Is it a good time to change careers?

This forum has been developed to discuss aviation related topics.

Moderators: ahramin, sky's the limit, sepia, Sulako, lilfssister, North Shore, I WAS Birddog

Post Reply
AP26
Rank 0
Rank 0
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:24 am

Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by AP26 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:58 pm

Hi all,

I'm fairly well established in my current engineering career at the age of 35, but I really love flying. I'm fairly comfortable (70k yr). I'm just wrapping up my ppl training and was toying with the idea of switching careers. Fully understanding the wage hit and amount of time/money it will take to get to CFI and start my career and build hours, what are the chances at my age that I could make a decent career in aviation?
---------- ADS -----------
  

fliter
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:30 pm

Re: Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by fliter » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:29 pm

Why do you want to "get to CFI"? Are you planning to be a career instructor? Or have you been, purposefully or inadvertently, researching the U.S. side of things?

It all depends on what you define as a decent career. Will you make 70K a year again before you retire? Yeah, that should happen, relatively quickly even, unless we have a crash again. Will you make $250K a year? Probably not, not for a long while anyway, but you never know.

I know someone in her 50's who's just wrapping up her commercial and is hoping to have a career in aviation for the next 10 years. She is not aiming for airlines though. At 35, you may very well be, though there are other aviation jobs that pay well.

If that's what you really want to do, and you realize you'll be junior, career-wise, to many much younger people, sure, it's doable. Especially if you get your licenses quickly. The market is very hot for pilots right now.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Eric Janson
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 836
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:44 am

Re: Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by Eric Janson » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:44 am

Why not stay where you are and buy a small aircraft?. Just fly for fun.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
---------- ADS -----------
  
Always fly a stable approach - it's the only stability you'll find in this business

co-joe
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3443
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 2:33 am
Location: YYC 230 degree radial at about 10 DME

Re: Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by co-joe » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:32 am

fliter wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:29 pm
Why do you want to "get to CFI"? Are you planning to be a career instructor? Or have you been, purposefully or inadvertently, researching the U.S. side of things?

...
He may be confusing the US term for Certified Flight Instructor, vs the Canadian term for Chief Flight Instructor. In the US (and someone can correct me here) a CFI is like a class 4 entry level instructor here, a CFII is allowed to teach instrument ratings. In Canada a CFI is a class 2 or 1 instructor who supervises other instructors.

The age old; should I get into this shit show at my age? Has been gone over many times on these pages. It all depends on what your goals are, what your tolerance for risk and life upheaval is, and what you're willing to lose. It absolutely can be done, can be worth it, and can lead to a great career. It can also lead to regret, divorce, and financial ruin.
---------- ADS -----------
  

shimmydampner
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1545
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 3:59 pm

Re: Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by shimmydampner » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:24 pm

If you really want to do it, you should absolutely go for it. The time has never been better. Look at it this way, if you had started in your twenties, you would have been starting at a brutal time shortly after 9/11 when career progression was painfully slow, pay sucked and shitty jobs were everywhere. Not to say that starting out now is a piece of cake, but it's nowhere close to what you would have experienced back then. To put it into perspective, young, relatively inexperienced pilots that are flying left seat in Q400s now, would not have even been considered for Navajo jobs back then. Instead of enduring that, you got a good education and career that got you into a good spot where you can even consider making such a radical shift. You basically skipped a bunch of bad years. May you never understand the punchline when you inquire about how much a given company pays and some poster here responds with "500"...a ubiquitous joke from the bad old days.
If I could offer a couple bits of unsolicited advice: reconsider becoming a flight instructor. I'm not one of those guys who shits on them, but don't you think it's a little messed up that a pilot with no real experience should teach a brand new pilot how to fly? There are probably "better" ways to progress your career while gaining better experience. And also, try to avoid the sense of entitlement that seems to be running rampant through this industry. As someone who is a little older, it might not be an issue for you, but it's prevalent. Don't forget that even though times are good, you still have to earn what you want.
---------- ADS -----------
  

ekg
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:56 pm

Re: Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by ekg » Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:09 pm

Even though there's a "shortage" wouldn't you be looking at making 40k (max 50k) a year for the first 5 years or so? Even with an income of 70k (I assume before tax) you'll have to take some amount of debt to get your training done in a reasonable amount of time.
Not to mention redirecting funds from things like paying a mortgage, savings for retirement (TFSA,RRSP etc.) and supporting your family now or in the future.

I have thoughts like that myself. But each time I wonder whether it's worth financially crippling myself to get there. There's plenty of info out there about what it takes to get into the career.
Even though it's a "great" time to get in the effort required will probably be more than what you've done for your engineering career and will have lower ROI money-wise.

Given what you have now with your career and potential growth is it really worth it? Is it better left as a hobby where you get yourself an aircraft to fly at your leisure?

With that said I'd say finish the PPL then your night and IFR. That will take some time. When done re-evaluate. Maybe the situation will be different in a year or two for better or worse.

If you've done your research and after all that your desire to get in hasn't shook then go for it.
---------- ADS -----------
  

shimmydampner
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1545
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 3:59 pm

Re: Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by shimmydampner » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:01 pm

ekg wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:09 pm
Even though there's a "shortage" wouldn't you be looking at making 40k (max 50k) a year for the first 5 years or so?

Even though it's a "great" time to get in the effort required will probably be more than what you've done for your engineering career and will have lower ROI money-wise.
I know guys that were on the ramp 5 years ago and are now captains making nearly 6 figures. I realize that's anecdotal, but flying for a living beats most other jobs I can think of, by a lot of metrics. If you have a passion for it and want to turn it into a job, now is a good time to do so.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
KAG
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3576
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:24 pm

Re: Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by KAG » Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:17 am

Also with aviation you can moonlight fairly easily when you get established. If flying is what you love, go do it. Just make sure you know what's required (most likely moving north) before you do this. That said there is a solid demand for pilots so getting jobs is a lot easier.
---------- ADS -----------
  
The feet you step on today might be attached to the ass you're kissing tomorrow.
Chase lifestyle not metal.

ogopogo
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:28 am

Re: Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by ogopogo » Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:29 am

A facebook friend of mine just posted that his 23-year old son just qualified as a captain on a very sleek looking bizjet, flying medivac. No clue as to how he achieved this so quickly, but there you go.
---------- ADS -----------
  

AP26
Rank 0
Rank 0
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:24 am

Re: Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by AP26 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:36 am

Sorry yes by CFI I meant flight instructor.

Thanks for the replies and perspective all. I definitely think this is something I want to go after. At the end of the day, if that path becomes seemingly unrealistic, I would have a career to fall back on, and I would have become a better pilot.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
schnitzel2k3
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 816
Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 11:17 pm

Re: Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by schnitzel2k3 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:54 pm

ogopogo wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:29 am
A facebook friend of mine just posted that his 23-year old son just qualified as a captain on a very sleek looking bizjet, flying medivac. No clue as to how he achieved this so quickly, but there you go.
Hmmm good on him. Wonder what he has for time at 23 and where he's flying. The image I have in my head is that Falcon 10 for Air Nunavut out of Oshawa on a 3 year bond.

Hopefully it's more substantial than that.

S.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
MarkyMark90
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:55 pm
Location: Instructing at 4500 ft

Re: Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by MarkyMark90 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:22 am

Do it!
---------- ADS -----------
  
My dream is to fly... Over the rainbow, so high!!

ant_321
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 525
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:43 pm

Re: Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by ant_321 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:02 pm

schnitzel2k3 wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:54 pm
ogopogo wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:29 am
A facebook friend of mine just posted that his 23-year old son just qualified as a captain on a very sleek looking bizjet, flying medivac. No clue as to how he achieved this so quickly, but there you go.
Hmmm good on him. Wonder what he has for time at 23 and where he's flying. The image I have in my head is that Falcon 10 for Air Nunavut out of Oshawa on a 3 year bond.

Hopefully it's more substantial than that.

S.
If you don’t do one of those fancy college/degree programs and work somewhere where you fly your ass off you can move along in your career pretty quickly. By my 24th Birthday I had 4000hrs and was a 737 fo.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
schnitzel2k3
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 816
Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 11:17 pm

Re: Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by schnitzel2k3 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:00 pm

ant_321 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:02 pm
schnitzel2k3 wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:54 pm
ogopogo wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:29 am
A facebook friend of mine just posted that his 23-year old son just qualified as a captain on a very sleek looking bizjet, flying medivac. No clue as to how he achieved this so quickly, but there you go.
Hmmm good on him. Wonder what he has for time at 23 and where he's flying. The image I have in my head is that Falcon 10 for Air Nunavut out of Oshawa on a 3 year bond.

Hopefully it's more substantial than that.

S.
If you don’t do one of those fancy college/degree programs and work somewhere where you fly your ass off you can move along in your career pretty quickly. By my 24th Birthday I had 4000hrs and was a 737 fo.
Can't complain there haha.

S.
---------- ADS -----------
  

prettyFLY4awhitegal
Rank 0
Rank 0
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Is it a good time to change careers?

Post by prettyFLY4awhitegal » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:45 pm

I'm in a similar situation as you. A little late to the game in finding out my love for flying at 37 although I'm discovering there are some perks to starting later. I'm also considering changing careers to become part of the aviation industry so I understand the "pull". I guess the nice thing is that if it doesn't work out as a CFI, you've already got a career to fall back on.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Post Reply

Return to “General Comments”