Changing Careers after 50!

Good day to all. As I ponder a career change at almost 54 years old I have to ask. Do you think it would be worth my while to become an airline pilot this late in the game?

That’s a very subjective question. The biggest thing to consider is that mandatory retirement is 65. If you go through ATP, and then work as an instructor, it will take you right around 2 years to get your certificates and get the 1500 hours you need to get an ATP certificate. You’d have about 9 years of flying left. Could you work at a regional or at a corporate airline? Yes. Are you ever going to get hired by a major airline? Nope. So, that being the case would it be worth it?

I’m pretty sure the mentors will chime in on this. The question, “If it’s worth it?” Ultimately depends on you and your goals. It takes roughly 2-3 years to obtain all your ratings and reach the required 1500 hours to be hired by an airline. Once you land a job at a regional, you would have around 8-9 years to fly. In that time you could upgrade to captain (depending on the circumstances) and have a nice career. I suggest looking at the FAQ section, as there is plenty of information regarding this.

Am I too old to be an Airline pilot??

-Steven

Thank you Brian.

Jim,

The others have answered this pretty well. You don’t mention and flight experience so we’ll assume you have none. It really is a matter of your goals and being realistic about your expectations. Financially it’s a tough one. During training you won’t be working and the first few years you won’t make much at all. If this is a bucket list item and something you’ve always wanted to do then it may very well be worth it as you can’t really put a price on that. I know a few people who have and they seem pretty happy.

Adam

Jim,

This really depends on what your goals are and what you consider to be worth it. From a financial standpoint, this is probably not the best decision as flight training is expensive and it takes a few years in the industry to earn a good income. From a personal perspective, that is really up to you. Your career will be limited by the mandatory retirement age of 65 and there are very few options after that point. However, if you just absolutely want to fly, then yes, it could be a great move. I personally think this is one of the greatest jobs out there.

Chris

I’m glad I saw this post because I also want a career change at the age of 38. Will it be worth it & the debt ? Will Jobs be available along with benefits.

Virginia,

At 38 you could still have a good 25yr career. Since the average pilot at a Major earns $200k+ (and top earners making $400+) financially if you’re successful it will make sense.

As for jobs demand varies. Prior to Covid there was a massive pilot shortage and jobs were plentiful. That of course changed with the pandemic. All indications say the shortage will return but there are no guarantees. Regardless there are always jobs out there if you’re flexible and are willing to look for them.

I encourage you to visit our FAQ section where we discuss this and many other common questions.

Adam

Chris Thank you for your response. Cost wise is not a concern, I’m good or wouldn’t even consider it. I’ve always wanted to fly but earlier in age I got into the Electrical trade which has been very rewarding and lucrative for me.

Now it’s time to FLY!! thank you for your input.

Jim Slattery

Virginia,

That is really up to you. Please check out the FAQ section as it has a detailed post that addresses your question.

It really depends on you and what you define as being “worth it”. Short answer is at your age, you could still have a rather long and rewarding career ahead of you.

Chris

Thank you guys, I really appreciate your help and it is a good career.

Virginia,

Anytime. Let us know how else we can help you.

Chris

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