Ground Instructor

Pilot students through their first steps of aviation practice.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$18,000 – $70,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Ground Instructors do?

Anyone who wants to become a Pilot must first learn the ways of the aviation world. This begins with classroom instruction under the direction of a Ground Instructor.

While Ground Instructors don’t have to be licensed Pilots, you must pass certification requirements that prove your knowledge of piloting skills and teaching practices. So even though your teaching with both feet on the earth, you know your way around a plane.

The information you teach varies depending on your level of certification. You can be certified as a Basic Ground Instructor, an Instrument Instructor, or an Advanced Ground Instructor.

Basically, though, you provide the foundation for wannabe Pilots, such as what all of the knobs and gauges in the cockpit do. You also provide an understanding of federal laws and regulations. You talk about types of planes, how weather affects flight, and what to do in emergency situations. After you present the information, you test your students’ skills and evaluate their readiness for Pilot exams.

Your students have a variety of goals. Thanks to the training that begins with you, they can soon hold the title of Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Stunt Pilot, or Agricultural Pilot.

Should I be a Ground Instructor?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Instructor of Blind

    How to become a Ground Instructor

    We recommend at least a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's. Check out these schools offering Ground Instructor-related education!
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