How to Become a Flight Instructor?

Last Update: February 15, 2024 / 20:08:24 GMT/Zulu time

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The aviation industry has many opportunities for different people wanting a career related to flying. They include hospitality-based roles like flight hostesses and technical roles like certified flight instructor jobs, to mention a few. The perk is that you can easily get these jobs online. All you need is to be ready to take the opportunities when they present themselves. 

A flight instructor is trained to instruct and provide aviation education. They provide classroom and inflight training. Their duties include:

  • Teaching students proper flight procedures and techniques

  • Developing lesson plans and new teaching methods

  • Maintaining accurate academic records of students

  • Training in various topics, including aircraft navigation and aerodynamics

  • Assisting with the techniques students can use to manage emergencies

Experts from job aggregator Jooble discuss all you need to become a successful flight instructor. 

What to Do to Become a Flight Instructor?

Becoming a flight instructor is not a day’s job. You need to pass some criteria and also have the necessary education and skills. Remember, the job involves combining flying and teaching together. With an average salary of over $63,000 annually, the process of becoming a flight instructor is worth it eventually. 

Below are some boxes to tick before you can delve into the profession:

  • Consider the Eligibility Criteria and Ensure You Meet Them 

Some criteria serve as the preliminaries for becoming a flight instructor. You must meet these criteria before even considering a career in the field. 

For example, you must be at least 18 years of age to start at all. You must understand the English Language and speak, read, and write it fluently. You must also have a valid commercial pilot certificate or airline transport pilot certificate. You must have logged at least 250 hours of flight time. 

  • Ensure You Have the Necessary Skills

A flight instructor needs technical and soft skills. These include communication skills to explain the process thoroughly for students to understand. You also need patience and adaptability to deal with the different students you have. You need technical skills in aviation studies, procedures, regulations, and mathematical analysis.

  • Pass The Fundament Examinations

The next step is to take and pass the fundamental professional examinations ─ the FAA and FOI. The FAA-certified flight instructor knowledge examination deals with various topics in aerodynamics, weather, and navigation systems. This examination tests that you have adequate knowledge of flying and piloting. 

The FOI test, on the other hand, focuses on you as an aviation teacher. It tests your overall knowledge of aviation and instructing. 

  • Update Your Medical Certificates

Your medical certificates are essential if you want to be a flight instructor. You need vision, mental health, and other standard health tests. You need at least a third-class medical certificate to become a flight instructor. A first-class medical certificate is essential if you have an airline transport pilot certificate. 

  • Create a Lesson Plan

Create a comprehensive lesson plan that you can use as a flight instructor. You can create this lesson plan before seeking a job or getting one. Having a lesson plan before getting a job shows your potential employer your level of preparedness. However, it is unnecessary, and doing it after getting a job is equally effective. Use visual aids and other instructional materials to deliver a comprehensive lesson. 

  • Practice Instructing

Continuously practice your teaching to ensure you are comfortable teaching in every scenario. You can undergo CFI training to practice and improve your teaching. Do demonstrations and make the teaching scenarios as close to real life as possible. 


Essentially, flight instructors are pilots and teachers combined into one. Isn’t that interesting? It is no wonder that the job is so interesting and alluring to many. Those with their eyes set on being a flight instructor can now make an informed decision. By following this article and committing to ongoing professional development, you can embark on a fulfilling career as a certified flight instructor.

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