Real Answers from Real Pilots

Recent grads

Good afternoon everyone,
my name is Andre and I was wondering if there are any recent graduates on the blogs. if so please feel free to comment below and let me know how life is going after graduating from the ATP School. Also I would like to know where did you get hired and what would that process was like. I hope all is well, Andre.

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Andre,

I posted this in another thread, but I copied it here for you to see as well.

Here is my experience with the CFI position with ATP. Hopefully, this will help.

I finished the program on 10/25 here in Charlotte. It took about 2 1/2 weeks for the email from instructor placement to come to tell me that I would be receiving another email in a couple of days with my location choices. A couple of days after that, I did receive that email (now about 3 weeks from my finish date). You are given 1 week to make your selection (there were initially no east coast locations available), they change pretty much daily and currently seem to be mostly west coast locations.

Once I made my selection, TTN (Trenton, NJ), I received another email about my indoc class date which is not until mid-March. So this means that I don’t have a projected start date at TTN until early to mid-April. So it will be almost 6 months from the time that I have completed the program until the time I start instructing.

Hopefully, this gives you some insight into how things are looking, time-wise, for the moment. Several other people that finished the program around the same time that I did all have the same timeline.

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So I’m currently a junior in high school but I want to pursue a career in aviation weather it be commercial or with a airline im not sure yet. But I was wondering if you could give me some pros and cons of stepping into this path and where to start.

Luke,

I recommend you visit our FAQ section as we cover the process as well as many other common questions.

After please feel free to return with more specific questions.

Adam

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Hello Adam I am interested in Aviation and politics is there a way I could pursue both careers. Could I take a pay cut to have more time to spend in politics

Keiran,

While airline pilot is a full time job as with most things where there’s a will there’s a will there’s a way. While you can’t really take a pay cut or reduce hours in the beginning, eventually when you gain seniority you’ll have more free time.

As a point of reference one of the pilots at my airline, Kai Kahele, was just elected to Congress.

Adam

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I have heard of pilots being members of Congress, state representatives, on city council, etc. IT is generally the more senior pilots that have more time off.

I had two more questions one in relation to CFI pay. After college I have to wait about a year to achieve my hours and most students go the CFI route . How is they pay like because I don’t want to be poor while achieving my hours. Also I want to live in New Mexico could I fly out of ABQ Sunport or Santa Fe regional or do I have to live somewhere else.

Keiran,

First you could get your hours in a year, it could take longer. It depends on the flight school you’re instructing for and the amount of students. Some are obviously busier than others and even busy flight schools (like ATP) suffer from lulls as is happening now due to the pandemic. That’s will also affect your pay. Instructor part can and will vary from flight school to flight school. I’m not sure what your definition of “poor” is but instructor pay isn’t great (usually somewhere in the $20-30k) range. This is an entry level position and pays a such.

As for location if you’re talking about instructing for ATP it all depends on availability. If there a position open in ABQ you’ll get it, if not you won’t. You’re always welcome to explore other opportunities at other schools but there are no guarantees.

Adam

Keiran,

CFI pay is outlined here, How much does a Flight Instructor earn?

Poor is subjective. The two biggest expenditures are food and housing. If you can find a way to cut those down as much a possible, you’ll be fine just about anywhere.

Tory

Keiran,

Once you are a pilot, most likely an airline pilot, you will not be able to be based in ABQ or Santa Fe as no airlines (with the exception of Cape Air) have bases there. So your choice will be to either commute from one of those places, or move to a base. I strongly recommend moving to the base.

Chris

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Thanks for the insight Chris, that was really helpful. I just had one more question for you, how many companies did you apply to and how many hired you. Thanks for your time, hope all is well.

Where could I commute from. I still want to move to NM or should I just get a job at Cape Air

Keiran,

You’re currently on Step 1 and you’re worried about Step 863. I recommend you do some research, select a flight school, get trained, get an instructor position, build your time. Years from now when you’re actually ready to start applying and interviewing you can worry about where and who. Make sense?

Adam

Keiran,

You can commute from anywhere you like. I have known pilots to commute from across the country, from Europe, Africa, etc. They spend a lot of extra time at work and it isn’t how I would want to spend my days off, but it is certainly doable. A shorter commute for you would probably be to some large hub like DEN, LAX, SFO.

Chris

I understand I haven’t gotten into college yet but I was just thinking ahead

Could I commute to Phoenix since I think that is a hub of a major airline.

Anywhere :raised_hands:t3:

Keiran,

Assuming you got hired by an airline with a base in PHX, yes.

Chris

How does commuting work. Would I fly out of ABQ to Phoenix and then go fly to wherever. Also I saw online that Airlines give 2 weeks on vs 2 weeks off each month