Is it Still a Good Career Choice to be an Airline Pilot?

We asked Captain David Santo if it is still a good career choice to be an airline pilot.  This was his answer:

Paula Williams:  Again, if you have a question, please feel free to enter it in the chat window.  We’ll start with some that we had.  Is it still a good career choice to be an airline pilot?

Career choice? British European Airways lapel badge
Does your career choice involve airline wings? – These are from British European Airways.

Captain David Santo:  Well, I think so.  I don’t think people choose to be airline pilots copilots because they think it’s a great career choice.  I think being an airline transport pilot is almost a calling.  It’s a passion.  I’ve dealt with so many pilots, including myself, that I didn’t know anybody in the industry as a child growing up.  My parents were not in the industry, but yet, if you ask my parents they will tell you that this is something I always said I wanted to do.  If you’re following a passion if it’s something you’ve dreamed about doing, it’s a great career choice.  
 That being said, Paula, probably right now is the best time we’ve seen in probably twenty years to be getting into the this career.  We went through a long lull in the industry, and like every cycle as that cycle comes out we’re now going to go into a very long cycle of strong growth, which means there’s going to be high demand and high demand means that there’s going to be career opportunities, betting pay, better benefits really for pilots all over the world.  I am very excited for the young people coming into the industry.  I’m excited for the people that are joining the industry later in their careers.  They want to make a career change in their 40’s or 50’s and become pilots.  Those opportunities are going to be there now too.

Paula Williams:  Excellent.  Well, it sounds like that’s good news.  I know there’s a lot of people who look at some of the old movies some of the old Pan AM ads and things like and they say being an airline pilot is not as glamorous as it used to be.  Is that true or what have you seen?

Captain David Santo:  Well, I think that’s probably a true statement.  It depend on where you’re at in the world.  Here in North America and Europe I don’t think the airline profession is particularly glamorous.  It’s not the Catch Me If You Can movie actor set, but some places of the world it’s still very highly respected career.  I even here in North America and in Europe it’s a very well-respected career.  It’s a well-paid career. Even more so as you accrue hours of flight experience.  I think there’s lots of benefits associated to it that I think the layman employee would not really have the options to do.  Glamorous I’m not sure if I know if it’s glamorous or not, but I would say it’s been a very fun career.  I’ve truly enjoyed it.

Paula Williams:  Right.  You still get to go lots of places.  I think its so great that an airline pilot flies everywhere and still have a lot of perks being able to travel to places even when they’re not working things that other professions maybe don’t have.

Captain David Santo:  If you’re a person who thinks that a career is doing a time card, punching a time card, coming to work at 8:00 in the morning, taking an hour lunch break, and leaving at 5:00, and doing that five days a week, I think that pilot jobs or an  aviation career  is going to be very glamorous job outlook.  We have the best window seat office view in the world at 35,000 feet.  We don’t punch a time card.  We have days off.  We have recurrent flight training, We have a very flexible and almost a very irregular schedule.  There’s a lot of things about it that if you’re something who doesn’t like to be in the mundane grind of every day at work, I think you’re going to find an airline career definitely not your average job.