To Old to Become an Airline Pilot

I recently got my PPL and have now been exploring becoming an airline pilot. I’m 30 years old and have been working as an engineer for the past 5 years. I’ve realized flying would be a way better career and lifestyle than being an engineer.
I’ve read articles that talk about how if you wait till you’re older to become an airline pilot that you make hundreds of thousands of dollars less in your career.
If I started now, I would be 32 (which I realize isn’t old in the grand scheme of life) by the time I have enough hours to translation to the airlines.
Is it to late for me to try to become a pilot or would it still be worth it at my ripe old age of 30?


This is by far the most frequently asked question we get asked. It is however, usually asked by people considerably older than you. Not sure what it is (maybe it’s this fomo thing?) but at 30 (or 32), the only things you might be too old for is joining the Cub Scouts, eating free at Denny’s when accompanied by an adult or starting a boy band. Statistically the average age when pilots start their training is 33 so you got that beat. When we speak about older pilots managing their expectations it’s for those in their mid to late 40’s and 50’s. At 32, while you obviously won’t have the same number of years as someone starting at 22, you’ll still have plenty.



No more free meals at Denny’s is a bummer, but that’s good to hear that it’s still worth it for me to become a pilot.
I have a tour of the Las Vegas facility in a couple of weeks and then would be looking to start sometime late winter or early spring.


I think you still have plenty of time left to be a pilot. Sure, you will not be the youngest, and your career earnings will be more limited that somebody starting at age 22, but there is still plenty of time. Please check out the FAQ section as there is a detailed post there that deals with this very topic.


Please let us know how your tour goes, Dustin! Welcome to the forum by the way! As Adam said, you aren’t as late as you may think you are. Now is a good time to be entering the industry too with the amount of hiring the industry has been seeing.


Awesome, I appreciate the feedback guys! I’m excited for this new adventure.