Real Answers from Real Pilots

Carreer change

I’m in my late 20’s and currently in a carreer that I could walk away from for training. When I mean walk away from, I mean quitting, financially it would be tight. I live in Jersey, which is an expensive state to live in.
I always wanted to be a pilot but got talked out of it by a recruiter when I was in HS citing the price. I shouldn’t have listened to him, he said it would be 200k plus to learn.

I started simming a year ago on the Airbus Boring and Crjs, thinking it would current itch but it’s made it worse.

I guess my questions are.
How hard financially is it not having a steady source of income for 6 months.
How well does being a flight instructor help financially
Could I live on a first year regional airline salary and pay off my loans?

I guess it’s the money that is holding me back. If anyone who switched carreers to come a pilot could weigh in on the expierence I’d grately appreciate it.

Hi Connor,

I have to be honest the questions you ask are very difficult to answer as none of know YOUR personal financial situation.

  1. If you have some savings, get a loan to cover expenses or a partner to help it’s not hard at all. If you have none then you could starve.

  2. While you won’t get rich being a flight instructor most pilots find it to be a livable situation. Particularly if you factor in the Tuition Reimbursement being offered by many Regionals. Again it does depend on your personal financial situation. If you have a ton of bills and debt and live above your means it can be impossible.

  3. Same answer as the instructor question.



Check out the Tuition Reimbursement Program. It can be a huge help in those first few years.



I walked away from a career to become a pilot when I was 25. It was tight,
but I had the grit to persevere. Here’s a link to give you an idea of what
an instructor at ATP makes.