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Old 02-10-2016, 06:02 PM   #1  
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First off, let me start by saying that in June, I start my path to becoming an airline pilot. I will be going to LA Tech University, which allows me to both obtain my bachelors degree and flight licenses at the same time. With that said, I am entering this field not for any reason but because flying is a dream of mine. I am entering this field for the passion that I have for aviation.

With all that said, I would like to know what you guys think. After reading many forums from here, I understand that airline pilots will not be in great demand. I also have the feeling that they do not get paid well.

Can anyone give me an assurance that along the line I will paid well? Or what I am trying to say, assurance that I will not regret this career path. I am not entering aviation for the money, but for my passion for it. But at the same time, I would like to supply well-enough for my family, or even for myself. Can anyone lay out for me what y'all think my future would look like (without sounding like I need a psychic).
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Old 02-10-2016, 07:19 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by CoffeePilot View Post
Can anyone give me an assurance that along the line I will paid well?
Originally Posted by CoffeePilot View Post
.. assurance that I will not regret this career path.
Originally Posted by CoffeePilot View Post
Can anyone lay out for me what y'all think my future would look like

No one can offer what you ask for anyone's career choice, especially this one. Some aviation jobs pay well, many more do not. Most pilots start with the passion you profess for this line of work. Some keep it, some get it beat out of them. You say you're getting into this for passion....but then....pssst..."will I actually get paid well in case I start realizing passion don't pay the bills."

Sooner or later, reality will set in. Wife, kids, college, life all cost money and you'll need some. Some pilots are content finding a steady job with average pay and a schedule that allows them to have a life outside of aviation. Others have to be at the top of the pay scale and are content to sacrifice all else to get there. Only you know where your goals really are (and those may change as you continue).

It's going to take you many years and lots of work to attain the qualification required to have a chance at making good money as a professional pilot. Once you have the experience and quals, whether you can land your dream job (or even just a reasonable job) is going to depend on cycles in the industry, your networking ability, your resume, some timing and even luck. Hopefully along the way, you maintain your health and don't encounter some obstacle that makes it impossible to keep your medical. Sooner or later, you'll need to balance the "I'd do this job for free" attitude with an understanding that reaching the top of this profession demands a paycheck commensurate with the skills, experience, responsibility and personal sacrifice that go along with it. I think your attitude about pay might change when the bills for that school start coming due.

Good luck.
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Old 02-11-2016, 06:28 AM   #3  
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There are no assurances.

Pilots are in great demand at regional airlines, which do not pay well or offer a stable career. The regional system prefers that pilots don't gain too much seniority so it tries to move flying around and shutdown airlines as necessary to keep pilots from achieving seniority and higher pay. Any regional pilot making much more than $50K is considered a liability, and management spends a lot of time and energy trying to figure out how to get rid of you. But they will happily allow you to start over at the bottom at another regional.

Major airlines generally offer a pay and QOL combination which is hard to beat in the 9-5 world (unless you own your own company). But it's very competitive to get those jobs.

The good news is that over the next 10-15 years the majors should be hiring at a pretty fast clip, so there's never been a better time to get into the industry. But "better" is relative...much of airline history has been horrible for pilots. So again no guarantees.

As far as regrets...

Do your research and make sure you understand what it takes yo get a major airline job, and stay focused on that until you get there. Don't even get married until after you have a major job. The opportunity should exist if you're reasonably smart, can walk and chew gum, and do the right things. Also get a PPL and fly around bit to make sure you enjoy it before committing to an expensive pro-pilot training program.

Avoid student debt to the greatest degree possible.

Do not trust flight schools for career can tell when they're lying to you because you'll notice their lips are moving. They will say anything to get you to spend money on training. Frankly the internet is the best source of info about this career, unless you know someone who is a regional pilot or a VERY JUNIOR major pilot. A senior major airline pilot came from a different era and they are usually not in tune with the industry realities of today.
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