Master Instructors Finds a Home at SAFE!

by David St. George (Lifetime Member) on March 5, 2021

FAA-MarionBlakeyFAA-RandyBabbittThe original Master Instructor Program has set the standard of excellence in aviation education since it was first introduced by Sandy and JoAnn Hill of Colorado in 1997. Celebrating 24 years and thousands of designations, Master Instructors represents what former FAA Administrator Marion Blakey called “the best the right seat has to offer” in aviation. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, addressing the assembled SAFE Master Instructors at the SAFE Pilot Reform Symposium, called them  “the movers and shakers of the flight training community.”

The Master Instructor Continuing Education ProgramTM (MICEP) is now part of SAFE (The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators) with a new website and streamlined accreditation form created and maintained by Submittable.

The original Master Instructor Program, was created by professional educators (and CFIs) Sandy and JoAnn Hill. This program provides recognition for educator professionalism and simultaneously inspires continued growth and improvement. Whereas an FAA Gold Seal is earned once and automatically renewed forever, a Master Instructor designation is earned and renewed every two years. This designation is rare in the aviation world, with less than half of 1% of all educators earning this honor. Not surprisingly, this group is remarkably overrepresented in professional activity (see box below) and also in earning FAA honors – 43% of National GA Award Winners are Master Instructors. In 2009, Sandy and JoAnn expanded their iconic Master Instructor program, adding Master CFI accreditations for two specialty instructional areas, aerobatic (MCFI-A) and helicopter (MCFI-H) and incorporated separately as Master Instructors LLC.

A larger family of designations now includes the Master Ground Instructor (MGI) designation, while aviation educators in schools and colleges are eligible to earn the Master Aviation Educator (MAE) designation. The Master Instructor Emeritus (MIE) was also created to honor individuals with a substantial lifetime of professional aviation education and flight instruction achievements.

TheMastersMost busy working educators already qualify for a Master recognition (the experience just has to be organized and submitted)! In surveys, Masters acknowledged that the program not only improved them by challenging them to become better educators, it also dramatically increased their earnings from 10-40%. Several reported more than a 100% hike in their sustainable hourly rates. Additionally, several flight schools provide incentive packages to their Masters worth more than $8,000 annually. Some premier training facilities like Aviation Performance Solutions, require all their instructors to earn Master qualifications. Get started today with this easy Master Worksheet!MasterInstructorLogo

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