Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

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a7aka
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Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by a7aka » Wed May 01, 2019 1:09 pm

Hello all,

I did my flight training about 5 years ago but a lot of things didn't work out so had to put it off. I'm always thinking about getting back into aviation to the point that it's bothering me every day, the goal would be the airlines obviously (i.e Sunwing, Transat, etc.) The dilemma is now I have a very well paying, secure government job with a great pension and benefits. Would it be worth it for me to now leave my current career to pursue aviation again, even with the low starting salaries and job prospects (I hear its very good now) ?, I know that the question I'm asking probably has an obvious answer, but I need some good advice or closure and move on and keep it as a hobby.

Also, are airlines still requiring degrees?


Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated, Thanks!

Currently, have:

304 Total time / CPL-IFR
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by Choppermech1986 » Thu May 02, 2019 2:43 pm

Only you can answer that question. It depends so much on your personality, how much satisfaction your present job brings you, family situation etc etc. One thing I will say is that aviation is best suited to people who make quality command decisions and stick with them instead someone who spends their time tipy-toeing around the problem and fails to make a decision. You seem like the latter, not the former. Prove me wrong.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by rookiepilot » Thu May 02, 2019 2:49 pm

Well, in Canada a government job is considered the pinnacle of success by most. Hard to improve on that!

I am somewhat tongue in cheek.....

Pursue your dreams. Really.
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Last edited by rookiepilot on Thu May 02, 2019 8:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by Zaibatsu » Thu May 02, 2019 3:58 pm

rookiepilot wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 2:49 pm
Well, in Canada a government job is considered the pinnacle of success by most. Hard to improve on that!
By most? Not likely.

As a desirable and attainable career for people of above average qualities. Sure.

If everyone was successful, nobody would be.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by maturepilot83 » Thu May 02, 2019 4:09 pm

I had a well paying government job as well with excellent benefits.

I always wanted to be a pilot. I stayed in this safe, secure and well paying government job not believing that I could successfully make this shift. I felt stuck and I was unhappy for the longest time. Even my co-workers told me I needed to get the hell out and pursue what I loved.

I stayed and stayed in this well paying, government job, making my excellent salary and buying all the nice toys that I wanted. Until I realized we take nothing with us in life.

In the end, I grew unhappier and unhappier. Grumpier and grumpier.

Nothing in life is safe and secure. This may sound like a YouTube video, but you truly have one life to live. Yes, there are more risks associated with aviation. If you're not willing to accept them don't make the shift.

It all boils down to what YOU want. Have no expectations of a stable career trajectory. You will be blind sided, lied to and dissappointed in this chase for your "passion". Like many it has happened to me.

If you always remember WHY you are doing this - it will make the journey fun and exciting.

Since I've left my secure, safe and well paid government job I've been happier doing the flying part. I get paid waayy less and work crappy hours but having done the secure, well paid and safe government job I can attest to "do what you love". I love my current job that gives me a crappy flying schedule and I haven't reached the 705 level where I always wanted to be. I get to wake up and be a kid again. In my well paid, secure government job I was always an "adult". Not anymore, I'm 12 years old forever as long as I can do this. Being young at heart gives you more energy. You interact with people differently. I'm less negative and hold a way more positive outlook to life now.

I have a family. I have a mortgage. But I work another job on the side to make sure my passion doesn't sacrifice supporting loved ones. No complaints, you gotta do what you gotta do.

5 years from now in your well paid, secure and safe government job you will feel exactly as you did 5 years ago - today. Make a plan. Go do it.

Put the blinders on and ignore the bullshit. Not everyone can do what they love for whatever reasons. It's a priveledge to be doing this.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by confusedalot » Thu May 02, 2019 5:47 pm

Do I ever emphathize with you.

I was a government employee by circumstance. 9/11 happened, aviation people were kicked into the street, no prospects, so I applied.

Got the job.

Thought I had it made.

And then reality hit me in the face like a landmine.

So.....the trollers have absolutely zero idea of the realities. Nobody said life was fair, listening to these entitled little princesses makes me sick. They rule, cuz of good luck. That is their only claim to fame.

Anyways, getting back to getting into the airplane driver business, now would be the time. I cannot see any downside for a long time. Obviously, there are no guarantees though.

Hard decision I know, even I had to think about it a whole lot.

Had to make a crucial choice. Slowly die in the public service, or go back to all of the instability in the business.

Chose the business. This does not mean this will happen to you, the ridiculous 2008 economic scare happened and everybody panicked like usual. You can guess the rest.

Once again, I have empathy. I know what it is all about

Hard choice.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by Pacqing » Thu May 02, 2019 8:43 pm

I've worked for a Provincial and the Federal Govt's in aviation and don't really miss either. The benefits are one thing but many companies have the same. I've worked with to many guys who didn't like their job and kept saying I'm just here for the pension. If you think you have a passion for flying and think about it a lot then you probably do. Like they say you only come this way once.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by airbournesailor » Fri May 03, 2019 5:31 am

Been there, done that and presently doing it for the second time😜. Only you can answer that question. It depends on how bad you really want it. My decision was based on the fact that, I’d much rather live with the regret of chasing my dream and feeling later I should of stayed where I was than, live with the regrets of NOT chasing my dream! Good luck.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by a7aka » Fri May 03, 2019 9:51 am

Choppermech1986 wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 2:43 pm
Only you can answer that question. It depends so much on your personality, how much satisfaction your present job brings you, family situation etc etc. One thing I will say is that aviation is best suited to people who make quality command decisions and stick with them instead someone who spends their time tipy-toeing around the problem and fails to make a decision. You seem like the latter, not the former. Prove me wrong.
Thanks for the response !! Good Point! , the reason I'm tippy-toeing around the problem is because of the financial implications that I had to go through in the past because of my flight training, I worked very hard to get out of that situation that I was in financially and wish to not go through it again. I should mention that I'm also looking through this from a Financial Perspective. As you mentioned sticking to decisions is, of course, important and a good point but it becomes problematic when it's accumulating massive amounts of debt that may be difficult to pay off. Mine is paid off now, That's my reasoning.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by a7aka » Fri May 03, 2019 10:05 am

maturepilot83 wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 4:09 pm
I had a well paying government job as well with excellent benefits.

I always wanted to be a pilot. I stayed in this safe, secure and well paying government job not believing that I could successfully make this shift. I felt stuck and I was unhappy for the longest time. Even my co-workers told me I needed to get the hell out and pursue what I loved.

I stayed and stayed in this well paying, government job, making my excellent salary and buying all the nice toys that I wanted. Until I realized we take nothing with us in life.

In the end, I grew unhappier and unhappier. Grumpier and grumpier.

Nothing in life is safe and secure. This may sound like a YouTube video, but you truly have one life to live. Yes, there are more risks associated with aviation. If you're not willing to accept them don't make the shift.

It all boils down to what YOU want. Have no expectations of a stable career trajectory. You will be blind sided, lied to and dissappointed in this chase for your "passion". Like many it has happened to me.

If you always remember WHY you are doing this - it will make the journey fun and exciting.

Since I've left my secure, safe and well paid government job I've been happier doing the flying part. I get paid waayy less and work crappy hours but having done the secure, well paid and safe government job I can attest to "do what you love". I love my current job that gives me a crappy flying schedule and I haven't reached the 705 level where I always wanted to be. I get to wake up and be a kid again. In my well paid, secure government job I was always an "adult". Not anymore, I'm 12 years old forever as long as I can do this. Being young at heart gives you more energy. You interact with people differently. I'm less negative and hold a way more positive outlook to life now.

I have a family. I have a mortgage. But I work another job on the side to make sure my passion doesn't sacrifice supporting loved ones. No complaints, you gotta do what you gotta do.

5 years from now in your well paid, secure and safe government job you will feel exactly as you did 5 years ago - today. Make a plan. Go do it.

Put the blinders on and ignore the bullshit. Not everyone can do what they love for whatever reasons. It's a priveledge to be doing this.
Good Point and Thanks for the Response!, Really Appreciate it !. The hours I work and schedule I have now are pretty crappy as well in my current job I work nights, no weekends off, and work every single holiday so it would be nothing new to me its something I'm use to now. How did you find the drop in pay at first? , lot of adjusting? , In all honesty, that's what I'm worried about as much as I love flying I'm not sure if I'd go back to the pay cheque to pay cheque lifestyle, but it's temporary just in the start of the career you'd say?
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by a7aka » Fri May 03, 2019 10:12 am

confusedalot wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 5:47 pm
Do I ever emphathize with you.

I was a government employee by circumstance. 9/11 happened, aviation people were kicked into the street, no prospects, so I applied.

Got the job.

Thought I had it made.

And then reality hit me in the face like a landmine.

So.....the trollers have absolutely zero idea of the realities. Nobody said life was fair, listening to these entitled little princesses makes me sick. They rule, cuz of good luck. That is their only claim to fame.

Anyways, getting back to getting into the airplane driver business, now would be the time. I cannot see any downside for a long time. Obviously, there are no guarantees though.

Hard decision I know, even I had to think about it a whole lot.

Had to make a crucial choice. Slowly die in the public service, or go back to all of the instability in the business.

Chose the business. This does not mean this will happen to you, the ridiculous 2008 economic scare happened and everybody panicked like usual. You can guess the rest.

Once again, I have empathy. I know what it is all about

Hard choice.

Good point! Thanks for the response !, Appreciate it!. it's definitely a risk but the public sector does eat away at you I know what you mean.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by a7aka » Fri May 03, 2019 10:14 am

Pacqing wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 8:43 pm
I've worked for a Provincial and the Federal Govt's in aviation and don't really miss either. The benefits are one thing but many companies have the same. I've worked with to many guys who didn't like their job and kept saying I'm just here for the pension. If you think you have a passion for flying and think about it a lot then you probably do. Like they say you only come this way once.
Thanks for the input, appreciate it! , I definitely hear that all the time at my workplace about hating the job but staying for the pension.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by a7aka » Fri May 03, 2019 10:16 am

airbournesailor wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 5:31 am
Been there, done that and presently doing it for the second time😜. Only you can answer that question. It depends on how bad you really want it. My decision was based on the fact that, I’d much rather live with the regret of chasing my dream and feeling later I should of stayed where I was than, live with the regrets of NOT chasing my dream! Good luck.
Thank You!
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by a7aka » Fri May 03, 2019 10:19 am

Any thoughts from a Financial Perspective?

Any thoughts on what would be the best path to get back into aviation ?. (e.i instructing, heading up north, etc.)?
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by jakeandelwood » Fri May 03, 2019 6:00 pm

You could always just stay a private pilot, buy a small plane and have a hell of a lot of fun.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by Saubia » Fri May 03, 2019 6:09 pm

You have just one life. Don't loose too much time. But be ready to live some hard time at the beginning.(pay/no good schedule and so on). Work hard for 2 years and then after 1000h you can grab decent job nowadays.
But just u can take this decision. Don't listen too much advises because nobody know if it will be a good decison for you ;)
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by Hilroy » Fri May 03, 2019 6:46 pm

Follow your dream. If it doesn't work, you can go back anytime...
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by bearitus » Sat May 04, 2019 6:50 am

I was in a similar situation. I left a high paying software engineering job for aviation 4 years ago. I still only make half as much as I did as a software engineer however I enjoy my job more. I am slated for an upgrade at a 705 in the near future which will raise my income to a level on par with engineering. If I later decide to go to the major airlines, my overall career earnings will surpass that of most engineers.

The way I look at it is if you truly enjoy aviation and you can tough it out for the first 5 ish years of low pay and bad schedule you will enjoy your career more down the road.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by cap41 » Sat May 04, 2019 4:51 pm

Better a bird in hand..Its not only the financial sacrifice, there are living conditions and location. Also, does it mean family has to sacrifice because you not making as much as you did. Do you have to relocate family? Do kids need to start over with friends and school? I often dreamt of airline jobs..However I like the amount of money I currently make, I like being home every night, I like weekends off. I like my kids are settled in our community. btw not a Govt job I have. Anyways If I was single I may have come to a different conclusion... As mentioned above PPL / 172 owner. Fly whenever I want! just have fun
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by jakeandelwood » Sat May 04, 2019 8:24 pm

cap41 wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 4:51 pm
Better a bird in hand..Its not only the financial sacrifice, there are living conditions and location. Also, does it mean family has to sacrifice because you not making as much as you did. Do you have to relocate family? Do kids need to start over with friends and school? I often dreamt of airline jobs..However I like the amount of money I currently make, I like being home every night, I like weekends off. I like my kids are settled in our community. btw not a Govt job I have. Anyways If I was single I may have come to a different conclusion... As mentioned above PPL / 172 owner. Fly whenever I want! just have fun
Yes, you can be involved in aviation and have fun with it without doing it as a career. When I look back the funnest times I've had flying were on my own time, not when I was flying commercially.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by complexintentions » Wed May 08, 2019 11:33 am

A lot of it is just attitude and outlook.

The mindset of "hanging on for the pension" makes my skin crawl, and why I don't think I could ever go into a job where that was my overriding priority. Unfortunately that type of thinking exists in aviation too, you see it in the heavily unionized airlines where people are fearful of losing what they see as their golden goose and so huddle on miserably in some job they don't really enjoy anymore. How sad.

I applaud your courage to at least examine making a change, which is more than most people do.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by jakeandelwood » Thu May 09, 2019 11:37 am

complexintentions wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 11:33 am
A lot of it is just attitude and outlook.

The mindset of "hanging on for the pension" makes my skin crawl, and why I don't think I could ever go into a job where that was my overriding priority. Unfortunately that type of thinking exists in aviation too, you see it in the heavily unionized airlines where people are fearful of losing what they see as their golden goose and so huddle on miserably in some job they don't really enjoy anymore. How sad.

I applaud your courage to at least examine making a change, which is more than most people do.
Well when you start getting older a pension starts to become more of a priority in life, sitting down and crunching the numbers and realizing that one will have to work for a hell of alot longer than you think, and your house won't be paid off till you're 80. Now that will make your skin crawl.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by confusedalot » Thu May 09, 2019 5:40 pm

jakeandelwood wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:37 am
complexintentions wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 11:33 am
A lot of it is just attitude and outlook.

The mindset of "hanging on for the pension" makes my skin crawl, and why I don't think I could ever go into a job where that was my overriding priority. Unfortunately that type of thinking exists in aviation too, you see it in the heavily unionized airlines where people are fearful of losing what they see as their golden goose and so huddle on miserably in some job they don't really enjoy anymore. How sad.

I applaud your courage to at least examine making a change, which is more than most people do.
Well when you start getting older a pension starts to become more of a priority in life, sitting down and crunching the numbers and realizing that one will have to work for a hell of alot longer than you think, and your house won't be paid off till you're 80. Now that will make your skin crawl.
Pretty much bang on. Quite normal to pursue life and forget about the future, the future however has the nasty habit of catching up with everybody. No exceptions.
Been there done that got the t shirt blah blah.....

Difficult choice for the OP and I can emphathize. Because I just so happened to be on both sides.

So whaddya do? Get money forever at the cost of (maybe, but not neccesarily) losing your soul, or take your chances in the real world. HOWEVER, opportunities for success are good, but not guaranteed.

For those of you who don't have government experience, it ain't always a pretty place. Actually, it is rarely a pretty place, except for a chosen few.

Get to the top or fall flat on your face in the journey of life. I have seen bums who did squat get to the top, and I have seen good people trashed in this particular industry.

As Bill Gates said to a bunch of university graduates, lesson number one is that life is not fair.

Cheers.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by complexintentions » Thu May 09, 2019 6:01 pm

Oh make no mistake I'm a big fan of wealth, financial security, pensions, and the like. Wasn't counselling to leave the government teat lightly, as distasteful as it may be to live your life just surviving for your retirement. Ugh.

But two points:

- leaving a soul-crushing government job for a flying career won't necessarily make one happy, just look at some of the miserable folk on this site;
- wealth/financial security and aviation are not mutually exclusive.

The problem is most of the people who offer advice against flying are those who never achieved the latter, because they do tend to be rarer than those who crashed and burned (metaphorically). Canada is generally speaking, extremely conservative and holds security (even when its only perceived and not real) sacred, above success. Nothing wrong with that, just that it has to be considered when weighing advice.

As I said, most people won't even consider making changes that could improve their situation.
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Re: Leaving a good paying secure job for aviation

Post by rookiepilot » Thu May 09, 2019 6:17 pm

complexintentions wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 6:01 pm

Canada is generally speaking, extremely conservative and holds security (even when its only perceived and not real) sacred, above success.
Absolutely true.
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