My career path.. any suggestions?


Nov 28, 2001
Total Time
I recently obtained my CFI-A certificate. I have an Associates degree in electronics and have about 260 hours total time.

I am working on my CFI-I and currently am not flying because of no instructor jobs.

I have been considering the Airforce Reserves, or ANG. Since I have worked in electronics, I wouldn't totally be upset if I enlisted and either rode in the back of an airplane or did some kind of electronics in the reserves. My goal would be to get the bachelors degree and become an officer in the Reserves or ANG while flying in the civil world for my "day job".

I have no desire to fly the top-o-the line fighters, infact I wouldn't mind flying cargo or tankers.

1. Should I just suck it up in the civy world and wait for the jobs.
2. Do you think what I want to do is even possible?
3. Would my civil flight training and certificates give me any advantage?

Thanks for your opinions!


Coffee Break is over!
Jan 28, 2002
Total Time
My first queston to you is what state do you live in and are you willing to move.
Go to this website: it has a list of AF Guard and Reserve units that need pilots. If one is in your state call them.

I also recommend you to go to this thread (it is on page 1 of military under Army Helicopter Flying). It is always an option.

Also surf the web for Aviation Colleges. I know there are a couple in Texas, one in Michigan and Embry-riddle. You can join the AF Guard in that state and Join ROTC at the School if you want and get paid under the Simutaneous Membership program. If you are enlisted in a unit and going to college you can get about $9000 per year for college (MGIbill, Kickers, Tuition Assistance, State Assistance to Guard). See:

20 years ago when I was in your shoes the military wasn't throwing money at people to get them to join. It was like the Mafia in the Guard, if your weren't the son or brother of someone in the Guard you didn't get in.

Now most units are begging for people and throwing money at them for College tuition. I am planning to get all three of my children to join a unit to pay for school, that way the money I have saved for thier college they can blow it on having fun if they want and get to serve thier country at the same time.

It all depends on your goals. If it is to fly for an Airline, Enroll in an Aviation College ASAP no matter what the cost. If you need some money and want to serve your country, find an Army or AF Guard unit to get them to help pay(certain Army Guard units pay more money for college if you sign up for a hard to fill job skill). You are going to make it to the airlines faster through the civilian side.
I wouldn't disregard the thought of flying a fighter, it is fun and the only type of flying you can't do if not in the military.

Good luck, and I recommend you make a decision ASAP and get your career moving.

PS. I forgot to answer your other questions:
1. Should I just suck it up in the civy world and wait for the jobs.
See my answer above
2. Do you think what I want to do is even possible?
It has never been easier or more finacially rewarding
3. Would my civil flight training and certificates give me any advantage?
As long as you allow it to it will be advantagous. I teach AF Primary pilot training. Most of the best students we get had a strong civilian background. But most of the Worst students we get had a strong civilian background. Why is that? I was an ex-army helo pilot and had 1200 helo hours when I started AF pilot training and Graduated Top of my class, the bottom of the Class was another ex-army helo pilot who had 1400 helo hours. What was the difference? Attitude!!!, I wanted to learn what they had to teach, he thought he knew it all already and let them know it.
I have seen it over and over again since I have been teaching Primary training. I had one student with 1000 fixed wing hours, and after 2 flights he was almost as good as me, while we had a 5000 hour commuter pilot who almost washed out of the program. The first had a great attitude, the latter didn't feel he had anything to learn.
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