Relatively inexpensive? Relative to fighting cancer without insurance, maybe. . . Count on spending at least twice what your PPL cost. It is a minimum of 13 months (FAA rules. . .) after all. You certainly don't need riddle or any other name
school, or a degree to get a job. But do not make the mistake of assuming it will be cheap.
As a back-up to a piloting career? Let me just say this. Stuff always looks greener on the other side. A day hanging out with your buds, putting in some new plugs or timing mags is not the same as dealing with a**hole leads trying to bully you into signing off questionable work day in, day out, or getting stuck out in a WX
condtion trying to troublshoot, comntinuity test, etc, all manner of crap on a bird that needed to leave three hours ago.
So just don't work for an airline then, you're probably thinking. Fine, but that's where most of the money is when you're starting out. GA
and corporate generally won't pay much over minimum wage unless you have some real experience to bring to the table, and like being a pilot, job security is a total farce. Hell it's probably worse for us since our unions do not have the same teeth that groups like APA
do (Not that they should... experience has taught me that labor is often a root of a company's problem, not a symptom, but that's another story. . .)
Bottom line, do it if you really think that's what you might like to do for a career. But if you're just "hanging out" until the weather gets better for pilots, think about something else. It's not as much fun as you think, it's expensive as hell to get into, and we can smell pilots and wannabe piltos a mile away. Life in the hangar is not often fun for those guys. Sorry to piss in your cereal, but I think you should have the whole picture before you throw real money at this.
Base not your happiness on the deeds of others, for what is given can be taken away. No Hope = No Fear