Real Answers from Real Pilots

Age preferences for Commercial/ATP

Hello! I am a 44 yr old female in good health considering a career path change from medical to pilot. The goal would be commercial, ultimately ATP which was my pipe dream. Would it be rediculous to turn my pipe dream to reality at this stage in the game? I would hate to spend the time and money achieving my certificates and then not be considered for jobs due to age. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Kerri,

This question comes up often and we actually discuss it at length in our FAQ section which I recommend you visit. It really depends on what are your goals?

First and foremost it’s not so much “age preference” as it is simply time available for advancement. Airline pilots can fly to they’re 65 age that’s not going to change. If you started training today the soonest you’d be applying to a Regional would be about 2-2.5yrs from now. That puts you at 46-47yo which would leave you approx 18yrs of airline flying. In that time you could remain a Regional Capt or if you chose to go to a Major maybe be a widebody FO or possibly a narrowbody domestic Capt? If you have visions of flying a 787 to Narita as a Capt earning $350k that’s not going to happen. But if you’d be content in the other positions earning between $1-200k, most likely flying domestic than sure.

In short you need to be realistic about your expectations and understand the limitations based on the time you have left to fly.

Adam

Thank you for the feedback. The more people I talk to that seems to be the census. I appreciate your time and knowledge. Thanks again!