Pilot life with family

Hey guys I’m taking my discovery flight with ATP next Friday. I live just outside of Memphis, TN and was wondering how the life of a pilot will be? I am married and have 2 kids. I’ve watched dozens of YouTube videos on pilot life. Some say it’s not for the family and some say there’s a lot of time off. I love to fly and always wanted to be a pilot. I’m 32 years old so I would think I’m at the right age to go into this career


Like most things there are pros and cons. In the plus side when you’re off, you’re off. There’s no homework and once you park the plane you’re done.

However, while it’s true pilots in general have a good amount of time off (average pilots work 15 days a month), in the beginning you’ll have little of any control over your schedule. Everything we do is governed by seniority and as a new junior pilot you’ll have none. That means you’ll get the leftover trips and fly the days others don’t want to. That means you should plan on working every holiday and every weekend for a while. You will miss birthdays, ball games recitals, Christmas etc etc that’s a given. While it’s not the end of the world, it definitely is a sacrifice.



We post our schedules every month to help give people an idea of what our quality of life is like.

While there will be some lean years when you are first starting out and while you will be gone for days at a time, your quality of life will eventually improve with seniority and unlike a traditional 9 to 5, when you’re home you’re home. You can truly be present without any distractions from work.

The most important part about being a pilot with a family is to have a strong support network. Your family will be reliant on your support network while you’re gone. It makes all the difference.


One of the things I’m looking at is I own 2 hotshot trucks and that’s how I make my living. But right now it seems if I’m not on the road then I’m working on maintenance or fixing thing all the time 7 days a week. I can’t get away from it. I can take my family along ok trips which I like but it’s hard to do anything fun on those trips with pulling a 40ft trailer around

I’m not sure I’m following you on this. Did we answer your question about balancing work and family as a pilot?



Look at how busy you are being a hotshot driver. Not only are you on the road but when you are home you are probably making sure your truck is mechanically sound. From talking with current pilots and listening to the mentors here, when you are home, you can spend all your time with family. Not to mention your family gets flight benefits with you. Think of all the places you could take them instead of dragging them along in the truck for work. As Adam said, until you build the seniority you will miss the holidays but it is guaranteed to get better when you have more control over your schedule.

Thank you all for the replies! I just worried about it since I have 2 small kids


I actually think I have a much better quality of family life than many other working professionals do. I have roughly fifteen days off per month and those are real days off with nothing tying me to work. Most people working M - F have eight days off per month. On top of those days, I have five weeks of paid vacation per year. I do not feel that I am gone much more than many business people are.

Beyond that, the pay enables me to provide a very nice quality of life for my family.

Take a look at our schedules section so you can see exactly how much time we have off and what our monthly schedules look like.