Western Michigan U. Boosts CFI Pay, Benefits

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Western Michigan Universityís College of Aviation is offering higher pay and benefits to its flight instructors, who have been leaping to regional airlines with increasing regularity. "A few years ago we kept a flight instructor for an average of 24 months," said WMU chief flight instructor Tom Grossman. "In the past six months, itís become common for them to stay only four to six months before taking that first industry job." The college is now offering flight instructors up to $29 per hour, up from a maximum of $20 per hour, Grossman said, plus reduced rates on aircraft rental and jet orientation courses. Instructors are also eligible for university benefits including health insurance, tuition reimbursement, and paid holidays and vacation days. Flight instructor earnings vary widely throughout the country depending on the pilotís experience level, type of aircraft flown, and location, though company-paid benefits such as health insurance are generally regarded as scarce.