The Good and the Bad of Pursuing a Piloting Career


No matter how good a career may initially seem to be, there are always some things you are going to absolutely love about it and things you’re going to loathe from the bottom of your heart. For instance, being a limousine driver is fun, since you get to always drive people to cool events and fancy parties, but things can start to get a bit stressful, especially when you have to deal with individuals who’ve had a little too much to drink.

Needless to say, becoming a pilot is regarded as one of the best careers in the world and for good reason. You get to fly many kinds of airplanes, are paid well, but are also highly respected. Therefore, if you’re planning on pursuing this type of career, we think that you may find the following paragraphs really interesting and informative.


One of the first things you should know when it comes to becoming a pilot is that your seniority directly impacts the quality of life you have at an airline. So will you actually get that much coveted Captain’s seat? Well, you could if no one senior to you has an interest in it. How about having the Christmas holidays off or at least the first Christmas day? Well, only if you’re senior enough. Lastly, what about the schedule? Will I get to work a five day on and a two day off schedule or a three day on, four day off schedule? Again, this will also depend on your seniority.

The truth is that senior people will always be in the minority, so you won’t get to be a senior in your career when starting off. Because of this, your personal life and your overall quality of life are going to take a hit. While you may have some control over whether you’re senior in your seat or plane, there are still many factors you have no control of, such as the airline’s financial power, economy and other factors which can affect your seniority. This leads us to our next point.

The Schedule

When you work as a pilot for an airline, your schedule is going to be full. This means you’re going to have to work the weekends and don’t even think about spending the holidays with your friends and/or family. While this may not be such a big issue when you’re young, as you get older you may want to start a family and that’s when you’re going to have to find a way to balance your career and personal life. While you may care about your son’s big game and would like to be there to see it, the airline’s management may not have the same opinion. Summed up, these types of absences can be quite stressful on the family.

Career Path\Poor Pay

In the first several years of your career, the pay is not going to be great and if you are to make ends meet, you will need to have some financial support from your family. So while your friends who are working in various professions will get to earn 40 thousand and up to 50 thousand dollars a year with benefits, you’re going to earn about 30 thousand a year. And since you’ll have not only your college debt, but also your training costs to cover, you’re going to have a much harder time making ends meet. For a new pilot, these things can be pretty tough to deal with in the first 10 years of your career. However, once you get past the 10 year mark, your salary will be a lot higher, sometimes even north of 100 thousand dollars a year. Make sure that you apply to airlines that have a pension program though. Most of them do not and it’s certainly reassuring to know that once you retire you’re going to receive a pension.

Travel All Over the World

As an airline pilot, you’ll get to travel all over the world and the best thing about it is that you’ll never have to pay for it. On top of the fact that you’re pretty much going to see places not many can afford to visit, you’re also going to enjoy travel benefits, including discounted airline tickets for your parents, family and you.

Meet Interesting and Professional People

You’re not the only one who enjoys his job and you’re going to meet a lot of other people who feel the same way about what they do. If you have the actual experience of dealing with such people, then you know how great the conversations with them can be and how much more relaxed you feel to have them around, knowing that they are true professionals at what they do.

All in all, becoming an airline pilot is a lot of fun and has many perks, but you do need to love your job if you want to enjoy it all the way. It’s true that in the first decade things can be a bit tough, but if you can deal with it, it’s going to be very rewarding in the future.

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