I have been reading these forums tonight and I just have to make a comment to maybe interject a different view into the mix. I am a 30 year old who has loved aviation since I was a kid. I was an A&P (well technically still am) that was laid off after 9-11. I am currently a Captain for a fire department in the southeast. I am at 42 hours of flight and almost a private pilot an I am estatic of being almost there. Ok, now that the intro is over let me get into the meat of my post. It seems to me that alot of the people complaining here about low pay must have come from money. I grew up in a bluecollar family that never really made alot of money, and for the longest time due to changing jobs I never made over about 24K. I now make ohhh about 42K and hell, thats plenty for me. I live an uncomplicated modest life and work a part time job so I can fly. Yes I want to be a pilot, but I have absolutley no desire to be a glorified bus driver and slave around carrying 125 people on the same route every other week. I would love to fly single piston/turboprop for a 135 operation and not have a route. To get up and go to a new place every day would be a treat. I firmly believe that being a pilot is a job of love "a calling" so to speak. Granted, I have not seen too deeply into the pilot side of the industry, but in my dealing with pilots they have mostly been very happy with their career choice. Ups, downs and all. I think that there are alot of disgruntled people on this board and its a shame that they talk so bad about this career. I read the comments about the cost to train vs the pay. I invite you to look at vets. Same situation. A labor of love. You have to think about you and your situation. When you are old and laying in your death bed none of the money in the world matters. Its all about your experences in life. Will you regret not pursuing something or will you be happy if you sacrifice "The Dream"? I for one do not want to regret. I don't need a top of the line mercedes or a 6000 sq foot house to be happy in life. I love to travel and I love to fly. Personally, I couldn't think of a better job!!