A little information about myself… I turn 35 in 2 days, married with 3 kids (16,9 and 3). We live in Gilbert, AZ. My wife and I have full time jobs. She’s in banking and has been there for 20 years. I’m a manager at an investment firm for 15 years. My position is not very demanding, its an operations manager role so nothing related to sales or advising clients. Together we make a decent living, I’m at about 90K and she’s about 70K. So nothing crazy but definitely enough to live a comfortable life and all.
Some of you might have already seen my FB post in one of the groups but would like more input. Long story short I’m at a point in life where I’m thinking whether or not to continue my career in finance or make a crazy change to become a pilot. I want something more fulfilling with with the opportunity to make good money down the road. People have asked me whats the underlying reason for me to want to start something new and honestly it’s two reasons. I want something exciting and and challenging, not sure that this office thing is something I really want to do for the next 30 years. I would be lying if I said money wasn’t a factor. Having the opportunity of making over 150K down the road is also a reason. I’m about maxed out in my current gig, I probably have another 10k that I could make but realistically thats about it.
Being a pilot is something I have always thought about and for the past year I have been looking more and more into it. Based on my research here’s what I know and please correct me if I’m wrong. If I go to ATP’s zero to hero program I’m looking at 81K. I understand that’s not including some other additional expenses for materials, testing fees and etc. So lets call it 90K. From what I’ve read, working full time and doing this program is really not an option. It will take approx 1 year to get all of my certifications. From there I can be an instructor and will have a small salary of 40K for about 1-2 years while I build up time. From there I would have to be accepted into a regional airline and make somewhere between 40k-60k with perhaps some type of sign on bonus that varies depending on the company from 10k-17k. From there another 1-2 years “hopefully” and eventually making it to the big 4 at which your real career starts.
To get to my currently salary it sounds like it’s going to take about 5 years not including $80k-$90k in debt. I understand you can get a loan depending on your credit, employment status etc from Wells or Sallie Mae. Sounds like the interest is all over the place from 5% to 10%. My wife and I have excellent credit so that’s not too much of a concern plus we have access to some funds that can offset the cost.
Looking forward from hearing from everyone. Thanks for taking the time to read this.