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With the economy in shambles

  1. Jun 4, 2008 #1
    Why quit an established job to go college? I know, I know, with a degree you make more money; it's worth it in the long run. Funny thing is, with aspirations of someday becoming a commercial pilot, the degree would only be used to achieve some level of competitiveness, and is not even close to being a primary factor to getting hired.

    Don't get me wrong, I want to work toward a degree, but right now it's looking like part-time, night classes, distance-learning, etc...

    The economy just sucks, and I don't think I can really afford to quit my job.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2008 #2
    There's a few people I know that are going the route of night classes, distance learning, ect, just so that they can get the degree. It's going to get VERY competitive over the next 10+ years. My mother still works for the state of Tennessee, and just yesterday told me that they're tightening down on qualifications for jobs... even the most mediocre ones. As of right now, you cannot get a job with the state without some sort of degree.

    If I were you, I would look at it as being able to secure yourself a job in the future in case something happens. One thing that I have noticed is that quite a few businesses look at overall experience rather than certs and degrees, but still. If enough time goes by and technology changes enough, they could also consider what you know obsolete. If you have no degree, they're going to have to rely more on trust. IMO.
  4. Jun 4, 2008 #3

    Well said. It's going to get tough out there, no question about it.
  5. Jun 4, 2008 #4
    Better start studying those ATP books! Its a LOT of information to know, inside and out.

    Im reading my Gleims right now.
  6. Jun 4, 2008 #5
    I'm going through the instrument Gleim book as we speak. Hoping to get this rating over the summer. Obviously, it's a very long road to a job, considering I only have my private at this pont.
  7. Jun 4, 2008 #6
    Why dont you go to one of those schools? It seems like it would save you a lot of money.

    I think they cost around 30k total, which isnt all that bad.
  8. Jun 4, 2008 #7
    It's an option for some. To be honest, I personally don't see any downside to simply training under part 61. In the end, you've got the same ratings as anyone else.

    As far as the cost, I was just browsing ATP's website. Their "airline career pilot program" is listed at $60,000. That is a huge financial commitment for the sake of obtaining a job you may not have in 6 months. Every aspect of the aviation industry is suffering from fuel prices that are out of sight.

    Again, those schools are defintely an option for some, but it's looking like my style will simply be to pick my way through the ratings as time an money allow. I'm still in my mid-20's, so I'm not overly concerned about the time that may take.
  9. Jun 4, 2008 #8
    Take out a school loan. Its no different than someone attending an instate univ. for for years.

    In the end, you are going to spend more than 60k obtaining your ATP giong to a part 61 school.

    As for a job, lots of airlines are hiring people, but the starting pay is low because its a regional jet.

    Your rationalization makes no sense. You dont want to pay 60k because you might not get a job, yet your going to spend MORE money at your local school, and that STILL does not mean you'll get a job.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2008
  10. Jun 4, 2008 #9


    If you don't mind me asking, are you currently enrolled in a part 141 training program?

    Your claim that "lots of airlines are hiring people" is flat-out wrong. Maybe 6 or 8 months ago, but things have changed very quickly as we went through the first half of 2008, and not for the better. Planes are being parked, pilots are being furloughed, and many more will be in the future. Just last week, the associate press released an article that United Airlines is parking over 100 planes. It's only going to get worse, at least before it gets better.

    As far as you claiming I'm going to spend "more than $60K" obtaing ratings via part 61, that's not true either. You do know that to become an ATP, you need a minimum of 1,500 hours, right?

    The point is, you don't go to a part-141 school to get your ATP, before having actually been employed as a pilot!
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2008
  11. Jun 4, 2008 #10
    Not to stray too off topic, but with the airline industry in 'the pits' at the moment, I wonder what the future hold for jobs that involve aeronautical engineering? Thinking along the lines of revamping current aircraft with the intention of improving overall fuel efficiency, both propulsion and aerodynamic-wise.

    Could there actually be job potentials during this (and later) airline hump?
  12. Jun 4, 2008 #11
    I am not sure, what is the difference between a 141 and 61 school?

    Im just going by what some of my instructors said when they got hired for a regional jet towards the very end of last year/start of this year.

    Dont you need to have an ATP to be hired by the airlines though? Or can you do it with a CFI/commercial?

    As far as I was aware, you go to one of those ATP schools, and they usually place you straight into a major airline.
  13. Jun 4, 2008 #12
    It's not particularly easy to explain, but a part 141 school is an all-out dedicated flight school, that has been certified as such by the FAA. These schools are typically very well equipped, with respect to both aircraft and staff. They are well-known. ATP (referring here to the school with that name, not the rating), is one example. Any type of collegiate aviation program will likely be part-141 as well. For example, Embry-Riddle aeronautical university.

    Part 61 is not so much a type of school, as it is a set of regulations under which you may undertake flight training. I'm sure you know what an FBO is. Some of them have planes you can rent. If you rent one, and then hire an instructor to train you, that's obtaining a rating via part-61. There are also smaller outfits that advertise themselves as "flight schools", but still operate under part 61. Again, all they're doing is renting you the airplane, and providing an instructor.

    No ATP is required to be hired by a regional airline. They can hire you as a first-officer with nothing more than a commercial multi-engine rating, if they so choose. In fact, if you're applying for a FO position, you probably wont even be expected to have it.

    Definitely NOT a major. A regional airline, yes. Major? Not a chance.

    Keep in mind a lot of these places may promise an interview with an airline, not a JOB.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2008
  14. Jun 4, 2008 #13
    Id like to get my CFI as a weekend job, but that requires alot of money.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2008
  15. Jun 4, 2008 #14


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    Staff: Mentor

    I object to the premise of the thread: The economy isn't spectacular right now, but it is not in shambles either. With that in mind:
    The shape the economy is in now doesn't really have anything to do with whether you can afford to quit your job. Either you have enough money saved up to live without a job Ior with a part time job) for a while or you don't.
    That's pretty rough - it is a lot of work and it takes a long time. But the answer to your first question:
    ...depends mostly on you. How established are you in that job? How long is the payback and are you willing to wait that long? How bad do you want to land your dream job?
  16. Jun 4, 2008 #15


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    Staff: Mentor

    You don't have it quite right, but your last sentence outlines the real problem: people are going after mediocre educations and mediocre jobs. Good jobs are actually easier to come by than mediocre ones because the pool of potential applicants is smaller. You don't get 25,000 applicants for jobs at walmart because the jobs are good, you get 25,000 applicants at walmart because the people don't have the skills/education to apply for better jobs.


    At the same time, growth in good jobs is, well, good!
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