what is it costing you?


Mama Bear....
Staff member
to become a pilot?

I'm looking for statistics like $$ for flight school, $$ for bachelor degree, $$ total spent in gaining your total time, $$ for multi, $$ for ATP checkride (?) that type of thing...

I'm trying to put one of those "priceless" ads together with the cost of becoming an airline pilot vs the hassle you get for being an airline pilot!

even thinking on it, it would be kinda fun to make one for our friendly security personnel too... -> knowing that your flight is STILL insecure - priceless.... hahaha
So far from 0 time to a 340 hour multi-instrument-commercial pilot, I've spent right at about $35,000 on flight training. 27k for the aircraft rental and 8k paying CFI's. About $5000 of the aircraft rental money has probably been spent on pleasure flights which were not directly related to training, so 30k is a fair estimate of the overall cost of my pilot certificates.
$6000 private pilot (incl. $85hr for Piper Warrior pa28-161, $46/hr for cfi)
$3500 instrument pilot (so far....$105/hr C172,$48/rh cfi) a ilttle more than 1/2 way through IR training.

looking forward to the completed project
For me - 0 to (currently) 202.7:
IR = $10K (sad to admit)
Comm.SEL (so far): $1.5K

OH - and Bachelors Degree (B.A.) = $40K (roughly)
Associates Degree (A.S.) = No clue - probably around $4K maybe less
I'd bet the average per hour is around $100... so I've speant 25,000 so far, plus probably $1500+ on supplies like headset, books, transciever, etc.
Private $5500
Instrument $4800
Single Engine Sea $850
Other flying to get to the 193hrs I have now around $5000

I rent everything from an Arrow at $100/hr to a C150 at $48/hr, and have unlimited access to a friend's C150 for cost of fuel only. Instruction is $32/hr

Hard to say how much I'll spend total - I know the CFI/II/MEI can vary greatly. My commercial will probably cost an extra $2600 to get to 250 + do the flight training in the Arrow for the ride (remember I can fly a plane for cost of fuel only, though), and then I will be doing my CMEL.

Undergraduate degree was $40k though truthfully I only paid 25% of that - scholarships covered the rest.

After reading all this I've come to the realization that I'm just flat out crazy.

I think I'm right at about the $50k mark for flight training.
And right at about the $10k mark for education (state schools rock).

So far I think I've dropped around $20,000 for my private and instrument to get me to 194 hours. I'm expecting to drop at least another $20,000 on everything by the time it's all said and done if I go rotorcraft, and $7,000 if I do fixed wing all the way. Just kinda depends on how things go.

College has cost us about $25,000 so far, and I think it'll round out to $45,000-$50,000 in the end. That's with with living costs and everything thrown in.


John Herreshoff
What about the opportunity to cost of earning $15K a year out of college, when you coudl easily earn $35K smiling and dailling.
My undergrad cost about $80,000 (including housing)

My ASEL (PPL) cost about $6000

And that's (unfortunately) as far as I've gone. Lately, I've concentrated on paying off my student loans---which will be done in about 3 mos!!!!! and then I'm off to finsh up my ratings. I'll estimate it'll cost me 60K if I go to flight safety, 40K if I stay part 61, and $0 if I get a flying spot in the ANG.
Holy God where did you go to school at?

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Joooohn! Never end a sentence with "at".

It's "Holy God where did you go to school at •?"

Lets see...when its all said and done:

Riddle for degree: about $80,000 (relatively cheap cause I didn't fly much there)
Private license: $3000ish
FSI for ratings (IFR-CFII): about $45,000

Now excuse me while I go puke, and then slap myself silly for spending $60k too much by going to Riddle.
My BS degree cost about $30000
Aviation training (PPL through CFII/MEI) $55000

The TSA version of that ad would be depressing...Taco Bell cashier training $0.00, then on to TSA training for $0.00, to earn $25K (I guess, don't really want to know) and getting a laugh from making people remove clothing, acting like a suspicious KGB agent.
B.S. -$10,000, but I owe 20k in loans,(pretty cheap for 5 years

flight training - $43000 (50,000, including housing/living expenses)
Whatcha think? suggestions, ideas - something to make it quirky??

Bachelor’s Degree: -$40,000
PPL, Flight School & Certification costs: -$50,000
Regional Airline Salary Per Year: +$13,000
Major Airline Pilot Salary Per Passenger: $1.20

Away from home 204 days per year AND Listening to multi-millionaire airline management cry to the unions about how overpaid we are? Priceless

and then here's my "Doug's Top Ten Aviation Phrases":

1) Who was the best pilot I ever saw? You're lookin' at 'im.

2) Nothing quite like an office with a view ... at 30,000 ft
3) I love getting frisked, just not by security
4) Too much noise? The airport was built first - you chose to buy the house...and your mistake is our fault?
5) Like my watch?
6) I have the Fokker in sight
7) Be nice to your first officer, he may be your future captain
8) Max Power, Props Forward
9) Enough about flying - let’s talk about me...
10) “Being” pilot and “playing” pilot on Flight Sim are NOT the same

I'm open to more suggestions/ideas - they just need to be clean but funny...
What about the opportunity to cost of earning $15K a year out of college, when you coudl easily earn $35K smiling and dailling.

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Opportunity cost? Sheesh Iain, easy on the econ mumbo jumbo this is a aviation forum
We need to focus on paying FO and FA more money so fares will increase and less people will travel. The airlines will then lose so much money that all the evil CEOs who "don't know anything" will get fired. We'll then be able to replace them with all of the talented CEOs who are dying to leave their profitable financial, tech, or manufacturing companies, to head up ailing airlines with unionized labor, huge fixed costs, and not get paid nearly as much because the 24yo FO knows the company would be better off if he had higher pay. It's all supply and demand, opps I mean lift, weight, thrust drag. Don't you think?
You know Jolly - no one forces you to come on here and read these posts. Don't like a bunch of professional pilots - and a lot more wannabes - bitching and moaning about the job? Don't come 'round.

You said yourself you don't want to be a professional pilot so what is it exactly you get out of this?

Simple, honest question.
Pilot602, about a year ago I had decided to start flight training for a career. Everyone I know was against my decision. Luckily I found JC and I learned a lot about the profession and it helped dispel many of the myths surrounding aviation as career (Thanks Doug). But with all the doom and gloom among aspiring pilots/pilots about the industry I've decided to stick with my career in Banking for now.

I have the utmost respect for those of you who are pilots or aspiring to be pilots. You'd have to have a steel set of 'em to dive into a career like this. In that regard I have no place to be critical of you.

I used to be a lurker (for over a year) and it wasn't until recently that I've opened my mouth. Some of the garbage that people get away with on these forums is incredible -so I respond. Most of them want/expect a response. Politics are fun, so is making fun of liberals. I would hope that liberals feel the same way about us. I'm just offering my point of view.

As for me I think aviation will remain a hobby. I took some of the cash I was going to invest in flight school and invested it in the market last October. If it isn't rude of me to say so, I did very well. Ironically some of the biggest winners were *airline stocks and derivatives* When I was considering aviation as a career I did a lot of research on airlines and that research led me to some awesome opportunities. I've since followed the industry very closely and I remain fascinated by it.

I'm 26 and if I don't go to grad school next year I may fulfill my life-long desire to own my own airplane. I feel very blessed and lucky to be where I am. I wonder sometimes if I sold out on my dream of becoming a pro pilot. Last week I had a layover in Denver, and I saw all the pilots who were 5-10 yrs older than me around the frontier terminal. I was GREEN with envy. Not because I have the stereotypical view of being a pilot but because those guys are "in the arena" to steal a quote from T. Roosevelt.

Regardless of how messed-up my politics may appear to you, I will always be an advocate for your profession. That's gotta count for something.