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Considering pursuing flying career...

Old 04-22-2007, 02:55 PM
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Question Considering pursuing flying career...

Hello everyone first let me start off by introducing myself... My name is Dan, I live in the Philadelphia Area (born and raised); currently work as an IT guy for a real estate company... I am 22 years old.

Now I know that there probably have been plenty of posts with people asking the same kind of questions that I am about to (Given my situation, would you do this? Etc...) But I did manage to read some of them already... Well here is my situation. I have my Associates degree in IT and have been working in the field for 2 years now... I make ok money for a guy my age, but certainly not a lot... My current job is the best one I have had to date, but I still feel some kind of void in my heart. I've learned a lot about the corporate world in my recent experiences in the field, and don't really like most of what I learned. Most people are hoity toity's always trying to one up each other and most are back stabbers, etc... Most of the execs are straight up liars and will do whatever it takes to get more money in their pocket... And a lot of people are way too sensitive with certain topics and I doubt that they really are that way in real life... They just act it to play into the corporate game. The politics are overwhelming and I feel like I am back in high school again sometimes... Of course there are positive aspects of the job, but I feel that these need to be pointed out because they outweigh most of the good about it... Long story short, I no longer want to spend 40 hours a week of my life under fluorescent lights worrying about the most trivial things and being complained to and about from people who have no idea about anything outside of their narrow view point. They complain, point the finger and things like that hoping that their problems will get solved faster, and itís just amazing how some people can make so much money and not know how to use a computer or see outside of their box... lol. I do like the job some days... some people in my department are really fun to work with and I enjoy going out to lunch in the city to different places and things like that, but I know that I don't want to be doing this for any longer than I have to. Especially given my situation. I am single, live happily with my family (parents and brother) still, have all the freedom I will ever need as of now... But for the past 2 years (when I started working in corporate) my soul has felt so drained. I am dead tired almost every single day, even weekends... from forcing out of bed in the morning to stare at a computer screen and solve problems like that all day... I need more than 2 days to sleep in, i am not a morning person. Before I worked this job, I had plenty of energy, and a lot less stress and I slept much better at night. So I think its time to make a move while I am still kind of young. My company would pay for part of my 4 year degree if I wanted but I'd have to stay a year after I completed it for them to pay... Not only that, but they would only allow me to take 6 credits per year, and that is just too long. I will not waste years of my life being unhappy and bored just to save a few dollars on my college degree... The 9-5 M-F schedule is killing me as well... I'd much rather have a day off during the week, or even do 3 - 12 hour days, because I can't even go shopping without sitting in traffic. So basically I was considering Delta Connection Academy... I have 10 hours logged toward my private as we speak, and I am going to finish it before I do anything... But I was just thinking what if I left all of this behind and started something that I could really see myself doing? I'd be making about what I do now after about 2 years of flying with a regional... Would you take this route in life if you were me? I don't need to be rich; I just want to enjoy what I do and have enough to survive somewhat comfortably on... And right now I have no baggage or large bills...

I appreciate your time to read and help answer my questions!

Look forward to talking with you all...

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Old 04-22-2007, 08:49 PM
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DCA doesn't have a very good reputation. They are overpriced, for what you get, their marketing practices are terrible, and being "Owned by Delta" means nothing. If you decide on an immersion program, I'd look at Skymates or ATP, though the local flight school can often offer the same a less cost. Are you too tired at the end of the day, or on the weekends, to fly while keeping your current job? There are some advantages to going at a slower pace and not taking out a big loan. Especially at 22.

Not having a degree will keep you out of many of the best jobs. Just the way it seems to work in aviation. There is a lot of competition for the best jobs. Most guys have degrees. Not to say you couldn't do fine at a regional or some corporate jobs....just know what you're getting into. It could take you four or five years to make what you might think is decent money. Getting your PPL before making the decision is a great move.

Do a lot of searching around the site to educate yourself.
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Old 04-22-2007, 09:21 PM
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I am not a morning person either, but you do realize that there are going to be many many early mornings associated with LONG days? I am sure you do.

Go to college and get your degree. Its not a waste, and like de727ups said, you need it for the best jobs.
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Old 04-23-2007, 02:24 AM
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My mother remarried a guy who does the exact same thing, and you sound like a carbon copy of him. He got an associates degree to get IT jobs back in the computer boom of the early 80's, and did these kind of jobs for 20+ years. Last year he was so fed up with the corporate-office life he up and quit, and since then he has had no interest in any kind of work since. The guy is really fried or burnt out. He doesn't know what to do to get back into the workforce, since all he knows is IT which he can't stand, like you he is so sick of work he can't generate enough enthusiasm to enter another related field. Since he has sworn-off IT support he basically does nothing all day and lives off investments. He made pretty good money at it, but it cost him his soul. When he first quit I thought ok he will go back in 6 months, but he hasn't and isn't even talking about it.

I can't really speak to what regional flying is like; some hate it some love it and there are all manner inbetween, but you are at an age that if you do not like it then in the end you could recover from the training investment and still be ok as long as you were not married or careless about debt management. I think you should probably continue in your present job, pursue "FBO" type flight training (flight training using mom and pop flight schools), build ratings and experience for the next 5 years. Then when you are in your mid to late 20's you will be ready to apply to regionals and start your aviation career. Using FBOs will save a lot of money and help you keep down the debt part of it. Debt really matters; I would not go to an immersion academy as the above poster says because it is over-priced. At your age you have time to burn and the money would be worth saving.

As for college, it is not required in order to have a successful regional career but if you are like my father in law you don't give a hoot about it anyway. Not having it will limit your likelihood of getting a job flying for a major airline carrier, but unless you want the degree I would say don't do it. I would argue for it as a personal growth and alternate career provider should aviation ever let you down, but only you can decide if you have the interest and motivation to spend 4-6 years pursuing it. I will say that if you do decide to get a college degree that it's not easy and it takes determination, but it will change you as a person for the better. I got all my ratings except CFI while pursuing an engineering degree using a university flying club. I owe nothing on my ratings now, and have a well-paid office job which I actually like better than I think I would like flying for a regional airline, from what I can tell. Like you I am not thrilled with the corporate scene, so I continue to building hours on weekends flying skydivers and may apply to a regional at some point but it will not be one with the typical reputation for handling pilots disrespectfully. Many of them exhibit such behavior and I plan my entry into the vocation with great care, not missing out on important developing phases such as flight instructing and smalltime commercial flying.

Last edited by Cubdriver; 04-23-2007 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:55 AM
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I have more ex-pilot friends who left aviation to become IT guys. They love the stability, paycheck and being able to be home every night.

Nothing is easy. If you want to become a pilot you are 50 to 70K away from your commercial licence and another 70K away from your degree only to earn half of what you are most likely earning now. Pilots are often up at 3 am and have to function well at all hours. At least now you have the ability to attempt a normal sleep cycle. As a pilot your schedule changes almost daily. One day you are awake all night then a few days later up and on your way to work while your friends are still making their way home from the bars. It is common to lay awake in the hotel and sleep your days off away at home, so if you are looking for a better chance at a normal sleep cycle then this job is not it.

I would advise going to college at night and sticking with the job for a while.


Last edited by SkyHigh; 04-23-2007 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:20 AM
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I think you should stay with IT, and do the flying stuff on the side. I went to a well-respected school and ended up with a degree in aviation. After flying and getting paid for it, it wasn't as fun as thought it would be.

I went back to school and finished up another degree that gives me a 9-5 job.

I can still go to the FBO and fly whenever I want....but I'm not tied to it. It's the best of both worlds.

Before you jump ship on your IT career, I'd get some more flight experience to get a better picture of things.
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