Should I quit my job To be pilot

Good Morning, My Name Is Mike Jones. I am 21 years old from philadelphia. I currently work for the fire department, but have dreams to be a pilot. I been Looking into ATP flight school to obtain my certifications and instruments. I am 2 classes away from my associates degree. I have know kids and really want to make this career switch.
I want to be a pilot because it allow me to be closer to my mom In the sky, feel like I’m rite next to her. I lose my mom about a year ago. And ever since I been determined to chase this dream. I did a discovery flight and felt in love . Where I’m from, the inner city and ruff neighborhoods of philly you’d don’t know any pilots. But I am finding my way.

My question is can I work full time and still go to ATP flight school and be successful?

I did a discovery flight and was a little nauseous, will that go away ? However, I flew multiple times as in traveling and never got nauseous.

What are some of yours Pro and cons Of ATP?

At this time and my Age is it worth being a pilot ? Meaning the debt ? And Career out look?

How long would it take me to get to commercial .?

My plan was to
Take a year absent from my job .
Knock those 9months out at ATP. ( of course working hard, studying and grinding)
Be a flight instructor I believe make about 40-50k am I correct ? , gain hours and try to fly regional ASAP. If possible . They make about 60-90k? Am correct ?
After obtains my certifications of course I would go back to school to obtain my bachelors .

How much do make coming in a commercial airline job as a pilot ?

Sorry for so many questions , I just get excited talking about it .

Are there any pilots in this group close to the philadelphia area ? Maybe we can do lunch you can be my mentor . I’m willing to learn. And it will be cool to actually know a pilot.


I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your mother, I can’t imagine how hard that must be. That being said, I am not sure that is the best reason to become a pilot. This can be a tough job and there is a lot that goes into it. I am in no way trying to dissuade you from being a pilot, but I want you to do it because you like the job and the lifestyle that it entails.

You will not be able to work (not even part time) while attending ATP. The curriculum is very intense and there simply isn’t enough time to study, fly and work in such a condensed amount of time.

The nausea will most likely go away after a few more flights, it does for most people.

Now I am of course biased as I went to ATP, but I feel that ATP offers a very thorough program that does a great job of training people to be airline pilots. ATP trains in the exact same manner as the airlines and has been doing it for decades.

I feel that you are at a great age to get into aviation. I took out a loan myself and it has certainly paid dividends. Also, the career outlook for pilots is great right now.

I believe your financial numbers are a bit optimistic. CFI pay at ATP can range from $20k to $35k and regional pay is between $40k and $95k.

Feel free to ask us any other questions that you think of.


I believe I can do it, we’ll I know I can. I’m a firefighter now and I done seen the worst. Said High to death. Brought ppl back from death and sometimes not. I’m a hardworker. And never wanted to be a regular person. I always wanted to be more. So it’s not my Only reason I want to be a pilot but it’s my motivation. Another reason would be to put other minorities on Show them a path that’s different that a lot dont know I enjoy the lifestyle of traveling being able to operate a machine that many people in the world can’t. I enjoy helping ppl. Getting somebody from point A to Point B.

Also, with ATP. When do you pay the loan back ? And how was your experience? Was you able to maintain, your bills for those 9 months ? I have a car note and insurance. And bills.

Where are you from ? Are you close to Philly ? Do you work mainline or regional? How was life AFter ATP ? Finding A Job & career


I’m going to chime in with some answers (I think Chris is flying?). The loan payments are due after you finish training but may be deferred until you’re actually hired by an airline. Most people start while they’re instructing since ATP has agreements with their Regional partners that offer Tuition Reimbursement (a great perk of ATPs). Many people take out loans for a higher amount than just the tuition to cover their living expenses during training.

Chris lives in Michigan and Virginia and commutes to EWR. I’m from the Bronx and now live in Hawaii. We’re both at Majors (Chris at United and I’m at Hawaiian) but we both were hired together at ExpressJet back in 2005. Back then getting hired took some work but due to the pilot shortage getting hired at a Regional after ATP is pretty easy now.

Michael I feel I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the grammatical problems with you posts. This is a casual forum so it’s fine but when the time comes to apply to a Major many require the pilots to write essays or answer lengthy questions so they can see the applicants English language skills. I strongly suggest when the time comes to continue your education you work on that as well. It would be a shame for all your hard work to not pan out due to your writing skills.


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Thank you for the help. like anything I know how to turn things on and turn things off. I wrote many essays for college, scholarships, and work. I assumed the group was relaxed. Also, I was a little excited. But I see you all are regulars people.

Not sure what you mean by “regulars people”? Just offering some advice based on experience (which is what we do here).

You might want to keep in mind that this is a very small industry and it’s always a good idea to put your best foot forward.