Retirement Table through 2032

zVo

Well-Known Member
I’ve always been a corporate guy, and here I shall remain. At 35 I have had an extremely fortunate career - Small part 91 flight department manager, true world wide operations as a demo pilot for one of the major business jet OEM’s and now CAM on an amazing account at one of the top management companies.

I hardly know any corporate pilots staying on the 91 side of the industry - the young guys are starting their careers in CJ’s and Hawkers and likely will be moving to 121 in the coming years, and when I go to industry events, 9/10 of my colleagues in management are at least 15 years older than me. That’s not a a sometimes thing, that is the rule in my experience.

As awesome as the times seem to be for the airline guys, I encourage people to really consider what an amazing opportunity is also at hand within business aviation. The departments you want to work for have gotten the memo, and pay is becoming very respectable. In my personal network I don’t know anyone flying a large cabin business jet making less than mid 200’s, and super mids like Challengers and Falcons are easily approaching if not exceeding the 200 mark.

The times are great for everyone right now, but it won’t last forever. Position yourself in a place that you will be happy to spend the next ten years because this could end overnight. Short of being in a true dream job, I really think people are going to look back on this time period in the future and really question why you didn’t have upward career progression, because if you aren’t, you're just being lazy or not in touch with our industry.

Either way, happy jobs to all, and for the young dudes, really consider the potential for the other side of the industry. If and when it all falls, I’m putting my money on being in a global or other large cabin business jet at a stable department rather than furloughed mainline 320 or 737 FO.
I’ll be honest — I never really considered the corporate side of things. I wanted to be an airline pilot for years and finally met that goal this year. In 2008, when I first started my airplane training, I joined the Army and flew helicopters because I didn’t have the money to finish and the economy was in the tank. I’ve always been fixated on the airlines and namely because I always heard negative things about the corporate side.

Where would you recommend I go to educate myself about the corporate side of the jet world? I’m curious about the true pros and cons of airlines vs. corporate and how one infiltrates the industry and progresses in the corporate aviation world.
 

CK

Well-Known Member
As awesome as the times seem to be for the airline guys, I encourage people to really consider what an amazing opportunity is also at hand within business aviation. The departments you want to work for have gotten the memo, and pay is becoming very respectable. In my personal network I don’t know anyone flying a large cabin business jet making less than mid 200’s, and super mids like Challengers and Falcons are easily approaching if not exceeding the 200 mark.

The times are great for everyone right now, but it won’t last forever. Position yourself in a place that you will be happy to spend the next ten years because this could end overnight.
I never thought I would end up at an airline. I was very good at what I did in the corporate/charter world, I enjoyed it, and I made decent money. I got cold feet when we had our first kid and I started reflecting on how quickly things in the corporate world change.

I started flying out of ILG in 2010....the "retirement jobs" were Campbell's Soup, ITT, and Dupont. Those were the three companies I set my sights on. Campbell's Soup uses Netjets now, ITT divested and dissolved their sixty year old flight department, and Dupont was merged into Dow. It was important for me to have a stable job with a relatively predictable income. Obviously there is a lot of instability in aviation, but I view it like going long a bluechip stock vs trying to long a fad like Bitcoin. It is boring, but long term, 121 is the safer bet.

Alex.
 

MikeOH58

Well-Known Member
For the internet, I think propilotworld is
I never thought I would end up at an airline. I was very good at what I did in the corporate/charter world, I enjoyed it, and I made decent money. I got cold feet when we had our first kid and I started reflecting on how quickly things in the corporate world change.

I started flying out of ILG in 2010....the "retirement jobs" were Campbell's Soup, ITT, and Dupont. Those were the three companies I set my sights on. Campbell's Soup uses Netjets now, ITT divested and dissolved their sixty year old flight department, and Dupont was merged into Dow. It was important for me to have a stable job with a relatively predictable income. Obviously there is a lot of instability in aviation, but I view it like going long a bluechip stock vs trying to long a fad like Bitcoin. It is boring, but long term, 121 is the safer bet.

Alex.
Alex, when dudes like you and Jason H left for 121 it was kind of a shock. As a young guy you were as successful and well networked as anyone in the industry. I appreciate your concerns and respect your decision, but I really think YOU would have been fine either way. A regular line pilot flying a citation or beechjet? Yeah, I'd be running to the airlines very quickly too. But for those in a modern wide body business jet with a strong department, there is a lot to gain and a very optimistic future in my opinion. These $300-$400K director positions are currently filled by mid 50's males. WHEN they vacate, it's not going to be handed down overnight to some random guy with little management experience on this side of the field. That's my advice. If you are considering corporate, look to position yourself in a well supported and established Part 91 department flying an in-production Global, Gulfstream or Falcon and make a name for yourself in the industry, while also gaining management experience. Otherwise I don't disagree with going to the airlines.

That being said, you are typically a heartbeat away from unemployment, and as many JP Morgan's, Citi Groups and HNWI individuals as there are out there, the list goes on with the places that Alex mentioned, as well as GE closing shop.

That THAT being said, when I was born in 1984 you would have said TWA and Pan Am were going to be flying passengers to the moon in 2019. It's all a gamble, play well and wherever you end up, just position yourself to be at the top.
 

Dexter

Hop off there, Blonde Ambition Tour
For the internet, I think propilotworld is


Alex, when dudes like you and Jason H left for 121 it was kind of a shock. As a young guy you were as successful and well networked as anyone in the industry. I appreciate your concerns and respect your decision, but I really think YOU would have been fine either way. A regular line pilot flying a citation or beechjet? Yeah, I'd be running to the airlines very quickly too. But for those in a modern wide body business jet with a strong department, there is a lot to gain and a very optimistic future in my opinion. These $300-$400K director positions are currently filled by mid 50's males. WHEN they vacate, it's not going to be handed down overnight to some random guy with little management experience on this side of the field. That's my advice. If you are considering corporate, look to position yourself in a well supported and established Part 91 department flying an in-production Global, Gulfstream or Falcon and make a name for yourself in the industry, while also gaining management experience. Otherwise I don't disagree with going to the airlines.

That being said, you are typically a heartbeat away from unemployment, and as many JP Morgan's, Citi Groups and HNWI individuals as there are out there, the list goes on with the places that Alex mentioned, as well as GE closing shop.

That THAT being said, when I was born in 1984 you would have said TWA and Pan Am were going to be flying passengers to the moon in 2019. It's all a gamble, play well and wherever you end up, just position yourself to be at the top.
The main difference being roughly 40,000 pilots at legacy airlines making six figures with about as good of job security as it gets in this industry. There are drastically fewer $300-400k director jobs and high paying, secure corporate jobs out there.

As to the bold, what % of corporate jobs do you think fall into that category?
 

Cherokee_Cruiser

Well-Known Member
For the internet, I think propilotworld is


Alex, when dudes like you and Jason H left for 121 it was kind of a shock. As a young guy you were as successful and well networked as anyone in the industry. I appreciate your concerns and respect your decision, but I really think YOU would have been fine either way. A regular line pilot flying a citation or beechjet? Yeah, I'd be running to the airlines very quickly too. But for those in a modern wide body business jet with a strong department, there is a lot to gain and a very optimistic future in my opinion. These $300-$400K director positions are currently filled by mid 50's males. WHEN they vacate, it's not going to be handed down overnight to some random guy with little management experience on this side of the field. That's my advice. If you are considering corporate, look to position yourself in a well supported and established Part 91 department flying an in-production Global, Gulfstream or Falcon and make a name for yourself in the industry, while also gaining management experience. Otherwise I don't disagree with going to the airlines.

That being said, you are typically a heartbeat away from unemployment, and as many JP Morgan's, Citi Groups and HNWI individuals as there are out there, the list goes on with the places that Alex mentioned, as well as GE closing shop.

That THAT being said, when I was born in 1984 you would have said TWA and Pan Am were going to be flying passengers to the moon in 2019. It's all a gamble, play well and wherever you end up, just position yourself to be at the top.

I was born in 1984 too, there’s no way Pan Am or TWA we’re going to the moon. Both those carriers had a rough decade for the 80s. Pan Am newhires in the 1960s were being told they would fly the SST to space. By the 1980s that dream was dead.


As for the corporate jobs, the main problem is getting stuck with a d-bag CA boss/leaders. I’ve flown with corporate guys and have heard many horror stories. At least in the airlines you have thousands of pilots so you could go a long time and not fly with the same guy. And there is Pro Standards too. Good luck in a corporate department.
 

MikeOH58

Well-Known Member
The main difference being roughly 40,000 pilots at legacy airlines making six figures with about as good of job security as it gets in this industry. There are drastically fewer $300-400k director jobs and high paying, secure corporate jobs out there.

As to the bold, what % of corporate jobs do you think fall into that category?
Small cabin, or Part 135 few to none. In my professional network of friends flying large cabin true part 91 in HPN/TEB, lowest paid is $200k before bonus and the highest reaches $400k.
 

MikeOH58

Well-Known Member
I was born in 1984 too, there’s no way Pan Am or TWA we’re going to the moon. Both those carriers had a rough decade for the 80s. Pan Am newhires in the 1960s were being told they would fly the SST to space. By the 1980s that dream was dead.


As for the corporate jobs, the main problem is getting stuck with a d-bag CA boss/leaders. I’ve flown with corporate guys and have heard many horror stories. At least in the airlines you have thousands of pilots so you could go a long time and not fly with the same guy. And there is Pro Standards too. Good luck in a corporate department.
But where are most of these guys coming from? Fractionals, charter and light to mid size jets? Alex is kind of the exception, but even he came from the charter and old airplane world. I’m not saying I don’t know people who have left 550 and 6000 jobs for the airlines. I know someone who in the past month left a fortune 20, three global vision department for purple. It happens, but a lot less at that level. That is where you want to be. And not in a GIV, Falcon 900B or Global Classic. I would shoot for an in production G500/600/650, Global5500/6500/7500, Falcon 8x etc. Not the same numbers as the airlines obviously but there are enough of these airframes out there in the wild that if you set your goal towards achieving it, you can.

And I would agree that pro standards may not be as common as the airlines simply because of horrible leadership, but to dismiss the reality that there are plenty of corporate flight departments with multiple levels of support both aviation and non aviation related that are on par if not exceeding what the airlines do is just naive.
 

MikeOH58

Well-Known Member
And just to be clear, maybe I’ll end up at the airlines in five years? I don’t know and I’m absolutely not closing that door. I’m just trying to emphasize that what is taking place in the airline world is also creating an environment for a very long and successful career on this side of the industry as well.
 

CK

Well-Known Member
A regular line pilot flying a citation or beechjet? Yeah, I'd be running to the airlines very quickly too.
And therein lies a big problem. The Citation/Beechjet/Hawker pilots are the feedstock for the Gulfstream/Global departments. And when all the good guys go to the airlines before they make it to the Gulfstream size department what are you left with to manage? Pilots who either cannot fly the jet or cannot get along with other crew members. The decline in the quality of pilots between 2012 and 2017 at my last job was pretty stark. It made the job less enjoyable and made the idea of making nearly the same money with zero headaches very appealing. This trend is only going to spread upwards into the higher tier corporate operators until the airline hiring stops.

I appreciate the kind words. I probably would have been ok, but I would not feel as comfortable as I do now. There are no flyings jobs at ILG paying over $250,000 per year. I am not sure if there are many over $200k. Do not misunderstand me, I appreciate the position you are in. If I lived in CT/NY/NJ and was flying a Global/Gulfstream, the decisions to go 121 would have been much harder.

I will ask you one question....if Delta called you the same day Bombardier did, what would you have done?

Or your hilarious if mildly evil boss could quit and go to the airlines, only to be replaced by a auto-censor-is-a-big-dummy-face, forcing you to do the same.
This is a serious problem in the 135/91 side that does not get enough attention. A new manager can destroy the moral at a good department very quickly.

Alex.
 

Boris Badenov

He comes to save the day in a broken truck.
I spent ~15 years in 135, and I still defend 91/135 as a uhm "lifestyle choice". There's a lot to recommend it. It's a hell of a lot more fun, for starters. In much the same way that it's way more fun to crew a private yacht than a cruise ship. But unfortunately that's also pretty much for enders, too. The problem is structural. Ultimately, your cheddar is coming from one source, and if that cow stops producing milk (which can be turned in to cheese...ok tortured analogy, but you get the idea)... you're hosed. A rising tide lifts all boats, no question about it. But a diminishing tide throws all boats against the rocks (another tortured analogy?) The advantage of a 121 job is that when the inevitable giant iceberg-turd hits the boat, if you've played your cards right, your bunk is near the waterline. When the awesome times are over on Elon's hover-yacht, he puts on his rocket suit and everyone else is left to the tender mercies of nature. When the SS Soddom and Gomorrah hits a reef, the coasties show up with gumby suits and rescue swimmers and all the rest. No matter how good things get or don't get, this essential truth will remain.
 

MikeOH58

Well-Known Member
I will ask you one question....if Delta called you the same day Bombardier did, what would you have done?

Alex.
Honestly, I’d still take the same path. I have built an awesome career, created an amazing flight department, quality of life Is where I want it to be and I don’t have to worry about finances. All the while I’m having a blast and smiling just about every moment of it.

That being said, even if I decide to make the change to 121 in five years, I still have no regrets. It’s just been too damn fun and rewarding. The confidence, personal and professional maturity I have gained through this experience is worth the five years lost on a seniority list if it ever gets to that point.

I’m betting on myself

But check back in five years, good chance I’m saying “what an idiot”
 

GypsyPilot

Well-Known Member
Honestly, I’d still take the same path. I have built an awesome career, created an amazing flight department, quality of life Is where I want it to be and I don’t have to worry about finances. All the while I’m having a blast and smiling just about every moment of it.

That being said, even if I decide to make the change to 121 in five years, I still have no regrets. It’s just been too damn fun and rewarding. The confidence, personal and professional maturity I have gained through this experience is worth the five years lost on a seniority list if it ever gets to that point.

I’m betting on myself

But check back in five years, good chance I’m saying “what an idiot”
I get what you’re saying, and no question part 91 is in many ways more fun than 121. But after going through the 2008 recession as a young corporate guy, I really don’t want to deal with that situation down the road as a 55+ year old out on the street.

Yes, I could also end up furloughed as a 121 pilot too, but by getting in front of the hiring wave I’m hopefully going to have enough people under me that I’ll at least have a job. And if it got so bad that FedEx furloughs massive amounts of pilots, corporate aviation will be an absolute blood bath. It’s purely a risk/reward decision for me, and 121 major airline wins that one easily at this point in time.
 

chipdumper

New Member
Pay off your debt and marry a government worker that’ll get a pension. Then you’ll have a fallback. Hell, an assistant store manager at Menards (Midwest equivalent of Home Depot) makes $60k+. Taco Bell starts at $15+ an hour. There will always be a job for someone willing to work.

Work as a pilot for the Fed. US Customs is hiring now. You’ll clear six-figures a year and have a take-home car. You’ll get a Law Enforcement pension (1.7x multiplier) and be able to FULLY retire after 20yrs of service. Many slots available NOW and you’ll have the two checklist items completed: 1. Pilot Job, 2. Job Security.




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Soku39

Well-Known Member
Pay off your debt and marry a government worker that’ll get a pension. Then you’ll have a fallback. Hell, an assistant store manager at Menards (Midwest equivalent of Home Depot) makes $60k+. Taco Bell starts at $15+ an hour. There will always be a job for someone willing to work.

Work as a pilot for the Fed. US Customs is hiring now. You’ll clear six-figures a year and have a take-home car. You’ll get a Law Enforcement pension (1.7x multiplier) and be able to FULLY retire after 20yrs of service. Many slots available NOW and you’ll have the two checklist items completed: 1. Pilot Job, 2. Job Security.




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All while living in McAllen or El Centro, and let's be clear it's lowwww 6 figures, like 120, guys make that at the regionals. Save it for a rainy day when the economy is in the absolute dump, otherwise... keep it.
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
I have a feeling guys that are mentally going off on the retirement numbers have: 1. never been in a recession, 2. never lost a job, 3. never been furloughed, 4. never been through a merger, or 5. never had their airline shut down.
I started my career in 2006/2007. since then I have been laid off, got fired once when my manager and I had a pretty serious disagreement, been through a merger, lost my medical and was forced to reboot, and worked for places that gave absolutely zero •s about safety or regulations when they could get away with it. This career is not the linear path that most people think it is.

Not to be all "old man yells at cloud" but the people entering this industry have no idea what it was like and many of the people who think they are experts in what management is thinking have no idea what they're talking about.

Most aviation companies are fundamentally reactionary. Most people in the industry are just responding to various fires and trying to put them out faster than they spread. Very few places are proactive. When the next bubble pops the reactionary response will be to furlough wildly, stop hiring and put the squeeze on the pilot group. Companies will turn a blind eye to safety issues when pilots are too afraid to bitch for fear of losing their jobs, and pay will freeze. It's coming again, maybe sooner maybe later.
 

chipdumper

New Member
All while living in McAllen or El Centro, and let's be clear it's lowwww 6 figures, like 120, guys make that at the regionals. Save it for a rainy day when the economy is in the absolute dump, otherwise... keep it.
Guys make half that at the regionals if you value their time. Gub’ment work is “8 and hit the gate”. 40-hr weeks and if you stay a minute over they pay you overtime/bonuses etc. A Fed Pilot gets paid continuously if waiting for passengers or a maintenance delay or whatever.
Job security. It’s not for everyone but when the next 9/11, recession, etc happens those Fed pilots will continue to fly and get fat paychecks. The Law Enforcement Pilots get the 20-and-out (if at least 50yrs old) full retirement package (high three plus SSA supplement until age 62). So get in early so you can retire at 50, get a $50k/yr pension for life plus fly 135 or 121 or whatever for extra spending cash.


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ozziecat35

4 out of 5 great lakes prefer Michigan.
Or your hilarious if mildly evil boss could quit and go to the airlines, only to be replaced by a auto-censor-is-a-big-dummy-face, forcing you to do the same.
Hey, I had the pleasure of interviewing with him and oh hell, that all pretty much fits...
 

GypsyPilot

Well-Known Member
Guys make half that at the regionals if you value their time. Gub’ment work is “8 and hit the gate”. 40-hr weeks and if you stay a minute over they pay you overtime/bonuses etc. A Fed Pilot gets paid continuously if waiting for passengers or a maintenance delay or whatever.
Job security. It’s not for everyone but when the next 9/11, recession, etc happens those Fed pilots will continue to fly and get fat paychecks. The Law Enforcement Pilots get the 20-and-out (if at least 50yrs old) full retirement package (high three plus SSA supplement until age 62). So get in early so you can retire at 50, get a $50k/yr pension for life plus fly 135 or 121 or whatever for extra spending cash.


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A first year FO maybe. A CA can make that at a regional pretty easily. I was making almost that much, and I never picked up trips.
 
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