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Most students who attend aviation training programs do so in the hope of one day becoming commercial airline pilots. Besides this line of work, however, there are many other careers in the industry that you can pursue. For instance, many students who attain their desired type rating and commercial pilot’s license go on to pursue flight instructor certification. They can then make a career out of teaching and training succeeding generations of aspiring aviators.

There are many reasons aviation students and even practicing pilots might choose to become flight instructors. A few of the most compelling reasons include the following:

Efficient Way to Gain Flying Hours

One common reason people work as flight instructors is to gain work experience and flying hours before eventually moving on to flying for a commercial airline. Commercial piloting is a highly competitive profession in the aviation field, and many newly graduated pilots don’t see employment with large airlines until at least a few years after they earn their certifications.

Most airlines require job candidates to have abundant flying experience before they’re even deemed worthy of consideration. Working as an instructor is one of the most reliable ways for fledgling pilots to build up the flying time and expertise that commercial airlines demand.

Urgent Demand for Flight Instructors

As demand for air travel grows, so does demand for both commercial pilots and the flight instructors needed to train them. This demand is expected to remain high for some time as the aviation industry grows and changes. Indeed, many airlines and flight schools the world over have lately found themselves hiring more flight instructors than they replace.

A recent report from Boeing, in fact, estimated that airlines all over the world will need around 612,000 new pilots over the next two decades. These conditions mean that aspiring flight instructors and working pilots who want a career shift can expect to find stable and competitive employment in flight training for many years to come.

Option for Self-Employment

If you want to work in aviation but like the idea of being your own boss, you might consider opening up a flight training program of your own. This is a viable career path for more independent-minded flight instructors who don’t want to work for a particular educational institution.

Running your own pilot training program will definitely come with its fair share of challenges, and you’ll need to be exceptional at both business and flying if you want to succeed. If you can leverage your skills and market yourself smartly, however, you might just find yourself with a highly successful enterprise.

Fulfilling Work Experiences

If you love helping other people achieve their dreams, you’ll fit right in as a flight instructor. The uniquely fulfilling experience of teaching and mentoring young pilots is one important reason many instructors remain in the position for the long term.

A flight instructor is a major part of every student’s aviation journey, and you’re sure to be one of the most important professional influences in the lives of the fledgling pilots you’re expected to train. You’ll get to make a living sharing the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired during your career with your students, learning about the latest aviation techniques and developments together, and cheering each other on.

Flight instructors’ work is also said to be highly challenging. Many professionals in the aviation and flight training sectors would even say that the flight instructor certificate is one of the most difficult qualifications to pursue in the entire industry. If you feel drawn to the field because you love challenges, this might then be the perfect line of work for you. Whether you operate your own training program or work for an established flight school, you’ll certainly never be bored.

Chances to Update Flying Skills and Knowledge

Flight instructors frequently find themselves learning new things throughout their teaching careers. To start with, teaching will give you abundant opportunities to practice your skills and review the aviation knowledge you’re already familiar with. This constant practice will serve to make you a more confident and competent pilot on the whole. You’ll also have abundant opportunities to practice essential soft skills like communication, empathy, and conflict resolution, which will serve you well in any profession.

Furthermore, as an instructor, you’ll also have to keep yourself updated on the latest best practices and other developments in aviation. This ensures that you’re passing on the most accurate information and the best available techniques to your students, no matter how much time passes.

A career as a flight instructor could be ideal for individuals who enjoy working closely with other people. It’s also a good fit for those who aspire to work in the aviation industry but don’t necessarily want to travel frequently. If you think this line of work could suit your personality, skills, and lifestyle, don’t hesitate to take up a flight instructor course at the many opportunities available at your local flight schools and beyond.