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Getting That First Flying Job  
User currently offlineBWIA330 From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 922 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6668 times:

Hey guys,

I am about 10 hours away from completing my training with a commercial multi ifr. I was wondering how hard is it out there right now in Canada to obtain jobs in flying? I would rather not go down the instructing route as I see alot of instructors at my club struggling to even make money or get students for that matter. The economy seems pretty slow. Whats another good way to build time? If I go work for an airline in another position, is there a possibility they can recognize my skills and hire me for a pilot job?



10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlinetb727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2060 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 6626 times:

You can always go work at a small airline and work in dispatch or something then work your way into flight ops. That's what I did, it was mostly by accident but it has really worked out for me.

Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
User currently offlinepilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3176 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 6614 times:

Instructors do struggle to make money, however you're not going to find many jobs that will build time. You could get your foot in the door as tb727 did however many of us do that in addition to instructing. It all comes down to experience. Don't sell yourself out for nothing, you've worked hard (and paid a lot) to get those ratings but don't be afraid to instruct. You'll learn more than you can imagine.

User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1651 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6574 times:

I don't blame you for not wanting to instruct, but in the long run I think you'll be better off for doing it. You can spend many years trying to build enough time to get to an airline and in the process giving up longevity and eventual upgrade which will lead to you getting on with a large carrier making good money.

Most airlines I'm familiar with may lower their minimums for an internal hire, but there will still be minimum times you have to meet which could still be more than you're able to get without instructing. Don't forget that getting into initial ground school is only half the battle. You still need some additional experience to draw from which you don't have right now.

You've worked hard and achieved a level of proficiency that is to be commended at this point, but the learning isn't over and the dues paying have just begun. I really think as unpleasant as the instructing income is, it will pay huge dividends in the long run. Keep in mind the economy will get better and the student load will pick up as well.

Best of luck to you!

User currently offlineYWG From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 1148 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6434 times:

Move west, and get a job loading bags in Winnipeg. You will throw bags for a while, but it's worth it. 1-2year wait for right seat of a twin turbine airplane, making ok money.

[Edited 2010-10-13 22:15:52]

Contact Winnipeg center now on 134.4, good day.
User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 2391 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 6365 times:

Quoting DashTrash (Reply 3):
I don't blame you for not wanting to instruct, but in the long run I think you'll be better off for doing it. You can spend many years trying to build enough time to get to an airline and in the process giving up longevity and eventual upgrade which will lead to you getting on with a large carrier making good money.

I disagree. If he doesn't want to instruct, he shouldn't instruct. One of the few positives of the hiring boom a few years ago, is the people that didn't want to instruct moved on, and those who did want to instruct stayed to instruct. Now today, we've got an abundance of instructors that don't want to instruct, but feel like they have to in order to build time. That ends up with two downsides. One, students can end up with instructors who are more concerned with getting flight time than teaching a student, and see a poor student as an opportunity to build time. Secondly, some flight instructors have taken the "I'll fly for free method", which ends up hurting everyone else in the long run.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying don't get a CFI. Its a learning experience in itself, which I'm glad I did. But think it through before you commit to making your primary job a flight instructor.


From my cold, dead hands
User currently offlineN6238P From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 543 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6304 times:

One of the things I've struggled with since graduation from my school is finding a flying job. I flight instructed for two semesters and now I'm struggling to find any work. I think what you should do is make yourself as marketable as possible and grab at the first thing that comes along. At least in the United States, now isn't the best time to be picky about what step to take next.

To actively root against anybody is just low, and I hope karma comes back at you with a vengeance
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6293 times:

I have heard various people say over the years that they, "didn't want to instruct". I have absolutely no sympathy for that point of view. If most people only did the jobs that they wanted to, they would starve, and probably rightly so. If instructing is what you can get, take it and make the best of it. I did not particularly relish the prospect of instructing either, but I did it for a few years, and did the best job I could. That is part of learning to be a professional, and what separates them from the hobbyist. If you think you can get by only doing desirable jobs, you won't last long.

Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineFlight152 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3508 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 6203 times:

An airline is the last place for a new commercial pilot. After instructing for two years, I now know how little I knew when I started. It's not just about the time, but rather everything you will learn along the way.

User currently offlineatct From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2593 posts, RR: 34
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5929 times:

One Word...



Trikes are for kids!
User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5911 times:

I'll put it this way... I graduated two years ago and sent my resume to well over 100 places and not ONE place called me back. So far I've got some joke of a desk job administrating a tiny executive jet operation. I've flown less than 20 hours since I graduated. NOBODY in my CFI class has a flying job right now but 1 guy, everybody else gave up and left the aviation field altogether.

It's tough. Very tough right now.

As for flight instructing, you don't HAVE to do it, but in a tanked economy like nowadays there's hardly any other time building jobs out there, or CFI jobs for that matter.

Get an internship at a major airline if you can. It was an extremely valuable experience for me and a great chance for networking.

Quoting atct (Reply 9):
One Word...


Couldn't agree more. Get to know people and get noticed. That's the only reason I got my current job.

[Edited 2010-10-24 16:27:42]

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