First sorry for the long post but as someone halfway through life, with a fiance, son and career and looking at putting it all on hold for a change I thought I could share a few tidbits that could help you think of the bigger picture.
Im just a fellow aspiring pilot here but I’m going to assume (I know you never assume) that you are part of the majority here and by that I mean under 25 with a long career ahead of you. I came across CAE back when I was looking at schools and here’s why I’ve decided to go with ATP as a student and most likely hour building CFI. ATP has a lot of reputable airlines that they work with and list. CAE has all of the international discount airlines with exception of RyanAir. The only “real” major is British Airways and even their links to be a “Speedbird” Future pilot through their program is not available and even today it still shows not available. Not sure why it’s not but that didn’t give me a lot of that warm and fuzzy feeling that us older people need to make a career change and put our families on hold for XX time. Also the Phoenix location hasn’t had a news update in 2 yrs and it’s very hard as a student to find info on their site for what programs they offer at Phoenix.
I have to agree with Chris and Adam when they say weigh your options and really look into things because trust me as it sucks later in life looking back as saying “I wish I had…” Make sure you look at everything not just pay but what they look like for future students, area, affiliates AND how much you’re projected to get flying time. As much as I loathe 1099 work ATP does have affiliates and reimbursement options, they appear to have a steady flow of students coming in so even though the pay may seem less the hours to get to the goal is there. In my opinion I’d rather get $5/hr and hitting FAA Max of 8hrs flying per 24hrs instead of $XX,XXX/year and only flying 500 hours a year. As far as healthcare benefits that they offer and I can’t stress this part enough that this is my opinion only and many might disagree but if you don’t have many medical issues you can always get a cheap healthcare plan for the catastrophic thing that can pop up randomly.
Side note: I don’t know if your asking this because Ryan Huber just came out saying he was changing and I know the comments are going crazy about CAE but if so take it with a grain of salt. He chose what was best for him not best for everyone and if you look at it this way 3 months later he’s still probably around the 225 TT you leave ATP with instead of instructing out there potientially hitting the 100hrs/month Yarden had out there really grinding at it.