Just “How Many” CFIs are We Making Lately?

I had a question asked a day ago regarding some of the data I have been publishing. It was, “I see some CFI certification issuance data you have put out, but I did I miss where you put something out about “how many” CFIs we are certifying?

It’s a fair question and one that I missed putting up so far this year!

So, here it is.

We are certainly increasing the numbers of CFI certificates issued in recent years, but this is something that I don’t think is a full answer to the question of our training capacity.

There are LOTS of CFIs, as of last year 125,075 in fact. But that doesn’t mean they are all engaged in training. Many of them are CFIs who have held the certificate for many years and keep it active so it doesn’t expire. That being said, we are “making” more CFIs per year in recent years.

The table to the right (and the graphic below) show that our certification issuance numbers have been increasing. This relates to the demand for pilots, and the use of the CFI job as a way to gain experience for many pilots seeking to qualify for airline (and other professional flying) jobs.

CFI turnover is typically pretty quick for many flight training providers, but the production of more CFIs helps the providers better fill the positions to provide training. It seems logical to think that newly certificated CFIs are likely to at least be using their certificate privileges for the upcoming year or so before they might transition to other jobs. More of these CFIs should be something that helps us keep meeting our demands for pilot training and our future professional pilot industry demands.

So, asked and provided, here are the data points of how many CFIs we are certificating in our system over recent years.

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About Jason Blair

Jason Blair is an active single and multiengine instructor and an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner with over 6,000 hours total time, over 3,000 hours of instruction given, and more than 3000 hours in aircraft as a DPE. In his role as Examiner, over 2,000 pilot certificates have been issued. He has worked for and continues to work with multiple aviation associations with the work focusing on pilot training and testing. His experience as a pilot and instructor spans nearly 20 years and includes over 100 makes and models of aircraft flown. Jason Blair has published works in many aviation publications with a focus on training and safety.

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