I love learning about what people do for a living. It always fascinates me. A few weeks ago we traveled to the beautiful state of Maine. A destination I have always wanted to experience and of course along the way I had to meet people and ask them about their careers.
Have you ever wanted to be a commercial pilot?
Of course, I could not get on the plane until I met our pilots in the Charlottesville Airport who worked for American Airlines. One of our pilots was originally from the United Kingdom received his flight training in Traverse City, Michigan. Did you know that there are a “shortage” of commercial pilots in the United States? Also that over the last 5 years they have increased the starting salary of pilots from $20K a year to $60K a year. I am very thankful that our pilots are now paid well for the level of competence and education that they must have to care for so many passengers’ safety.
After meeting another pilot at Philadelphia Airport, I also learned that Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and North Dakota State University are the most competitive programs for commercial pilots. Also 80% of the students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University are on ROTC scholarships in order to pay for their education. Eight years in the military for a 4 year college education or approximately $48K a year at Embry-Riddle (http://daytonabeach.erau.edu/admissions/estimated-costs/index.html).
He also explained that pilots get contracted to work 75 flights hours a month starting at around $38-$40 an hour. They of course receive overtime pay for anything over 75 but are not allowed to exceed 100 flight hours a month. Also they receive a “per diem” for meal and hotel expenses when they are away from home. It would have saved us at least $50 on our 3 hour layover in Philly. Just one of the perks to being a commercial pilot.
I love meeting new people who clearly have a career that gives them a sense of purpose!