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Old 11-29-2012, 08:01 AM   #21  
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Ha ha, I agree with that USMCFLYR, the grass is always greener after all. It's funny though, they say that, but give them six months at ANY regional/freight dog/part 135/charter outfit and they'll be begging to come back. We can all agree the view is pretty spectacular, but so is the long term view of job security and commensurate pay.

The good news for all of them.... they CAN go and fly for fun! Other that "Flight Control" on my iPad I can't control traffic, ha ha.

Last edited by RunnerMark; 11-29-2012 at 08:02 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:16 AM   #22  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunnerMark View Post
Ha ha, I agree with that USMCFLYR, the grass is always greener after all. It's funny though, they say that, but give them six months at ANY regional/freight dog/part 135/charter outfit and they'll be begging to come back. We can all agree the view is pretty spectacular, but so is the long term view of job security and commensurate pay.

The good news for all of them.... they CAN go and fly for fun! Other that "Flight Control" on my iPad I can't control traffic, ha ha.
Well...we are a Part 91/135 outfit , but I understand your point.
Your perspective is geared towards the airline world, whereas they have found aviation jobs involving flying which provides them a better means of stability and QOL in some cases.

I'm curious to this point though for those of you whom have experience with such a break from engineering (or any other technical career field). It is often said that some fields - mostly technical like engineering or IT - are great fall back plans - but I can't help but wonder if you have a degree in said field - but no actual experience - or even years away from a technical career field - if you would still be considered as competitive in a tough job market. I just can't see someone in a web design or code writing field being up to speed on the technical aspects of the industy if they have been out of touch for 5 years as an example.
Thoughts?

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Old 11-29-2012, 11:37 AM   #23  
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Depends on the specific industry. Right now, mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineers are pulling great salaries, no experience, right out of college.

That however might change in the future, but probably not for at least a couple years.

Programming however is very competitive since so much of it is being shipped to China and India.

More than anything else, it will depend on the market at the time. Right now there is a large shortage in engineers (but not programmers).
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:18 PM   #24  
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Last year I knew a pilot who was a former mechanical engineer, decided to become a pilot, flew for 10 years and became a regional captain. After one year as a captain he said he had enough blah blah blah and was right back into another mechanical engineering job in his hometown.

I would aver to guess that if you keep in touch/network in your old field, then you're never that far away from a job.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:47 PM   #25  
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Didn't read all 3 pages of this post, but LIKING FLYING IS THE KEY!!!

I've been furloughed twice, had companies go bankrupt etc.. But I absolutely love to fly for a living (I'm not an airplane buff, or bookworm type) but as far as making a living this is all I like to do.. I couldn't tell you what plane does what or how man static wicks are on a DC-9...But I can tell you that if you really want to fly for a living it probably will work out eventually...

I was in the same boat.. Aerospace Engineer major back in the mid '90s, undergrad only, enjoyed some of the classes but definitely didn't want to do it for a career. Decided to go full bore into flying... Sucked up some down times (9/11, furloughs, the recession) But everytime, through networking and persistance, always landed on my feet somehow.

I've got a friend who does medical sales, makes good money, drives alot throughout the state, and works all the time. Good job security... I don't envy him one bit.. Granted he makes good money, NOT outstanding money..But in no way shape or form would I ever want to do that for a living.. And I bet when he was in high school didn't tell himself.."Man I can't wait to graduate college so I can sell medical supplies to area hospitals for 30 years!"

Don't let anyone talk you out of flying if you really want to do it... No one says it will be easy, but those that thought it would are generally the ones who ***** the most. It's not "Catch Me if You Can", but it's not bus driving either....
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:28 PM   #26  
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I couldn't decide between aviation and engineering degree. I ended up with an associate degree in aviation and ratings through commercial and CFI. Then I went for the engineering degree (mechanical) while flight instructing. Not a lot of student activity at the time so I got a job as a controller continued to flight instruct and finished my BSME. Never officially used the engineering degree but I'm glad I have it. I've found it a huge advantage when it comes to understanding aircraft systems and aerodynamics. I love it when I have a student with a technical background.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:40 AM   #27  
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Ditto on the Engineering degree and flying on the side - it avoids all the eggs in one basket and you can always do the flying at a leisurely rate on your own time
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:51 PM   #28  
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I agree. Get your engineering degree and fly on the side for fun. I did some fun flying like tail dragger and seaplane flying and those times were the most fun flying. Now that I have 1800TT in flight instruction in a small piper archer, I don't want to fly it again. I'm in the airlines now and i want to learn to fly gliders. You should peruse what you do best and fly for fun on the side.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:58 AM   #29  
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I have an electrical engineering degree, an aviation-related career, and I fly for fun on the side. I even got to go to Test Pilot School for my job. It's been a blast. PM me if you want to know what's out there.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:07 AM   #30  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMCFLYR View Post
...I'm curious to this point though for those of you whom have experience with such a break from engineering (or any other technical career field). ... Thoughts?

USMCFLYR
Yes you take a hit in your area of specialization if you quit your desk job, and the motor skills also get cool if there were any. But in my flight test job I had to gather turbine PIC if I was to have any hope of doing the actual flight test flying. No turbine PIC is a roadblock to those who do flight test work, almost no one moves right to left without a big sum of turbine PIC and a type or two. I have seen it happen, but as an exception mostly. In flight test the subject changes kind of slowly, taking 1-3 years off is not a serious sacrifice.

My plan is to get a bunch of single pilot IFR time and move into turbine PIC. Get 1,000 hours, then either go back into flight testing with a chance of real career advancement, or if the pro pilot shoe fits then stick with full time flying.

In other fields, CAD work comes to mind, you really need to stay in the fire if you plan to stay in the cutting edge of things. Automotive CAD work in particular. I have seen people get laid off and have to go back for a refresher in their specialty in order to be re-employed. Stress work might be another, anything where the cutting edge moves fast. Computer engineering would probably be another quickly changing field.
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