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Deciding on a flight career.


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I am interested in fulfilling my life long dream of becoming a helicopter pilot but before I jump into such a major expense, I have some questions:

 

1. I am 33 years-old and have been told this could be a problem for finding jobs for various reasons. Does anybody have an opinion, thoughts, or advice about this?

 

2. My wife has established her career and it would be difficult for her to leave California. I have been told that as a helicopter pilot, I would need to be able to move to whereever there is an available job. What is the liklihood of finding a job in California? (if I am willing to spend my whole career with EMS, ENG or as a flight instructor.)

 

3. What about finding a job in the United States? Do many people need to leave the country to find a job?

 

Thanks for any help you can provide.

 

Alex S.

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I am interested in fulfilling my life long dream of becoming a helicopter pilot but before I jump into such a major expense, I have some questions:

 

1. I am 33 years-old and have been told this could be a problem for finding jobs for various reasons. Does anybody have an opinion, thoughts, or advice about this?

 

2. My wife has established her career and it would be difficult for her to leave California. I have been told that as a helicopter pilot, I would need to be able to move to whereever there is an available job. What is the liklihood of finding a job in California? (if I am willing to spend my whole career with EMS, ENG or as a flight instructor.)

 

3. What about finding a job in the United States? Do many people need to leave the country to find a job?

 

Thanks for any help you can provide.

 

Alex S.

 

 

First off, nice name; I'm also an "Alex S". Now for the good stuff. You're probably in one of the best areas of the country to become a helo pilot. There are lots of flight schools and jobs in the CA area, depending on where you are. And at the age of 33, you're really on the younger side of most people who decide to try their hand at helos. You'll be able to start at the small level (flight instructor) and definitely make it to the big leagues (EMS) before you want to retire.

 

As for remaining in the U.S. that shouldn't be a problem either. We have the largest aviation program in the world and most foreigners come here for their training and later jobs. There is the occasional VIP or Oil rig job in the Middle East or something, but that is your choice if you choose to do one of those jobs. Good luck, man... hope to see you on our side of the fence.

 

Alex Scott

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What is the liklihood of finding a job in California? (if I am willing to spend my whole career with EMS, ENG or as a flight instructor.)

 

Certainly you can find a job in California but recognize that you are eliminating a lot of job market by having that limitation. Oil industry and tours make up a lot of the commercial helo hours being flown and generally neither is much available in CA. Also, there's a lot of difference between EMS, ENG and CFI as an occupation. ENG has far fewer jobs available and more competition...i.e., there are higher minimum requirements. EMS has more positons but still a good deal of competition. CFI would be the easiest but you can't really live on the money you'll make and benefits are generally not available.

 

If you borrow $70k to get from pedestrian to CFI you will probably never get a return on that investment. If money's not an issue then, like SSH's sales pitch says, "live your dream".

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