I am 32 years old and am very seriously considering enrolling at ATP (Oakland) to become a commercial airline pilot. I’ve been doing a lot of research, as well as listening to great podcast about the life of an airline pilot, and it seems like the career is exactly what I want in life. I’ve begun my private license lessons with a small school in Petaluma, CA and will finish there before enrolling to ATP to receive all my ratings. Right now, flying is terrifying/exciting/stressful/rewarding and I love the fact that there’s always a challenge to overcome. I believe testing yourself everyday, staying curious and not becoming complacent are key components to a happy life and it seems that aviation can help in that regard.
I currently am in real estate and also bartend a couple nights a week (have to pay the sf rent :/) but do not want to keep this lifestyle up much longer.
My plan is to put real estate on the back burner, enroll at ATP this December, but still keep my bartending gig because I only work 2 nights a week and make $300 bucks a night, plus hourly wages (minimum wage in SF is now $13/hour). I understand that the accelerated program is intense and i need to put the time in to succeed but making $600ish a week will undoubtedly help me pay off the loan I will be taking out for the school AND bartending is a great a way to network. The reason I even started considering aviation in the first place is because a customer of mine is a United Captain and he kept telling me to look into it, and that I wasn’t too old. He have me magazines and books to read and told me that it’s a grind during the ‘salad years’ but it’s an awesome lifestyle if you hang in there through the tough times.
Is it realistic to think that I can work two nightly shifts (4pm-330am) a week and do the accelerated school?
Any and all helpful advice is greatly appreciated.