Aviation Employment

Bent Prop

Sep 2, 2002
I am about to go into debt (school loan) to pursue a aviation degree . Am I wasting my time and money or are there ample job opportunities for beginning pilots ?
Well, that is a good question. If you can find someone that knows for sure what the future holds I would like to talk to him or her. If you are looking to fly for the majors you might begin with changing your sign in name. One bent prop would probably cost you a major job. That is just a joke. We in avaition would like to tell you that there are going to be great careers in the airlines but we cannot at this time. You will get many opinions on what you should do. Flying for a living is the greatest job ever but comes along with many obstacles. My advise is to find a major airline pilot and sit down and have a long conversation about the career. One thing that I told my little brother to do for sure is to get a second degree just in case avaition does not pan out for him. I wish I had gotten a second one. Good luck and I hope to see you in the cockpit one day. Oh, you must say flight deck from now on because if you use the other term you might be sued. [:)] [:)] [:)]
cockpit kak-pit noun (1587) 3c: a space in the fuselage of an airplane for the pilot or the pilot and passengers or in large passenger planes the pilot and crew

Websters Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary Copyright 1984 By Marriam-Webster Inc.

I hate all this PC #$%& and it must be stopped! Let's get some men back in Human Resources! (remember when it was called payroll or Industrial relations?)
Hey Bent,

You don't say, but I assume you wanna be a pilot. Anyway, there's no jobs in any industry right now so it's really no worse with airlines than anything else.

It is a great career and I'm sure most pilots will encourage you long term, although short term things don't look too hot for a lot of pilots. But it all depends on where you are. The low cost carriers and "express" carriers aren't doing as poorly by and large.

For example, I have two friends, one early 20's and one mid 20's who are brother and sister. Both were flying 737's as F/O's for United Shuttle and got furloughed. But another friend also in his early 20's chose Air Wisconsin instead and he's going great guns with them flying F/O on BAE 146's.

There are several commuter airlines who fly "express" for the majors but do not have "flow back" contracts which would allow furloughed pilots from the majors to "bump" them. Look for the ones that are posting profits -- some have contractual guarantees which assure they'll make money even if the major they express for is losing big time.

Meantime, try and stay in school until things improve.

Good luck,

Thanks to everyone for replying to my post and yes , I very much want to be a pilot . AT 31 years of age this may be my last chance to have a go at something I really enjoy . The remaining cost of my degree , that must be financed , is that of buying a new mid sized automobile so it will not put me in great financial strain without a change in occupation . I have about a year before I finish so I'll keep pluging away and hope for the best . Good luck to all and thanks again .
Bent, at 42, this year, I decided to career change to pursue my dream of being an airline pilot (I've been licensed for over 10 years). Unfortunately, I've come extremely close, but it looks like I have to put my dream on hold again. There are NO jobs for low time pilots - I have over 600 hours and cannot even get a charter job. Regionals are now requiring well over 1,500 hours - and with all the mainline furloughs, will increase that time requirement. I am returning to my old career for now - BUT will keep flying and building time. I suggest you go ahead and get all your ratings, get your CFI - but have a good job all the while. Things will open up again in a few years. I know a number of people in their early fifties who changed careers and went on to be (regional) airline pilots. I plan to try again. Start flying, but go to your local flight school. An aviation degree won't mean diddly to an airline - all they care about is a Bachelor's degree of some kind - even in basketweaving. Good luck!
I'ii keep on workin on my BS in BS . Still gonna be a pilot , something I want to do before I die.
As a pilot for a major airline, I would discourage anyone wishing to take this job. Yes, it is enjoyable because you're doing something you like to do and the environment is constantly changing. However, the time away from home and family (particularly during the holidays), the inability to schedule anything in your life, and the living on the road in shabby hotels eating substandard food really starts taking a toll as time goes on. And if you are commuting to work, that makes long (15 hour) days even longer.
Add to all of this the six month you bet your career checkrides and medical exams, along with the declining pay/benefit packages, and more productivity being demanded by managements, and you have a job where at age 45 you are stuck being a slave to your company for declining wages and benefits, and less time off to enjoy the things in life like moving to a smaller house.
It is not the golden jewel of a job it was, and I think that other fields have more to offer in terms of compensation, benefits, and family life.
Just one man's opinion.
Think about it, when really is it the best time to become a pilot? Never, but when the industry is at a low is a good time to start. Get your ratings, CFI for awhile, fery airplanes, fly sky jumpers, etc., even if yu hold a full-time job and fly on your spare tiem. In time the hours will add up. Then apply for a commuterjob. Comair doesn''t pay bad, yea initially you don''t make much and you may not actually fly a lot, but as your seniority grows so do your bidding options. Eventually you''ll make good money. As far as going from regionals to majors I would like to say this, it is my opinion that the regionals will have more power in time and will be seen a a vital source of revenue ( even if CEO''s and main line pilots won''t agree( a lot of main line pilots are ex-military so they never had to live off of $19,000 a year and support a family, while being gone a lot)) At the regional you will have a quicker chance of making captain and 6 figure income.
Now remember this is just my opinion. I have since given up flying proffessionally, but you know there isn''t anything wrong with doing it for fun or for hire as a co-pilot on a citation or lear.
Sorry but you all are crazy for promoting this field. Between all the pilots laid off with thousands of hours flying time and the crews about to get canned I don''t believe a new pilot working thru the General aviation ranks would have a chance to get a regional job in the next 5 to 7 years, and that is assuming the industry truns around. I don''t see the Airlines making any major changes in profits without further government help. This industry has a new face now since 9-11, a face that will change the way well all feel about working for the airlines.

Just another opinion! but find another field you like, this is not it!
When I started flying 21 years ago, the general sentiment was the same: no jobs and no prospects! Today I'm fortunate enough to have flown many different types and am enjoying a career which has ended up on the B747.

My advice to Bent Prop is: go for it mate, it's the greatest career in the world! List yourself at places like FliteJobs and just keep trying. It will happen for you.