for a grade one, but low $40s for a new grade two. It's something I would like to do but the pay cut would hurt!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Historically, CFIs have never been paid their due. It is puzzling considering that WE teach the pilots of tomorrow, and have an enormous responsibility.

I believe that part of the problem is most CFIs are not career instructos, but are simply time builders. The FBOs and flight schools realize this and capitilize.

It comes with the territory I guess.

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AB
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ALFA8C
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just looking at Fixed Wing Instructor rates too which seem to be roughly half of their Rotary counterparts.

How can any FI make a decent living these days, especially in these times of austerity?

Even if the rates did increase, i'm not convinced it would students off from continuing their training as if their heart was set on it, they'd find the extra from somewhere surely?

(Before anyone asks, no i'm not a FI!)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Supply and Demand.

I am a car driving instructor, it took me 2 years to qualify and training to become a driving instructor costs thousands of pounds.

Unfortunately there is no shortage of driving instructors in the UK so there is huge competition for work.

I would like to charge 60+ per hour for driving lessons but we are lucky to scrape 20 per hour, this price is set by the competition. I actually charge 23 per hour for manual and 26 per hour for automatic, I am the most expensive in my area. If I put my prices any higher I would have no customers.

I have to purchase a car, fuel and insurance out of the hourly rate I charge for driving lessons. I would cry if I worked out my take home pay per hour!

There is much moaning amongst driving instructors that they don't charge enough but nothing will change so long as the supply of instructors outweighs the demand for instructors.

Flight schools have to set their prices such that they remain competitive or else lose business to cheaper providers, or put off prospective clients before they even lift the phone.

I scraped together the money to pay for my PPL each month, but I only considered it based on the price, if the hourly rate had been much more I probably would have decided against it. I did my training on the R22 I could not have afforded to pay double for the R44 even though there are many reasons for using the R44 instead of the R22.

Relatively few people want to fly helicopters and fewer still can afford to fly helicopters. And those who do want to fly are likely to want to go commercial and need to build hours. There is a vicious circle of instructors scraping hours together whilst training up future instructors.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bit off topic but why is it more expensive for automatics?

I recently did my LGV tests and the hourly rate worked out roughly 35 an hr. But also discovered that to teach truck driving you don't have to hold any qualifications other than the licence level you are teaching and (?) held it for 3 years.

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RedDragonBus
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PilotWolf wrote:
Bit off topic but why is it more expensive for automatics?

I recently did my LGV tests and the hourly rate worked out roughly 35 an hr. But also discovered that to teach truck driving you don't have to hold any qualifications other than the licence level you are teaching and (?) held it for 3 years.

W.


There are fewer instructors with automatic cars so it is possible to charge more, well that was the case until some muppets decided to get automatics and charge less than manual to try and get work Rolling Eyes

There are around 60,000 car instructors in the UK, the vast majority of these instructors have one manual car.

There is a voluntary register of LGV instructors but there is no legal requirement to be on it to teach.

The law only requires a driving instructor to be qualified to teach in a car. So rather alarmingly anyone who holds a vocational licence can teach for money in the categories they hold (held for 3 years).

I doubt the 35 hourly rate you quoted goes direct to the instructor, a typical LGV course costs 800 - 1000 and the fuel for the course will be in the region of 300! Again there is so much competition in the LGV training world that you can get a course for less than what it costs to run the course!
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RedDragonBus wrote:
I doubt the 35 hourly rate you quoted goes direct to the instructor, a typical LGV course costs 800 - 1000 and the fuel for the course will be in the region of 300! Again there is so much competition in the LGV training world that you can get a course for less than what it costs to run the course!


No, that was what I paid per hour roughly. I paid 815 inc the test fee. And the instructor brought lunch both days and all bar 2 cups of tea (the student brought the tea if you clipped a kerb - I managed to avoid that until the last afternoon!).

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So why would anyone want to become a FI in these hard times when it costs so much to earn so little?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ALFA8C wrote:
So why would anyone want to become a FI in these hard times when it costs so much to earn so little?


You get paid to play with a helicopter and build up hours without having to pay for them.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:18 pm    Post subject: Hour Building Reply with quote

RedDragonBus wrote:
ALFA8C wrote:
So why would anyone want to become a FI in these hard times when it costs so much to earn so little?


You get paid to play with a helicopter and build up hours without having to pay for them.


That's exactly the crux of the problem. Many CFI 's are only dedicated to building hours, and not instructing. I have known many that do not really take instructing seriously enough to the degrading of those many great instructors that do.

I love flying, and the challenge of teaching. I have done both pro bono many times. For me, it was never the money or hours that mattered. I was doing something that I always dreamed of doing, and the thrill of it all.

After more than 35 years of flying, that feeling has not changed. Smile

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QA
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...just a curious question, how much do FI's charge per hour?
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forest
75 per flying hour or 350 a day. But unlike some instructors I have about 5000 hours teachingand like afterburner love it
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hughes500 wrote:
Forest
75 per flying hour or 350 a day. But unlike some instructors I have about 5000 hours teachingand like afterburner love it


Don't tell my FI..........I pay him much less than 75ph!
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alfa

But that includes ground school exams, but pay peanuts and get monkeys !
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