Ha, are you serious? What is that? www.jetcareerssucks.com It's under construction! Is that where you tell us what you really think of us! Is that where the old squawk box is? Maybe that's where he flushes everything people!
Two captains I have flown with are getting out to make more money elsewhere. An F/O with a couple of years seniority gave up and is going into personal finance and a guy I was furloughed with decided not to come back and changed careers. They weren't willing to continue at such low pay until the industry got better and saw some movement.
Post 9/11, the pilot lifestyle that has been glamorized so much will never be the same...
I just got an Email from a F/O friend of mine. This person was a midlife career changer at age 44 to aviation and 46 yr old new hire to a regional. It was a dream come true. Apparently after "living the dream" as they called their first year in the industry, it has lost it's luster and the wages have hit hard in the pocketbook. Now on a LOA from the airline, I asked what they were doing these days....
"No flying for a living....next week I am taking a lesson in a C172 so I can go fly once in awhile and not land 50' in the air. Also I need to stay current IFR. I am day trading full time now. I need to make money again. This level of poverty one must endure to be a pilot has gotten really old. I got my fix of commercial flying and now I am on to the next."
This came from someone who a scant 4 years ago couldn't wait to be an airline pilot and loved flying. The daily grind and low pay was expected, but must have took it's toll. At age 50, they are leaving the airline after 4 short years.
That being said, (Sucks to wake up to the dream), I'd like to pose an opposing opinion.
It sucks to have to spend many nights in many different hotel rooms in many different cities. It sucks to have to get to the airport 2 hours before show time to fight with crabby gate agents, paperwork, computer terminals, and long lines. I do all of this now, and I'm on the plane as a PAYING business traveler. (I can't log a single hour that I spend sitting in the economy section.)
Someday, I'll share my career change aspirations with the board. For now, let it be said that nothing is more expensive than regret.
I've got a great paying job, supportive wife-to-be, and am engineering my life so as to be able to take a shot at my dream, flying. My point is that you must never quit trying. If flying is your dream, keep trying until you are flying.
If one day you find that you can't take it any more, Great! That means that there is an extra seat open somewhere for me.
In my opinion everyone wakes up from the dream at some point, they still love flying but it becomes just a job like everything else. I mean doing the same thing and the same routes can only be stimulating for so long I think.
Do you mind telling us how much he was making at a Regional? You need to quantify it. If he was making six figures prior to employment at a Regional, then yes, he probably thinks he's starving. Is he making $45 living in a Metropolitan Area and single, then after 4 years that might be really get to you.
Waking up from a dream? That can be said of any occupation really. You do it long enough you need to find other avenues with which to bring back the fun. For me personally, I like to be outdoors , see what's happening around me. The cubicle life doesn't afford me that lifestyle. I can't see spending 25 + years staring at a computer screen then plunking into the car and ride it back home with 25 million other commuters. That's waking up to reality rather than waking up to a dream. Life isn't easy whichever way you go, but there are professions that if you stick with it, can pay off.
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Do you mind telling us how much he was making at a Regional? You need to quantify it. If he was making six figures prior to employment at a Regional, then yes, he probably thinks he's starving.
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They are making about $27/hr on their F/O payscale at 3 years and almost $29/hr at 4 years. They made a good living prior to becoming a regional pilot being self employed. I don't know what their income level was before, but it was probably at least 4x's as much as their first officer pay. I was kinda surprised they don't want to continue till it gets better as this was a midlife career changer that was so gung ho about becoming a professional pilot.
I guess with the way the majors have slowed hiring, being 50 and still an F/O in this business probably influenced that decision to get back into a career that would pay more at this stage in their life. I believe they felt the all crap one had to put up with was not going to be worth what little they would have gained by age 60. Over the next 10 years, the opportunities sure aren't what they were if you had started in the late 90's. This is someone who thought they were OK with all the sacrifice to be a midlife career changer to aviation. Unfortunately when they got there, "living the dream" turned out to be a bit more harsh of a reality after a few years on the line. Beyond age 40, one really must consider long and hard such a career move as it will be a bit of a struggle. Even thought they were prepared to make sacrifices to get into the airline business (and they made a LOT), they felt it was just too much in the end.