Student Loan Deferment/Job Outlook/Second Job

Hey there guys new member here,

Before popping the questions I just wanted to put a little about me for background;
2 Bachelor degrees, one in Biology, one in Nursing
Currently employed as a nurse, make about 65k/yr in Michigan
Considering going to Tampa/st petersburg for training
With the two degrees, 2 years post-grad, I have about 100k in student loans, can completely afford it right now with a mortgage, (wife also has similar paying job), 2 cars, newborn, etc and about a 1k surplus/mo.

3 Questions:
1: Is it realistically feasible to hold a job as a nurse where I would work 1, or maybe 2 days a week with twelve hour shifts while going through the program training and as a CFI while hitting close to that 100 hour/month mark? I gather that this would be busy busy busy and I wouldn’t have much downtime if any at all…but bills lol. This would give me about 20-40k/yr in addition to the CFI salary which would help loan repayment and new mortgage if we move to Tampa/petersburg from MI.

2: During ATP training, do some or all of the previous student loans enter deferment during the program? (Government, and Sallie mae are currently held) I imagine at least the sallie mae one would if I finance through them.

3: Hypothetical/grab your crystal balls please–Housing market has been great lately and arguably has helped boost the aviation industry and demand for new pilots-good economy, good flying…If we experience another housing crash in the next year or two (very afraid of this happening as I start training or just as I complete it) how bad would this hurt new CFIs trying to gain that experience and get one of those valuable contracts with airline companies, and how long would the low slump likely last for?

Thank you guys, apologies for the long text, big move, super excited for it, but I want to make sure I am not setting myself and family up for failure before I start.


  1. Working while in the program is HIGHLY discouraged. The program is accelerated and many people find it extremely challenging with no other distractions. No one can tell you not too but if you bust a few checkrides or can’t keep up that could destroy your career. Your call.

  2. You’d have to talk to Kirk in finance or Sallie Mae directly.

  3. I’ve never heard any correlation between the housing market and the aviation industry. Aviation can be volatile and many factors can affect it but the housing market is literally the last thing I’d be worried about.



  1. In my mind? No. Maybe there’s someone else out there that’s tried to work one to two twelve-hour shifts per week that can share their experience with us. I haven’t heard of anyone doing this successfully though. I had one student try to maintain two 8-hour shifts at Verizon. That didn’t last long. Just sharing that for perspective. Working while in the program puts you at a higher risk of fatigue, burnout, and checkride failures. Each checkride failure decreases your chances of flying for an airline. Again, in my mind working is not a good idea. If you need to pay bills you can include living expenses in the loan from SM or WF. Another option is to save.

  2. The loan from SM or WF is deferred for 6 months. It may have changed to 9 months since the program has extended from 6 to 9 months. You can verify by calling admin and asking to speak with Kirk.

  3. Is this empirical or anecdotal? Aren’t there an infinite number of variables that could negatively affect the aviation industry that we can’t control? How would we know the answers to those kinds of questions?



  1. No, I do not see that as being possible. The program is very intensive and being a CFI is a full time job. If you did attempt this, either your studies or your job will suffer.

  2. No, those loans will not go into deferment while attending ATP.

  3. Sorry, but I have absolutely no way of predicting whether this could happen or how long it would last. It just isn’t possible to guess like that.