What are some advantages and disadvantages of being a pilot?
Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:
I can’t think of one disadvantage in being a pilot. There are obstacles along the way to becoming a pilot that can be overcome with planning, goals and follow-through. There can be limitations on how much you can fly like cost, weather, health, etc…
Becoming a certified and proficient pilot is very rewarding personally for me. It’s a huge responsibility that one must be personally dedicated to the safety of their passengers, cargo and equipment. Pilots need to be good decision makers and constantly evaluate risk.
As far as a career as a pilot; its much like any other career choice a person makes in their lives. You have to weigh your own preferences “pros and cons” as to your career choice and how you want to live your life. For example: travel is a big part of a professional pilot. When your single and want to see the world, travel is wonderful, a “pro.” But, when you start to have a family and want to spend more time at home with your children, travel becomes less of a priority and can be a “con.”
I’d suggest asking yourself a number of questions and categorize them in a “Advantage” column or a “Disadvantage” column. I’d also suggest you make age brackets as well to try to forecast how your priorities in life might change as you get older. (Life events: Graduate College, Meet the Partner of you dreams, Get Married, Have children, etc…)
Here are some questions I thought of myself when I was getting started:
- How much will it cost for training
- How much will college cost
- Can I go to the military
- How much income can I get as soon as I graduate training/college
- What will my debt load be when I graduate
- Who is hiring low time pilots
- How do I build hours and gain quality flight experience
- Can I volunteer my time and gain experience
- What are the minimum Regional airline hiring requirements
- What is the income of a Regional Pilot
- How fast can I upgrade to Captain
- What are the minimums for a major International Airline
- What is the income of a major International Airline
- What is the risk of Furlough/Layoff at any point during my career
- When and how much do I start to save form my retirement
- Do I want to get married and how will that affect my career
- Do I want to have children and how will that affect my career
- How much will I be home
- Should I consider a Corporate Pilot position instead of the airlines
- Should I find a local, night, daily, or seasonal flying job instead
- Should I become a full time instructor or simulator instructor or ground instructor
As you can see there are a lot of personal decision you’ll have to consider throughout your career as a pilot. You’ll certainly have to reconsider these questions and many others over the years as well.
Take a look at some of my other blog posts regarding becoming a pilot and how to research the steps to take.
I hope that helps get the thoughts and goals flowing.