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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.
It is very common for small airports not to have a control tower, radar, or communications equipment. There are very well developed procedures for "uncontrolled airports". There is a standard traffic pattern that aircraft fly at almost all airports (consisting of a downwind, base, final, and upwind leg) and there are specific radio calls that are supposed to be made at certain points in the pattern. Most airports have a fixed base operator to supply fuel and services. They often monitor the common traffic frequency and supply some info to pilots about wind direction and runway in use. There's also a specific way to enter the pattern - usually at a 45 degree of the downwind leg, Yes it's possible for aircraft to collide and it happens several times a year - usually when a low wing airplane is above a high wing airplane in the pattern. Neither can see the other so occasionally that can happen.
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.
Technically is you are flying domestic you are not flying over foreign airspace. If flying IFR you must file one. Needless to say when filing a flight plan you must decalre if you are domestic of international flight.
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.
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!
Go to your local airport and talk with an instructor. That doesn't cost anything and they'll be happy to answer any of your questions. You can go for a sport pilot license first because it's the quickest cheapest way to get in the air. Then if you "catch the flying bug" you can progress to a private pilot certificate.
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.