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Changing Careers

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Well-known member
Jan 30, 2002
For those of you who have successfully changed careers and have gotten into aviation: what would you suggest in terms of:
financial planning and adjusting to the change of lifestyle and income.

I am not "in" aviation as of yet, I plan to attend flight school starting in September, after my kids go back to school.

My situation is a little different. I just recently sold my business that I have operated for several years. I took the profits and set it up in an account with my bank where each month we will get a check. This along with my wife's income will support us until I can get a paying job in aviation.

Really we could cut back and make things work on what my wife makes, but things would be tight.

I hope this helps you somewhat, I know my circumstance is different than most.
I'd suggest getting your instructor tickets, then start teaching part-time in the evening and weekends. Keep your full-time job to pay the bills. You will be able to support yourself while building flight time. In my opinion, instructing is a very valuable experience. This isn't easy, but is a frequent solution for many people who have themselves or families to support.

After a year of doing this, re-evaluate where you are and take the next step.

I've been doing this for the last year and went to full-time instructing as of two months ago. I expect to be working for a part 135 or 121 carrier before the end of the year.

Realize that this will take you some time. Everyone wants the fastest 3-month program to right seat in a jet for a major carrier. For the vast majority of us, this won't happen. I know it's great to dream about, but be realistic and start gaining experience flying in whatever capacity you can today. And keep flying.
I agree what has been said in the previous threads. The only additional advise I have to you guys just starting out is save as much money as you can now because when you are starting out in your first job (probably as FO at regional carrier) you will be making next to nothing for at least 1 year. I am talking about 18K if your lucky. Also most likely you won't be based were you live so you will need a crashpad, which is added expense. Once you make captain things get a little better but if you are not careful you get into the hole (financial wise) and it is hard to catch up. Hope this helps. P.S. what my wife and I did was to start living on what a first officer would bring home before I left for training to see if we could swing it. And let me tell ya things were TIGHT!

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