Will you get your $100k investment back if you decide becoming an Airline Pilot is your chosen career path? Read on...
Training to become an airline Pilot is a very costly venture that can put you back $100k in finances but is it worth this time and money in the first place. Do you hesitate about it based on just this? Thinking about paying back enough money to buy a nice property instead in many places globally can be challenging especially considering the uncertainties of the aviation industry.
First of all, if flying is your life long dream then the answer is very easy indeed. You should go for it because this is not just a career investment in your case but a life investment. I did not want to live the rest of my life working in an office always thinking that, 'What if..' because that would have degraded my everyday living. Regret is something many people live with and it adds to some level of depression which has a knock on effect on your health and quality of life. This you want to avoid at all costs, literally! So spending such a hefty amount on your dream is worth it without a doubt.
Coming to the financial part of things, yes $100 grand is a lot of money and paying back such a loan can take a long time indeed. It may mean living your first many years as a Pilot paying a larger part of your monthly pay check for loans and living a simpler life! This is not easy to do however it does not mean your life will be boring. You work for an airline which means the travel perks and discounts for various holiday deals come to you more easily. I still travelled to many destinations, explored new cultures during this period and lived a fairly good life if you compared it to the average working person. It took me a good six years before I was loan free but since I started as an airline First Officer at the age of 24, by around 30 years I was completely debt free and my salary had also steadily increased since. Some people start their flying careers even younger than this so that's even better!
The idea is as your salary increases every year, you increase the amount you pay monthly to get rid of the debt faster. The sooner you do this, the sooner you enjoy your flight pay more! Pilot salaries range globally but on average you can expect a starting salary of around $20-45k per year. It then takes about 3-5 years before you are a senior First Officer and your salary ranges from $45-70k. During your time as a senior first officer, the loans will have a lesser impact on your life (depending on how much you increase your monthly payments to). You could also choose to pay the loan over the longer period and keep your monthly payments the same as this could give you more money for life's adventures at a younger age! The next phase will be you becoming a captain and this is where your investment will really pay off. Generally it takes about 5-10 years to become a captain depending on which airline you work for and the salaries can range from $70-150k and upwards! This will happen just about when your training loan in nearly coming to an end and you will really start to feel that disposable income every month. How you choose to invest all your extra income is your choice in life but you will indeed have an extremely high quality of life no matter where you are based globally.
Becoming an airline Pilot is a highly rewarding job and career and I can say this with confidence, you will not just enjoy the perks and money that comes with it, but the job itself will bring its own adventures and challenges. When your work becomes part of your passion and love, then a day in the office will not feel like a job to survive at all. This is so important as It directly adds in to your quality of life and sense of achievement. If you plan on embarking on this career, then go for it with all your energy as it only gets better with time and there comes a point where you look back on your journey and high five yourself for everything you have achieved up till the left seat on that multi million dollar jet.
Wishing you the very best,
Capt. Faraz at FlightCopilot.