Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Wannabes Forums > Interviews, jobs & sponsorship
Reload this Page >

Career advice for Pilots..

Interviews, jobs & sponsorship The forum where interviews, job offers and selection criteria can be discussed and exchanged.

Career advice for Pilots..

Old 26th Apr 2020, 09:57
  #181 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Europe
Posts: 702
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In an ideal world, said backup qualification should be acquired before you set foot in a flight school. And the main reason is far more trivial than the possibility of a pandemic halting international travel. As a pilot, one will only last as long as their medical. Sadly, there are a lot of health conditions with which one can live a long and high-quality life but forget about flying commercially ever again.

As for the current situation and the ways and means to keep yourself afloat until aviation recovers again - I can imagine that it depends on one's individual circumstances. Many pilots possess other skills and qualifications. Many even practice them as a second job in their downtime and now that second job can temporarily become the main one. Many hold degrees which could help now. Some have access to vocational training, others don't. Someone has a good grasp of fixing cars, real estate or foreign languages, someone else doesn't. And that's what will, to a large extent, decide who will spend the next months or years stacking shelves and who will be doing something else.
PilotLZ is offline  
Old 26th Apr 2020, 10:08
  #182 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 696
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This thread is hugely entertaining. I am loving the idea that pilots are somehow better qualified/suited to becoming hairdressers, plumbers or electricians, when compared to the other couple of million people who will soon find themselves out of a job. Why would someone who enjoys flying aircraft enjoy cutting hair? I am laughing just typing that question. I am amazed you have not got driving instructor on your list - for the training Captains 😂

If I find myself without a job, (and I do agree the current chances of that happening are far higher than they have previously ever been), I think I will be considering something a little more suited to my skills, attributes and qualifications. I find myself wondering how you ever ended up jumping through all of the hoops and becoming a professional pilot when your next best career idea is to become a hairdresser or a plumber?
GS-Alpha is offline  
Old 26th Apr 2020, 10:22
  #183 (permalink)  

"Mildly" Eccentric Stardriver
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: England
Age: 76
Posts: 3,934
Received 27 Likes on 15 Posts
your next best career idea is to become a hairdresser or a plumber?
Don't disparage the jobs. We'd be stuck without plumbers, and you try finding a hairdresser in England today!

PilotLZ; I agree with you about qualifications. I fact I said something very similar way back at the beginning of this thread. I lost my licence medically at 58, and had no back-up qualifications. An experienced and capable airline pilot; yes and ?????
Herod is offline  
Old 26th Apr 2020, 10:27
  #184 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 696
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am not disparaging those career choices. Plenty of people thoroughly enjoy hairdressing and it is most definitely an important profession with a level of skill requiring lots of training. I just do not see the crossover in skill set, qualification, or interests which would suggest that airline pilots might be well suited to it. Likewise with the other suggestions.
GS-Alpha is offline  
Old 26th Apr 2020, 11:03
  #185 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Europe
Posts: 197
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Herod
Don't disparage the jobs. We'd be stuck without plumbers, and you try finding a hairdresser in England today!

PilotLZ; I agree with you about qualifications. I fact I said something very similar way back at the beginning of this thread. I lost my licence medically at 58, and had no back-up qualifications. An experienced and capable airline pilot; yes and ?????
I think some sort of self employment is the way to go.
Many pilots would have the skill set to run their own business, the question after Covid-19 is what business ?
Webby737 is offline  
Old 26th Apr 2020, 14:30
  #186 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Uk
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Simple way to do it , is work backward from how much money you need to survive with a little extra.

Iím fortunate that I never lived up the salary and thus need about 2/5 of it to live .

I feel sorry for those who pushed it every month to the max , but Iíve been distrustful of this ď career ď for 20 years . Itís way too sensitive to terrorism/ recession / crazy stuff like now .
Meester proach is offline  
Old 26th Apr 2020, 15:28
  #187 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 266
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've never really understood why people max themselves out on spending, anyone who is in a well-remunerated job you'd think would be able to get six months' living costs together fairly quickly. In my case, I was saving up for the modular route, though given the situation I don't think I'd consider self-funded training unless the recovery is very strong indeed or some other major event happens. I'd consider going for any fully-funded airline schemes, though I doubt they'll exist for a while.

Over on the railway, in the UK, a well known train operator who runs the West Coast expresses is currently recruiting for trainee drivers right now. Even though it's not especially difficult to find capable trainees given the numbers that apply, those who are successful won't have to pay a penny for their training which lasts over a year and which will cost their employer well over £100k. Instead, they'll be paid a smidge under £40k a year to sit in a classroom and after a few months drive under supervision and route learn, they'll then go up towards full money which they'll get once they've been qualified a year or two. The entire time, they'll be on a defined benefit pension scheme. That's what put into perspective for me. I may be a bit biased though at the end of the day and if I had the choice I'd rather be flying a plane than driving a train, however it is just a job at the end of the day. Nothing more, nothing less.
Chris the Robot is offline  
Old 26th Apr 2020, 21:02
  #188 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 41
Received 7 Likes on 4 Posts
And driving a train requires some of the skills required of an airline pilot, with concentration being the main thing. Situational awareness, for instance, is as important on the track as it is in the air.

Lots of cab ride videos available on youtube if you want to check it out.
Chris2303 is offline  
Old 27th Apr 2020, 08:44
  #189 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: EU
Posts: 175
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Many years ago with another aviation downturn I found myself out of work. I applied for a crewmember position on a ferry boat. It was incredibly difficult to secure the position as once they knew my background they knew that as soon as a flying position became available I would be off. They were not wrong. I did get the job, through mutual acquaintances but I was gone after just a couple of months. On reflection it was not a good idea to tell them my background but how do you avoid it? Not only is it 90% of my CV but it's historical so what "were" you doing? The reality is that being Buck Rogers qualifies you for nothing once it's over.
happyjack is offline  
Old 27th Apr 2020, 09:29
  #190 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Europe
Posts: 702
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Chris2303
And driving a train requires some of the skills required of an airline pilot, with concentration being the main thing. Situational awareness, for instance, is as important on the track as it is in the air.

Lots of cab ride videos available on youtube if you want to check it out.
True that, but how many train driver jobs are out there waiting for someone with zero railway experience? Most people becoming train drivers are there to stay and expansion is not in orders of magnitude even in the best of times. Vacancies are few and are often filled by internal promotion. So, as lucrative as it may sound, it's probably not quicker or easier to achieve than another flying job. The big question is, how does one keep some cash coming in the meantime...
PilotLZ is offline  
Old 27th Apr 2020, 11:12
  #191 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by happyjack
Many years ago with another aviation downturn I found myself out of work. I applied for a crewmember position on a ferry boat. It was incredibly difficult to secure the position as once they knew my background they knew that as soon as a flying position became available I would be off. They were not wrong. I did get the job, through mutual acquaintances but I was gone after just a couple of months. On reflection it was not a good idea to tell them my background but how do you avoid it? Not only is it 90% of my CV but it's historical so what "were" you doing? The reality is that being Buck Rogers qualifies you for nothing once it's over.
happyjack hits the nail on the head. The boss of a small airline I used to work for purposely excluded pilot CV's from office type roles as he knew they'd have zero commitment to the company during an upturn.

From those who have actually made a move elsewhere, any tips on how to target non-aviation type jobs? I'm thinking specifically here about how to adapt a CV that only has flying or other aviation roles. It's all well and good saying that we've got the skills to be useful outside of flying, but how to make it clear that we're committed to trying something else and won't bolt the moment a new airline comes along!
FZRA is offline  
Old 27th Apr 2020, 11:59
  #192 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Borders
Posts: 27
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by FZRA
happyjack hits the nail on the head. The boss of a small airline I used to work for purposely excluded pilot CV's from office type roles as he knew they'd have zero commitment to the company during an upturn.

From those who have actually made a move elsewhere, any tips on how to target non-aviation type jobs? I'm thinking specifically here about how to adapt a CV that only has flying or other aviation roles. It's all well and good saying that we've got the skills to be useful outside of flying, but how to make it clear that we're committed to trying something else and won't bolt the moment a new airline comes along!
As I've previously mentioned, it's a bit of a catch-22. The only way you can show that you're committed to a new career is to have made a significant investment in terms of money, time or both in that new career. But time and money are two things most pilots won't have now with bills needing to be paid. Hence, it is only the lucky few or those with prior skills and qualifications who will be finding non-menial work.
guy_incognito is offline  
Old 27th Apr 2020, 12:03
  #193 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 266
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by PilotLZ
True that, but how many train driver jobs are out there waiting for someone with zero railway experience? Most people becoming train drivers are there to stay and expansion is not in orders of magnitude even in the best of times. Vacancies are few and are often filled by internal promotion. So, as lucrative as it may sound, it's probably not quicker or easier to achieve than another flying job. The big question is, how does one keep some cash coming in the meantime...
On my course a few years ago, 7 out of 8 were externals, 2 out of 8 were over 50 years of age. It's perfectly normal to see people well north of 50 who've never worked on the railway to be offered a place on a training course. That said, the process is just as competitive as an airline mentored programme, the aptitude tests are tough and the companies really like life experience. One of the reasons I mentioned it is that it might be worthwhile for pilots out of work to consider it as a career since a lot of the flying experience would be deemed beneficial. The train companies will expect a return of service post-training, 3 years is the norm, so any pilots would need to convince them it was a one-way move.

There's a massive retirement boom in the UK at the moment whereby the more "prestigious" companies which used to only take internals as trainee drivers are opening up to external applicants. I don't know if the situation will continue post-virus but it 's been a drivers' market for a few years.
Chris the Robot is offline  
Old 27th Apr 2020, 12:05
  #194 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Guildford
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Speaking as someone who has years in IT I can advise the following.

As Pilot's are ,in general, intelligent and methodical, I would suggest looking at roles in Project Management (Look for Agile or Scrum Master keywords) - and/or - get yourselves trained/certified using SFDC (salesforce.com) or SAP. There are big skill shortages in these areas, you can get qualified in months, there is tonnes of help on the internet and it doesn't cost that much (relatively speaking) to get certified. Most of the above is just learning a process and once mastered you just rinse and repeat (sound familiar!).
Norodnik1812 is offline  
Old 27th Apr 2020, 12:31
  #195 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Manchester
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
To add to christherobot's post I too work on the railway and found that my company at least didn't discriminate when it came to age and external candidates.

When I attended the psychometric testing day, of 10 candidates, 6 were internal and 4 were external. Only two of us made it to the end and we were both external candidates. There was a trainee driver on my course who was 52 and had never seen the inside of a train cab before in his life.

I've now been on the railway for nearly 12 years and I can honestly say it's the best job I've ever had, I obtained my PPL in 2008 and considered the modular route to a career in aviation but never did in the end and I'm now happy to fly for pleasure.

During my PPL training one of the other students was a Driving Instructor for (then) Virgin Trains West Coast. He was happy to explain the processes of recruitment and gave me some handy pointers when applying.

As mentioned there are normally many more applicants than positions and the testing requires some preparation and practice.

Like Chris says above I'd rather be flying planes than driving trains but there aren't many jobs that pay 50k-60k basic for a 4 day week, strong union, every night in my own bed and overtime opportunities that see drivers at my depot earn over 100k.

I didn't have to pay a penny towards my training however I was bonded to my company for 3 years once qualified.

Just my tuppence worth.

Tommy
tommybuk is offline  
Old 27th Apr 2020, 15:14
  #196 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Back of Beyond
Posts: 147
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well there you have it, it sounds like training to be a train driver would be the way to go under normal circumstances. But obviously with social distancing and limited travel the next few years, people might choose to drive private cars instead of get a season rail pass. So I don't think there will be many train driving jobs going.

Starting a business is an option, but what?!

Again, I think my hairdressing business option from many posts ago is viable.

I also have many colleagues who retired as pilots and became driving instructors and are very happy with their lot.
Flying Clog is offline  
Old 27th Apr 2020, 19:53
  #197 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: .
Age: 24
Posts: 100
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Chris2303
And driving a train requires some of the skills required of an airline pilot,.
you mean like the concentration required to not spill a coffee when on autopilot in a straight line for five hours, followed by the concentration required to not fall asleep for another three hours?

here we go....
Jerry Springer is offline  
Old 27th Apr 2020, 23:11
  #198 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 266
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I meant to add earlier that Network Rail are, to the best of my knowledge, looking for signallers at the moment. The role is structured by Grades, numbered 1-9, with 9 being the highest (though these days most boxes are at least a 3 or 4 it seems). It is possible to go in as a Grade 7 or higher off the street if you have the aptitude and life experience. The smaller boxes will get gradually closed and replaced as signalling upgrades are put through, though I reckon there will be semaphores and levers for the next 20 years in some places.

Flying it isn't I'm afraid but it is the sort of job a redundant pilot could apply for off the street and get if they were considering a long-term/permanent move away from aviation, it might be a nice top-up to a pension in the case of early retirement. Training salary is/was only one grade below the grade you'd be in post-qualification, I believe this salary lasts for a year or until qualified, whichever is longer.

The commuter and freight sectors will still be strong I think, there won't be much parking in the big cities and the freight will still need to be moved around. The intercity sector is a bit different because these trains can become commuter trains for part of their journey. For example a 6am out of Euston for Liverpool will pick up a load of Liverpool bound commuters at Crewe at about 7:40-ish. Lots of season ticket holders commute into London from a long way out and even with video conferencing they'll still need to get in. Sadiq Khan wasn't very popular when he cut the tube services and whilst the Train Operating Companies is privatised, almost everything the operators do (including timetable/service changes) has to go through the DfT.
Chris the Robot is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2020, 01:28
  #199 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Cab of a Freight Train
Age: 40
Posts: 1,061
Received 26 Likes on 16 Posts
Originally Posted by Chris the Robot
I may be a bit biased though at the end of the day and if I had the choice I'd rather be flying a plane than driving a train, however it is just a job at the end of the day. Nothing more, nothing less.
I'm the opposite. I gave up a career in commercial aviation to drive trains - something I have been doing for 15 years now and will probably retire from doing in another 20 or so.. I have the potential to earn more money than most pilots in Australia who aren't in seat 0A (and even some that are..), but by choice have gone part time to give me 4 weeks off in every 6 weeks, yet I still earn well over $100K AUD. I still get paid to chase the horizon, I still get to listen to the ABC in the wee hours. The big difference between flying and the railway? I still have an RV-9 I can fly for fun when I want, where I want, but talking to a few tech crew over the years who are interested in trains, they can't go work a freight train somewhere to get their kicks.

Originally Posted by PilotLC
True that, but how many train driver jobs are out there waiting for someone with zero railway experience?
There's probably more than you'd think, at least in Australia. You might need to move inter/intrastate to get a gig, but that's no different to flying. I got one of the positions years ago due to a contract expansion and the willingness to move to take up the role.
KRviator is online now  
Old 28th Apr 2020, 04:18
  #200 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: hang on let me check
Posts: 642
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This thread is getting totally out of control.
bringbackthe80s is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.