Thoughts about future - where to live

Hello all!

I am looking for some advice on where the best places to live in the good old USA are for a pilot.

A bit about me: I’m currently enrolled at ATP, passed private and am just about to wrap up Instrument. 27, married, no kids.

The wife an I are both USA duel nationals (I’m British, she’s Peruvian) so we are very used to living all over the world! We have previously lived in Seattle, which we absolutely loved but, for student pilots, not the best place to learn due to the weather. Perhaps some potential there after passing through CFI? We are currently in Florida for flight school, but to be honest living here long term doesn’t sound appealing.

Since we are extremely flexible with our living location, we are looking primarily for best places to be based out of for future development of my pilot career. Somewhere with four seasons would be a nice bonus (not just one endless summer!).

What are everyone’s thoughts on best states, best cities for job opportunities and salary?

Looking forward to seeing everyone’s thoughts!


Where you choose to live is a very personal decision as we all have different likes, needs etc. I’m sure you’ll get tons of opinions since everyone thinks they know what’s best for everyone else. You say you’re so flexible I would argue it doesn’t matter where you live and I’d look at where you’d like to work as a guide. This link ( shows all the airlines and their domiciles. Rather than wonder which you’ll get first seniority wise, I’d look for where you think you’d like to end up (as you will eventually) and start from there.



The big hot spots of aviation that come to mind are NYC, LAX, SFO, ORD and ATL. That being said, if you do not get hired at an airline that has bases in those places, they won’t do you much good. I would wait and see which regional hires you, then move to one of their bases. Once getting hired at a major, I would re-evaluate and move again.

Now if only I had followed my own advice and wasn’t a life long commuter…

Lifelong commuter?? Im interested in that as I will NOT be able to relocate anytime in the near future. I currently live halfway between ATL and CLT, twenty minutes from GSP. I begin ATP on 2/4/19 at LZU with my PPL and 500 hours currently. Is commuting as bad as some say it is?


I was at one point married to a woman who lived in Virginia, I did not like Continental’s bases, so I chose to commute to work. I am now divorced from her, but my kids still live in Virginia, so I spend most of my time there. I would love to be based in Chicago and drive to work, but that isn’t in the cards for me.

Commuting is what you make of it, some days are good, others are awful. I do lose a fair amount of time at home due to commuting, but it is worth it to me to see the kids.

It sounds like your commute will be a short one, which will help.