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Career change

Flybub

Well-Known Member
#21
If your trying to keep the cost down consider 15G. It’s just down the road from wadsworth. Older planes but they have a few good instructors and good rates on the planes. I am up in Cleveland area.
I did my private out of there when I was in high school before I packed up and moved to Vero Beach to attend FlightSafety. I had an awesome instructor when I was there, but from what I had heard he was the only one. I may look them up again. Any instructors there that you know?
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
#22
For us older guys....

It's a time-value equation. If I were to pull out of the industry I'm in and flight instruct full time, I have to look at the difference in income and how long it would take to get back to this income level (and rate of contribution to required retirement savings.) For me, I'd be looking at a roughly 75-80% pay cut for the first couple years, and then gradually ramping back up to where I am now in 7 years or so.

That's a lot of lost income.

The flip side of that is staying in the current gig and building hours part time. Would take 2-3 times as long to get to a "final destination" but it's a more secure path with less loss of income.

It becomes a math problem with a variable of risk-aversion.

I will echo the sentiment of the others: I would not be able to even think about this without a wife who was supportive of the decision.
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
#23
For us older guys....

It's a time-value equation. If I were to pull out of the industry I'm in and flight instruct full time, I have to look at the difference in income and how long it would take to get back to this income level (and rate of contribution to required retirement savings.) For me, I'd be looking at a roughly 75-80% pay cut for the first couple years, and then gradually ramping back up to where I am now in 7 years or so.

That's a lot of lost income.

The flip side of that is staying in the current gig and building hours part time. Would take 2-3 times as long to get to a "final destination" but it's a more secure path with less loss of income.

It becomes a math problem with a variable of risk-aversion.

I will echo the sentiment of the others: I would not be able to even think about this without a wife who was supportive of the decision.
Wouldn't the most reasonable thing be to try to retire by 55, give or take, and spend the last decade of your career working at a regional? If you have enough set aside to retire by that point, or if your retirement funds would grow enough from age 55 to 65, that seems like the least risky path while still being able to go and fly professionally for the last few years of your working years.
 

GoDawgsGo

Well-Known Member
#25
Lots of great replies and information, so thanks. I'm in the same boat, but younger - 34. Finishing up commercial 141 right now and taking a CFI course in March or April. CFIs at my school average about 100 hours per month if they want the work. Looking to get on with Endeavor or Skywest when I get to 1500.

I spoke with quite a few pilots before making the plunge almost a year ago as I was concerned about my age as well and absolutely no one had any hesitation about that. Granted I have no kids to worry about and pay for. If you've got to support a family on nothing but a CFI and regional FO pay for the next ~6 years, that could definitely be stressful and risky.
 

fletchersteel

Well-Known Member
#26
My situation currently is none to very little retirement. The job I’m in now pays what regionals are starting out at, and my top out pay here is in 4 years, which is roughly equal to starting pay at a major or legacy. At the rate I’m going here currently, I’ll have no more savings in 5 years then I do currently. I hate to be looking at pay so much, but it’s a huge factor in my shoes. I’ve got roughly 500 hours, so I’m still a ways from regionals. The next 1,000 hours will be tight, but hoping I can break even in income for this year when I make the change. My biggest worry is where do I go next? What’s the best type of time I can get/do to get me into the regionals as soon as I can? I absolutely love to fly, and want to continue to fly for fun on the side, I fly gliders on weekends, so enjoying my time now isn’t a factor. If I can get to regionals by mid next year, I’ll have 20 years or flying the line.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
#27
Wouldn't the most reasonable thing be to try to retire by 55, give or take, and spend the last decade of your career working at a regional? If you have enough set aside to retire by that point, or if your retirement funds would grow enough from age 55 to 65, that seems like the least risky path while still being able to go and fly professionally for the last few years of your working years.
It's something I've considered, to be sure. "Reasonable" is subjective. It's certainly the most reasonable thing on paper. It's also the most risk-averse.

There is the question of QoL - as we've discussed for years around here, QoL is subjective...and sometimes it's an opposing value to reasonable.

EDIT - I didn't answer this in proper context.

If I thought it was reasonable that I could retire by 55, then I'd probably give that more weight, but it's not likely that I could retire at 55. And since I was planning on working past 55 anyway, the progressive nature of pilot salaries becomes a little more attractive, especially based on seniority. That's the pull toward making a different jump.

If you boil everything off, and money is the only factor, it comes down to when I can make up the lost income. If that's a tenable position, then it makes sense to me, weighed against the QoL factors.
 
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Cruise

Well-Known Member
#28
I'm a career changer as well; although I got started a little earlier (made the jump in my mid-30's). Obviously everyone's situation is different, but I can say I'm very happy I made the switch and I've never looked back...never. I'm so much happier now than I was in my previous life. Doesn't mean it's been all roses, because it hasn't. You will have bad days, guaranteed. But you're going to have that in any job, in any profession. So if this is what you want to do, you owe it to yourself to go for it! Commit and succeed. You can do it! Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
 

fletchersteel

Well-Known Member
#29
Thank you all for the upbeat info! I’m very excited and greatly looking forward to getting back in the saddle again! Are there types of first time gigs I should steer away from? I really like the CFI route, but I’m afraid bc of my age, time building there might take too long. Aerial survey or pipeline might be my best bet. I’ve heard of some smaller regionals, Great Lakes for example, might be hiring low timers that don’t meet ATP minimums. Is there truth to that and are there others? 10 years ago that kind of flying was way below minimum wage, hopefully the industry has increased there as well to compete with the industry as a whole.
 

Toobdrvr

State of the Bad-Assed Art
#30
My situation currently is none to very little retirement. The job I’m in now pays what regionals are starting out at, and my top out pay here is in 4 years, which is roughly equal to starting pay at a major or legacy. At the rate I’m going here currently, I’ll have no more savings in 5 years then I do currently. I hate to be looking at pay so much, but it’s a huge factor in my shoes. I’ve got roughly 500 hours, so I’m still a ways from regionals. The next 1,000 hours will be tight, but hoping I can break even in income for this year when I make the change. My biggest worry is where do I go next? What’s the best type of time I can get/do to get me into the regionals as soon as I can? I absolutely love to fly, and want to continue to fly for fun on the side, I fly gliders on weekends, so enjoying my time now isn’t a factor. If I can get to regionals by mid next year, I’ll have 20 years or flying the line.
You’re not too old or too late, but if this is what you want to do, you need to get after it. Like, yesterday.

I guess I don’t understand the “pay” discussion, since it sounds like an almost immediate pay increase once you get hired.

The “right” kind of time is any. The way the regionals are hiring, it doesn’t appear that they’re being discriminating about “quality time”, but you DO need to meet the minimum requirements. Get the hours ASAP.

You “did” fly gliders on the weekend. All your extra time and resources need to be focused on the goal. You’ll have plenty of time to bowl or whatever once your career is under way.

So, go get it! We’ll be here to help!
 

fletchersteel

Well-Known Member
#31
Toobdrvr, thanks for the motivation! I agree with ya about yesterday! I feel behind already, but I’ve got the goal set, and now ready to take control of the jump. I guess I’m over focusing on years from now, and need to just get my hours down, quick. I’ve found quite a few jobs so far, now it’s time to connect and start logging that time.
 

GoDawgsGo

Well-Known Member
#34
The “right” kind of time is any. The way the regionals are hiring, it doesn’t appear that they’re being discriminating about “quality time”, but you DO need to meet the minimum requirements. Get the hours ASAP.
The only caveat I would add to that is while the regionals really don't care about the 'type' of flying you're doing to get to 1500 and get your foot in the door is that it can come back to bite you during training. If you get your CPL and just go do banner towing or aerial surveys and never get any actual instrument time in, the probability that you struggle during regional airline training and sims greatly increases. CFIs that have gone through 141 programs and built their hours as CFIs have a much higher success rate in training. The others are the ones that have a habit of maybe getting through the technical interview and getting hired, but then wash out of training because their instrument proficiency is lost.
 

fletchersteel

Well-Known Member
#35
The only caveat I would add to that is while the regionals really don't care about the 'type' of flying you're doing to get to 1500 and get your foot in the door is that it can come back to bite you during training. If you get your CPL and just go do banner towing or aerial surveys and never get any actual instrument time in, the probability that you struggle during regional airline training and sims greatly increases. CFIs that have gone through 141 programs and built their hours as CFIs have a much higher success rate in training. The others are the ones that have a habit of maybe getting through the technical interview and getting hired, but then wash out of training because their instrument proficiency is lost.
Are there any freight gigs that’ll fly more IMC and hire guys with less than ATP mins? I’ve seen one I particular, but from the hearsay, doesn’t sound like a great working environment. How’s turbine Ag time look on ones logbook for some of those regionals advertising quick upgrades? I’d imagine it wouldn’t amount to much bc it’s not 121, but I have no clue.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
#36
Are there any freight gigs that’ll fly more IMC and hire guys with less than ATP mins? I’ve seen one I particular, but from the hearsay, doesn’t sound like a great working environment. How’s turbine Ag time look on ones logbook for some of those regionals advertising quick upgrades? I’d imagine it wouldn’t amount to much bc it’s not 121, but I have no clue.
Turbine Ag is not a time builder. It’s a very specialized skill set and it takes a lot of knucklebusting work as a loader/flagger to break in to.
 

fletchersteel

Well-Known Member
#37
Turbine Ag is not a time builder. It’s a very specialized skill set and it takes a lot of knucklebusting work as a loader/flagger to break in to.
I agree with ya, just trying to cover all my bases. There’s a ton of Ag here where I live, and it’s also inviting to learn that and make a move into that career. But, I feel the airlines might be a better long term option for me.