I'm in highschool, is this a good plan?

Well I'm your average aviation enthusiast in high school(going into Senior year). Well I really feel I want to be a pilot as a career. I live in the Bronx, New York. Lived a pretty poor life. Well, I think I want to go to SUNY Farmingdale and go into their Aeronautical Science- Professional Pilot Program(Here's info on it http://farmingdale.edu/academic_programs/pdf/aeronauticalScience.pdf). I think it's the cheapest way to get flight time and a degree(Dorm and tuition is 10k, here are flight costs http://www.tech.farmingdale.edu/aviation/html/fees.htm) . Then afterwards hope for a job on the campus as a CFI or somewhere at Republic airport. As I said before, I'm pretty poor, and I am hoping that since I'm EOP(Educational Opportunity Program) eligible for Farmingdale, I might get fair amount of grants and I'll apply to any scholarship, I won't be too much in debt(BEST CASE SCENARIO). I just honestly want to fly , I'm finishing up a 'College Now' program where I'm in an Introduction to Aviation Bussiness class and I recently joined civil air patrol. I have flown twice before in the cockpit, & I love it. I just feel so skeptical about this because of so many things I heard. I've heard pilots generally low wage, and the airlines never hire and there are thousands of pilots without jobs, but is it really as bad as people say? I'm willing to deal with wages but is getting a job as hard as they say? I've just been ignoring those remarks though, because I just think that if I'm determined, I'll get there. Now some aviation veteran please shed some thoughts, don't be too harsh, I'm only 16.
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
1. Do well enough in high school so you can go to a state University
2. Go to a university and get a 4-year degree in anything not aviation related.
3. If you have the time and money, fly at a local-ish FBO flight school or club to get your ratings on the side. Do not take out a loan to do this.
4. After you graduate, get a job doing whatever to pay the bills until you get your Commercial rating. Again, don't go in debt to get your ratings.
5. By that time, you'll be in a much better position to assess what you need to do or where to go.

The search function is your friend: lots of discussion on this particular topic, as well as a lengthy discussion on the military route.

I'm a military dude, a 17-year veteran with experience in fighters, trainers, and intel/surveillance. I would not just recommend the military route to just anyone, and certainly not to anyone who "only" had flying in mind. There are guys right here on this forum who can tell you personal stories about being a military officer with a commitment when Uncle Sam stops letting you fly his airplanes...and you're left just being a military officer. You have to be ready and prepared for that if you choose to go that route. If that's not in you, then don't even bother with the military.
 

Cessnaflyer

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
I'm a military dude, a 17-year veteran with experience in fighters, trainers, and intel/surveillance. I would not just recommend the military route to just anyone, and certainly not to anyone who "only" had flying in mind. There are guys right here on this forum who can tell you personal stories about being a military officer with a commitment when Uncle Sam stops letting you fly his airplanes...and you're left just being a military officer. You have to be ready and prepared for that if you choose to go that route. If that's not in you, then don't even bother with the military.
Exactly, it takes a certain type of person to do it. Most people I have met in the military do it on the side while they are working as a mechanic or similar job.
 

skypilot6

Well-Known Member
1. Do well enough in high school so you can go to a state University
2. Go to a university and get a 4-year degree in anything not aviation related.
3. If you have the time and money, fly at a local-ish FBO flight school or club to get your ratings on the side. Do not take out a loan to do this.
4. After you graduate, get a job doing whatever to pay the bills until you get your Commercial rating. Again, don't go in debt to get your ratings.
5. By that time, you'll be in a much better position to assess what you need to do or where to go.
This. Getting a 4yr degree not in aviation may sound weird. But its gonna make for a great back up plan. And thats one thing you need in this business. Most of the things you hear about the airlines and who not you can bet a good portion of that is mostly true. Starting out really sucks but as the years go on things do get better so dont let that discourage you too much.

Your plan is pretty good if you want to go that route. The biggest problem I see is getting loans if/when you run out of grant money or scholarships. Which is why Hacker suggestions make sense, get a good 4 year degree, Something you can actually use and make decent money, and then do the flying. This is something I wish I did. Sure I have a great job flying. But Im up to my eyeballs in student debt and no college degree to show for it. Which could pose a problem for a better job in the future and no back up plan either.
 

Cessnaflyer

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Great backup degree ideas that people never think of is Agriculture. I'm surprised how little people don't think about it, but everyone needs food and is always going to be bought.
 

skypilot6

Well-Known Member
Great backup degree ideas that people never think of is Agriculture. I'm surprised how little people don't think about it, but everyone needs food and is always going to be bought.
Thats a great point, My cousin works for the dept of Agriculture. its hard work, but great pay. and with a degree like that you could live just about anywhere.
 

Boris Badenov

He comes to save the day in a broken truck.
I've just been ignoring those remarks though, because I just think that if I'm determined, I'll get there.
If you're that determined, you will get there. But I'd think pretty long and hard about where you're getting to.

We all go back and forth over this all the time, so forgive me if I'm not exactly answering you directly. Flying is cool. I like flying for a living. I like my job. That said, I had to shovel untold buckets of poop to get here, and by any sane measure, I could have made a lot more money and had a lot more pleasant and stable life choosing any number of other careers for which I was qualified. And that's me...I started flying in 1991, when renting a 152 and an instructor was something like $40/hour. Wet.

Now add in that it's, what, more like $150/hour for a trainer and an instructor these days. And the cost of fuel is rising, and will only rise more. And an inevitable result of our plundering of the planet's limited resources will be that the convenience of air travel will be weighed more sanely against the cost. And the erosion of pay and workrules in an economically devastated country that is undergoing what amounts to another Great Depression will continue for the foreseeable future.

I just don't see it. And before I'm accused of "pulling up the ladder" behind me, I say this as though I were the one considering the job. If you'd asked me in 1990, or even 2000, I would have said "It'll be a hard road, but it'll be worth it if you're sure that operating an aviation appliance is really the best use of your talents". Now, I am obligated by my sense of fair play and honesty to say "Don't do it."

Not what you wanted to hear, I know, but there it is. If I were you, I'd look in to the medical field. As our population ages, the need for medical attention will only continue to increase, and it's also very technical and rewarding.

When I got in, it wasn't the smartest course of action, but it also wasn't the stupidest, and I don't really have any regrets. I've had a great ride. But I do not see how the same could be true for a young guy today.
 

jspeed87

Well-Known Member
I don't get why people post way too negative advice about Aviation in an Aviation forum... lol It's not a perfect career, but it's not impossible to succeed in if you put the effort. There will be times when you doubt if it's even worth it. You just have to push yourself through those tough times. You got to have cojones, that's what aviation is really all about.

Start taking lessons now if you can. I would look into a community college with an Associates degree in Aviation (with all your Flight Ratings) Then transfer to a University for a bachelors in w/e it is you want.

Edit: And live within your own means! College is not for everyone. You don't have to get a BA in Business Administration if you don't like it. Higher Education is important, but make sure it's in something you really wish to study. There are many ways you can rule this world, don't let a piece of paper be the one guiding you there. I have experience in logistics and transportation. If the flying this doesn't work out, I'll be a commercial Driver. If the roads don't work out for me, I'll hit the Sea. The point is, I enjoy working in transportation. Love what you do, and you never have to work a single day.
 

jskibo

Done
Watch the debt you rack up in college and make sure your future career will allow you to pay it off without hurting your quality of life. i.e. don't go to Yale, take out $100k in student loans, if your goal is to be a primary school teacher.

Watch the debt you create getting your ratings, whether that's via student loans in college or credit cards.
 

FlyingScot

Spanish Proficient
Not sure your family finances but if you beg borrow and steal, or get a summer job and part time during the school year you could have your private and maybe instrument before starting college, CFI sophomore year. That way you could start making money and building time in school.

This would take focus and sacrifice but would put you ahead of the curve financially and career wise.
 

ryan1234

Desensitized Member
Well I'm your average aviation enthusiast in high school(going into Senior year). Well I really feel I want to be a pilot as a career. I live in the Bronx, New York. Lived a pretty poor life. Well, I think I want to go to SUNY Farmingdale and go into their Aeronautical Science- Professional Pilot Program(Here's info on it http://farmingdale.edu/academic_programs/pdf/aeronauticalScience.pdf). I think it's the cheapest way to get flight time and a degree(Dorm and tuition is 10k, here are flight costs http://www.tech.farmingdale.edu/aviation/html/fees.htm) . Then afterwards hope for a job on the campus as a CFI or somewhere at Republic airport. As I said before, I'm pretty poor, and I am hoping that since I'm EOP(Educational Opportunity Program) eligible for Farmingdale, I might get fair amount of grants and I'll apply to any scholarship, I won't be too much in debt(BEST CASE SCENARIO). I just honestly want to fly , I'm finishing up a 'College Now' program where I'm in an Introduction to Aviation Bussiness class and I recently joined civil air patrol. I have flown twice before in the cockpit, & I love it. I just feel so skeptical about this because of so many things I heard. I've heard pilots generally low wage, and the airlines never hire and there are thousands of pilots without jobs, but is it really as bad as people say? I'm willing to deal with wages but is getting a job as hard as they say? I've just been ignoring those remarks though, because I just think that if I'm determined, I'll get there. Now some aviation veteran please shed some thoughts, don't be too harsh, I'm only 16.
You may want to consider enlisting in an Air National Guard unit in a flight crew position... maybe a loadmaster or flight engineer. After you get back from Tech School, you should have a few dollars in your pocket as well as a part-time job... and they'll pay for your tuition for a state school. Once you get a degree, you can apply to go active duty (through OTS) or compete for a pilot slot in the unit your with.

Another route maybe an ROTC scholarship through college.

Many people look for guarantees in life, but the simple fact is that there are few guarantees out there. AF OTS can "guarantee" that'll you start the pilot training / screening process, but it'll be up to you to make it through OTS, IFS, and UPT (or UCT if you chose to become a Nav)

The civilian flying world can be pretty harsh to find a job in. There are a lot of very well qualified pilots with more experience than the average new guy also looking for jobs. It still can be done, it'll just take a lot of street smarts, work-ethic, and strategy to make it happen. Be careful going into too much debt to make that happen.

Like Hacker said, the military isn't for everyone... and it's not what a lot of people think it is when they join. The good news is that no matter your career path, there are some great people on this website to offer you their experience and suggestions.
 

ryan1234

Desensitized Member
Anyone else thinks its funny, first two civilians say go with the military, I wish I had, then military guy comes on and says don't do it.
Well... I think what Hacker is trying to say is that it's not for everyone. There are a lot of people who join, only to decide a few months in that it's not for them. It can be very frustrating and there are initial downsides that not everyone sees - there's a huge, huge level of bureaucracy and other BS... the military won't think twice about screwing you over. I would say if it's not something you really, really want to do after years of research... don't do it. I love it thus far, but Hacker's point is 100% truth.
 

Boris Badenov

He comes to save the day in a broken truck.
I posted my "way too negative" advice because it's what I see as true, which is obviously all any of us have to contribute...LOL, I guess.

According to your profile page, you're a 180 hour private pilot. So maybe zero experience as a professional pilot...but at least you've got "cojones", and as you point out, that's all you need!
 
Not sure your family finances but if you beg borrow and steal, or get a summer job and part time during the school year you could have your private and maybe instrument before starting college, CFI sophomore year. That way you could start making money and building time in school.

This would take focus and sacrifice but would put you ahead of the curve financially and career wise.
"Yes, you may enter the Professional Pilot Program having previously earned a pilot certificate. However, entry to the program will be limited to students who have earned only their private pilot certificate. If you have earned your instrument rating or commercial pilot certificate, you will not be eligible for admission to the Pro-Pilot program but you may continue flight training at the Aviation Center. "

I'll see if I can begin flying monthly or some type of plan.



Also thanks for the feedback guys, I just really want to know my options and what barriers will arise when I enter adulthood. The only information I'm lacking is how much financial aid I will receive if I do choose to go Farmingdale, which I'll have to wait for. Once again, thanks for the feedback, and I feel pretty welcomed here at the forums.
 

FlyingScot

Spanish Proficient
Well... I think what Hacker is trying to say is that it's not for everyone. There are a lot of people who join, only to decide a few months in that it's not for them. It can be very frustrating and there are initial downsides that not everyone sees - there's a huge, huge level of bureaucracy and other BS... the military won't think twice about screwing you over. I would say if it's not something you really, really want to do after years of research... don't do it. I love it thus far, but Hacker's point is 100% truth.
I have no doubt Hacker has more insight into a military route than I and the other civilians who thinks it would have been a much better route to fly an F-18 then get picked up by FedEx. Who knows the Air Force might have found me more suited to sanitation duties.
 
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