Is leaving a 100K+/yr job worth it?

Greeting all, I currently work for a major US Railroad as an Engineer making 100k+/yr but it is a miserable experience. Your time is completely unpredictable as you are unable to schedule anything in real life more than about 24hrs ahead of time, managements goal is to fire you, and its becoming worse. I will literally tell my friends that ask for a recommendation to get hired, no. I spend 10-12 hours at home only to be gone 36 to 48 hours away from home and you never receive your “scheduled” off days on time. Rant over sorry. So that said does it really make sense for a 37y/o to walk away from that, and the railroad retirement, for a chance in this industry? How is home time for you that work at regionals or majors? Are you satisfied with the management you work for? As i get older is less about the money and more about quality of life. Flying has always been a dream and I currently fly as sport pilot, if I’m ever at home and the weather cooperates in the north Georgia mountains. What are your thoughts?


It sounds like you already know the answer to that question. You don’t need us to tell you. I wouldn’t tell you anyway as this is a question that only you can answer.

You can look at our schedules to get an idea of what our lifestyles are like.

I haven’t had any issues with management. The company’s culture is one that promotes safety and good intentions. I get called on occasion to ask for clarification, but never have I felt that the company was out to get me; although, some would argue that they are. I think that there’s always more to those stories though.



Take a look at our schedules section to see what our home time looks like. From what you describe, it sounds a lot better than what you are getting.

I have never had any issues at all with management. I have found them to be very supportive of the pilot group and to respect the decisions that I make.

Funny though, I have always had an interest in the railroads, although more of a curiosity than a desire to work for them.

That being said, my kids and I already have tickets to ride behind 611 this fall.



The title of your post is misleading. Apparently you’re pretty miserable at your $100k job. I would say it’s worth ANYTHING to not be miserable. I walked away from a successful business because I too was miserable. As Tory said, these are big boy decisions only you can make. You should know that you will be away from home, there will be schedule changes and I work with plenty of pilots who believe mgmt. is out to get them and many who don’t. The reality is they’re not, they have better things to do.

Some would say it’s better to work for min wage than be miserable, others would not. Your call.