A certified flight instructor (CFI/CFII) certificate allows a commercial pilot to be an educator in aviation. A CFI and/or CFII certificate certifies you to teach other pilot certificate applicants, as well as conduct flight reviews, assess aircraft proficiency, and perform insurance checkouts.

Becoming an instructor will significantly expand your flight knowledge and proficiency, exceeding your expectations of what is typical as a pilot. Being a CFI provides the opportunity to log valuable flight time, gain experience, refine proficiency, and increase safety awareness, all while being paid to fly.

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How to Become a Certified Flight Instructor

Prerequisites

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have at least a commercial pilot certificate
    • Airplanes require an instrument rating, as well; helicopters do not require an instrument rating
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language
  • Have at least a third-class FAA medical certificate

Getting Started

  • Contact Sweet Aviation to meet our training manager
    • Discuss CFI training plan & CFI ground training options
  • Begin ground instruction and/or CFI flight training

Flight Training Requirements

  • Complete the required flight training with an authorized instructor

Final Steps

  • Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)
    • Pass your FAA Fundamentals of Instructing Knowledge exam
    • Pass your FAA Certified Flight Instructor Instrument Knowledge exam
    • Obtain the required training & endorsements specified by the FAA
    • Pass oral and flight tests given by the FAA or an approved designated pilot examiner
  • Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII)
    • Pass your FAA Fundamentals of Instructing Knowledge exam (unless completed prior)
    • Pass your FAA Certified Flight Instructor Instrument Knowledge exam
    • Obtain the required training & endorsements specified by the FAA
    • Pass oral and flight tests given by the FAA or an approved designated pilot examiner
Pilots under wing

Q: How long will it take to become a CFI/CFII after I obtain my commercial pilot certificate?
A: You can receive your CFI/CFII rather quickly following completion of your commercial pilot certificate. The training is primarily comprised of an instructional level of ground knowledge, flight from the instructor seat, and learning how to effectively teach.

Q: What’s the hardest part of becoming a CFI/CFII?
A: In general, the challenge involves altering your mindset from that of a pilot in training to your new role as teacher, evaluator, and coach.

Q: Is being a CFI/CFII rewarding?
A: Absolutely! The experience of sharing in other pilots’ dreams and successes is extremely gratifying. Accompanying a student on their journey from their first flight lesson to their becoming a certified pilot can be one of the best feelings for a certified flight instructor.