Why be an airline pilot??


Think about how much the person spends to become an airline pilot (most likely more then what they will make in their first year as a regional pilot)? Think also about how unlikely it is to get to the big jets where the real money is? It must be peer love.


Not only peer love but also pure love. :slight_smile:

Many pilots get there start in the military where they are paid to learn how to fly planes.

Many foreign carriers (e.g. Singapore and Japan) have ab initio programs where the pilots learn how to fly at the expense of the airline.

Then, there are many pilots who just love to fly and the expense is worth it.


sorry screwed up the spelling :blush: :blush: :blush: :blush:


Uhh… its not all about the money.


Yeah, the military path is great if you don’t have eye problems. :confused:


Don’t forget Officer Training School, Flight training (high wash out rate), then leaving the military 10 years later (more or less) and only having about 2500 hours.

Most of the pilots I know (I work for FSI, I know ALOT of pilots) come from the civilian ranks.

Personally I’ve never had a desire to fly for an airline, corporate aviation always was a better fit for me. But even there you don’t get rich. And get there requires the same initial stepping stones. Here is a LINK to a simular topic. In there you’ll find my carrier path and how long it took ect…

I hate to say it, but the nture of the beast in aviation is 2 steps forward one step back. GONE are the days of 6 figure incomes, pentions, and beneifits forever if you start with an airline now. Heck Skybus starts Capt. at $60,000 and offer a 401(k). I just don’t see the “glory days” coming back. But hey I could be wrong.


I think this describes almost any career path today, especially standard career labels such as ‘airline pilot’, ‘doctor’, ‘lawyer’, ‘engineer’ etc… I own three companies and its the same thing, ups/downs forward/back etc… Whatever career one chooses, there are always new opportunities or a niche where one can differentiate themselves and reap huge rewards. Sometimes failure or set backs provide new opportunities leading to success (I just made that up).


to tell you the truth i dont care if i stay on turboprops, fly with a regional airline or have a low salary all my life, i just want to fly for the sheer love of it, the first flight i ever did in a cessna 152 will stay with me forever, and the good bit is im not the only person who feels that way!


Even when airline pilots made great money and had awesome pension plans and benefits, this job (as with most) isn’t one that could be done solely for the money. The sacrifices that all airline pilots make (even those with military training) are such that you have to have a love for the skies.
Today, I think that love of flying can be compared to young love. It must be so strong that you’re willing to work on an expired contract for an bankrupt carrier that just scrapped its pension plan altogether. In other words, you have to be a lovestruck “sucker” who sees the world through rosy…windscreens. Then, after a year or so, you’ll become disgruntled as the “honeymoon” ends. :wink: How bad do you want it???


Most jobs that are fun and interesting don’t pay all that well, it’s just supply and demand. Still, I see that many pilots create small businesses and do other things in their spare time. Beginning as a plumber is not so great, but if you end up owning a plumbing company you can be rich.

I hope in the future that air taxi takes over, and that we have hundreds of small airlines that offer travelers real choices, and pilots even more career options.


All of this just makes me want to become a pilot even more!


It’s not about the money, it’s about your love for planes and flying. Think about it. You have to sacrificew a lot to be a pilot. Too much just for money. It really is pure love.


Unfortunately, in today’s world, many, if not most, of the pilots are in it for the money. Maybe, to be more accurate, it’s the union con artists (i.e. the union presidents) that are in it for the money and for them to get more money, they need to con their members that they need more money.


I still want to be a pilot even after seeing all of this. I talked to the director at KDAY and he told me that it takes a lot of hard work but by the end of my career I would be doing pretty good.

But I assume a college education plays a big role in landing a good flying job…

(no pun intended)


If you want to be an airline pilot I suggest you keep doing what you’re doing. Talk to people in the business and surround yourself with positive people who will support your efforts. A college education is a good idea no matter what because an education is important for life and a good fall back in case the pilot thing doesn’t go as planned.


He told me that he could set me up with an airline pilot so that I could talk to him/her and ask questions. I am still wondering if I want to major in Aviation or something else. From what I heard, all they care about is if you have a college degree.


I really don’t know if a college degree is a prerequisite to an airline job these days. The regional carriers seem to be in a hiring frenzy right now. My instructor got hired by PSA with less than 700 hours, and only about 50 hours of multi-engine time. Checking PSA’s Web site, college is NOT mentioned as a requirement. All they require is:
Commercial, Instrument and Multi-engine rating
First Class Medical
FCC License
Valid Passport

If you have enough money, “Jet University” offers a “Permanent Job Guarantee”. The course requirements for the program are as follows:

Participants must be twenty-one years of age and have the following: commercial multi-engine license with instrument rating, valid U.S. passport or US right to work authorization, valid US drivers license, and a First Class medical certificate, prior to acceptance to the Fast Track CRJ200 Training Program. All participants must successfully complete DOT drug testing before commencing training while at the Jet University Training Center.

If two pilots have the same number of hours in the same type of aircraft, and everything else being equal, the college graduate will be hired and go farther than the high-school grad. Still, I don’t see the lack of a college diploma as a barrier to an airline job.


Get a degree in something, whether it’s aviation or otherwise. I have an Aviation degree, but it’s a very good idea to get a degree in something else also. You could find yourself with an awesome job and go in to get a medical and find out you have a heart murmor or something. Or you get into an accident and loose the use of an eye of something else terrible. It’s a good idea to have something to fall back on. It could still be aviation related, but not neccessarily a pilot.


I found that many of the larger airlines recommend a college degree


General Requirements

* At least 21 years of age
* Graduate of a four-year degree program from a college or university accredited by a recognized accrediting organization. Postgraduate education will be given favorable consideration
* Current passport or other travel documents enabling the bearer to freely exit and re-enter the U.S. (multiple reentry status) and be legally eligible to work in the U.S. (possess proper working documents)


Last posted minimums:
1500 TT
1000 PIC jet and/or ME turboprop
ATP or ATPw (current)
FE or FEw (current)
Bachelor’s degree "preferred"
Transoceanic crossing experience as either PIC or SIC


Minimum Qualifications:
Experience: Minimum of 3000 hours total pilot time in fixed wing aircraft. Minimum 1000 PIC hours in multi-engine (turbojet/ turboprop) aircraft or single-engine high performance military jet or 750 hours PIC in multi-engine (turbojet/ turboprop) and 2000 hours SIC in multi-engine (turbojet/ turboprop) aircraft or single-engine high performance military jet. Minimum 50 hours flown within the last 12 months.

Education:Four year degree required from an accredited institution.

What can you do with a bachelors in aviation besides fly?


Mow lawns.
Grill Burgers.
Rent movies.
Make courtesy calls.
Toss sawdust on elementary school vomit.

Run/Own/manage/work at an aviation business. (business degree and/or business experience would certainly help) Manage fbo operations, flight and crew scheduling, maintenance scheduling.

Run/own a flight school.

Teach ground school at high schools, night school, or aviation institutes of higher learning. (FlightSafety, SimCom, Simuflight)

Aircraft sales broker.