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View Full Version : Pilot Jobs Don't Pay Enough


SkyHigh
05-11-2018, 10:02 AM
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/27/sam-dogen-a-middle-class-lifestyle-now-costs-over-300000-a-year.html

In the 1970's and 80's airline pilots were among the highest paid professions in the land. The post-deregulation era has cut down wages considerably and benefits have all but disappeared. The economy and inflation are slowly taking swings at compensation as airline pilots are locked in strict and unfavorable contracts. As a result, even the rosiest of airline aspirations are in danger of falling short of being able to provide for a family into the middle class.

Most legacy airline pilot jobs reside in larger urban areas. Real estate and other cost-of-living expenses in those areas are soaring. Currently, it takes a legacy airline captains wage to support a family of four completely into the middle class and the maintenance of that standard is in grave danger.

Legacy airline pilots who read this will have strong objections. They will report that airline pilots are doing well. I ask to remember that most likely you bought your home 20 years ago and possibly are an empty nester. Consider the 32-year-old first officer today who is climbing the massive hill of funding a new family while trying to pay down massive school loans and saving for a home. The median home price in Seattle hit $820,000.

200K is not enough. It takes $300,000 in most urban areas to support a family of 4 into the middle class. The middle class means two adults, two kids, a 2000 square foot home in the suburbs and two ten-year-old cars. No summer homes or maid service.

We are in this condition and have not even seen much inflation yet.

Below is an article from 2014:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/07/04/american-dream/11122015/

Fun is fun but having a life takes money.

Skyhigh


kevbo
05-11-2018, 10:44 AM
It has been this way for a long time. The only ones who made out were the few lucky enough to hit a hiring boom before 30. All of those guys were very well sponsored golden boys. people are naturally hopeful and tend to believe in things that don't exist. Why else would anyone work for a fraction of the top rates? In any capacity, aviation would be a career of last resort outside of a major airline. Pilots have some hope of career progression, everyone else in the industry is largely pigeon holed. Enough so to make working at a regional an incredibly dumb decision.

SonicFlyer
05-11-2018, 11:21 AM
If you can't raise a family on $100k, then you are living in the wrong place.


LRSRanger
05-11-2018, 11:27 AM
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/27/sam-dogen-a-middle-class-lifestyle-now-costs-over-300000-a-year.html

The median home price in Seattle hit $820,000.

200K is not enough. It takes $300,000 in most urban areas to support a family of 4 into the middle class. The middle class means two adults, two kids, a 2000 square foot home in the suburbs and two ten-year-old cars. No summer homes or maid service.


Skyhigh

Are you freaking kidding me? Maybe if you have a raging coke habit, or you want to live in Medina...

I fly out of the Seattle area, 2 new cars, an airplane, and enough money to have a decent life. Family of 5, growing kids with school expenditures etc. 401K is getting maxed, and I'm under 200K.

I'd love to make 300K, but to say you can't do it on 200 or less just means you are financially foolish.

kevbo
05-11-2018, 02:48 PM
They just don't pay enough for a long time. Surviving the lean years is more than the less wealthy kids would knowingly sign up for.

JamesNoBrakes
05-12-2018, 07:40 AM
If you can't raise a family on $100k, then you are living in the wrong place.

Yes, they are cheaper places to live, and they are cheap for a reason, no one wants to live there.

SonicFlyer
05-12-2018, 08:10 AM
I've never understood the appeal of wanting to live in some cold s-hole northern city where everything costs 3 times as much (at least), and there is very little privacy or ability to own land or move about on your own, or even have friendly contact with other human beings. I guess these people don't know any better.

say again
05-12-2018, 08:16 AM
I've never understood the appeal of wanting to live in some cold s-hole northern city where everything costs 3 times as much (at least), and there is very little privacy or ability to own land or move about on your own, or even have friendly contact with other human beings. I guess these people don't know any better.

Because you don't understand the appeal means people don't know any better? Pretty narrow-mind you have on that head of yours.

aa010175
05-12-2018, 12:15 PM
I cashed in my Sea Tac house and moved to San Diego 25 years ago. I understand what your saying about some places in Seattle but you can go out a ways and do just fine on $150,000 or less. Still drive to work twice a week. If you can get a job in another profession that pays more I say go for it. Being a pilot is just a crap shoot! Some will be standing in the right spot at the right time and some wonít. Good luck. O I was standing in the right spot by the grace of God.

SonicFlyer
05-12-2018, 09:17 PM
Because you don't understand the appeal means people don't know any better? Pretty narrow-mind you have on that head of yours.I'm confident most people from those types of places don't know any better about the world that exists outside of those types of places. Living in an overpriced, filthy, dangerous, cold, confined, statist, horizonless, s-hole when much better alternatives exist is not rational for most, without external factors.

JamesNoBrakes
05-13-2018, 08:06 AM
I've never understood the appeal of wanting to live in some cold s-hole northern city where everything costs 3 times as much (at least), and there is very little privacy or ability to own land or move about on your own, or even have friendly contact with other human beings. I guess these people don't know any better.

I've never understood the appeal of living in the flat midwest or south where there isn't much public land and no mountains or decent outdoor opportunities. I guess I just like to get outside and explore and have fun too much. Oh well.

Fixnem2Flyinem
05-14-2018, 08:31 PM
I try to explain this reality to my parents as they think I am ungrateful for the 45k I now make as a regional pilot trying to live in Portland. They bought their house for 180k in 1997 when my dad only made about 50k. So since they were able to do it, I should be able to. I told my father to look up Zillow sometime and he accused me of calling him stupid lol.

Although not as expensive as Seattle, the housing here is soaring. Canít find much for less than 400k anymore, even some houses for 400k I wouldnít want to buy even if I could afford it. I wonít get the argument started on here that Californians and the tech industry are the reasons for the rapid rise in costs in the NW, but just stating that as an indicator that it will only get worse. California CoL is laughable, some places the houses donít sell for less than 1M. To me that is asinine, that is why the whole west coast in the next 10 years will be completely unlivable for honest hard working common folk. Not mad at Californians, I donít blame them for wanting to move somewhere cheaper and cash in on the house that their parents bought in the 70ís. That way they can offer cash well above any locals can afford in the NW. I donít blame the techies, they listened to their parents and got a degree that wasnít worthless. Instead of chasing a dream or getting a degree that they just had to persue for self satisfaction. Now they can afford the life that a hard working teacher, a mid level manager, small business owner or even a police officer will never even dream of in the coming years.

By 2025 for any city on the left coast, you will have to make well into the 6 figures to just have a shot at the middle class American lifestyle. Luckily, being a pilot is one of those jobs once you make it to major, if you donít lose your medical or get furloughed.. It still does have a higher salary than most, maybe not the rich lifestyle some dream of but the other job sectors aside from tech are just as stagnant.

tomgoodman
05-15-2018, 06:32 AM
IMHO, a big perk of this job is spending time in those costly places at company expense, then going back to your modest, quiet home. :)

rickair7777
05-15-2018, 02:42 PM
It has been this way for a long time. The only ones who made out were the few lucky enough to hit a hiring boom before 30. All of those guys were very well sponsored golden boys. people are naturally hopeful and tend to believe in things that don't exist. Why else would anyone work for a fraction of the top rates? In any capacity, aviation would be a career of last resort outside of a major airline. Pilots have some hope of career progression, everyone else in the industry is largely pigeon holed. Enough so to make working at a regional an incredibly dumb decision.

They just don't pay enough for a long time. Surviving the lean years is more than the less wealthy kids would knowingly sign up for.

Life's not fair Bub. Suck it the Eff up and deal with it.

I didn't have jack, so I joined the Navy. No golden boy here but I worked hard in a low-rent public school, got up early to attend extra classes to get college pre-reqs knocked out while doing sports, then got up even earlier to go run before the sun came up... had to do that to push my sports performance where I thought it needed to be for scholarships.

Try looking forward instead of biatching all the time. If not for you, then the next generation. My kids are getting raised right, and will inherit millions. That makes me happy, even if I had some lean years and tough times along the way.

Even most of the privileged kids in aviation are pretty good people, not their fault they had it good.

JohnBurke
05-15-2018, 03:59 PM
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/27/sam-dogen-a-middle-class-lifestyle-now-costs-over-300000-a-year.html

200K is not enough. It takes $300,000 in most urban areas to support a family of 4 into the middle class. The middle class means two adults, two kids, a 2000 square foot home in the suburbs and two ten-year-old cars. No summer homes or maid service.


Ah, our resident failure is back to promote the sad song of his shortcomings, once again, and we see that he has brought his same, tired lies with him once more.

It's truly amazing that the vast majority of people in the US survive on an average income of just over 57,000 dollars. Is it just you that can't survive on less than three hundred thousand?

It's interesting that so many in aviation managed to succeed, whereas you did not.

It's also interesting that the average income in the United States is less than sixty grand, and yet you tout numbers suggesting it can't be less than three hundred thousand.

There's a common connection, here. Most people can do what you can't.

And you're here to cry about it again.

Fixnem2Flyinem
05-15-2018, 04:58 PM
Ah, our resident failure is back to promote the sad song of his shortcomings, once again, and we see that he has brought his same, tired lies with him once more.

It's truly amazing that the vast majority of people in the US survive on an average income of just over 57,000 dollars. Is it just you that can't survive on less than three hundred thousand?

It's interesting that so many in aviation managed to succeed, whereas you did not.

It's also interesting that the average income in the United States is less than sixty grand, and yet you tout numbers suggesting it can't be less than three hundred thousand.

There's a common connection, here. Most people can do what you can't.

And you're here to cry about it again.

Itís all about geography. In California, 57k almost gets you food stamps and definitely wonít ever afford you an opportunity to buy a house. 57k in Memphis, you can buy a decent 3br house and raise a few kids comfortably. Skyhighís example was in the Bay Area I believe.

JohnBurke
05-15-2018, 05:52 PM
Itís all about geography. In California, 57k almost gets you food stamps and definitely wonít ever afford you an opportunity to buy a house. 57k in Memphis, you can buy a decent 3br house and raise a few kids comfortably. Skyhighís example was in the Bay Area I believe.

Californians do tend to believe the world doesn't exist beyond their borders, that they're the trendsetters for society, and that theirs is the model of the rest of the country, despite the truth that the state is more like a foreign country.

Skyhigh has been floating the same like here for a number of years, and the truth is that the average US household is under sixty thousand dollars. Very few make the kind of money that skyhigh is touting: the notion that thee hundred thousand is necessary to day is an absolute lie.

You also need to understand that his was a short lived, failed career, for which is has been crying on and off for a long time. He quit the career because he feels it didn't allow him to live as he wished, in his words to live "as a king." He's not really living like a king now, either.

The industry if full of active aviators making a living and pursuing their chosen vocation. Skyhigh would have us believe that divorce is inevitable, that all pilots live miserable lives in one bedroom apartments, starving, without any semblance of a life. He's stated as much on many occasions on this website.

The notion that a pilot must be making three hundred thousand dollars a year to live a basic middle class existence is a lie, and is stupidity. It's five times the national income.

That said, I can have had made two hundred thousand flying single engine airplanes, let alone other equipment. At the early stages of one's career, income may not be worth that kind of money, but with the proper qualifications and experience, career progression tends toward better paying jobs, and one can expect not only a good living and acceptable lifestyle.

Regional pilots today are starting off above the national average income, which is a very significant improvement over what once was. It only goes up from there.

threeighteen
05-15-2018, 06:14 PM
Regional pilots today are starting off above the national average income

Hah, wut?

48,642.15 is the 2016 National Average Wage according to the Department of Social Security. https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/AWI.html

Most regionals do not pay that on first year pay, or even on 3rd year pay. I think Endeavor might be the only one that exceeds that mark at year 3. Pretty unacceptable considering the cost of education and training for this career.

1st year pay at Republic: $40,500
3rd year pay at Republic: $45,900

1st year pay at Endeavor: $45,000
3rd year pay at Endeavor: $54,000

1st year pay at SkyWest: $34,656
3rd year pay at SkyWest: $37,392-$40,128 (depends on equipment)

1st year pay at Mesa: $32,400
3rd year pay at Mesa: $34,200

galaxy flyer
05-15-2018, 06:29 PM
The amazing thing is those current pat scales are, inflation adjusted, exactly what I started out at in 1980 flying a Citation and 5 years later at Eastern as a F/E. Stop beotching, you’re no worse off than your father was back in the day. No, you won’t own a house, have a retirement plan financed TODAY, but give it 30+ years and you will just like I did. And I did it flying military and civilian, no 300k airline jobs. Today is, bar none, the best period to be a pilot in 60 years.


GF

SonicFlyer
05-15-2018, 07:01 PM
200K is not enough. It takes $300,000 in most urban areas to support a family of 4 into the middle class. The middle class means two adults, two kids, a 2000 square foot home in the suburbs and two ten-year-old cars. No summer homes or maid service. Someone is smoking some serious crack.

If you can't live on $300k then you have a serious problem, or you need to move to a place you can afford.

Airhoss
05-15-2018, 09:12 PM
I notice that High doesn’t mention what he’s making? What does he do anyway? I heard organic beef farmer, property manager? Just sayin’ high is full of problems and short on solutions.

threeighteen
05-16-2018, 07:56 AM
The amazing thing is those current pat scales are, inflation adjusted, exactly what I started out at in 1980 flying a Citation and 5 years later at Eastern as a F/E. Stop beotching, youíre no worse off than your father was back in the day. No, you wonít own a house, have a retirement plan financed TODAY, but give it 30+ years and you will just like I did. And I did it flying military and civilian, no 300k airline jobs. Today is, bar none, the best period to be a pilot in 60 years.


GF

What about flight training costs? Flight training is significantly more expensive today than it was in 1980, even considering inflation. The education cost has skyrocketed, rents in most cities have skyrocketed, and yet the starting wage is the same and still below respectable.

JohnBurke
05-16-2018, 08:03 AM
Let's have a look, from the numbers on this same site...

First year first officer at Republic:

https://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/airlines/regional/republic_airline

First Officer Averages (Year 1): $45,000 (wages/base compensation) + $6,100 (per diem) + $17,500 (signing bonus) + $6,200 (benefits) = $74,800


So...above national average for income, and the numbers above are just entry level.

Gojet has 26,000 to 30,000 dollar bonuses.

https://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/airlines/regional/gojet_airlines

$26,000 1 st year New-Hire First Officer Bonus
$15,000 1 st year New-Hire Direct Entry Captain Bonus
$30,000 sign on bonus for new hire direct entry captains hired on or after 4/10/2018 paid out in 10k increments: After IOE completion at 6 months on property, after 12 months on property
$5,000 Air Carrier Experience Match Bonus
Experience Match also allows current & qualified pilots from any scheduled US or international air carrier to carry over longevity at 1:1 rate and get up to 6 months of early seniority.
$10,000 Referral Bonus for current GoJet pilots.
Open time paid at 150%.
Premium pay has been at 150 – 200 %.


Horizon...

https://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/airlines/regional/horizon_air

New hire bonus ($25,000 for Q400 pilots, $20,000 for E175 pilots)


They, like many others, are offering other bonus packages, such as twenty five grand for rotor pilots transitioning to fixed wing, as well as recruitment bonuses for referring a friend, etc.

No, these pilots are not making less than the national average, and it's well to remember that regionals are entry level jobs. It only goes up from there.

Starting wages are far, far better than what they were.

I notice that High doesn’t mention what he’s making? What does he do anyway? I heard organic beef farmer, property manager? Just sayin’ high is full of problems and short on solutions.

No need. He's living like a king (who came from a failed career attempt), and kings, much like crass dishonest presidents, don't need to reveal their income. It's just assumed.

Besides, he owns a Cessna 150. He must be making at least 300,000, right?

Personal worth is irrelevant if all one does is return to attack the industry in which one couldn't make a go of it. He's not actually saying that he's making these wages...just that the rest of us never could.

rickair7777
05-16-2018, 12:26 PM
If you can't raise a family on $100k, then you are living in the wrong place.

Not everybody can live in Podunk, KS.

Some have family and lives elsewhere. Others just couldn't stand the small town, and left for a reason.

Major metro area, you need 200K for the stereo-typical upper middle class life. That includes house with a yard (and no burglar bars), vacations, kid's college, and retirement at age 65. Also food costs more than you might think... assuming real food, not the packaged/processed crap at your chain grocery (but that's probably your only choice in Podunk Falls).

SonicFlyer
05-16-2018, 04:14 PM
Not everybody can live in Podunk, KS.One can live in almost any major metropolitan area in the country comfortably on $100k... this excludes s-holes such as NY, Bos, DC, LA, Sea, SFO, Chicago.

Practically anywhere else in the country, $100k does just fine.

$100k doesn't force you to live in a small town.



Major metro area, you need 200K for the stereo-typical upper middle class life. That includes house with a yard (and no burglar bars), vacations, kid's college, and retirement at age 65.LOL no it really doesn't. You must be really bad at math. :rolleyes:

threeighteen
05-17-2018, 04:16 PM
One can live in almost any major metropolitan area in the country comfortably on $100k... this excludes s-holes such as NY, Bos, DC, LA, Sea, SFO, Chicago.


That's essentially every major airline domicile in the country.

threeighteen
05-17-2018, 04:23 PM
Let's have a look, from the numbers on this same site...

First year first officer at Republic:

https://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/airlines/regional/republic_airline



So...above national average for income, and the numbers above are just entry level.

Gojet has 26,000 to 30,000 dollar bonuses.

https://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/airlines/regional/gojet_airlines



Horizon...

https://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/airlines/regional/horizon_air



They, like many others, are offering other bonus packages, such as twenty five grand for rotor pilots transitioning to fixed wing, as well as recruitment bonuses for referring a friend, etc.

No, these pilots are not making less than the national average, and it's well to remember that regionals are entry level jobs. It only goes up from there.

Starting wages are far, far better than what they were.



No need. He's living like a king (who came from a failed career attempt), and kings, much like crass dishonest presidents, don't need to reveal their income. It's just assumed.

Besides, he owns a Cessna 150. He must be making at least 300,000, right?

Personal worth is irrelevant if all one does is return to attack the industry in which one couldn't make a go of it. He's not actually saying that he's making these wages...just that the rest of us never could.

Error 1:

Per diem is not compensation, and yet you are counting that.

Error 2:

Many of those numbers are manipulated figures by recruiting departments and not minimum guarantee. Minimum guarantee is the only thing that you can build a responsible budget around in this industry. All of my numbers are at minimum guarantee, as that's what most pilots make first year unless they pick up flying on their days off.

Error 3:

Signing bonuses are not reliable compensation, many of them are conditional upon the pilot staying there for several years. And compensation actually goes down significantly starting at year 2 if you do factor in the signing bonus.

Also, many of the signing bonuses have catch-22s that state something like 1/2 of this bonus will be paid out at the 24-month employment anniversary if the pilot is not "upgrade eligible" and then they won't pay the pilot that second 1/2 of the bonus, because they have the 1000sic 121 and are by definition "eligible" even if they have the bid in for upgrade but simply don't have the seniority to be awarded it yet.

You are obviously very clueless and detached from the reality of FO compensation at regional airlines. It's all smoke, mirrors, lies, and misdirection to get people in the door before they get a chance to understand the fine print.

Error 4:

what is the relevance rotor bonuses for the mil guys? That's not relevant to the issue that the civilian guys are shelling out close to $50-$100k+ for training and education these days and still getting hosed and put second in line to the mil guys, which is what is causing the pilot shortage at the regional level.... Why pay so much money on training and education when one can go to a 3-6 month "coding camp" straight out of highschool and make $100k+/year without the debt?


The whole "I was able to do it at $10-$20k/year when gas was less than a buck a gallon, flight training was $5/hr, and rent was $200/month, so you should be able to do it too" argument is a fallacy at best.

SonicFlyer
05-17-2018, 05:46 PM
That's essentially every major airline domicile in the country.

Wrong. Dallas, Houston, Denver, Atlanta, CVG, MSP, DTW, PHX, etc all have affordable suburbs.

threeighteen
05-17-2018, 06:53 PM
Wrong. Dallas, Houston, Denver, Atlanta, CVG, MSP, DTW, PHX, etc all have affordable suburbs.

Mind pointing me towards an affordable suburb in Denver where I could live without fear of being shot or robbed, and still make a 120 minute call-out?

Not familiar with the housing market in many of those other cities, but FO and even Captain Salary at a regional airline just doesn't pay the bills in Denver unless you're single and don't plan on having kids until your late 40s.

SonicFlyer
05-18-2018, 06:32 AM
Mind pointing me towards an affordable suburb in Denver where I could live without fear of being shot or robbed, and still make a 120 minute call-out?

Not familiar with the housing market in many of those other cities, but FO and even Captain Salary at a regional airline just doesn't pay the bills in Denver unless you're single and don't plan on having kids until your late 40s.
I was referring to the ignorant comment above about how one has to make $300k just to have a middle class lifestyle LOL

threeighteen
05-18-2018, 05:34 PM
I was referring to the ignorant comment above about how one has to make $300k just to have a middle class lifestyle LOL

Honestly it sounds about right for a total household income these days assuming 2 adults and 2-3 children. Depending on the city that $300k will be either upper middle class or lower middle class.

Taxes, health insurance and expenses, loss of medical insurance, taxes, life insurance, decent private schools, saving for college, taxes, two reliable/safe vehicles, taxes, a decent home in a decent neighborhood, saving for retirement and maybe vacation or two per year will burn through $200-$300k pretty quick in most cities mentioned in this thread, even near Detroit.

SonicFlyer
05-18-2018, 09:13 PM
Honestly it sounds about right for a total household income these days assuming 2 adults and 2-3 children. Depending on the city that $300k will be either upper middle class or lower middle class.

Taxes, health insurance and expenses, loss of medical insurance, taxes, life insurance, decent private schools, saving for college, taxes, two reliable/safe vehicles, taxes, a decent home in a decent neighborhood, saving for retirement and maybe vacation or two per year will burn through $200-$300k pretty quick in most cities mentioned in this thread, even near Detroit.

LOL.... some people are bad at math and budgeting :rolleyes:

Toonces
05-19-2018, 10:35 AM
Honestly it sounds about right for a total household income these days assuming 2 adults and 2-3 children. Depending on the city that $300k will be either upper middle class or lower middle class.

Taxes, health insurance and expenses, loss of medical insurance, taxes, life insurance, decent private schools, saving for college, taxes, two reliable/safe vehicles, taxes, a decent home in a decent neighborhood, saving for retirement and maybe vacation or two per year will burn through $200-$300k pretty quick in most cities mentioned in this thread, even near Detroit.

https://cdn.howmuch.net/articles/salary-need-to-afford-home-2018-8426.png

You are deluded. Pretty sure I hit all those marks above on a regional FO equivalent salary (PC-12 captain). I live an hour outside of Boston. No need for the private school since my taxes pay for wonderful public schools.

Living in a city CAN be expensive. Having a decent life on an entry level pilot's salary does not need to be.

JohnBurke
05-19-2018, 09:02 PM
You are deluded. Pretty sure I hit all those marks above on a regional FO equivalent salary (PC-12 captain). I live an hour outside of Boston. No need for the private school since my taxes pay for wonderful public schools.

Living in a city CAN be expensive. Having a decent life on an entry level pilot's salary does not need to be.

Do not attempt to impose truth and fact upon a discussion such as this.

It contradicts the lies being swilled by those with silver spoons surgically sewn into their mealy mouths, and that's entirely unacceptable.

Stimpy the Kat
05-20-2018, 08:08 AM
I have lived in the ORD suburbs for 25+ years. All of the obscene taxes, home prices, etc. associated with a large Metro area are definitely in play here.

Very rarely have I exceeded 6 figures in a 30 + year airline career.

I have owned two homes in two very decent suburbs, saved for a retirement, raised a Son, payed his Mother 20% of my income for 15 years, have driven decent cars, taken vacations, seen the World, and generally partied like a Rock Star when necessary.

My "First Retirement", when a previous Employer failed, was at age 50. Out of sheer boredom after 2.3 years I went back to flying.

Looks like my next "Retirement" ( Medical ) started about 18 months ago at age 57.

If I don't get back to flying I'm okay til' about age 90 financially. And, this is calculated using my money, not insurance/disability etc. Hmmm. Impossible isn't it ?

And, NO...I don't eat Ramen, or Mac and Cheese (unless I feel like it ) nor do I eat fast food/processed garbage. Mostly just fresh chicken, beef, pork, fish and veggies thank you.

"Per Diem is not compensation"...30 years of hearing THIS Stupid Argument.( ! ) :(

That's funny.. I have a nice six figure (plus) account that I have built almost SOLELY on depositing Per Diem checks over the last 25 years. Per Diem IS compensation and it's MUCH BETTER than regular income because ... It's Tax EFFIN' Free for Christ's Sake!

Unfortunately, as this thread clearly illustrates, many Pilots are basically illiterate, both financially and functionally.

A friend of mine ( not a pilot ) came out of bankruptcy and luckily got a raise from his employer from 70k to about 90k. He said " Not bad, Huh !? A guy can live pretty well on that kind of money, right?! "

I smiled and explained " Well, if you can't make it on 70 grand a year, you certainly can't make it on 90. "

TRUE DAT.

Love,

:)

Stimpy

Stimpy the Kat
05-20-2018, 08:59 AM
do not attempt to impose truth and fact upon a discussion such as this.

It contradicts the lies being swilled by those with silver spoons surgically sewn into their mealy mouths, and that's entirely unacceptable.


Yup! That ^^^^ !

STK

Beech Dude
05-20-2018, 09:11 AM
Error 1:

Per diem is not compensation, and yet you are counting that.

Error 2:

Many of those numbers are manipulated figures by recruiting departments and not minimum guarantee. Minimum guarantee is the only thing that you can build a responsible budget around in this industry. All of my numbers are at minimum guarantee, as that's what most pilots make first year unless they pick up flying on their days off.

Error 3:

Signing bonuses are not reliable compensation, many of them are conditional upon the pilot staying there for several years. And compensation actually goes down significantly starting at year 2 if you do factor in the signing bonus.

Also, many of the signing bonuses have catch-22s that state something like 1/2 of this bonus will be paid out at the 24-month employment anniversary if the pilot is not "upgrade eligible" and then they won't pay the pilot that second 1/2 of the bonus, because they have the 1000sic 121 and are by definition "eligible" even if they have the bid in for upgrade but simply don't have the seniority to be awarded it yet.

You are obviously very clueless and detached from the reality of FO compensation at regional airlines. It's all smoke, mirrors, lies, and misdirection to get people in the door before they get a chance to understand the fine print.

Error 4:

what is the relevance rotor bonuses for the mil guys? That's not relevant to the issue that the civilian guys are shelling out close to $50-$100k+ for training and education these days and still getting hosed and put second in line to the mil guys, which is what is causing the pilot shortage at the regional level.... Why pay so much money on training and education when one can go to a 3-6 month "coding camp" straight out of highschool and make $100k+/year without the debt?


The whole "I was able to do it at $10-$20k/year when gas was less than a buck a gallon, flight training was $5/hr, and rent was $200/month, so you should be able to do it too" argument is a fallacy at best.

In regards to whatever "3 to 6 months of coding camp" is...are you alluding that all mil pilots just show up, do 3 to 6 months of training and are handed wings and a 100K paycheck? Guess I signed the wrong dotted line to work my tail off in ROTC and flight school to earn my wings and pull my $29K/yr 2Lt paycheck.

tomgoodman
05-20-2018, 11:09 AM
In regards to whatever "3 to 6 months of coding camp" is...are you alluding that all mil pilots just show up, do 3 to 6 months of training and are handed wings and a 100K paycheck? Guess I signed the wrong dotted line to work my tail off in ROTC and flight school to earn my wings and pull my $29K/yr 2Lt paycheck.

He may be referring to this kind of computer training program, which looks like a good way to lose money and remain unemployed. :rolleyes:

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-coding-camps/

Beech Dude
05-20-2018, 06:17 PM
He may be referring to this kind of computer training program, which looks like a good way to lose money and remain unemployed. :rolleyes:

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-coding-camps/

OK. Got it. The statement just led itself to still be in reference to mil trained guys/gals.

rickair7777
05-21-2018, 11:43 AM
One can live in almost any major metropolitan area in the country comfortably on $100k... this excludes s-holes such as NY, Bos, DC, LA, Sea, SFO, Chicago.

Practically anywhere else in the country, $100k does just fine.

$100k doesn't force you to live in a small town.

LOL no it really doesn't. You must be really bad at math. :rolleyes:


You just excluded all the major metro areas??? That was my point. I wasn't talking about Kansas City, Tulsa, Lincoln, etc. I was talking about the BIG major metro areas where most pilot domiciles are located...

Too many pilots have stockholm syndrome and think a nine-hour, two-leg door-to-gate commute is just what normal people have to do to hold down a job.

bamike
05-21-2018, 12:52 PM
Normal people in major metro areas don't make over 100k. Please show the statistics for even one major metro area in America where the median income is over 100k. I'm talking about the entire metro area, not just the wealthiest suburbs. There are suburbs in the DC area where the average house is $2M, that is not normal.

Do upper middle class people make over 100K? Sure. But that is not the average and people need to stop pretending it is. Plenty of Americans are living in Washington DC, NYC, etc on less than 100k. They just aren't driving a brand new car with leather interior, and they don't have a 3,000 sq ft house. They probably live in an apartment or a townhouse. And their kids go to public schools, and they don't go on vacation to Europe. Adjust your lifestyle expectations accordingly.

Pilots have a very warped sense of what "normal people" make at their jobs. Except for regional FOs, pilots are well compensated in the US.

Source: US Census Bureau
https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/2017/comm/income-dot.html
Note that this is median household income, not per capita income which is much lower.

SonicFlyer
05-21-2018, 02:22 PM
You just excluded all the major metro areas??? No, just the S-Holes.

kevbo
05-21-2018, 02:47 PM
A wealthy or even upper middle class kid that gets a degree and flight training naturally has high expectations. Is it those expectations that drive high wages at the top, or are they simply bait? Would anyone go through all the trouble for just an "average" wage?

tomgoodman
05-21-2018, 05:17 PM
A wealthy or even upper middle class kid that gets a degree and flight training naturally has high expectations. Is it those expectations that drive high wages at the top, or are they simply bait? Would anyone go through all the trouble for just an "average" wage?

Unrealistic expectations can morph into presumed entitlements, leading to unhappy pilots, athletes, entertainers .... and spouses. ;)

jumppilot
05-22-2018, 01:20 PM
An advantage of this career is you can live a 2-3 hours out (less expensive areas) and only have to go into work a few times a month to fly your wide body to Asia.

That's once you make it - the upward climb of this career requires sacrifices, which is why I commuted for 8 years until I could make it work.

Stimpy the Kat
05-23-2018, 10:21 AM
A wealthy or even upper middle class kid that gets a degree and flight training naturally has high expectations. Is it those expectations that drive high wages at the top, or are they simply bait? Would anyone go through all the trouble for just an "average" wage?

Here's how to know if you are a candidate for this profession:

- You REALLY like airplanes. ( You know, like Crack or Meth - "REALLY".)

- The following don't matter that much to you and they do not take precedence:

> Ego.

> Money.

> Possessions.

> Guarantees.

> Absolutes.

> Expectations.

If you can say to yourself, honestly:

" I don't care what it takes or how I get there. I just KNOW I'll be happier flying airplanes Someday, Somewhere, for Something, than I would be doing anything else. " Then you will be fine in this Business.

There you have it ...That's what people who enjoy and stay in this business are made of.

Plan as best you can, know it may or may not happen the way you think it will but, that good things will come. Especially in this environment.

STK

Making it Count
05-23-2018, 10:53 PM
Wow, I didnít know that I have been dirt floor poor my whole life until this thread.

You have very little control on what you make but you have total control on what you spend. If you are struggling to make it in America on 100k or more a year your making or have made bad choices and/or need to make an adjustment in lifestyle and expectations to fit your income.

AYLflyer
05-24-2018, 05:27 AM
Pilots have a very warped sense of what "normal people" make at their jobs. Except for regional FOs, pilots are well compensated in the US.




Yes they do, especially the ones who have never had a normal job, or have lost perspective of those around them.


My closest friends aren't in the aviation industry and work 9-5 office jobs. They live just fine on salaries that pay between $55-80k and we live in an area with a high cost of living. We're very close so they're the only ones who really know how much I make as a pilot, and I know how much they make in their jobs since we're comfortable talking about it. Are they wealthy? No, but for some to say that you can't live comfortably on less than $100k is ridiculous.

I'm sure we've all flown with them, but I had a guy just a few weeks back who was complaining about money and told me he wanted to drop a trip but he can't afford it. This is a CA bringing home well north of $250k/yr telling a new FO he can't afford to drop a trip. That's not struggling or being underpaid, that's just poor money mangement.

rickair7777
05-24-2018, 06:04 AM
Normal people in major metro areas don't make over 100k. Please show the statistics for even one major metro area in America where the median income is over 100k. I'm talking about the entire metro area, not just the wealthiest suburbs. There are suburbs in the DC area where the average house is $2M, that is not normal.

Do upper middle class people make over 100K? Sure. But that is not the average and people need to stop pretending it is. Plenty of Americans are living in Washington DC, NYC, etc on less than 100k. They just aren't driving a brand new car with leather interior, and they don't have a 3,000 sq ft house. They probably live in an apartment or a townhouse. And their kids go to public schools, and they don't go on vacation to Europe. Adjust your lifestyle expectations accordingly.

Pilots have a very warped sense of what "normal people" make at their jobs. Except for regional FOs, pilots are well compensated in the US.

Source: US Census Bureau
https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/2017/comm/income-dot.html
Note that this is median household income, not per capita income which is much lower.


In this context we are talking upper middle class, or at least upwardly mobile. If you wanted to make $70K you could be a plumber, save the college money, and get started sooner.

Most airline pilots (excluding some deliberate regional lifers) invested in college, flight training, and years of dues-paying. Maybe some did that just to fly planes but most have an expectation or goal of getting to upper middle class.

For my generation the dues-paying got drug out for many years, so as retirement and kid's college looms you need to make up for all the lean years.

Can you and your family live in a double-wide and eat ramen? Sure, if you're cool with that. You could even stay a regional FO to maximize seniority.

tomgoodman
05-24-2018, 09:59 AM
Most airline pilots (excluding some deliberate regional lifers) invested in college, flight training, and years of dues-paying. Maybe some did that just to fly planes but most have an expectation or goal of getting to upper middle class.

Rickair is correct: itís a goal. Those who forget that, and think itís an entitlement, risk grave disappointment. Instead of enjoying their work, they may start to call other pilots nasty names and rant about lonely hotel rooms and ramen noodles. :rolleyes:

NatGeo
05-27-2018, 05:23 AM
It definitely helps to have no expectations. For the past 50 years pilot jobs have been somewhat the same, but with the recent advances in technology I think the risk/reward ratio will get worse for pilots. You can already see the negative impact that the strive toward 100% efficiency is having. I'm talking about looking at the big picture and not just taking a snapshot of the last decade. Most other fields are in the same predicament however.

When you are planning to go into any profession you have to analyze the risk/reward ratio and see if it makes sense.

The great thing about US pilot rules versus ICAO rules is we can take a couple years off and come back like nothing happened, versus ICAO where you would lose your certificates.

JohnBurke
05-27-2018, 08:13 AM
The USA is an ICAO state.

That statement on your pilot certificate about English proficiency? That's ICAO compliance.

WhistlePig
05-27-2018, 08:27 AM
I'm confident most people from those types of places don't know any better about the world that exists outside of those types of places. Living in an overpriced, filthy, dangerous, cold, confined, statist, horizonless, s-hole when much better alternatives exist is not rational for most, without external factors.

Wow. Maybe because people prefer cities to backward, rural, redneck, racist locales full of fat, uneducated, entitled citizens whose only food choices are fast food and the bowling alley.

SonicFlyer
05-27-2018, 10:17 AM
Wow. Maybe because people prefer cities to backward, rural, redneck, racist locales full of fat, uneducated, entitled citizens whose only food choices are fast food and the bowling alley.

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/black-or-white

JohnBurke
05-27-2018, 02:39 PM
Wow. Maybe because people prefer cities to backward, rural, redneck, racist locales full of fat, uneducated, entitled citizens whose only food choices are fast food and the bowling alley.

Interesting that you paint vitriol with such a broad brush. Nice job insulting most of the country.

I was just chatting with an acquaintance not far from here; he lives in the city, has access to movies and entertainment, any kind of food one could think of, is far from racist, is hardly overweight, not at all entitled, has a degree, and manages to own his home on a regional captain's salary. He's about ten years into his career. Beautiful wife & kids.

Inexplicably, he's doing it on under three hundred grand. How could this be?

Stimpy the Kat
05-28-2018, 09:21 AM
That IS inexplicable! He must be a genius. NOT.

:)

JohnBurke
05-29-2018, 12:39 AM
That IS inexplicable! He must be a genius. NOT.

:)

Perhaps it's because he doesn't bowl.

More income for life in general. Thank god he's free of pernicious bowling leagues. One can only imagine how his life might have turned out.

rickair7777
05-31-2018, 09:18 AM
It definitely helps to have no expectations.

Careful. Thin line between no expectations and no goals. Good things happen to people who make it happen, and it helps to have a target.

JohnBurke
05-31-2018, 10:40 AM
I expect to have good equipment to fly with good maintenance.

I expect to have the necessary tools to do the job.

I expect that paychecks will be on time, as agreed, and won't bounce.

I expect honesty.

Those expectations have been violated at one time or another, and in each case I've picked up my ball and moved to the next court.

hydrostream
07-16-2018, 01:31 PM
Hey at least you fly jets and aren't addicted to whirly birds. Those pay-scales, schedules, locations, and career outlooks will make you cringe.

As far as pay goes, if I can make it to $150,000 a year with a good schedule I will be exceeding my expectations at the start of this aviation journey. Anything beyond that I'll be living a dream.

In the mean time while I make this transition, my wife works and is picking up my slack. We'll cut back what we have to in terms of lifestyle, and while we haven't been frugal we've tried to make wise life choices.

My small family is living very comfortably near Seattle on $100,000 a year with plenty of wiggle room to keep a roof over our heads. Few people I know my age are making what we make and they seem to be very comfortable also.

My blocks are all checked and I can uncheck quite a few of them and still be perfectly happy. Do I sometimes wish I had a M-F 9-5 job? Sure, just about every weekend my friends and family are out on their boats or camping in the hills and I'm off to work. But whatever. It's still better than my life was in the Army!

Also, I've lived in rural America as well as urban America. Anyone calling Seattle a ****-hole must be using some interesting metrics.

hydrostream
07-15-2019, 07:09 PM
Whoops. Filler.