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I'm going to pursue a helicopter pilot's license with the end goal of making money with it.. How I get my license (military vs civilian flight school) is what I need to decide.

What I want to know is: If I stay civilian and go through flight school, am I less likely to find a job as a pilot (let's just say any heli pilot job for argument's sake) than if I were coming out of the military?

I want to consider the years of service I would have to do in the military as part of the opportunity cost as well. I understand that military training may be more rigorous but will it make a significant difference?

 

Thanks!

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The military isn't just an option for doing your training. It is a career, and you need to be firm in your mind that you are ready to defend your country, get sent to war zones, have people shoot at you, and be asked to do some extreme things, over and over, for many years. The selection process is rigorous, and of the initial applicants, the dreamers like yourself,  few will be selected, and only about 10% of the original applicants will emerge from training with wings.

The training you get will be top notch, and when you leave, you will have some skills that are absent in the civvy-trained pilot, and some worthwhile aircraft types.

However, the civvy pilot will probably have more experience in being commercially savvy and independent of the layers of support a mil pilot is used to, though maybe only R22 and R44 qualified.

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IMHO, the Military and commercial sector are two completely different animals. That is, you shouldn't join the Military to become commercial helicopter pilot. Plus, as already pointed out by Eric, not all Military applicants get to be pilots. Moreover, not all ex-Military pilots who attempt to find commercial jobs after they separate actually find work; ala no guarantee. Same-same holds true for the civil side as not all civilian trained pilots find work either. This business is a risky business in more ways than one.

I suggest you do more research and learn what is takes to succeed in either the Military or commercial sector and go from there. 

Best of luck. 

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3 hours ago, Spike said:

IMHO, the Military and commercial sector are two completely different animals. That is, you shouldn't join the Military to become commercial helicopter pilot. Plus, as already pointed out by Eric, not all Military applicants get to be pilots. Moreover, not all ex-Military pilots who attempt to find commercial jobs after they separate actually find work; ala no guarantee. Same-same holds true for the civil side as not all civilian trained pilots find work either. This business is a risky business in more ways than one.

I suggest you do more research and learn what is takes to succeed in either the Military or commercial sector and go from there. 

Best of luck. 

I don't know about now, but I enlisted in the Vietnam era Army with a guaranteed WORWAC slot and at least one tour in Vietnam certain after that.  I intended an Army career, but the reality was not what I expected of the Army. That's my excuse for being a poor officer but a pretty good pilot.

My impression of the current military, at least the Army, is of a far more professional officer corps and an extremely professional, competent force as a whole. Perhaps this is the difference between the time of my service, a service that had been wrung out in budget war, immediately post-peak Vietnam War, with a large segment of draftees cycling through, draining assets with repetitious training only to have most exit after their obligatory active service.

I don't think that entirely explains the qualitative difference, however. The best of my cohort were a match for anybody serving now, but the median quality is much, much higher in the present force, aviators and 'straight legs'. 

 

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I used to advise against joining the Military if you were just interested in flying the helicopters. However, with todays Military, its a good choice. In many ways, much more rewarding than the difficult path of the commercial sector. Plus, you get the soldiering experience with the disciplined lifestyle as well. That said, if you're not into that then the choice is clear.......

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