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Certified Flight Instructor


Certified Flight Instructor Training | CAU

A certified flight instructor has an incredibly important job.

We are all only as good as the training we receive, so the importance of certified flight instructor training cannot be understated.

CAU provides in-depth, comprehensive flight instructor certification training that results in a highly qualified, knowledgeable certified flight instructor who cares deeply for his or her students and is committed to their success.


Earn within second year of training

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics program can become a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) within their second academic year.

Ground + Flight Training

In a combination of classroom and flight instruction, students are prepared to become a CFI

Receive Spin Training

Students receive instruction on stall and spin awareness and recovery.

Learn to instruct others to fly

Students learn the skills to conduct student aviation instruction, with emphasis on training progression, corrective techniques and safety


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Certificated Flight Instructor I (Basic)

The Basic Certified flight Instructor (CFI) course focuses on students learning the flight maneuvering skills necessary to become a certified flight instructor in California. Topics covered during the program include – stall entry and recognition, unusual attitude awareness, collision and wake turbulence avoidance to further understanding that the ultimate safe flying environment is essential.

Students are encouraged to self-critique for each lesson and phase of basic flight instruction to make sure they become effective instructors. Maturity and proficiency must be demonstrated by the student to be an effective aviation instructor. It’s important to attend an FAA-approved flight school in California if you are seeking an flight instructor certification.


Certified Flight Instructor Ground School

During ground training, you will gain the fundamentals necessary to instruct and evaluate students as they embark on their own piloting journeys.

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Certified Flight Instructor Flight School

Using your own skills, education, and experience as a pilot, you will develop a strategy for implementing student assessments and evaluating student flight abilities.

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As an employed Certificated Flight Instructor, or CFI, you will be paid to share your knowledge as you fly. Those with this certification are qualified to instruct students in both Private Pilot and Commercial Single-Engine courses, and are able to gain their own flight hours, simultaneously.

A Certified Flight Instructor is able to gain employment in the following positions: first officer, pilot, captain, line pilot, charter pilot, check airman, or flight operations director. Multiple businesses hire those with this certification, including airlines, agricultural organizations, flight schools, tour and charter operations, cargo carriers, private companies, and government agencies. Entry level CFI’s earn a national average of between $40,000 – $50,000 annually, and experienced CFI’s can earn an average of $70,000 – $80,000.

Certified Flight Instructors must have previously obtained an airline transport certificate (ATP) or hold a commercial pilot certificate. In the United States, there are two professional organizations – the National Association of Flight Instructors and the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators – available to support you as you progress along this career path. For more information about graduation rates, fees, and career prospects, visit our consumer information page.

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Certificates and Ratings

Students in CAU commercial pilot programs earn the following certificates/ratings: