Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




sheppkvn
12-23-2015, 11:16 AM
Hi, this is my first post.
I'm currently 15 and a sophomore in high school and I think that I want to be a cargo pilot for a major airline like FedEx or UPS. I've been looking at options for getting an ATP in college and I'm looking at Embry-Riddle, EKU, and FIT. I've also considered going into the military and getting flight training. I'm most concerned about the cost. I sure my parents and scholarships could afford the base tuition but the extra $60,000 in flight costs is concerning. I want to know what the best option would be to ultimately achieve my goal.
Thanks!


Xdashdriver
12-23-2015, 11:30 AM
The cheapest option is the military route however the military is very selective and pilot positions are very competitive. Once your military commitment is over, you will be in a very good position to get a job with any major airline. They love military pilots.

As far as the civilian route goes, being a graduate of a big aviation university really does not help you much towards your final goal. It also ends up being the most expensive.

Personally I would get a degree in an area of study that interests you and pursue your flight training at a decent flight school nearby. That will help to keep the cost down.

sheppkvn
12-23-2015, 11:32 AM
Personally I would get a non-aviation degree in an area of study that interests you and pursue your flight training at a decent flight school nearby. That will help to keep the cost down.

So just going to a public school in my state for something like aerospace engineering and finding a flight school would be a good option?


Five93H
12-23-2015, 11:42 AM
So just going to a public school in my state for something like aerospace engineering and finding a flight school would be a good option?

Yep, that's what a good amount of people do. I had friends who would do winter and spring semesters at college and then knock out a license over the summer at a local school.

sheppkvn
12-23-2015, 11:48 AM
what about military options? how hard would it be to become a pilot in the military and would you have to stay a long time in the military before leaving?

Xdashdriver
12-23-2015, 06:00 PM
So just going to a public school in my state for something like aerospace engineering and finding a flight school would be a good option?

Yes. Aerospace engineering is pretty high-powered degree, but aviation management might be a good one to consider as well. You don't need a degree in any specific field, but I would recommend it be in something you could use in case a medical issue pops up down the road, or you get furloughed from the airlines or some other mis-fortune comes your way. It's just smart life planning.

Xdashdriver
12-23-2015, 06:04 PM
what about military options? how hard would it be to become a pilot in the military and would you have to stay a long time in the military before leaving?

I am not an expert on the military side of things but I did have a friend who went through it several years ago. For the Air Force, I believe he signed a minimum 10 year commitment. He had to have a 4 year college degree and go through testing with the Air Force. He scored well enough to be offered a fighter pilot position and flew F-15s for about 11-12 years.

The majority of pilots getting hired at the majors are in their 30s. By the time you finish your degree, and serve your time in the military, you would be ripe pickings for the majors.

Adlerdriver
12-23-2015, 08:49 PM
what about military options? how hard would it be to become a pilot in the military and would you have to stay a long time in the military before leaving?
Joining the military for the sole reason of using your training to eventually become a civilian cargo pilot is probably not going to work out very well.

Last I knew, the commitment required after receiving your wings in the USAF (about a year of training) is 10 years. If you spend 10 years of your life with an eye on the door, wondering when it will end, you're not going to be very effective in your mission.

I'm not saying you can't have a general career plan mapped out and even be very certain you won't spend a full 20 year career in the military. However, while you are in, the level of effort, commitment and personal sacrifice is not something you will be able to provide consistently if you're only there to get ratings.

ARAMP1
12-23-2015, 11:12 PM
Damn kid, good on you for having your goals thought out and researching them like you are doing. When I was 15, my goals were getting my driver's license and slaying tail on the weekend.

That said, focus on finishing high school and getting into a good college. As far as military, don't just look at the AF, look at Navy, USMC, and USCG too. Lots of differences. The commitment is less on the navy side, but the chance of flying helos is greater and those hours don't really count at a major airline. And, don't count out the Guard/Reserve. All in all, it may not be for you, and that's okay. Also, have you started on your private pilots license?

My advice, you're young and have plenty of time. Keep those grades up, start looking into college and have fun flying and living life.

Twin Wasp
12-23-2015, 11:21 PM
One thing to consider going the military route, over the last few years the military was been going more and more to drones. Can't remember if it was this year or last when more than half the pilots completing UPT were turned into drone drivers.

mark hughes
12-24-2015, 03:45 AM
Hi, my son is a freshman at Embry-Riddle. He isn't pursuing a pilot career. He is interested in aerospace engineering. What I recommend is this: get excellent grades in high school. When my son applied, the school offered him a $10000 academic grant per year. I thought, "If they are offering this type of scholarship without even asking, what will they offer if I ask?" They ended up offering a 50% scholarship!

So, get excellent grades as this will keep the college costs down.

Good luck!

sourdough44
12-24-2015, 08:05 AM
Where about do you live? There are options besides Riddle and the other big names.

There are things you can do now to get going. How about a simple and low cost 'private pilot ground school' course? Sniff around a local airport or online for information about offerings.

flynhighaf23
12-24-2015, 01:04 PM
Go to medical school and become a specialist of sorts and make quarter to half a million a year then buy a plane ;)

Military is great IF you can get in. If not then get a technical degree that you can use as your backup plan if flying doesn't work out then just knock out your ratings and build hours. You'll never go straight to Fed Ex or UPS without having to do something first (regional, 135, military, etc), so find a couple routes that have worked for others and replicate that, or take the road less traveled. Either way my guess is even if you started now that you might not make it to where you want to go until you're 30 or so.... So, ya know, live your life and have some fun, learn some things, but work towards that goal every day and don't ever give up.

nick42
12-25-2015, 08:54 AM
The guard /reserves is a great option. Get your degree and a couple licenses and you can rush a squadron. They will send you to military pilot training and help you build hours. If you find a heavy squadron many of the pilots will fly for the airlines and can offer good advice. PM me of you want a more detailed description.

Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk

galaxy flyer
12-25-2015, 12:23 PM
If you're in a fighter squadron, there'll be lots of airline pilots, too.

GF

ethanroy
12-25-2015, 10:20 PM
In order to get hired by fedex you would have to:

Finish high school.
Go to a 4 year college, be in perfect health, have no criminal record.
Get a 3rd class medical certificate by seeing an FAA doctor.
Have no mental illnesses
No illnesses affecting your abilities to fly

Have piles and piles of money!! (get a decent job)

Stay away from drugs.

1- Get your private pilot license through a flight school by logging 70 hours.

Go for your instrument and multi engine ratings.


2- Log 280+ hours and get your Commercial Pilot license, before getting the commercial pilots license you should get the second class medical certificate.

3. Log 1500 hours, get your Airline Transport Pilot's License, before getting your ATPL, get a first class medical certificate.


4. Work towards your certified flight instructor single and multi engine certificates

5. Instruct people to become pilots at a local flight school for 3 to 5 years, expect to log another 500 to 1000 hours.


6. Get hired by a small airline that flies turboprop or turbofan airplanes.

7. Log some 3000 to 4000 hours flying turboprops or turbofan airplanes.

8. Get hired by a major airline.

9. Pass an interview and a series of checkrides.



10. Work your way up to the left seat as captain.


If you want to fly 747's, you'd have to work your way up from co pilot to captain. It will take many many many many years before you can become captain of a 747, it's called seniority.

Otterbox
12-26-2015, 05:28 AM
One thing to consider going the military route, over the last few years the military was been going more and more to drones. Can't remember if it was this year or last when more than half the pilots completing UPT were turned into drone drivers.

Thankfully that's only been an Air Force trend so far. Navy and Marine Corps still let you fly manned aircraft out of flight school, and so does the Coast Guard. There are more UAVs coming online but as of right now in the Navy you're garunteed to fly your first tour.

GucciBoy
12-26-2015, 07:13 AM
One thing to consider going the military route, over the last few years the military was been going more and more to drones. Can't remember if it was this year or last when more than half the pilots completing UPT were turned into drone drivers.


This is not accurate. I don't think there were any UAV assignments in '14 for UPT grads and the AF now has a specific AFSC for UAV pilots. I'm sure they are still pulling from current pilots to fill billets but not from UPT grads, at least not in any significant numbers and most definitely not 50%. It's definitely a possibility for any active duty pilot in the future so the point is still valid.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Adlerdriver
12-26-2015, 08:19 AM
In order to get hired by fedex you would have to:

Finish high school.
Go to a 4 year college, be in perfect health, have no criminal record.
Get a 3rd class medical certificate by seeing an FAA doctor.
Have no mental illnesses
No illnesses affecting your abilities to fly

8. Get hired by a major airline.

9. Pass an interview and a series of checkrides.

10. Work your way up to the left seat as captain.

If you want to fly 747's, you'd have to work your way up from co pilot to captain. It will take many many many many years before you can become captain of a 747, it's called seniority.

If he wants to fly for Fedex (UPS or any major airline, for that matter) he he's going to need a first class medical. So, while he may only need a 3rd class to start with, getting and maintaining a first class is probably a prudent path. It's always easier to deal with health issues and regain a first class than try to get one initially if health issues come up before you ever got one. Bottom line, he should get a first class ASAP to be sure he can get one before he pursues a career that requires one. If he wants to let it lapse to a 2nd or whatever after that, that's his call.

If he wants to fly for Fedex, why is getting hired by a major airline a requirement?:confused:

I also don't understand why getting to 747 Captain is part of this discussion. He wants to fly for Fedex or UPS. FedEx has no 747s. He didn't say he wanted to fly 747s. If he gets hired at UPS, his stated goal, then 747s would eventually be an option. The traditional incentives of max pay for 747 flying are less of an issue at UPS since they pay based on seniority rather than aircraft size. The only guys who fly 747s there are those who enjoy the type of flying, it's suits their lifestyle or have no choice due to seniority.

He might need some extra money to go the civilian route, but plenty of pilots have been hired at FedEx and UPS without "piles and piles" of money.

SkylaneRG
12-26-2015, 04:10 PM
So just going to a public school in my state for something like aerospace engineering and finding a flight school would be a good option?

Absolutely. It's important to have a four-year degree in something that isn't professional flight. Aerospace engineers are in high demand and the pay can be quite good.

I did my private through my initial CFI while I was in college for business. I didn't even start flying until my junior year of college. I have watched my get aviation degrees that take significantly more money, and even more of a time commitment than I spent during college. I do not recommend getting a degree in aviation... always have a backup plan! You have plenty of time in college to learn to fly on the side if you schedule classes correctly. Good luck!


PS: Freight doggin' is a good choice. Boxes don't complain.

ethanroy
12-29-2015, 02:04 AM
Thanks for your valuable information...:)

Otterbox
12-29-2015, 05:41 AM
Hi, this is my first post.
I'm currently 15 and a sophomore in high school and I think that I want to be a cargo pilot for a major airline like FedEx or UPS. I've been looking at options for getting an ATP in college and I'm looking at Embry-Riddle, EKU, and FIT. I've also considered going into the military and getting flight training. I'm most concerned about the cost. I sure my parents and scholarships could afford the base tuition but the extra $60,000 in flight costs is concerning. I want to know what the best option would be to ultimately achieve my goal.
Thanks!

Here's a big thing I didn't see anyone mention (sorry if they did): keep your nose clean.

Don't do drugs, don't drink then drive, don't drive like an *******. The less hits you have on your background the easier it is to get employed by the military or the airlines.

andylewis1977
12-30-2015, 02:29 AM
Hello,
Choosing between a career as cargo pilot is ultimately less a matter of compensation as much as it is a matter of preference, skills and experience. Find some aviation college nearby your location & start aviation training.

BoxedinIowa
12-30-2015, 07:45 AM
Something I haven't seen yet (and something I will add, since I'm flying feeder freight) is to be sure you like flying on the back side of the clock.

- As part of your training, get lots of night time experience, including with an instructor, as necessary. Same with instrument training -- try to get night IFR experience, if able.
- Be ready to fly in all types of weather: snow storms, thunderstorms, high winds, turbulence, etc. I got my experience in a Caravan flying freight out of rural Iowa.
- I got my degree in something I liked (teaching), in case of concerns later, and took a freight job. If you're not naturally gifted at networking (I'm not), you might have to work up from a C208 or a C402, to AMF or some other larger operator, to FDX/UPS. Lots of hours, lots of long nights.

Gilberto Farthi
01-04-2016, 08:31 PM
If you really want to serve your country by heart then and then only join the military. Otherwise, it really makes trouble for you to work. You should do some web research on what are the different ways/degrees to achieve your target. There are many aviation degrees are available. Decide what training course you want to learn.*

PRS Guitars
01-10-2016, 07:38 PM
One thing to consider going the military route, over the last few years the military was been going more and more to drones. Can't remember if it was this year or last when more than half the pilots completing UPT were turned into drone drivers.

That is absolutely false, not even 5% go to RPA's let alone 50%.