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HeliTorque :: View topic - The argument against flying as a career
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HeliTorque Forum Index » Wannabes

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The argument against flying as a career
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Alectexas
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:05 pm    Post subject: The argument against flying as a career Reply with quote

Flying might be one of the most fun jobs, but you pay a big price! This is true for fixed wing and helicopter pilots.
There are almost always more pilots than there are jobs. Therefore the salaries are low. If you don't want the job, they can find someone else to do it. Some first officers for regional airlines get paid in the mid 20s. I pay my housekeeper that much and she doesn't even speak English much less fly a plane!
Pilots are stuck in a pyramid scheme. Truly good jobs, with good pay and a passable quality of life are few and far between. Most folks are just hanging on in a not-so-good good waiting for that big break that may never come.
A typical pilot is a skilled employee yes, but still an employee. When I talk to pilots or read about their typical career paths its all about scoring the next job based on the skills (and the hours) acquired previously. Precious few mention more sensible options such as making money outside aviation and enjoying flying as a hobby after can afford it.
Say you decide to become a helicopter pilot in your late 20's. You are looking at 70K for the basic training, 10 years of "paying your dues" at a salary of 30K and then what? A 50-70K a year job at age 35. Now you have a productive working life of around 25 years, no savings and one medical problem away from unemployment. That might sound find when you are 28, but it will seem a lot less astute when you turn 45.
That's a big price to pay for any career! The same amount of effort directed elsewhere will yield far better long term results.
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ALFA8C
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work in TV, am highly experienced, regularly responsible for getting sound to millions of people worldwide from each event yet on an hourly rate, I could earn more stacking shelves at B&Q or working in Macdonalds!

There are more kids willing to work for nothing than there are jobs.

Why pay me a decent salary when a kid from Media School will do the same job poorly.............but free!

There IS no justice.


Last edited by ALFA8C on Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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stubert
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whilst I understand the industry is a very difficult place to break into I sometimes wonder what peoples agenda's are? It's a very negative post for a first post. Just seemed a bit odd to me.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed, i think everyone knows its a hard market to break into. And i think from the outside people see it as a really good paid job etc etc.. But in reality, i think many of us know you would get paid far far more if you focused this hard on something else. But then again you are in a bigger pond when it comes to competition for jobs.

People want to fly for the love of flying and to make a living, if you join hoping to make big bucks then you will be one of the lucky few if you get that by the closing end of your career. You have to do it for wanting to do it, Wanting to get up in the morning and go flying everyday for work.

Money isn't everything and in my world anyway, having a job you enjoy is more important than having the most money, i know if i ever become a pilot earning a reasonable wage (im being realistic) that im not going to earn big bucks, but if i enjoy my job thats what counts.
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ALFA8C
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WindSwept,

Good post.

I used to earn a good living, not now though............and I really dread getting up and going to work!

Now i'm looking for a job that I want to do even if it pays a lot less!
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a happy soul... Yikes!

Personally I wake up every day looking forward to a day of flying and I'm earning a decent living in the process. I will probably never make a king's ransom but lets be honest do any of us really do this for the money?

Maybe one day I will work for a living Laughing

Why all the doom and gloom?

Sarah
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WhirlyGirl wrote:
What a happy soul... Yikes!

Why all the doom and gloom?

Sarah


Because most of us are on that great hamster wheel and cant get off Very Happy

On a lighter note, I am sure we came to an agreement on here some time ago that most people that fly for a living do not do it for the money. I could earn more as a plumber and I do that better than I fly a helicopter but I sure as hell know which I would rather be doing.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Why all the doom and gloom?


I couldn't agree more Sarah. I'm having an unsympathetic few minutes, but you'll all have to excuse me as I'm on nights, I've just got up and my first cup of tea hasn't properly got into my system yet Sad

Look, it's simple. If you want to fly for a living, then fly for a living. If you don't want to, then don't. No, you are unlikely to ever get rich, unless you are really lucky. But you are unlikely to ever get rich doing most jobs, so that's just life. You will pass or fail (medical matters allowing) on your desire and your drive, or lack thereof. I have never listended to anybody's advice about what job to do or not and just gone for it each time I have wanted a change of career or role. As a result I have loved the vast majority of my working life and continue to do so. If I listened to everyone, however well-meaning, who bemoans the aviation industry, the pay, the hours, the cost, the colour of the uniforms, etc. etc. then I probably wouldn't even look at a helicopter, let alone fly one. Go into it with your eyes open, by all means, but ultimately have the confidence to make your own decision, rather than, years later, wondering, "what if..."

Right, sorry about that but the tea is just starting to work. Time for some toast before I say anything really bad... Wink [/i]
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DBChopper wrote:
Quote:
Why all the doom and gloom?


I couldn't agree more Sarah. I'm having an unsympathetic few minutes, but you'll all have to excuse me as I'm on nights, I've just got up and my first cup of tea hasn't properly got into my system yet Sad

Look, it's simple. If you want to fly for a living, then fly for a living. If you don't want to, then don't. No, you are unlikely to ever get rich, unless you are really lucky. But you are unlikely to ever get rich doing most jobs, so that's just life. You will pass or fail (medical matters allowing) on your desire and your drive, or lack thereof. I have never listended to anybody's advice about what job to do or not and just gone for it each time I have wanted a change of career or role. As a result I have loved the vast majority of my working life and continue to do so. If I listened to everyone, however well-meaning, who bemoans the aviation industry, the pay, the hours, the cost, the colour of the uniforms, etc. etc. then I probably wouldn't even look at a helicopter, let alone fly one. Go into it with your eyes open, by all means, but ultimately have the confidence to make your own decision, rather than, years later, wondering, "what if..."

Right, sorry about that but the tea is just starting to work. Time for some toast before I say anything really bad... Wink [/i]



Couldnt agree more, the amount of times I got told in my academic career that I was doing the wrong course and would amount to nothing was amazing! At every level from GCSE, A-Level and even my degree! At each stage I proved them wrong! I was told that computers were not for me, I would fail whilst my friends succeed! I got to the uni of my first choice, got my degree, worked as a software engineer for 9 years and now as aa dept manager for the last 2.5 years.

Dont let others dampen your spirit.

Good reply DBChopper..... although I cant speak for the aviation world as I am flying for fun.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One Eskimo once said " You've got to be Inuit to win it!"

I'm probably never going to able to regain my outlay......but I don't care , just love helicopters
Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said paddywak! And I will agree! I wake up every day loving the fact I got into the helicopter industry. Sure there are some characteristics that some people aren't so fond of, but thats what separates those who make it in this industry. You have to truly love what you do (no matter the profession) to succeed!
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My fixed wing instructor told me you can spend five days a week of your life doing boring stuff you hate and live for those two days at the end of the week when you have money, or you can do what you love for 5 days a week and relax on those days with no money. Seems like you get more out of life enjoying the 5 days to me but suppose when you have kids and you need to provide things change.
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