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Subject: Looking to start a career in flying. Need some info.
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Dan33User is Offline
JH Newbie
JH Newbie

06/14/2013 9:57 PM  
I would like to introduce my self. My name is Dan and i will be relocating to Denver, Co. in a couple of months. With the move it's time for a change in career. Currently I'm a shop manager with a plastic injection company. I wanted to do something  a bit different then what I'm used to. I have always been fascinated with aircraft. Helicopters seem to top the list of that.

What i'm interested in. How is the life of a helicopter pilot? Time at home with the family? Continued education? Schools for training? Job market? What is the normal flying time (ie, Monday thru Friday 9-5 type or are you on call most of the time) and anything else that might be of value to me.

I'm trying to do as much research as possible to understand this career area. All input would be greatly appreciated.

raven5User is Offline


06/15/2013 3:06 PM  
Short answer-competion is fierce, entry level jobs are scarce, proceed at your own risk!

Long answer-The only entry level job is flight instructor, so in addition to the regular ratings (private instrument, commercial) you'll also need to get your instructor (CFI) and instrument instructor (CFII) ratings. All in all it'll probably cost around 80k-100k. The key in picking a school (and there are plenty to chose from) is finding one that will have the room to hire you after graduation, because if they don't your odds of success just went down about 95%! This is largely due to the fact that your school will hire you at 200hrs, but outside schools usually want 300hrs for hiring non graduates of their schools (its an insurance thing I think). Plus they usually have students of their own who want to be hired there!

Flight instructors usually get paid around $20/hr, but that's only per flight hour. Ground instruction may yield around $35-$55/hr or so (only while you're teaching of course) and it seems that on average flight instructors make around $400-$800/mo., so keep your day job! Hours will vary!

Once you have around 1500 flight hours you may be able to move out of teaching into the entry level commercial world, usually either flying tours in Alaska and/or the Grand Canyon, or flying to the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. I've heard they make maybe 30k or so to start and will work split type shifts, i.e. 2 weeks on/off type of deals.

Once you have around 3000 or so flight hours your options open up, but it can take ten years to get to this point, it all depends on getting that first job, and that itself can take 2 years, 5 years, or never!!
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Forums > JH Alternate Forum > General Helicopter Discussion > Looking to start a career in flying. Need some info.

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