About the Author: Chris Oquist is a private pilot and web developer at Banyan Pilot Shop in South Florida. He is a blogger and article writer whose expertise includes aviation headsets and other pilot supplies. As an aviation enthusiast, Chris is passionate about sharing his knowledge on all-things-aviation.
Any pilot will tell you that the most important rule is to love what you do. Most pilots have a true love and passion for aviation. This is essential, as piloting is not like any other hobby or career. It is exciting, but requires a high degree of commitment and competency. Not to mention money – it is darn expensive. And to make a successful career out of it, you must be in it for the long haul.
While you cannot get paid being a private pilot, you can still enjoy the luxury and freedom of being able to fly your own plane. When you travel often, the perks are endless. You can pick up and go at your leisure – when you want and where you want. Imagine no security checks, no long lines, no dealing with other travelers. And the views! The views are so much more spectacular sitting in the cockpit of your own plane.
You still have the luxury of being able to fly your own plane, but with a commercial license you can also make a living doing what you love. The schedule is typically quite unstructured though. Commercial and charter pilots are often on call and sometimes aren’t privy to their destination until a few hours before it is time to fly. This can be a stressful way of life for many, especially those with a family. But the unpredictable nature of this job will excite and appeal to those adventurous spirits who enjoy a spontaneous lifestyle. You get the opportunity to visit a variety of locales, often beautiful and exotic, and get paid to do so.
Airline Transport Pilot
Flying for a major airline has its perks, but many drawbacks. This industry has taken a nose dive in recent years and making it to the big leagues has become extremely difficult. You have to be patient, competitive, excellent at what you do, and a very lucky person to become financially success and stable with this job. It takes several years and thousands of flight hours (and tens of thousands of dollars) to get even become an airline pilot, and then success is still dozens of years away and in no way guaranteed. Meanwhile – furloughs, low pay, and bankruptcy are prevalent in this industry, so all the time and money it took to get there may not be worth it. And like flying commercial, you will have an unstructured schedule with early mornings, long days, and late nights. Plus you’ll be away from home much of the time, even on holidays. (more…)
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