Pilot life – time away from home?

I think being a pilot would be an amazing career. Travelling for free, amazing pay, it doesn't take years and years of education, you get to fly A FREAKING AIRPLANE!

The only disadvantage I can think of is the time away from home.. being a pilot, aren't you always away from home? As much as I would

I think being a pilot would be an amazing career. Travelling for free, amazing pay, it doesn't take years and years of education, you get to fly A FREAKING AIRPLANE!

The only disadvantage I can think of is the time away from home.. being a pilot, aren't you always away from home? As much as I would like to be a pilot, I would also like to get married and start a family. Is the time away from home that bad? Is it worth being a pilot? Do pilots get a lot of vacation time off due to all the travelling?

I am 16 years old and looking into career opportunities 🙂

Best Answer:

alanna: The fact is, starting wages at a regional airline are around $20,000 and about $35,000 at the major airlines. That's worse than what a manager at MacDonalds earns. It takes many years flying smaller airplanes, such as at a regional airline in order to get hired by a major airline. Then, it takes many more years to become captain where the $100,000 salaries are earned. The fact is, 50% of all major airline pilots earn less than $78,000 per year, and 50% of all regional airline pilots earn less than $40,000 per year. Only 5% of major airline pilots earn more than $140,000 and it easily takes 25 years from leaving college to reach that level of earnings. So it isn't really all that amazing.

Only 3% of airline pilots in the USA are women. One reason is that it is very hard to have a family and also have a flying career because you have to dedicate so much time to becoming a pilot and building a career. In the flying business, job comes first and family comes second. It would only be viable if you had a LOT of family support. for child care. Do you really want to trust someone else to raise your children? That's what it comes down to because airline pilots average 50% of their time away from home. It ranges from about 120 to about 200 days a year on the road. Working hours are typically 10 to 14 hours long, which is why pilots usually only work 3-4 days a week. If you don't live near your base, commuting to / from home can really eat into your time off with your family too. Also plan on working odd hours (sorry, no nine to five) and lots of weekends and holidays, especially as a low-seniority co-pilot or junior captain.

As for "free travel", most pilots don't really use it as much as you'd think, and it is "space available", meaning you and your family get bumped if there are paying passengers to fill all the seats. Vacation for pilots is pretty much like any other job. It takes awhile to build up to having a lot of vacation time. They do not get huge chunks of time off unless they are very senior.

Here's a typical timetable for a career: Age 18-22: college and flight school. Plan on spending $150,000 to $250,000 for training and a college education. Age 23-25, low paid entry-level job such as flight instructing earning about $20k per year. Age 25-33, regional airline, earning between $25k and $40k. Age 33 , major airline co-pilot, starting at $35k and working your way up. Age 45 to 50 , major airline captain earning $100k .

Keep in mind that there is no guarantee you will ever get hired by a major airline. Roughly 50% of civilian-trained pilots never make it that far because more than half of all airline pilots are ex-military.

Other answer:

alanna:
Airline pilots (major airlines) work an average of 20 days per month, and home 10 days .-
Short and medium-haul pilots go for shorter periods away from home –
Say 3 or 4 days…
Long-haul pilots are gone for longer time, but home longer periods too –
Could be a week to 10 days…

Nowadays, becoming a major airline pilot takes long time, for training and education –
And the cost of training and education is very high – First 10 years, salaries are low –

Travel for free…? – Is called WORK –
When away from home, you go to hotel to rest and sleep – and try to adjust to local time –
Most places you go to are layovers with MINIMUM REST –

And do not think regional airlines are nice to work for –
Call it a "Gulag" – if you do not understand, find out what it means –
Large number of regional airline pilots quit after a few months "being a pilot" – –

Airline pilot…?
It used to be nice, some 40 or 50 years ago – Jobs were decent, pay was ok –

Many try to become pilots with major airlines, but VERY FEW ever become one –
Odds are you have 33% chances to get with Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest or United –
The other pilot jobs… are crap –

If I had children, I would do anything and everything to dissuade them being a pilot –

reza:
Really when you're a pilot you're not necessarily getting a lot of time to 'travel'. You're working, not vacationing. Chances are that if you fly somewhere, you'd be leaving a few hours later flying another plane back or the next day, so you probably wouldn't get much time to do the traveling and tourist things

So no, pilots and servers on planes do not have the glamorous life that many people think they do. Plus, if they take long trips, they might have more time to rest sometimes, but they'll experience jet lag A LOT.

http://work.chron.com/pilots-see-cities-…

Linda.767:
A simple consideration.

I wish airlines (major and regionals) would pay salaries, benefits and give aircrews a lifestyle which the public imagine pilots and flight attendants get. In crude words, we get approximately one-half of what people think we get.

Today, the minimum commercial pilot training cost, (for CPL and CFI) is almost $75,000 in the US for all ratings to barely have a flight instructor job with misery salary. And that brings you nowhere near getting hired by a regional airline, which offer pilots a $25,000/year salary – Majors have a start pay for first officers at about $35,000/year pay. These are the real numbers. We are not millionaires.

Shall we mention that some "future Delta captains" (should they ever become airline pilot above the regional misery airlines sometimes invest $250,000 in tuition and training at a certain famous flight school (they call themselves "aeronautical university") for a worthless aviation degree and an ATPL pilot license… which is NO GUARANTEE to be hired by an airline, even a regional airline.

John R:
Actually, it does take years of education ( most airlines require a 4 year degree to get an interview), plus 2 years or so of training, and the pay is terrible for the first 10 to 15 years.

But pilots do get to spend some time at home

Mark:
Being a pilot is a wonderful but difficult job. I was also interested but realized I was only doing it for the money and I was not going to have fun. Anyway, you will be away from home A LOT and will be waking up and completely different times.
Eric West:
Several problems with that dream.

Many years and many thousands of dollars of education and training, which never stops.
Pay somewhat less than that of a McDonald's manager
If today is Thursday, I am probably in Berlin, but when I wake up I'm not sure
I live in LAX, my next shift starts in NY and it is my problem to be there on time.

You are about 50 years too late! It was a great job, now it is just a job.

Rick:
A 4 year degree
At least 2 years flight experince
Then you start at a commuter airline at about $18,000 to $20,000 , after 10 years or so with minor raises you MIGHT get hired by one of the major airlines
Ben:
the fact is, starting wages at a regional airline are around $20,000 and about $35,000 at the major airlines… that's worse than what a manager at macdonalds earns… it takes numerous years flying smaller airplanes, such as at a regional airline in order to get hired by a major airline… then, it takes numerous more years to become captain where the $100,000 salaries are earned… the fact is, 50% of all major airline pilots earn less than $78,000 per year, and 50% of all regional airline pilots earn less than $40,000 per year… only 5% of major airline pilots earn more than $140,000 and it easily takes 25 years from leaving college to reach that level of earnings… so it isn't really all that amazing…

only 3% of airline pilots in the usa are women… one reason is that it is very hard to have a family and also have a flying career 'cause you have to dedicate so much time to becoming a pilot and building a career… in the flying business, job comes first and family comes second… it would only be viable if you had a lot of family support… for child care… do you really want to trust someone else to raise your children? that's what it comes down to 'cause airline pilots average 50% of their time away from home… it ranges from about 120 to about 200 days a year on the road… working hours are typically 10 to 14 hours long, which is why pilots usually only work 3-4 days a week… if you don't live near your base, commuting to / from home can really eat into your time off with your family too… also plan on working odd hours (sorry, no nine to five) and lots of weekends and holidays, especially as a low-seniority co-pilot or junior captain…

as for "free travel", most pilots don't really use it as much as you'd think, and it is "space available", meaning you and your family get bumped if there are paying passengers to fill all the seats… vacation for pilots is pretty much like any other job… it takes awhile to build up to having a lot of vacation time… they do not get huge chunks of time off unless they are very senior…

here's a typical timetable for a career: age 18-22: college and flight school… plan on spending $150,000 to $250,000 for training and a college education… age 23-25, low paid entry-level job such as flight instructing earning about $20k per year… age 25-33, regional airline, earning between $25k and $40k… age 33 , major airline co-pilot, starting at $35k and working your way up… age 45 to 50 , major airline captain earning $100k …

keep in mind that there's no guarantee you shall ever get hired by a major airline… roughly 50% of civilian-trained pilots never make it that far 'cause more than half of all airline pilots are ex-military…

Zaphod Beeblebrox:
"Travelling for free"

Oh yes, it's wonderful spending your time off in airports hoping that they will magically find seats for all 22 non-revs ahead of you who want to go to the same destination and have higher priority than you do. This is more often the case than not these days. Want your family to go too? Buy tickets for them.

"amazing pay"

Yes, it's quite amazing how new-hire first officers are able to pay their bills and enjoy life on about $25,000 per year (fact). It takes many years in the trenches earning a restaurant workers salary in order to eventually earn a livable salary, and it takes many more years after getting to that point to earn what anyone would consider "amazing pay".

"it doesn't take years and years of education'

No, it only takes years and years and YEARS of struggling on a low salary doing other types of flying jobs that you don't want to do so that you can hopefully (no guarantee) get the job you dream about, only to find out that it will take years and years, and YEARS more as a copilot to rise in seniority enough to get the good routes and schedules, only to go to the bottom of the list when you make captain and have to spend years and years and years more rising in seniority on the captains list until you can bid the good routes and schedules again.

"Is the time away from home that bad?"

I don't know, do you like living in 3-star hotels and motels? A short-haul pilot will be gone from home an average of 15-20 days per month. A long haul pilot will be away 10-15 days per month. And, if you don't happen to live in or near the city where the airline bases you, it can easily take another day from your time off just commuting home and back to work again. When I was involved in the scheduled airline rat race I typically had a schedule of 3 on, 4 off, 4 on, 3 off. On each of those off periods it would require half a day each way to get home. Sometimes more. On average I was really only home about 12 full days per month. Less during the busiest travel months. And I was rarely home on weekends and often not on holidays either. That's VERY typical and not a very good way to raise a family unless you have family members to raise your kids for you because you cannot afford a nanny or day care the first 10 years of your career.

In other words, your perception of what it is like to be a pilot is what every airline employer wants – a false one. That way plenty of people will continue to spend huge sums of money to learn to fly and then become what is essentially an indentured servant for the next 10-20 years until they can get out of debt.

watch and learn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KosfmCMI…