Flight Instructors

Flight Instructor Does Pre-Flight Check

Flight instructors are pilots who use their experience, knowledge, joy of flying, and ability to explain complex subjects to teach students how to fly aircraft. Flight instructors give classroom as well as hands-on flying instruction to their students. Topics covered include aerodynamics, navigation, instrument reading, aircraft control techniques, and federal aviation regulations. They may teach at flight schools, for airlines, in the military, or work as self-employed instructors. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that as of 2014 there were 97,861 flight instructors in the United States. 

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Teach students how to fly via classroom and hands-on flying instruction
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
School Subjects
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience Several years of experience as a pilot required to become a flight instructor
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Helpful
  • Realistic
  • Interpersonal
  • Leadership
  • Teaching
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements Must meet physical requirements, such as 20/20 vision with or without corrective lenses
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Airline Pilot or Flight School Owner
  • Flight Instructor
  • Pilot