|Quoting northwestEWR (Reply 40):|
It's going to take programs funded/backed by the airlines that pay for training. Or a job guarantee before people are willing to shell out the money for a not-so-lucrative and difficult career path.
|Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 46):|
Today an airline pilot career has an abysmal front end and a modest back end. No where near enough to allow you to catch up in order to make the early career sacrifices worth it. People are becoming engineers instead.
At 48, I have been a life-long pilot-wanna-be. I have watched from the outside as accessibility to a good-paying flying job has deteriorated, while training costs have skyrocketed and job security has plummeted.
The economics of the airline industry is fragile. Very, very fragile. If the economy so much as hiccups, the airline industry goes into convulsions.
Business travel budgets are cut. Families stop going on 'gotta fly' vacations. Therefore fewer bums in seats. Meaning planes are grounded and crews are layed off. It's not like airlines, for as much has they have been gutting themselves from the inside-out, have any control over the economy as a whole. Indeed, they are one of the key canaries in the mineshaft for signs of trouble- when they start laying off operating crews and parking planes.
Why would I invest $75K (when I first considered flying in the 1990s) only to fly for some 2-bit airline that pays peanuts and at the end of the day I'm slipping into a bed that's still warm from the last peanut-paid pilot running out the door to fly the plane back to where I brought it from... to find myself layed off at any time? What happens even when I'm at a 'major' when I'm layed off? It's not like I have recent transferrable skills and experience to do anything else.... then the question of currency comes up while laid off for an extended period of time....
I recently applied to the BA
Cadet (future pilot proramme)- it seems like such a better way to go: An actual job when you're done the training with the airline paying you back for that training. But as good as that is, there are pitfalls there too: You still have to find the financing to do the training and live without an income for 2 years. Then, ASSUMING that there is actually a position open and available when you leave their programme, what assurances do you have that this position won't be made redundant 4 years (and only 1/2 of the training loan paid back)? The sad truth is that even BA
can't guarantee there won't be another collapse in the economy and hence their business.
I don't fly. I can't afford to. Surprisingly, while I'm not rich (something you have to be to 'enjoy' GA
) I make a solid income driving a bus. Much, much more than food stamps. And 100% of the training (beyond a basic driver's license) is paid for. I even got paid a living wage to do the training. Government pension, all benefits including medical, dental, 3 weeks vacation (plus banked 2 weeks of stat holiday days = 5 weeks vacation)- all of this on my first day- sleeping in my own bed every night, essentially a guaranteed job for life- AND
prospects for promotion... compared to massive, unmanageable debt, annual medicals and annual check-rides, a decade of crappy pay and sometimes risky work in risky equipment, always with the economic Sword of Damocles hanging over our collective heads as an industry- as a rational person, why would I ever WANT to fly?
People who are attuned enough to want to fly these days, are also very aware of the front-end costs, the volatility of the industry, and the poor prospects for personal as well as income growth. The truth is, none of those metrics are in any positive zone in the airline industry. While there are outlying exceptions to this reality which may motivate a few to pursue "The Dream", the perception that flying for a living is a dead-end life-choice is prevalent enough, that people are staying away in droves. They may not all wind up being engineers but they do wind up doing other kinds of jobs requiring similar aptitudes making much more at the outset with way more job security and under much better working conditions.