I am about to start my training in the US soon. After 20 months of studying, following the schools plan, I will have FAA(PPL, CPL, IR, CFI/CFII) with the EASA CPL. I can then work for 2 years in the US, to reach my goal of 1000 hours. This I am pretty settled on(I am always open to at least consider advise on this too though).
When the 2 years visa runs out, worst case is that I go back to Europe without a job. And I kinda expect that because most(if not all) European jobs require the EASA Multi-Engine Instrument Rating. The FAA IR to EASA IR conversion + Type rating + SE to ME course on the AS355N costs about $40,000 USD, and the EC135 costs $52,000.
My questions then is:
Prioritizing job opportunities highly, would it be smarter to take the more expensive course for $52,000 to get the EC135 over the AS355N, as the EC135 is, as far as I know, much more widespread in the industry and has a longer market-lifespan and as the with the AS355N I would have to take the type rating for the AS350 anyway, and so costs goes up again.
2. ( Q For European pilots that have done the same)
Which is the cheapest or most valuably way of gaining a EASA ME IR, when you hold the FAA Certificates and the EASA CPL
3. (Q for HEMS Pilots)
Would a HEMS company not value a type rated pilot significantly higher than one without the specific type rating required for the job - can you give me some insight into why or why not this is so?
4. (Q for HEMS Pilots)
Many HEMS operators state that they require a minimum of 2000 PIC hours and some 500/1000 hours turbine.
Is this a fixed legal thing for HEMS pilots or are these figures merely the company guidelines(ie. could one get a job with say 50 hours turbine in extreme cases)?
Many helicopter pilots say that getting your 1000 hours as a CFI/CFII is a common step in many rw pilots careers and then they say "go get a turbine job". Well as most rw jobs are turbine jobs, can you narrow down a specific branch of turbine jobs that are easier for 1000 hour-pilots to get than the average turbine job. In other words I am looking for the best entry-point into the helicopter industry after my 1000 hours. Is the industry so volatile that this is a difficult question to answer, or are there a common way here too.
Answers from anyone are appreciated, but especially question 3 and 4 is for people that are or have been in the HEMS branch of the industry.