Hi everyone! Just joined this site after perusing as a guest for over a year.
About me: I’m female, I just turned 32, I have a Bachelors and Masters degree in Social Work and tons of diverse and unique work experience. I’m here because I have always dreamed of being a pilot. Only until a year or so ago I ignorantly assumed this was totally outside of my reach for various reasons. I went down other professional paths, but I always find myself back on sites like this and watching hours of vlogs from pilots - dreaming of what could be.
I suppose now that I’m older, and I’ve accomplished other benchmarks in my life, I’m thinking more seriously about going for my longest held goal: to fly! I scheduled my first test flight a few weeks from today and am doing a lot of research online.
After reading many of the posts, I’m not as discouraged about my age. I’m much more concerned about money and debt. I want to know that the potential cost would not only work out financially, but that becoming a pilot is, generally, a positive and a fulfilling pursuit. I’ve worked enough jobs to know that things aren’t always as they seem, so I’m hoping some of you can answer some of the following questions to help guide my decision:
**- How many people enter the program with prior debt? (I currently have $50k in federal student loan debt) and my boyfriend and I are talking about buying a home. What does repayment really look like? Have any of you done this on top of other debt (a mortgage, especially)? **
- Even before Covid, I’ve seen quite a few pilots online who never truly “make it” - they end up stagnating at a certain level, or writing for aviation blogs, or selling aviation supplies - what’s going on here? Is the pay-off not really what we’re being told?
**- What is the culture like in the industry? I never would have guessed that my time as a Social Worker would be as cut-throat and back-shabby as it turned out to be! What are the difficult aspects of the industry as a whole? **
- A family friend’s father was a pilot, and he always complained of never seeing his dad - can you speak more to the impact on relationships and family?
All jobs have ups and downs, pros and cons. The older I get, I see the ‘pros’ list for becoming a pilot growing in comparison to other career options. I hope I’m not just kidding myself!
Thank you so much for your feedback and insight! I really appreciate it. I’m excited to start taking the next steps.