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18 years old, off to university this year and wants to be a airline pilot

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18 years old, off to university this year and wants to be a airline pilot

Old 13th Jan 2008, 17:37
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: England
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18 years old, off to university this year and wants to be a airline pilot

Hello,

My name is Ric and this website is probably the most useful I've come across, so thankyou for your information/opinions

Anyway, my question is, what is the best move for me for the near future?

My story is I'm going to university this year to study a 3 year degree in Computing and Management Studies at Newcastle University.
The likely fact is that I'll probably be a lot of debt and have to get a job to pay it off and paying for flight training isn't an easy option to take.

I've short listed acouple of routes I can take:
1. Apply for the RAF (which I am currently doing for a pilots bursary)
2. After university get a job save up for acouple of years and join OAT/CTC
3. After university get a job and do it the modular route (f)ATPL

I guess it is just the money factor. I've read round the forum that training could range from a little as 30k to 100k and having student debt on top means more money to pay off.

Anyway, sorry to rant on

Thanks
Ric
rleungz is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2008, 17:47
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Join Date: Jan 2001
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There is also option 4.

Don't go to university and waste your time/money on getting a degree that you don't actually need anyway to become an airline pilot and just go straight into training then you will get a flying job sooner and be earning money to pay off the reduced debt of training without the student debt on top. You will also be on the seniority list earlier too.

There are an awful lot of airline pilots out there who didn't go, and they are donig just fine without a degree, although it is something to fall back on incase things don't go to plan.

Just playing devils advocate here, not saying you shouldn't go to uni, but it's another option that is open to you.

Leezyjet is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2008, 17:48
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Ric

The educator in me says, "Get a degree". However, you could skip uni and get a quarter of your flying training done on the debt you would have had in the 3 years of studying.

There again, the student loan is the cheapest debt you're ever likely to get, and maybe you can't get the 15-20k upfront, so need traditional, expensive loans.

You'll need a good wage to save for the mod route, so perhaps we're back to the degree to maximise earnings. You could teach- 20k start, and 12 weeks to train in as you go along.

Don't go military unless it's your life's ambition. It won't work. Good luck.

CG

Leezy beat me to it, in part
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Old 13th Jan 2008, 18:52
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Option 5

Do the flight training, get a job and once settled down get a degree with the Open University. All bases covered!

Or else the foundation degrees that cover the ATPL from London Metropolitan University.
A Very Civil Pilot is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2008, 23:22
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I say continue your degree in computing, while starting your flight training when you have your days off. It is true you don't need a degree to become an airline pilot but I think it can give you that edge in a very competitive field.

I will give you a classic example, say one day your flying your high performance jet and the air hostess brings you lunch. As she turns to give you your lunch she accidentally pokes you in the eye with the lunch tray, partially impairing your vision. You loose your medical as a result and can no longer fly. If you have your degree in computing you can walk into a relatively high paid profession, but if you don't your stuck at mcdonald's for the rest of your life. You decide...
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Old 14th Jan 2008, 00:32
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I was in your position (like many others I'm sure).

I didn't think the airlines would be all that keen to take on a 21 year old boy with no life experience and only A levels. I say 21 as that is the minimum age to sit the ATPL exams.

You're 18 when you finish school (A levels) so you need to find something to do for 3 years. I did a degree that put me in debt but gave me great life experience, met some great friends and above all puts a couple of letters behind me name.

Having a BSc will/should get you a higher earning job, I also did IT (Multimedia Tech & IT studies) and I found my job nearly 2 years ago. I saved enough to do my training in no time but fell into the rat race of getting my own place. So I've had to start saving from scratch again.

I'll be going modular with BFC in Bristol (or that is the plan after many years of research) and Ideally I'd like to get my CPL debt free and then a small loan to pay the rest (Multi-IR & MCC).

People will tell you having the degree is pointless and just added debt, but if you take out the maximum student loan and not spend it on drink and socialising it'll come in pretty handy wen flight training begins at 21/22.

So the choice is 21 no degree and a fATPL or 22 with a BSc and a fATPL and a back up career should it go pear shaped

Don't bother with the RAF if you're not 110% committed, they'll figure you out in no time and you'll waste your time and theirs. As for Integrated v Modular ... that's a personal choice.

Good luck.
AlphaMale is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2008, 01:32
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There is no minimum age to sit your atpl, well there is LEGALLY, and that is 17.
You can demonstrate the same amount of determination/ maturity if your 17 or your 30...it makes no odds, it just depends on how much of a gambler/determined you are.

If you are 100% sure your want to be a pilot, then start it as soon as you can, because now is the time where jobs are rife.

There are too many people that delay starting their training and find themselves 3 to 4 years behind the drag curve....and that could be the difference of 200000 if you find yourself with the right employer.

I'm not going to blabber on about the choices i've made, but suffice to say, I started young and have no regrets. Its all about maximising your investment. SO
why spend money on a degree that your not going to follow up?

Bite the bullet, follow your dream and the sooner you start, the sooner your debt will be paid off!

good luck.

randomair
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Old 14th Jan 2008, 08:48
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There is no minimum age to sit your atpl, well there is LEGALLY, and that is 17.
I stand corrected. For some reason I read 21 somewhere? ... maybe it's to be issued with a full ATPL
(Says here too http://www.learndirect-advice.co.uk/helpwithyourcareer/jobprofiles/profiles/profile495/ ... not that I'd take any notice of it)

Degree v No Degree debate is almost as bad as Modular v Integrated.

It's a personal choice, look around at how many people with fATPL are waiting for their first jobs, it wont take long to notice a few bitter people on here with no jobs after blowing 50k+ on training.

I have my safety net, a fairly well paid job, I am a much more mature person than I was at 18, My revision technique is better after 4 years at Uni and now I am hoping to do my training pretty much debt free.

If I had the chance to go through life again I'd have joined the Police Force after my A levels and done as much over-time as possible, done my PPL/Night/IMC studied for my ATPL's then taken 12 months off to concentrate on my flying career.

On the other hand I did enjoy Uni.
AlphaMale is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2008, 09:17
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I always think Uni would be a good choice for all, life experiences, and a degree to come out with. Obviously these things don't come free and you are right in assuming this will cost you 12,000 + in debt.

Personally I finished University in June and now I am working for a very large company, which has good links to aerospace industry. And yes I also enjoyed uni a lot!

When it comes down to it, you will have to take a chance at some point. You can either go to uni and look towards flying schools after...obviously degree there as a backup if all doesn't go as planned vs money you have spent to get that bit of paper.

Next you could jump right in, go sign up at OAT and take out a loan for a big portion of that. Were is the rest of the money coming from? Would your parents be happy you possibly putting your name on that amount of money?

For me, I am currently working and still looking to persue a flying career but also have my own questions to answer first

Choice is yours, good luck!
4KBeta is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2008, 13:35
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Uni will cost you at least 15k. That's the PPL and hour building and the ATPL exams covered. Get a job and live at home and save like a lunatic. Lets say you get a job on 15k a year working in a local electronics factory on a production line (you do some overtime and double shifts). You should be able to save 8k a year leaving you with 24k in the bank plus compound interest of 2k = 26k in cash and NO student loans or overdrafts.

During your employment it would be perfectly possible to add an NVQ3 to your CV and if the employer offers day release ONC courses then that is doable as well.

Nothing stopping you having a Sunday job as well or working in a local pub on Saturday night.

To keep yourself sane and focussed on a flying career you can get hold of a set of ATPL study notes and spend a few hours a week reading them.

At the grand old age of 21 you would have a clear training plan worked out, be fully up to speed on the PPL theory and havea grasp of the ATPL course. You would have at least 26k in your pocket and could get a loan fairly easily (three years continuous employment and fully solvent) for a further 12k.

38k is then a reasonable figure to do the Modular course.

SOooooooo much better than a piece of paper with a degree written on it and no relevant experience and a big debt to the student loan company (I did a degree myself and have nothing against it per se).

And forget this nonsense about something to fall back on.

The majority of people not the top ten percent now have do a degree so by itself it doesn't make you special. Given that you got the degree then went and did something completely different AND your degree is now 6 years old and covered in dust AND things have moved on quite a bit then your computer degree is going to get you no where as a fall back.

WWW
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Old 14th Jan 2008, 13:35
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You need a degree in U.S. to get a good job with a major but not elsewhere?Does not sound right to me,I`ve been told on both forums you need a degree to fly everything but RJ.
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Old 14th Jan 2008, 14:41
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Once again lots of folk with an opinion trying to totally confuse a newbie to the industry.
At the moment, he stands as good a chance of getting a job at 21 with low hours without a degree then he does a 25 with one. Everyone who has been through the mill and who is now sitting at the pointy end will tell you that its all about the right place at the right time, or knowing somebody.
Yes it is possible to send off a CV and get lucky but unless you have a degree that is directly related to the aviation industry, all of the recruiters I know, really don't give a toss. It's whether a person holds the relevant licence, has the relevant experience required for the job, and that could be 200 hrs or 2000 hrs dependant on requirements. There are no hard and fast rules.
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Old 14th Jan 2008, 15:10
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Or you could read through this and decide.
AlphaMale is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2008, 15:11
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I don't know any recruiters who are interested in an aviation related degree.

AeroEng is of no use when deciding to de-ice a wing rather than design it.

There isn't a degree out there that is of any damn use to being an airline pilot. The reason is because the job is such a multi disciplinary one. A airline pilots don't need to know a lot about physics, weather, aerodynamics, engineering, maths, language, geography, psychology or social affairs - but he needs to know a little bit of each to be good at his job.

Do be honest a good solid set of A-levels proves you can hit the books and pass exams. That's relevant to hiring new pilots. A degree much less so.

Given the 3 years and X thousands of cost the rewards for doing one are slim in the UK.

WWW
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Old 14th Jan 2008, 15:21
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I whole heartedly agree with WWW

We as professional pilots need to know a little about about an awful lot of things.
I do know one recruiter who would on occasion sit up and take notice of an airline management degree, but seriously folks nothing else

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Old 14th Jan 2008, 15:27
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Ric, WWW knows more about the business than most, I only wish I found this forum when I was 18. Maybe I'd have worked in a factory Mon-Fri and Tesco on the weekend to fund my training.

I think I'd be right in saying one of the pilots role is to assess a situation and plan accordingly to overcome the problem. You need to work this out on yourself there is plenty on the subject on this forum so do your research.

I'm on the fence with it all. I have a good job in IT due to a degree and a great future in IT, I've picked up skills along the way and have a wide range if computing skills from programming / web design / desktop support etc I have a friend who told me of a contracting job paying 191 a day for a company who also own an flag carrying airline.

Now that's great - but I'd rather be a flying instructor. ... Better yet in a Jet.
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Old 14th Jan 2008, 15:28
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It is all a matter of opinions....most are correct, a degree might not help you at all but nobody really knows for sure. That's the thing to remember when reading these forums, all are a matter of opinions

Have a think and do a lot of research....you will come to your own conclusions like many have.
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Old 14th Jan 2008, 15:51
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your in exactly the same situation as me
binko is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2008, 19:00
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I'm also in the same situation.

Think if another 9/11 happens. What then? The pilots who are laid off need to find a job to support themselves. If you have a degree that was taken 20 years ago it will always get you a better job then plain A-levels. It doesn't matter how long ago it was. Do you not go to Hospital and see 50 year old doctors practicing medicine?
WWW can't see 40+ doctors because their degree is covered in dust???
Everyone knows having a degree does no harm. I bet the life experience you gain from the 3 years at uni is a lot better than the experience you get working at Tesco. Any degree helps a pilot. Just like you said, pilots need to know a little bit of everything.
Just saying my opinion.

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Old 14th Jan 2008, 19:43
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Wow! I'm actually amazed at the rate of people who have posted their opinion and views. Thanks everyone

The university point I made seems to be the topic of the thread.
To tell you the truth, I actually really want to go university; Newcastle to be more to the point, heard its a brillant place and I just want to go for a life and the letters at the end.

Though, I have read somewhere that University Air Squadron offers a PPL or hours towards it. So if I can pass the selection that be brillant???

After University, I was thinking to go into Management or IT Consultancy and fund my modular training at the sametime.

Is it possible to have a full time career in Consultancy or IT and train to be an airline pilot the modular way?

And what would be the time frame at 21 years, before I get my (f)ATPL and a Type Rating on say a A320?

Ric
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