I’m really excited to here on this forum to share my questions and get the opportunity to connect with pilots and all other aspiring aviators out there.
I have always loved flying, and have flown a lot as a passenger all around the world to perform as a musician, so I’m familiar and comfortable with plans and airports, and I’ve recently decided to investigate the possibility of becoming a commercial airline pilot as it is something that has always interested me. The more I learn about aviation and working as a pilot, the deeper my interest grows and I’m really excited to make this shift in my career path. I’m about to be 31 years old, and I’m married with a 1 1/2 year old son. I have a bachelors degree, but it is from a music college, Berklee College of Music to be specific. I guess this brings me to my first question: when I eventually want to apply to work for a major commercial airline, will the nature of my 4 year degree make a difference, or is it merely the fact that I have one that will make the difference ?
I am also wondering about how long it should take to land a job at a regional airline once I begin my training at an ATP starting with zero experience in the cockpit. If I go at it full time, what would the hours generally look like ? Would I have any time to maintain a job as well to pay rent and stay above water? I know I would incur a good chunk of debt, which I am prepared for. The main reason I ask is because if I can ask handle working while studying at an ATP, then perhaps we will stay in NY and I’ll go to an ATP near the city, but if not, then we would consider moving into my parents house in NH and I’d attend the ATP up there in Manchester, as I wouldn’t be able to make any income during my studies. My parents would be more than happy to host us for that time period as they will have plenty of time with their grandson, it’s the wife that would need convincing.
My third question for now is if you have an knowledge on what the process is like to eventually work for a Japanese airline, ideally living in Japan. My wife is Japanese, and we would really love to eventually end up there as it is a country that feels truly like a home to me and I am now nearly fluent in Japanese with over 15 visits to the country in the books. I have read that they have more strict medicals, but I’m not sure what that means exactly. I am in great physical and mental health, meditating and exercising daily, but I do wear contact lenses. If i have 20/20 vision when corrected, does it matter if I need contacts or not ? That is my only “health” concern at this time.
My final question would be to ask your opinions on my age and current situation and if you think starting at 31 at an ATP would lead to a rewarding career mostly regarding the seniority based format of commercial airline careers. I want to fly, I see myself absolutely loving it and finding unspeakable gratitude in the act of helping get hundreds of people where they want to go safely each day. But at the same time, I want to rest assured that I am working towards a career that will provide comfort to my family for years to come.
Thank you so much in advance for reading my concerns and I really hope to hear from some of you soon and hopefully stay connected in the future.