Pilot instructors are responsible for instructing students how to fly aircraft. This includes instruction typically both on the ground and in the sky and may consist of instruction in cockpit instruments, aerodynamics, and similar subjects. After students complete textbook education, pilot instructors often use simulators or dual-controlled aircraft to acquaint them with the experience of flying an airplane. Finally, pilot instructors accompany their students on live flights to complete their training. Some instructors specialize as examiners or check pilots and fly with applicants or pilots to ensure proficiency.

Pilot instructors must have a pilot's license and be certified by the FAA as flight instructors. Besides, pilot instructors should also have either Commercial Pilot Certification, which requires 250 flight hours, or Airline Transport Pilot Certification, which requires 1,500 hours, before applying to become Certified Flight Instructors.

To gain certification as a pilot instructor, you must be at least 18 years old, communicate fluently in English, and hold a pilot's license for the type of aircraft appropriate to the flight instructor rating you seek. After you fulfill all these criteria, you can eventually become a pilot instructor and subsequently earn about $140,340.

What Does a Pilot Instructor Do

There are certain skills that many pilot instructors have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed problem-solving skills, quick reaction time and communication skills.

Learn more about what a Pilot Instructor does

How To Become a Pilot Instructor

If you're interested in becoming a pilot instructor, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 69.6% of pilot instructors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 14.9% of pilot instructors have master's degrees. Even though most pilot instructors have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Pilot Instructor

Pilot Instructor Career Paths

Average Salary for a Pilot Instructor

Pilot Instructors in America make an average salary of $90,143 per year or $43 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $133,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $60,000 per year.
Average Pilot Instructor Salary
$90,143 Yearly
$43.34 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Pilot Instructor Education

Pilot Instructor Majors

26.4 %
16.7 %

Pilot Instructor Degrees


69.6 %


14.9 %


11.6 %

Top Colleges for Pilot Instructors

1. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. Baylor University

Waco, TX • Private

In-State Tuition

5. University of Minnesota - Crookston

Crookston, MN • Private

In-State Tuition

6. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

7. Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green, OH • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Siena Heights University

Adrian, MI • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Arizona State University at the Polytechnic Campus

Mesa, AZ • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Pilot Instructor

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.7% of pilot instructors listed faa on their resume, but soft skills such as problem-solving skills and quick reaction time are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Pilot Instructor Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Pilot Instructor templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Pilot Instructor resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume
Pilot Instructor Resume

Pilot Instructor Demographics

Pilot Instructor Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among pilot instructors, 6.5% of them are women, while 93.5% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among pilot instructors is White, which makes up 86.4% of all pilot instructors.

  • The most common foreign language among pilot instructors is Spanish at 48.1%.

Online Courses For Pilot Instructor That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  
Part 1 FAA Private Pilot Ground School (Part 61)

Introduction to flight training, Aircraft Structure, Systems and Flight Instruments...

Phantom & Mavic Flightschool - flight training & Go4 app

Master your flying skills & the DJI Go flight modes like Tapfly, Active Track, Waypoints, Point of interest & more!...

UAS/Drone Remote Pilot Test Prep for Part 107

Drone License Made Easy (updated 2021)...

Show More Pilot Instructor Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time

Best States For a Pilot Instructor

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a pilot instructor. The best states for people in this position are California, New York, New Jersey, and Oregon. Pilot instructors make the most in California with an average salary of $123,582. Whereas in New York and New Jersey, they would average $112,952 and $112,775, respectively. While pilot instructors would only make an average of $110,078 in Oregon, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Nevada

Total Pilot Instructor Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. California

Total Pilot Instructor Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Wyoming

Total Pilot Instructor Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Pilot Instructors

How Do Pilot Instructor Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Pilot Instructor? Share your experience anonymously.
Do you work as a Pilot Instructor?
Rate how you like work as Pilot Instructor. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.

Top Pilot Instructor Employers

Most Common Employers For Pilot Instructor

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Bell Flight$130,788$62.883
3SkyWest Airlines$93,000$44.713
4PSA Airlines$91,581$44.033
5Delta Air Lines$91,475$43.984
7Navmar Applied Sciences$90,122$43.333
10American Airlines$84,166$40.466