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Aspiring Helicopter Pilot Needs Help/Guidance Please?

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So first off, this is my first post here on this

website! Thank you for taking the time to read this,

I really appreciate any input!



I am seriously considering becoming a helicopter

pilot. I already have my solo license for fixed wing,

but would really like to migrate to helicopters.


I have some concerns though, namely:


*Do I need college, or is it recommended? I am very

unsure, but if it will help at all, I think it would

be wise. (btw i'm 21).


*What is the job market like? What is a good way to



I am originally from Europe, and really want to move

back as soon as i can (france, switzerland, or

austria) Will the licensing carry over? Is there any

way to tell the job market over there?


I am VERY concerned about:


*Whether or not i need college (either bachelor or

associates degree?), as i would much rather get it

done now than later. Or do you recommend just

skipping that and getting my license ASAP and just

start building time however I can?


*Making this HUGE investment, into a DEAD job market.


Do you have any ideas, tips, suggestions at all?


Please, i'm desperate. :(


ps, the military is not an option for me, I have

looked into it.

Also, I don't think there are ANY

scholarships for white, 20yrd old males out there

are there?? <_<


Thank you soo much for any input!


oh! PS Care to list some things you love about your

job, and things you could do without/ hate?

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I recently did an add on rating for helicopters. I would think that an aspiring aviation professional would benefit from both fixed wing and helicopter flight training. Airplanes will give you more long range navigation experience. I would expect that airplane training will require about 60 hours, and an additional 50 hours for the helicopter add on. This would cost about the same as a helicopter only rating. You will need to continue on for a commercial rating. I would recommend that you go to a 4 year college and get flight training on weekends and summers. A college degree is some evidence that you have learned how to learn.


You do not really need to be concerned about the job market as you need only one job. There is fierce competition for helicopter pilot jobs that are advertised on the web. You will need to make direct contact and knock on many doors.


I am not a helicopter professional but I cannot imagine a job that is more fun.

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If you want to get into aviation and want a degree. Go to school for air traffic control. The FAA is starving for air traffic controllers right now. The salary for ATC is above average and goes well into the 100k a year range. So you get your degree, a well paying job, a foot in the aviation door, and then can decide if you want to go on with rotary wing. Personally I will be finishing up CFI within the month and CFII soon after and I am seriously worried about the job market right now. It could take a good number of months to find a CFI job, and then you need to figure that you will want to stay current flying every few weeks so you are still attractive to possible employers, its more money coming out of your bank account.

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The best of luck to you! There are a lot of decisions to make out there. If I could offer one piece of advice, definitely get your education. Us pilots are always one medical away from unemployment, and having that under your belt can offer you a solid backup plan. And learning is always good!


I cant think of one single thing I hate about my job right now. I am just a CFII, so not even close to an experienced pilot yet, but it is a GREAT way to go to work everyday. I see something everytime I go out that makes me go... "coool..." And every single flight is a huge learning experience too.


Good luck in all that you pursue!

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