I'm 21 years old and currently studying in an university(financial mathematics major). I'll finish my degree in about 2 years. Now I really start to think about my future career, I don't want to sit in an office and staring at a computer doing mathematics for the rest of my life. I love travelling, I really want to be an pilot although I don't have any knowledge about aviation. my question is am I too late to become an airline pilot? Should I finish my college first and then think about becoming a pilot or just quit the college and start learning to fly now? how long it takes to become an international airline pilot? and how much does a pilot earns(regional and international)?
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Re: Am I too late to become an airline pilot?
Many colleges offer flight training. Two that come to mind are UND and University of Cincinnati but there are many others. You might look into that as most airlines want a degree also. Regional airlines pay is garbage but you get raises pretty quickly as your time builds.
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There are many good schools in the UK and CAE is a good one if money is no object. If you have a tight budget then you could consider some of the multitude of other training establishment, certainly up to PPL level. The downside to learning in the UK is that it can be a little slow and frustrating at times due to the inclement weather. However, don't be put off by that since you will learn significantly more about flying in the weather we have in the UK than any of the "fair weather fairies" that learnt in a climate of continual sunshine. When the time comes and you get your commercial pilot job, your new employer won't be too pleased if you told them you can only fly when the sun is shinning. learning to fly in the UK gives you a good grounding and experience that you can take with you anywhere in the world.
Older planes are usually very good purchases, IF they have been well maintained over the years. Airplanes have to be inspected annually by an A&P mechanic with an Inspection Authorization so they are usually very well maintained. Any purchase should include having an A&P mechanic review the airframe and engine logs and evaluation of the plane, including looking at how many hours the engine has since overhaul and checking compression. I had a 1966 Cherokee 140 for several years and finally sold it when I bought my current Experimental aircraft (a BD-4). It helps a LOT if you can get an A&P license and maintain you own plane though.
The answer is a bit complex. To a degree, what you hear is correct - but it does not quite mean what you might otherwise think it means.
Consider your first job (maybe while in high school), working the drive-thru at McDonalds. It's a honest job, but most folks (especially youngsters) don't intend to do it for the rest of their lives. The expectations are that you will change jobs a number of times (hopefully for better jobs with better pay) before you are finally established in a career. Pilots are in a similar situation.
For many pilot jobs, especially with getting to the airlines, it is all about the hours. Those hours represent both experience (and some hours are better than other - twin engine hours are better than single, and jet is better than piston). But paying for the hours yourself is beyond the reach of most people. So pilots who want a career with the airlines usually have to start at the bottom. They scrape up enough money to get their commercial license and instructor rating, and start instructing - often in a rental plane older than they are, and for so little money that they too are working the drive-thru at McDonalds.
They accumulate enough hours (and contacts) to start helping out with late night freight delivery (called being a freight dog). Maybe get some charter work. Than a full time charter job. Move up from there to a small regional carrier or one of the charter jet companies. Then finally, if they are lucky, to the majors. And yes, this means changing jobs several times.
Now understand, some pilots love instructing and may do that for their entire time. But for most, instructing and hauling freight and the rest are just stepping stones to their "dream job."
Once with a major carrier they typically stay with that carrier if at all possible. Within the carrier, the pay and job quality and other perks are determined to a large degree by seniority. Switch to another carrier and you may lose all that hard earned seniority. [Pilots generally hate mergers and acquisitions, since that may affect their seniority, without them having any choice in the matter.]
So yes, a freshly licensed commercial pilot may indeed change jobs a number of times on the way up - but probably no worse than a lot of other career paths.
Usually, once you have a private pilot certificate you would go for an instructor rating and work as a flight instructor to build flight time (while making money). Along the way you could also be working on your commercial, multi engine, and air transport pilot ratings and certificates. It takes time to get into the airlines, mostly because you need to build flight time and experience. Even when you first break into the airlines the pay is kind of pathetic, but it builds quickly over time.
FGO to the RAF recruitment office and they will explain everything but you are still very young and reading your piece I think maybe very na?ve You cannot in this world just pick out the bits of jobs you want to do and expect company's RAF etc to tailor make jobs for you especially as you only want to use the RAF to save money!
Your subject choices are apt. But just bear in mind that, what Airlines are looking for when they say they are looking for future pilots, is exactly that (and nothing more). E.g; if at some point during the multi-staged interview process, you are given/placed into a scenario that is not 'on a plane', for instance. you're asked to role-play the role of a boss of a furniture factory, a disgruntled customer had phoned in and complained to your staff(a manager) about the color of paint used on a chair.. how do you resolve the issue?
Answer: YOU must take that scenario and make it plane/pilot related. So Boss=Pilot, staff(manager)=Hostess, customer=passenger, color of chair=brand of soda served..
And then you resolve THAT scenario, and follow up by going back to the furniture factory scenario. THAT is the type of candidate that will make it through to the simulator stage of pilot assessing
Embry Riddle is one of the most expensive colleges you can attend for flight. There are many others such as University of Cincinnati and University of North Dakota that offer college programs in flight and aviation. Airlines do want college degrees so it's really a pretty good idea. I'd check out tuitions at other colleges that offer aviation.