Have any of you made the career jump with a family?

Long story short…

I’m 29, I have a wife and 2 small children (5 and 8), and I’ve been teetering on making the jump for the past 10 years now.

I’ve finally said enough is enough and I’m going to jump in with both feet.

My questions are:

  1. Have any of you done this with a family while attending the school required full time and made it work? I plan on taking the loan to pay for the schooling and have about 20k saved up to keep my family alive while I’m away.

  2. After completion of the 7 some odd month program, do you become a pilot of a regional airline (for how long?) before making the jump to a major airline?

  3. Is this really possible to achieve with a family that relies on me to keep the lights on? Or should I consider something else? I’m also applying to the ATC program which opens up this Friday (06/24/2022). It’s also a long shot as I’m not a veteran, but I’m committed to switching to my passion to aviation in some form or another.

Thanks for reading!



  1. I did. Wife, 3 young children, mortgage, car payment and a dog. Fortunately my wife made good money so the finances weren’t an issue. The issue was me being a ghost during training, building time after and then as a newhire at a Regional. I missed ALOT of birthdays, holidays, little league, recitals, etc.

  2. No you do not. After the training is complete you’ll then need to build the 1500hrs flight time required to fly for a Regional. The most common route is by flight instructing and it’ll take about 1.5-2yrs at min pay (approx $25-30k). Then it’s building time and experience to get to a Major. The average right now is 3-5yrs. Some take longer. Some take much longer. Some never make it.

  3. Its definitely possible to be successful as an airline pilot but I’m not sure what you mean by “consider something else”? If you’re simply looking for a career change there are many options. If you want to be a pilot there’s only one. Btw, my nephew just became an ATC controller. He’s not a veteran, just a sharp kid.


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