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Are regionals really worth it...something to ponder

k2774

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I browse the forum from time to time and the posts about reqional pay...is it really worth it.... have really cought my attention. I'm pretty sure the average age of those responding favorably to this industry is <26. As you get older priorities change and you will begin to realize that 50-60K is not a lot of money, ESPECIALLY if you have a family. And let me tell you, there are plenty of jobs out there where you don't have to sit in front of a computer....where the salaries are pretty good.....and that you could enjoy. You just have to search and be flexible.

Has anyone thought about pursuing graduate degrees in the sciences and engineering, or going to college for that matter. Plumbers, Electricians, AC/Refrigeration, Carpenters, etc. have the opportunity to make loads of money, but you have to be willing to WORK. Railroad Engineers/Conductors top out at 90-100K and there is massive hiring at the railroads. Has anybody thought about being entreprenuers(sp)? It sometimes seems that those flying for regionals are sometimes short-changing themselves. Especially those that want a fullfilling life. Being broke gets OLD. Take from someone who has been there, and was doing something he LOVED.

I know flying is a love or hate thing....believe me, I was there. You couldn't tell me ten/fifteen years ago that i wouldn't be flying a B757 for Delta, but things have changed. I hope you realize that if you've spent 50-80K, or even 35K on flight training, and have to suffer though YEARS of making 20K plus/minus a few thousand, you have not gotten a good return on your investment. Don't do this at your parents/wife/husband/love one's expense. THINK....THINK.....THINK. BE OPEN TO OTHER POSSIBILITIES. I'm sure regional salaries will some day change, but I don't see it in the near future. I don't think twenty+ year old captains have the maturity to be good negotiators.

It bothers me to see my friends who in their early to mid thirties who are still flying, not being able to live off of their salaries. Something has to change.
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Mesabi Miner

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k2774 said:
I browse the forum from time to time and the posts about reqional pay...is it really worth it.... have really cought my attention. I'm pretty sure the average age of those responding favorably to this industry is <26. As you get older priorities change and you will begin to realize that 50-60K is not a lot of money, ESPECIALLY if you have a family. And let me tell you, there are plenty of jobs out there where you don't have to sit in front of a computer....where the salaries are pretty good.....and that you could enjoy. You just have to searh and be flexible.

Has anyone thought about pursuing graduate degrees in the sciences and engineering, or going to college for that matter. Plumbers, Electricians, AC/Refrigeration, Carpenters, etc. have the opportunity to make loads of money, but you have to be willing to WORK. Railroad Engineers/Conductors top out at 90-100K and there is massive hiring at the railroads. Has anybody thought about being entreprenuers(sp)? It sometimes seems that those flying for regionals are sometimes short-changing themselves. Especially those that want a fullfilling life. Being broke gets OLD. Take from someone who has been there, and was doing something he LOVED.

I know flying is a love or hate thing....believe me, I was there. You couldn't tell me ten/fifteen years ago that i wouldn't be flying a B757 for Delta, but things have changed. I hope you realize that if you've spent 50-80K, or even 35K on flight training, and have to suffer though YEARS of making 20K plus/minus a few thousand, you have not gotten a good return on your investment. Don't do this at your parents/wife/husband/love one's expense. THINK....THINK.....THINK. BE OPEN TO OTHER POSSIBILITIES. I'm sure regional salaries will some day change, but I don't see it in the near future. I don't think twenty+ year old captains have the maturity to be good negotiators.

It bothers me to see my friends who in their early to mid thirties who are still flying, not being able to live off of their salaries. Something has to change.
http://forums.flightinfo.com/images/statusicon/user_online.gif


I'm not sure of the intent of this post. Should we all just hand in our SIDA badges and leave? And with your "you have to be willing to WORK" comment, I know you're not implying that regional pilots don't work. No offense taken.

k2774 said:
Don't do this at your parents/wife/husband/love one's expense.

Many of us have loved ones that accept that we are meant to fly airplanes. Some of us are just wired that way. I worked a computer/desk job for over two years. I worked as an electrician on commercial job sites for several years as well. I have to say that I know what it's like to hate my job and be repulsed at the thought of going to work in the morning. My family also knew what it was like because they bore the brunt of my job-related negativity. I don't think it's fair to do that to them either. Are the regionals worth it? Maybe not. But for those of us who have not yet given up all hope of someday flying a 757 for six figures, the regionals provide a place to sit, and a job that we don't loathe. The 75 might be years and years down the road, but I'm not yet ready to throw in the towel.

MM
 

k2774

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And I'm sure you're in your 20s...

The point of this message is for you to think.....
 
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B

BR549

Mesabi Miner said:
I'm not sure of the intent of this post. Should we all just hand in our SIDA badges and leave? And with your "you have to be willing to WORK" comment, I know you're not implying that regional pilots don't work. No offense taken.



Many of us have loved ones that accept that we are meant to fly airplanes. Some of us are just wired that way. I worked a computer/desk job for over two years. I worked as an electrician on commercial job sites for several years as well. I have to say that I know what it's like to hate my job and be repulsed at the thought of going to work in the morning. My family also knew what it was like because they bore the brunt of my job-related negativity. I don't think it's fair to do that to them either. Are the regionals worth it? Maybe not. But for those of us who have not yet given up all hope of someday flying a 757 for six figures, the regionals provide a place to sit, and a job that we don't loathe. The 75 might be years and years down the road, but I'm not yet ready to throw in the towel.

MM



At the rate things are going, you will be flying that 757, at the SAME airline you work for now and for about the same wage you get NOW.
 

Mesabi Miner

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k2774 said:
And I'm sure you're in your 20s...

The point of this message is for you to think.....

Nope. 32 my friend. Please don't attempt to make me feel guilty about my choice of career. Oh, I'm thinking alright. I'm thinking I'm glad for you and your family that you've found a rewarding life outside of aviation.

MM
 

Mesabi Miner

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BR549 said:
At the rate things are going, you will be flying that 757, at the SAME airline you work for now and for about the same wage you get NOW.

You're right. I'm going to quit today. That way you'll move up on the seniority list.

Where does this venom come from?

MM
 

Gobi Gred

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I'm in my mid thirties and I do just fine financially thank you. Unlike most Americans I haven't racked up thousands of dollars worth of credit card debt buying crap I don't need.
 

superjet

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Amen Gobi!!

People definitely do not live within their means any more. They need to take a lesson from their grandparents when it comes to finances. I mean people have to have a big house with a massive mortgage, credit cards, brand new cars and then they say poor me I'm broke. Unfortunately are society has brainwashed us into "get debt and have stuff" what a waste!!!
 

Papa Woody

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We are in a time warp.....blinded by our focus on short-term goals (Will I hold a line next month? Will we get 20 shiny-new jets? Will I upgrade in 6 months or 6 years?)

But 10 or 20 years from now, it will become clear that the "Regional Airline" days of glory were borne out of a mirage that promised young aviators a start in a career with a happy ending that never came....
 

Earl Williams

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I'm about to hit 37 years old, and still keep my last W-2 from my old corporate job. $83,614. It reminds me of how little satisfaction I, personally, received from a decent paycheck doing what I was previously doing. I left the corporate world repeating to myself "money isn't everything, happiness is". I thought I would be happy flying airplanes, so I pursued that drive for happiness.

Fast forward about 5 years, and I find myself having finished up my first year at a regional. I used all of my savings from my prior career to fund my training, lived through the lean times as a CFI and freight dog, and have been frugal with my spending ever since. Some days, I get frustrated...ground stops, cancellations (with no pay), extended duty days, etc. However, the good thing about this job is that I can leave it all behind once I've completed my postflight and duty off. Kind of a peaceful feeling having no stresses attached to my job, versus my old career where I literally couldn't escape the suffocating stress.

So, I just try to find a balance to achieve happiness. Whenever I get frustrated, I rationalize my frustrations in comparison to what frustrations I used to have in my office job. Usually, I'm able to think to myself "well, that was a pretty crummy day, but it sure beats the heck out of my last career". With regards to the money, I guess it just depends on what someone needs in order to be happy. I'm single, no debt, and have hobbies and recreational interests that don't require a lot of money. So, I manage to live within my means. Do I wish we got paid more? Of course. Ultimately, I hope we can all work together as a unified group to make the necessary changes that will afford everyone an opportunity to enjoy this career.
 

utahpilot

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totall
I'm 35, still an FO

I live in a nice home with a view of mountains and a lake. awesome neighborhood. we bought it ourselves, we get no help from other, trust funds, etc.

my wife doesn't work, stays home with 2 kids

we make enough to get by, and we invest and save

we have NO consumer debt

we vacation and enjoy our lives

I'm diggin' it fine. it is a job, but better than any other job that I could do

if it sucks that bad for you, quit

peace,
UP
 

k2774

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utahpilot said:
if it sucks that bad for you, quit

I did..........and I have a wonderful job. Something that I never dreamed of, and I'm not in an office....I'm still flying, but at my convenience......with a decent savings account.

Again....I just want us to think...be an advocate for your career....write to congress....FAA.....don't let ALPA do all of your work. It won't get better if you have pilots willing to accept lower and lower pay. When you're not flying spread the word about conditions at your airline. Become more knowledgeable in the corporate/economic system. I have not run across many pilots pounding the pavement on their off days advocating for higher wages. There is some job security in your seniority number, RIGHT.
 

wheelsup

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I did..........and I have a wonderful job.
At 51 hours? You've quit flying commercially and you have 51 hours as a student pilot? Did you even give it a shot? If your profile is correct, you gave up before you ever got going.

My father makes about what a senior narrow body captain makes a year in management (including $30k from air force retirement). Even though he has a decent gig, he is ready to quit because of all the corporate BS. He is tired of his boss's breathing down his neck every chance they get. I'll take the freedom of a cockpit any day...

Also, I never thought I could live on $20-$30k/yr, but as long as you keep your spending in check, it's not half bad. Money isn't everything. I'd much rather be doing what I want and making 1/5 of what I'd make if I went into another career field.

How's that saying go? Pilots work for free, but get paid to put up with the B.S.?

~wheelsup
 

k2774

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don't look at my profile.............come on "wheelsup." i know you're smarter than that.
 

LearLove

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superjet said:
People definitely do not live within their means any more. They need to take a lesson from their grandparents when it comes to finances. I mean people have to have a big house with a massive mortgage, credit cards, brand new cars and then they say poor me I'm broke. Unfortunately are society has brainwashed us into "get debt and have stuff" what a waste!!!

I fully agree. I have 5500 left to pay on my car then I'm totally debt free. The only thing I'll finance in the years to come is a house if I can get to the point where I could buy one. I learned my lesson, a few years ago I ran up a credit card after I upgraded, then got downgraded, took me almost 3 years pay off and I'll never do that again. Pre 911 I almost took an AOPA loan to but a C-150 at 10.5% interest. That 18000 C-150 would have cost me about 30000 when I finally paid off the loan. That on stupid move I didn't make in my life. I still want an airplane but will rent until the day I can but that 18-20 thousand dollar C-150 in cash.
 

wheelsup

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k2774 said:
don't look at my profile.............come on "wheelsup." i know you're smarter than that.


Since you're done with the airlines, please use your physics degree to come up with some alternative energy source. That way I will still have a job in 10 years. Thanks.

~wheelsup
 

learthirty5

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----
I agree with you Earl Williams. If i wasnt flying I would be running a lift out in Colorado somewhere. No money in that, but holy hell would i be happy.
 

Ralgha

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k2774 said:
Plumbers, Electricians, AC/Refrigeration, Carpenters, etc. have the opportunity to make loads of money, but you have to be willing to WORK.
Mean annual wages for 2004:
Plumber, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters (includes A/C): $44,110
Plumber, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters 90 Percentile (realistic "top out"): $70,140
Electrician: $44,900
Electrician 90 Percentile (realistic "top out"): $69,940
Carpenter: $37,970
Carpenter 90 Percentile (realistic "top out"): $59,600

k2774 said:
Railroad Engineers/Conductors top out at 90-100K and there is massive hiring at the railroads.
Locomotive Engineers: $54,680
Locomotive Engineers 90 percentile (realistic "top out"): $87,960
Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters: $52,580
Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters 90 percentile (realistic "top out"): $84,780

All data taken from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Don't you hate it when reality just completely f$$ks your argument?
 

k2774

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it's amazing how some of you will dig to the bottom of the earth to dispute a claim. use this energy to fight for better wages.
 

Ralgha

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Dig to the bottom of the earth? It took me all of 5 minutes to find those numbers. Nice comeback though, er, um...
 
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