Just wanted to get some input from those who changed careers or anyone else who feels they may have some insight.
I’ll be 30 next year and am considering a career change into aviation from healthcare. I’ve worked as a RN for the past 8 years. Prior to finishing school for nursing, I had always had an interest in aviation but due to life situations, time, and money, nursing was a better choice for my 20 year old self. Now that I am able to comfortably afford flight lessons, I’m looking at getting my PPL and possibly continuing from there. I started the very beginning of flying lessons right as the pandemic was starting and was not able to continue since the school ceased lessons at the time. But from the discovery flight and the first couple lessons I had; I knew that there is a true interest in aviation and it wasn’t something that would just be passing. Working through the pandemic really opened my eyes to the fact that if this is something I want, it is now or never and I might as well go for it instead of regretting not doing it later on in life.
I’m looking at restarting lessons for my PPL this coming winter once I get a couple commitments out of the way. Since I’m a travel nurse, I can pretty much go anywhere that I want (preferably somewhere warmer during the winter). I’ve looked at the differences between part 61 and part 141 training. Since I’ll still be working (3 day per week schedule), I figured part 61 would probably be better for me. Unless I’m missing something or not understanding, I didn’t really see the benefit of a part 141 school since I would be ineligible for a R-ATP in the future due to not having an aviation degree. Does it really matter in the end which type of school I choose? Do airlines really care? I just need to get the PPL done so I can move on to the other ratings.
Also, being almost 30, do you feel that I may be behind in the hiring curve that is going on right now as airlines are trying to hire pilots in masses? Would I still have a chance at potentially making it to a major carrier if I decided to make the switch in careers? I understand that I would have to work my way up the ladder.
I’d appreciate any advice that anyone has to offer. I am definitely interested in hearing from others who made a career change and the path and timeline you took.