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Old 10-09-2019, 05:28 AM   #1  
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Default Career change from sales to flying

Iím a total noob here and wanting to get the thoughts and opinions from those of you flying professionally. I graduated from a well known aviation school with an Aeronautics degree, I also obtained my PPL from there. I always intended to finish my certs but life always had different plans. I recently completed my MBA and currently work in sales. The money is good when the commissions are coming in but when theyíre not... well I might as well be a fist year at a regional. The bottom line is, money aside Iím miserable in this job. I always find myself regretting not finishing my ratings. So, after that long winded introduction my question is, at 34 do I still have time to finish my ratings (likely part 61) and still have a shot at making it to the majors some day?
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:55 AM   #2  
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Anythingís possible, but there are hundreds or, more accurately, thousands of RJ pilots still waiting on the interview call at any major. Lots of talent out there. Then, the military pilots and waiting on the sidelines heavy corporate pilots. Iíd be leery of cries of pilot shortage.

GF
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:28 AM   #3  
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Anything’s possible, but there are hundreds or, more accurately, thousands of RJ pilots still waiting on the interview call at any major. Lots of talent out there. Then, the military pilots and waiting on the sidelines heavy corporate pilots. I’d be leery of cries of pilot shortage.

GF
Shortage may too strong of a word as far as the better majors go.

But they will have to hire more, and they've already made deep withdrawals from the cream of the corporate crop and discretionary mil pilots (those who have the credentials and have completed their obligations, but chose non-airline paths). So future pilot supply is now limited to whatever the mil produces at steady state (their accumulator is now essentially empty), and whatever the GA pipeline and regional path can produce on the civilian side. IMO they have already about exhausted their surplus pool which was waiting in the wings and the retirements are nowhere near full stride yet.

There will better opportunities for new entrants (higher than normal odds of success at getting to a major). And if you do make it to the top tier, all but SWA have a lot of retirements, so your seniority will progress rapidly by historical standards.

So still some risk in the career, with no guarantee of a big-six job, but even so there's a trickle-down effect... since the big boys will be sucking up all the top candidates, almost anyone will be able to get on with lower tiers (most of whom don't have the mass retirements, so that's an entirely different career proposition).
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:54 AM   #4  
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rickair777,

Iím probably a bit jaded from too many predictions of pilot hiring being a vertical upward curve to be taken in. Yes, it looks great todayóretirements spread over a decade, fewer starts, a drawn down military force. What could possibly go wrong?

That said, in my day part-time job, Iím seeing charter operators with very low time co-pilots, fewer resumes with anything like decent experience. Maybe this time.

GF
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:00 AM   #5  
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Iím a total noob here and wanting to get the thoughts and opinions from those of you flying professionally. I graduated from a well known aviation school with an Aeronautics degree, I also obtained my PPL from there. I always intended to finish my certs but life always had different plans. I recently completed my MBA and currently work in sales. The money is good when the commissions are coming in but when theyíre not... well I might as well be a fist year at a regional. The bottom line is, money aside Iím miserable in this job. I always find myself regretting not finishing my ratings. So, after that long winded introduction my question is, at 34 do I still have time to finish my ratings (likely part 61) and still have a shot at making it to the majors some day?
Iím 33 and in sales with 250 hrs but hesitant to make the switch because I currently make legacy wb capt money and itís hard to stomach the real possibility of never getting back there. I also worry that airlines will choose younger guys over older career changers leaving a longer wait at the regional level. With that said I donít know why at our ages it wouldnít be possible to make it to the majors just that it might take longer. Or as some on here have mentioned getting stuck on the back of the hiring wave leaving you commuting to reserve if actually hired at said Major. Sorry not trying to be pessimistic just shedding light on whatís kept me from making the jump, even though itís something I think about every day.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:15 PM   #6  
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Iím 33 and in sales with 250 hrs but hesitant to make the switch because I currently make legacy wb capt money and itís hard to stomach the real possibility of never getting back there. I also worry that airlines will choose younger guys over older career changers leaving a longer wait at the regional level. With that said I donít know why at our ages it wouldnít be possible to make it to the majors just that it might take longer. Or as some on here have mentioned getting stuck on the back of the hiring wave leaving you commuting to reserve if actually hired at said Major. Sorry not trying to be pessimistic just shedding light on whatís kept me from making the jump, even though itís something I think about every day.
I think anyone in your position would be insane to give that up.

The advice I would give career changers is that if you make less than 70K a year and have a terrible schedule then go for it.

If youíre already making a ton of money and/or have a great schedule why would you voluntarily set yourself up to lose so much?
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:25 PM   #7  
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Iím 33 and in sales with 250 hrs but hesitant to make the switch because I currently make legacy wb capt money and itís hard to stomach the real possibility of never getting back there. I also worry that airlines will choose younger guys over older career changers leaving a longer wait at the regional level. With that said I donít know why at our ages it wouldnít be possible to make it to the majors just that it might take longer. Or as some on here have mentioned getting stuck on the back of the hiring wave leaving you commuting to reserve if actually hired at said Major. Sorry not trying to be pessimistic just shedding light on whatís kept me from making the jump, even though itís something I think about every day.

I wouldnít give up that job. At your age given the number of new hires at the legacies and the number that will be hired while you build time, you likely never will be a wide body CA.

At the end of the day, it is a job, the idea is to earn money. Youíll loose millions of dollars by switching. A better plan is to continue flying for fun and when you retire from your sales job with a solid retirement nest egg, make the jump to a corporate or 121 then.
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:48 PM   #8  
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DanMarino I could see the hesitation given your situation. Last year I made well over $100K. This year I was given a new territory with a higher quota and my prospects look a bit grim. The best way for me to improve my position is to go field sales (currently inside sales). I figure if I’m going to be on a plane that much I’d rather be the one flying it. For me it’s less about the money and more about happiness. I know a job is a job is a job. But I’m convinced some are better than others.
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:46 PM   #9  
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DanMarino I could see the hesitation given your situation. Last year I made well over $100K. This year I was given a new territory with a higher quota and my prospects look a bit grim. The best way for me to improve my position is to go field sales (currently inside sales). I figure if Iím going to be on a plane that much Iíd rather be the one flying it. For me itís less about the money and more about happiness. I know a job is a job is a job. But Iím convinced some are better than others.
Totally different story. Dan Marino is making $350k+ per year. Thatís a lot of money on the table especially considering the time value of money. Sub $200k, Iíd say consider it, sub $150k, yeah go for it.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:10 PM   #10  
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Totally different story. Dan Marino is making $350k+ per year. Thatís a lot of money on the table especially considering the time value of money. Sub $200k, Iíd say consider it, sub $150k, yeah go for it.
I agree. I wasnít suggesting he should go for it, in fact if I was in his shoes I wouldnít even consider it. My current trajectory could get me to that same place, but not for a few more years. My point essentially was that given that Iím more or less at a crossroads I think I would prefer to pursue flying.
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