Trying to Decide.......

TheMorningRise

New Member
Like many who post on this section of the forum, I am trying to decide on a career change.

Currently, I am a project manager in the construction trades (40 years of age with a fiance and no children), near Madison, Wisconsin. While things are going okay currently, it is a field that does not provide personal fulfillment. I have been in the industry the past 12 years plus and I have seen the good and the bad. With the way the market has been the past few years, another slow down is coming. Not a crash, but not the rapid growth we have seen. In the end, I am simply "over" this career and job field.

I am trying to decide on either aviation, or web development. I can see many rolling their eyes already and thinking to themselves that this one is easy, web development. While there are things that appeal to me in that field (employment opportunities, financial growth, career growth, flexibility, etc.), I am still not 100% sold on it as of yet.

Where did aviation come from in this decision making process?

I was brought up in the industry. My father was a 121 pilot and flight instructor on the side. I completed my first take-off (with his assistance) at 10 years of age. I remember sitting in the back seat of 172's while he instructed. As I grew, my interests and opportunities changed. Thus, I moved away from aviation, but never lost interest in it. Now, I am thinking of making it a career change.

That said, I have no interest or intension of going into the airline world. My goal would be either a nice 135 operation or a corporate position. Sure, a Citation X seat would be nice. However, I'd be content in a King Air, Caravan, PC-12 for the right income and QOL. In all honesty, my number one goal would be to get us to Alaska (as a permanent move) and fly floats. I believe that is the last great frontier of GA and if I could make a livable wage flying floats/skis up there, I would be content.

Anyway, that is where I am and I welcome your thoughts and input!
 

Low&Slow

Ancora imparo
Why not both?
I don't know why you couldn't have a web development career and a flying career at the same time.
 
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GypsyPilot

Well-Known Member
I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t... In fact, your goals are very doable. Do you see any potential roadblocks?

My questions for you are:

How are your finances? Is your fiancé on board with a career change? Are you planning on having kids soon? Can you and your new family move around the next several years while you gain experience? Any medical issues?
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
This is completely do-able, and I say this as someone on a similar path. *Especially* if you supplement the flying income with solid understanding of back-end web services, which are starting to segment and get highly specialized these days - you can pick a niche and just do that. Sort of like aviation.

The family questions are a big thing - none of this would be possible for me without an extremely supportive spouse.
 

drunkenbeagle

Gang Member
Why not both?
I don't know why you couldn't have a web development career and a flying career at the same time.
I do both. Though the web day job makes a lot of money, and part time flying work loses plenty of money. I could make a living flying tomorrow if I had to. I'm glad I don't have to.

The dot com software world isn't necessarily easy to break into. On the tech side, it takes a lot of work, or talent, or both. On the sales side, same thing. 20 years experience is typical for my coworkers and myself, so don't expect to be at Netflix or Facebook starting out now. In round numbers, I've put about 100 times more energy into studying engineering and software than I have airplane stuff.

Aviation has a much lower barrier of entry. It mostly just takes money, and a willingness not to make very much money while you start out.

@TheMorningRise -- maybe take a year off if your finances permit and be a beach bum in Florida, and learn to fly. Agree with you that the construction business is probably going to be worse than it is better for the next few years. My construction friends are familiar with the feast and famine nature of the industry, and seem to be preparing accordingly (mostly by buying crap they can't afford to give back to the bank later). $30 to $40k is still doable around here to become a CFI if you are patient and make the right friends at airports.
 

drunkenbeagle

Gang Member
This is completely do-able, and I say this as someone on a similar path. *Especially* if you supplement the flying income with solid understanding of back-end web services, which are starting to segment and get highly specialized these days - you can pick a niche and just do that. Sort of like aviation.
The back-end web services go in and out of style almost monthly. That said, it is certainly a lucrative field for me and many others. (I expect GCP/Azure/AWS will be printing money for experts for at least a few years)
 

TheMorningRise

New Member
I appreciate the replies thus far. I may reach out to some of you via PM to inquire a bit deeper about a few things that you mentioned. I welcome any additional responses as well!
 
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