"I have been debating whether or not to dare a career change at my age. I'm 43, unmarried, no kids, no debt, and pretty flexible. I have always wanted to fly professionally but somehow life played differently and I chose a different path. Now, at age 43, I see that my dream is still alive and always was.
I have been in the travel business before working as a product manager for a one of America's biggest adventure tour operator and IT manager, creating reservations-system, fleet management software. I think I have a relatively accurate picture of the realities in the aviation industry, know a little bit about working conditions and salary levels, and still would be interested in ultimately daring the last career change as I have always enjoyed my flying as a private pilot, loved travel, and somehow never felt that my desire to do this for a living would dissipate over the years---
Would you think there is any realistic chance of ever being hired at my age after completing, for example, ATP's fast pace career pilot program and having worked as an instructor for some time? Though I think that even if I would be ready for a job with a regional at, say, 46, which would still give me about 15 years of service that I would offer to my prospective employer... I'm not sure if it is realistic to think that there is still a viable path. What's your take on that?
Oliver, I say--- GO FOR IT!
Retirements at American Airlines-- apparently they are going to have 80% of their pilots retire in the next 16-20 years. The growth opportunity for Delta airlines, with aging pilots, career potential is equally encouraging.
- 2013 over 100 pilots age 65
- 2014 over 850 60-65
- 2016 over 2800 60-65
The most important thing in life is to follow your dreams and do what you love. If you've been thinking about this, and wondering "what if"--- you're searching for something new.
Can you do it? Without a doubt!
Should you do it? Why not?
You have the perfect opportunity to invest in yourself being you are single without kids. Heck, I'm 48 and in 5 years we could be flying to Rome together.
Follow your dreams, life is too short. Ask Lesley
More questions from WES, 19, who lives in Las Vegas Nevada and wants to become a pilot. And from Hariz in Malaysia who is working on his private pilots license. How should they proceed?
Wes and Hariz--- get your pilots license and earn a college degree. While you're attending college, build your flight hours. Flight instructing is a great way to do this. If you have parents who can help you, you're lucky. If not, take out student loans. You will be able to repay them all, and then some.
Whether you are beginning a career, or changing careers, you just have to decide that's what you want. Go for it. Don't quit. The best thing about an aviation career, is that journey is the reward. How can you lose by following your dreams?
Anyone with advice and encouragement for Oliver or Wes, they would love to hear from you.
Enjoy the Journey!
Happy Flying ~ Karlene