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Fresh out of college -- Job Ideas?

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Cabo Wabo Express
May 4, 2002
I am currently finishing my CFI training. I am currently looking for places/ideas on building hours to get me into the commuters. I have a BS in Aviation Science, Commercial Pilot Certificate (Airplane Single/Multi Engine Land and
Instrument Airplane), and about 320 total hours.

My question is this. What are some of the best places on the web to get exposure to jobs where I can build hours? Also, does anyone have any tips they could pass along? I need about 500 total hours to get in with American Eagle, then I plan on moving to American Airlines (I had an internship with them). I look forward to getting my CFI, but right now, I just want to be working in the aviation industry and getting some more exposure, and possibility building hours. I am working a regular job, and miss the hours that I got in college.

Any tips, advice, websites would greatly be appreciated. BTW- This is my first post on the forums, so I want to say Hello to everyone =)
Finish your CFI and then get a job instructing. You'll be glad you did when you figure out that Eagle isn't hiring for a long time no matter how many hours you have.

Welcome to the real world.
Get the instructing job. That is about all you can get for now. Getting a job at an airline with 500 hours won't happen for quite awhile, if ever again. Right now there are alot of pilots on the street with lots of hours and jet time that can't find work. So be an instructor. It is a great learning experience, and you will be getting flight time.

You have several options...

You have several options to explore for time building as a low
time commercial pilot. Some of these include:

1. Pipeline patrol

2. Ag Flying

3. Aerial Photography (ASCS farm survey)

4. Banner Towing

5. Sightseeing rides

6. Instruction

In my opinion, your best bet right now is to get your CFI and
instruct. You can always use it as a "back up" system
during lean times. By the way...this IS the lean times as far
as hiring goes. Good luck to you.
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Not to be rude, but how do you think you will be able to get on with eagle with 500hrs?!? If its a bridge program, with all the guys/gals furloughed...i dont see it happening.

As everone else said, get the cfi and teach for a while, it is experince that you will not get any other way. There are also all the things that sweptwingz listed.

Good luck.....

...not to mention a drive through attendant... the golden arches is always a great place to start a career!!
First of all, congratulations on your graduation and your accomplishments to date. Unfortunately, as I am sure you are aware, you managed to hit the job market at one of the lowest possible points in the cycle.

I was as lucky as you, back in 1990. The guys who graduated the year ahead of me went right to the regionals. A few even went into the F/E seat at Pan Am. Then, Braniff shut down. And Eastern. And Midway. And the "feeders", which is what we called them- Midway Connection, Eastern Express, etc. and all of a sudden, there were over 10,000 seasoned airline pilots, who were even taking jobs flying cancelled checks and flight instructing. Pretty depressing stuff. I actually went a few years without flying at all.

Then, little by little, around 1995 or 1996, things started moving again. My friends who had been lucky enough to hire into one of the few regionals were starting to talk about upgrading, after 3 years in the right seat of a B1900 . . . . . Soon, things were going fast and furious, and jobs were more and more plentiful. Eagle, by the way, shot me down in 1996- wouldn't even interview me, because my 1500tt/500multi wasn't "competitive". One year later, they were running ads in NEWSPAPERS saying, "Pilots! If you have 1000tt and 100 multi, American Eagle wants to talk to you"!

The irony of ironies is that, in May of 1990, I had moved to FL, and that summer I sat out on the beach in the afternoons, studying for the F/E writtens. Then, in 1998, I found myself on the same beach, studying the ATP written . . . . too funny.

Anyway, what's the moral of the story here? Well, don't know that there is one, but if you want a flying job in this market, you're going to have to do a lot more than send out resumes blindly. You're going to have to network hard, and be willing to make a pest of yourself.

Work a summer at Line Service at a busy jet FBO and really bust your tail- many guys I know got their first flying job that way. Also, try http:\\raa.org and look in the membership directory, See who's operating equipment that requires a SIC, like a DC3, Metro, B1900, EMB120 etc. Talk to the folks at Airnet about their PAID F/O program, when you meet their minimums. Whatever you do, though, don't BUY a SIC job- it can come back to bite you. Find a job that pays, even though it ain't much.

Another word of advice- hush up about the Eagle/American thing- you'll only be insulting prospective employers who are willing to hire you NOW, to say nothing of pissing off pilots who are furloughed, and are much more competitively qualified for that position than you are right now.

Good luck.

With over 300 pilots on furlough and no call backs in sight, Eagle is not going to be hiring pilots any time soon, let alone 500 hour pilots. Several years I would suspect. Additionally, I personally know 3 Eagle pilots who were NOT furloughed but quit in the past month or two because the company is not a good place to work. Get the CFI and instruct. Things will get better.

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