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Old 08-18-2019, 08:35 PM   #1  
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Default New to Aviation - Have Job Questions

Hi there,
I'm new to this forum and aviation.
I've done a lot of studying/reading and I'm currently in the process of thinking through making the jump from zero to CPL.
My questions are:
1) How difficult can it be to get a job with an airline after CPL training? Do certain airlines require a lot of flying hours or is there a long junior period before attaining a safe job status?
2) Does it make sense to move to being a charter pilot after CPL training or do you need a lot of commercial flying hours through some other avenue to get that kind of job?
3) Is there such a thing as being an "on-call' charter pilot down the road in a career like this?

What I'm looking for is just some general job information after leaving CPL training.
Can anyone point me in the right direction in terms of how a career trajectory in aviation can develop?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:14 AM   #2  
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It used to be that this kind of information wasn't readily available and that unless you knew a bunch of pilots and they were very forthcoming, you really couldn't get this information much ahead of time. Times have changed with the internet and these topics are covered in many places on this site. I suggest starting to do searches and scouring these forums, start working backwards and do some research. You'll quickly start to understand. Like most industries, you aren't going to get hired at the upper levels without significant experience. There are multiple ways to build that experience, some involving "airlines", but airlines are everything from single-engine piston airplanes up to A-380s. Learn about the industry and the different 14 CFR parts that certificate holders operate under, that will start to help you as well. Do all of this before diving head-first into pilot training to gain an understanding. Far to many of us did our training without much of an understanding of the industry due to the limitations on information many years ago.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:51 AM   #3  
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Sounds like you are looking for a time line. Unless you are extremely fortunate, the first 3 years after CPL will bring low compensation and poor hours. The next 7 years will be based on the economy and your ability to hustle. After 10 years you'll either be in or out of the biz. Results vary by individual. Best of luck.

Last edited by badflaps; 08-21-2019 at 11:53 AM. Reason: punct.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:34 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlemay1 View Post
Hi there,
I'm new to this forum and aviation.
I've done a lot of studying/reading and I'm currently in the process of thinking through making the jump from zero to CPL.
My questions are:
1) How difficult can it be to get a job with an airline after CPL training?
Immediately after CPL, impossible. US airline pilots can no longer fly with a CPL, you need an ATP (which requires 1500 hours unless you graduated from university programs or the military).

Most folks work as CFI's to get to 1500, then go to the regional airlines. There are a variety of other paths, but that is the most common and probably quickest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nlemay1 View Post
Do certain airlines require a lot of flying hours or is there a long junior period before attaining a safe job status?
Regional airlines all pretty much hire folks right at the minimum (1500 or whatever ATP mins apply). There is a pilot shortage at that level.

Getting a major airline job will require more experience, typically acquired at the regionals or in the military (although there are other, typically longer paths).

"Safe" job status is hard to define, but the conventional wisdom assumes that once you reach 80% global seniority at a major you probably won't be furloughed during a "routine" downturn. How "long" that takes is hard to say, depends on growth and retirements, but maybe 3-5 years right now.

Regionals are harder to predict, they are not very stable. In some cases regionals have hired in a downturn while majors furloughed. In other cases entire regional airlines were shut down overnight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nlemay1 View Post
2) Does it make sense to move to being a charter pilot after CPL training or do you need a lot of commercial flying hours through some other avenue to get that kind of job?
Like I said most folks bound for the airlines do the CFI => regional path.

Aviation is very a much a "who you know" business. Airlines and corporate/charter/bizav are different worlds so if you know which path you want to follow, it's better to focus on that so you get experience that's more directly applicable to future jobs and meet people in that industry.

You can switch between the two, but it's a bit harder (going either direction). Obviously the basic flying skills are very similar, but there are a lot of differences in the day-to-day job.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nlemay1 View Post
3) Is there such a thing as being an "on-call' charter pilot down the road in a career like this?
Yes, plenty. There are also many airline jobs which have an "on call" option (but you still get paid). Many major jobs might as well be part time, with full time pay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nlemay1 View Post
What I'm looking for is just some general job information after leaving CPL training.
Can anyone point me in the right direction in terms of how a career trajectory in aviation can develop?
Do some reading, it's all here on these forums in various places.
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