Old UTAMAV needs advice


New Member
Hey guys, I feel really awkward about posting this, but as we are actually getting closer to the PEPC, I'm starting to wig out a little bit and need some advice/support. Feel free to advise as you please, but please spare me the "there's plenty of people who would love to be in your shoes right now BS". I already know that. So here goes.......

As some of you know, I currently work as a Registered Nurse supervisor at a large hospital in Dallas, TX. I like my job and love the people i work with. The hours are brutal and the things that I see in the trauma ICU can sometimes find their way back home with me. My compensation: in the area of 36$/hr, not so shabby. However, this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. Aviation is a passion of mine, i have always dreamed of being a controller. I applied on a whim, and can't believe that I'm driving to Chi-town in one week! Is it normal for me to have doubts....I have a great wife, a great little boy who turns 1 in July, a great home, and a good job that pays the bills and then some. I'm going to pack everyone up and move to Houston, making much less than what I am making now, albeit my dream job that will sooner or later pay me three times what I am making. I guess this 27 year old has come to a major crossroad in his life. I just need some support, feedback, and yeah, I know this is kinda queer. I am usually the one laughing and cracking jokes, but this hits home hard for me and the family. What are your thoughts :)

Tough call. Giving up a sure thing that you enjoy for a dream that may or may not pay off. If you put this up to a vote here on the site, the vast majority would say "go for it". But this site is composed of aviation junkies. Remember you have a family and responsibilities.

I wouldn't burn any bridges with my current employer, just in case the worst happens and ATC doesn't work out for you.
So are you an RN, or you are a supervisor of RN's? If you are a nurse, you can always go back to that if it does not work out with the FAA. Probably not the same position, but likely the same hospital and definitely at least the same city. Nurses are highly sought after these days, so you can easily find a job if all else fails. If it is a supervisory position and you are not actually a nurse, then completely ignore this post, as that is a VERY different scenario. :)
How does your wife feel about it? Since you said that you would be packing everyone up...is she saying, "Let's do this" or she worried as well?

Honestly, I can tell you that even though we didn't have to pack up and move permanently, knowing what we know now, we would! My husband loves his job and it has been a great thing for our family!
I am usually the one laughing and cracking jokes, but this hits home hard for me and the family. What are your thoughts :)


I have a good paying job now pays the bills +. Except in my case I absolutely loath my job. If I were in your position....I would go with ATC. Though I thought about ATC on and off all my life, I too applied on a whim (all the other times I wanted to apply, it was only opened to experienced controllers, etc.). Everything in life is a risk, but if you are having CONSTANT second thoughts about your risk, THEN I would not do. I am 30 years old, no husband, no kids -- it is now or never for me. The benefits of ATC far out weigh the negatives, in my opinion. I have had VERY stressful jobs so that cancels out. Science/technology/mathematics? I'm in!! Also, the ability to do something that not many people are selected to do. The money...that will come. The ability to actually retire if you want? My job in the private sector wont allow me to do that. WIth the constant threats of shutting the doors... my 401k will STAY on "E"..I can't live like that.

For me, the posibilities and positives out weigh the negatives and I have weighed them all. If you're concerned about training...look at it as you would school. I dont mean the partying part, but the learning something new part. It allows you the ability to learn openly but lessening the perception of "This is make or break". Leave on the best terms possible with your current employer. I think that would ease your mind and facilitate your openess with ATC training even more....especially when you know that if you have to go back, you can.
My philosophy is do what is going to make you the happiest, if the chance to be ATC is going to make you the happiest, do that, take the risk. If being stable and content is good enough, do that. Personally, I am currently unemployed thanks to graduating from college during the worst economic period in half a century, so it's a no-brainer for me. If I had a job that I liked with people that I liked, that paid reasonably well, I probably would not have even applied. The fact that you did says something in and of itself. I would go for ATC. High risk= high reward.
Guys thanks for your input. To answer all your questions quickly. 1. My wife is very supportive, she's the adventurous type. 2. I am a Registered Nurse who just happens to also be a supervisor, so you are right in that if I washed out, I could get a job paying in the 80's in less than two days. Thanks for helping me see a little clearer guys....In all seriousness. I hope I see some of you in Chi-town. :clap:A round of applause for you nice folks

Until further notice, UTAMAV is now a jokster again :beer:

I found myself in your similar shoes. I was/am a teacher now, with a husband in a job that pays about what you make, and an almost 5 year old starting Kindergarten soon. Although my job does not pay nearly what yours does, I love it and the holidays and summers off are bar none the best. But, I too have had always dreamed of being an air traffic controller. I applied on a whim and was ecstatic when I was offered Abilene. Then reality sank it that not only do I have myself to think about but my family now and it was all coming so quick. I turn 30 this month so for me it was now or never. I decided to accept and go forth, and will be starting the academy in August. I did not want to have any regrets about following my dreams. I have forever to teach, but only one shot at ATC.

We are really close (Keller)...we should get the fam together and meet up sometime!
I agree, I was expecting at least one smartarsed response from someone. Looks like everyone was being mello that day.

I agree, I was expecting at least one smartarsed response from someone. Looks like everyone was being mello that day.


Hmmmmm....male nurse....or air traffic controller...That IS a tough call... There's your obligatory :sarcasm:
I'd go with what you can see yourself REALLY being happy with in 15 years. Stuck in a hospital, or pushing tin?

You decide.

I'd rather be pushing tin, but I could NEVER handle a healthcare career.
My perspective: you won't get another chance to be an air traffic controller.

After 31, you can kiss ATC goodbye.
After 31, you can always go back to nursing.