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How to Get FAA Certification as a Ground Instructor

Updated on January 26, 2012

Ground instructors teach pilots the necessary instruments and procedures to operate an aircraft before and after flight. The FAA has a certification for Basic and Advanced Ground Instructors. Applicants must pass at least one certification exam.

Although ground instructors are typically pilots, that is not actually necessary to become an FAA-certified ground instructor. All that is required is to be at least 18, speak, read, write, and understand English, and pass the necessary ground-instructor exams.

The general rule is that ground instructors have to take two FAA exams to get certified. The first is the FOI exam (Fundamentals of Instruction). This is a test designed to assess the applicant's knowledge of the learning process, elements of effective teaching, student evaluation and testing, course development, lesson planning, and classroom training techniques.

Those who are certified by a state to teach at least the 7th grade or are currently working at an accredited college or university as an instructor are exempt from the FOI exam.

The second exam is the Ground Instructor Basic or Ground Instructor Advanced exam. However, there is also a Ground Instructor Instrument exam. These are often abbreviated as BGI, AGI, and IGI. Your ground instructor school will prepare you for any or all of these exams provided that you take the right course. For job purposes, it is probably going to be best to get FAA certification as an Advanced Ground Instructor and separately take the Instrument Ground Instructor. This will enhance your employment options.

To take this test, there is more than one place you can go. It is not the actual FAA that administers the exam. Testing companies like LaserGrade administer the exam, and then you can submit the results to the FAA to become a certified ground instructor.


GPO Access: Federal Rules on Certification as a Ground Instructor With the FAA

LaserGrade: Testing Agency for the Ground Instructor Exams


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