Jump to content

reality based discussion on becoming a commercial pilot for a 2nd career.


Recommended Posts

So I've done enough research to gather that most of what the schools tell you (about the career/job market) is to be taken with a bunch of salt, but that the path to becoming a commercial pilot does indeed go from getting your private license  to your instructors license and then accruing hours that way. I'm wondering how easy that second step is. For the record, I'm 50 and probably don't need to make a ton of money (getting divorced from my sort of wealthy wife) so I don't mind making garbage pay for a few years. 

To me it looks like $50-70K of training, at the end of which I might still have a hard time getting a job that pays anything at all. So if i'm understanding what I've read so far, I guess my question boils down to: how hard is it to get a job as an instructor. I don't mind the idea of doing that for a couple thousand hours..

Thanks

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I won't be able to answer your question, and I guess the answer depends on were you are and what school you train at... I am currently working on my private pilot license, with a 2nd career in mind.

It seems to me that the best way to answer your question is to dig into the practices and past of your school:

Where I am at, there are only a few "schools" available including some one-man show... Some seem very good and knowledgeable, but the caveat is that these guys don't have positions opened to hire their students: so maybe good for pilots that are only after a new rating (IFR / sling operation..?).

I personally selected a school that is mid-sized (large?) with 3 locations and a few instructors at each locations. Talking with the instructors: they have a few very experienced guys, and they have a number of newerish instructors that were previously students. This means the school hires *some of* their students.

Looking through the school reviews on google / the instagram account and other media, it is possible to track some names of the instructors and see how long they stayed (and stalker level expert: you can even see where some of those instructors went after their years at the school). In my school's case, it looks like instructors stay ~ 3 years before moving on.

Now the question is, what is the percentage of the students that actually get hired? That I don't know, but seeing a decent turn-over, my assumption is that being a good student (like showing up on time & doing my homework...) should give me a good shot a scoring a position there one day. Now it may take some time after all the ratings/licenses obtained before a position opens up, but eventually it may pay-off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Loic said:

I won't be able to answer your question, and I guess the answer depends on were you are and what school you train at... I am currently working on my private pilot license, with a 2nd career in mind.

It seems to me that the best way to answer your question is to dig into the practices and past of your school:

Where I am at, there are only a few "schools" available including some one-man show... Some seem very good and knowledgeable, but the caveat is that these guys don't have positions opened to hire their students: so maybe good for pilots that are only after a new rating (IFR / sling operation..?).

I personally selected a school that is mid-sized (large?) with 3 locations and a few instructors at each locations. Talking with the instructors: they have a few very experienced guys, and they have a number of newerish instructors that were previously students. This means the school hires *some of* their students.

Looking through the school reviews on google / the instagram account and other media, it is possible to track some names of the instructors and see how long they stayed (and stalker level expert: you can even see where some of those instructors went after their years at the school). In my school's case, it looks like instructors stay ~ 3 years before moving on.

Now the question is, what is the percentage of the students that actually get hired? That I don't know, but seeing a decent turn-over, my assumption is that being a good student (like showing up on time & doing my homework...) should give me a good shot a scoring a position there one day. Now it may take some time after all the ratings/licenses obtained before a position opens up, but eventually it may pay-off.

This is a good post.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go to a busy flight school that hires its students and treat every day of training seriously. Get to know the people there that will be deciding to hire you or not. Working a non pilot job at the flight school during your training increases your chances of getting hired. You are right not to trust the flight school advertising. Go on a tour of the school and try to have a conversation with a CFI about how they got hired there.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

With the whole industry in chaos right now it's difficult to project short term what you can attain but when it does recover there is going to be huge demand for qualified pilots (ATP-MEL with 1500 hours) so if you start on this path and enjoy it I'd say go for it!  One caveat is your age which will probably keep you from being hired by the Majors but the Commuter airlines will be in a vacuum when the majors start hiring their pilots away so you most likely will have a home with a commuter and move up the ranks quickly as their pilots leave.  Also there most likely will be opportunities in the Corporate sector.  A lot of what's available will be dependent on the type of flying you enjoy most.  Most commuter flying can be taxing even for 20 and 30 year old pilots (short layovers, crappy hotels, etc.) and Corporate jobs have a lot of "be ready" to be called at a moments notice.  If you enjoy instructing you will probably be home every night.

If you're seeking a flying job in the helicopter market there are others here that will have a better perspective of the potential opportunities.  My comments were about the fixed wing market. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...