Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Wannabes Forums > Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies)
Reload this Page >

What job did you/are doing on your journey to be a pilot?

Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies) A forum for those on the steep path to that coveted professional licence. Whether studying for the written exams, training for the flight tests or building experience here's where you can hang out.

What job did you/are doing on your journey to be a pilot?

Old 23rd Jan 2020, 20:14
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What job did you/are doing on your journey to be a pilot?

Hi all, appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this.

I'm currently in waiting for my results from my Class One Medical due to it being deferred however I'm wanting to get the ball rolling for everything else ASAP. I'm based in the UK (North East to be precise) and I wanted to ask for those of you who are training and those who are already are pilots, what did you do/are doing in the process of building up to become a pilot?

I've worked in marketing for the past few years with a degree from University and only 24 years old. I'm currently in a limbo state where I don't know whether to continue forwarding myself in that field, or begin to look for jobs/careers that are based with airlines (I have a friend who was a dispatcher before she became a pilot). If anyone could please advise as to what's best and if they can recommend any possible schemes that run with airlines or if it's worth getting myself in the 'aviation field' with a job in the area.

Any input on this would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Dan
Dan Mitchell is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2020, 09:14
  #2 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 14,026
Received 10 Likes on 3 Posts
If I were you, I'd look for jobs in marketing within aviation. Use the skills you've got, but aim to move towards the industry you want to be in.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2020, 10:59
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 251
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Aviation marketing may be good for building contacts, though I don't know what it will be like for financing your training. I know a couple of people who have had really successful careers in marketing but both have far better people skills than me!

I personally went down the train driving route. If you play your cards right, it'll give you the cash to fully-fund your training within a few years. Of course, how quickly you can move over to flying will depend on things like what training route you want to take, which company you're working for and what you decide to do regarding overtime etc. Bear in mind, competition is just as fierce as that for a pilot cadet programme, though the applicants tend to be older. You have a limit to the number of times you're allowed to fail the mandatory aptitude tests in the recruitment process (once). Fail twice and you cannot re-apply.

TransPennine Express have been recruiting lots of trainee drivers recently, some in Newcastle, so take a look at those. From what I hear, the trainees go up to full money (currently £58k) very early there as well, so it's worth a look at. Other local options are as follows:
Northern: Pay is less than at TPE but they apparently still have plenty of good T&Cs.
LNER: Only recruit trainee drivers internally but you could start as a platform dispatcher (basic circa. £25-30k plus overtime) or train manager (I think circa. £35k) and work your way up. One of the best paid in the country for driving.
T&W Metro, they pay less than the "heavy rail" companies listed and I think licensing may be different (not totally sure) but worth a look at.
Various freight companies: Some drivers prefer freight though the lifestyle is very different to passenger work (some love it, some don't) and job security/pension nowhere near as good.
Network Rail Signalling: You could become a signaller instead, good pay in the larger signalling centres, though not always easy to get in to.
Relocating: Some train companies will accept applications from potential trainees willing to relocate, there's a lot of train operating companies in London.

On the railway, your training will be fully-funded, I was able to save enough during my train driving training to fund a PPL which I'm currently working towards. If, on the passenger railway, your employer goes bust, no problem, the government will take it over and you'll be TUPE'd across. If you got into somewhere like TPE and kept your living costs down, you'd be able to save £1500 per four week pay cycle. That's an Easyjet MPL place fully funded by the time you're 30.

Chris the Robot is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2020, 11:45
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 62
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
funding

I was self employed heavy truck owner/driver/operator...
rifruffian is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2020, 13:25
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: FLSomething
Posts: 207
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Dan Mitchell View Post
Hi all, appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this.

I'm currently in waiting for my results from my Class One Medical due to it being deferred however I'm wanting to get the ball rolling for everything else ASAP. I'm based in the UK (North East to be precise) and I wanted to ask for those of you who are training and those who are already are pilots, what did you do/are doing in the process of building up to become a pilot?

I've worked in marketing for the past few years with a degree from University and only 24 years old. I'm currently in a limbo state where I don't know whether to continue forwarding myself in that field, or begin to look for jobs/careers that are based with airlines (I have a friend who was a dispatcher before she became a pilot). If anyone could please advise as to what's best and if they can recommend any possible schemes that run with airlines or if it's worth getting myself in the 'aviation field' with a job in the area.

Any input on this would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Dan
I was quite lucky. Went to uni, got on a cadet scheme, left and went pretty much straight jerk training. The airline secured the loan for the training and Iíve now been employed for about two years. The schemes come and go but if you can get onto one with funding (any really) then that is 100% the way to go.

Job wise, if youíre good at marketing and can make decent money then definitely stay doing that. If I was recruiting Iíd want someone who was at the top of their field and clearly possessing skills that not everyone has. Getting a job at an airport is easy, anyone can do it. Running six figure marketing accounts isnít. Iíd say that people who go from airport jobs to flying would most of the time have done it anyway, just so happened that they wanted to work at an airport. If you want to do it for fun great, but it wonít get you the flying job.

Main advice is to carpet bomb applications. Doesnít matter which airline you start with, the first job is always the hardest to get, you can pick and choose later.
VariablePitchP is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2020, 13:28
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: EGNT
Posts: 48
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Currently a dispatcher. Money is not great by any means, but made some very valuable connections. 30hrs per week and is allowing me to work towards completing my PPL. I plan on doing my ATPL theory with BGS distance learning, the shorter shifts will allow me to put more time into study than a regular 9-5 gig, on an early shift you'll often be finished by midday. Works for me!
Maverick97 is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2020, 14:45
  #7 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Chris the Robot

Hey, thanks for the thorough reply. Funnily enough, becoming a train driver was what I wanted to be when I was a child, so would be funny to come full circle and start doing that before I went onto my next career path. I'll definitely look into this though as that kind of money sounds very solid to help fund my flight training. It also sounds like a fairly interesting job to keep down during the process.
Dan Mitchell is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2020, 18:36
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 127
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rifruffian View Post
I was self employed heavy truck owner/driver/operator...
Same.

In this day and age your full HGV driving licence will set you back around £2,500. But once youíve got your licences, there are plenty of jobs out there. The majority of which are quite accommodating. If you want the hours, you can have them. As an employed driver you can earn quite decent money. So itís a good thing to do if you want to earn as much as possible, then take time off to do a particular stage of your flight training.

It got me through my flight training. I do miss my top-end Volvo, parked up in a layby with my TV and a tin of soup. Good times.
Rottweiler22 is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2020, 13:05
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Amantido
Posts: 870
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I worked in my family run restaurant, and I still help them on days off sometimes.
Banana Joe is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2020, 15:24
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 104
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You could try a job with a utility company, like EON.

They'll train you to spend time in small, dark places reading meters.
SID PLATE is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2020, 16:47
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 251
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Rottweiler22 View Post
Same.

In this day and age your full HGV driving licence will set you back around £2,500. But once youíve got your licences, there are plenty of jobs out there. The majority of which are quite accommodating. If you want the hours, you can have them. As an employed driver you can earn quite decent money. So itís a good thing to do if you want to earn as much as possible, then take time off to do a particular stage of your flight training.

It got me through my flight training. I do miss my top-end Volvo, parked up in a layby with my TV and a tin of soup. Good times.
One of my family members drove lorries for a well-known brewery starting in the 1960's. Training paid for, good salary, non-contributory defined benefit pension, the company's own version of a council house, sports and social club, free meals from the restaurant-quality work canteen and a bottle of the company's finest every day. Hopefully the current shortage will push things back in that direction.

Chris the Robot is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2020, 16:51
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 251
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Dan Mitchell View Post
Chris the Robot

Hey, thanks for the thorough reply. Funnily enough, becoming a train driver was what I wanted to be when I was a child, so would be funny to come full circle and start doing that before I went onto my next career path. I'll definitely look into this though as that kind of money sounds very solid to help fund my flight training. It also sounds like a fairly interesting job to keep down during the process.
I was similar when I was young, first it was trains, then planes. It's not a bad place to be plus from an experience side you'll be working safety-critical shifts and you'll have some fantastic experience to talk about at an interview for a cadet programme or post-modular training.
Chris the Robot is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2020, 22:34
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Lander, WY, USA
Posts: 231
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
6 months on-6 months off contract heavy equipment operator in Antarctica. Full piggy bank and only flight ratings and time building at home to focus on during the off months. Probably not for everybody, but worked well for me.
340drvr is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2020, 16:27
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: South East.
Posts: 843
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great posts from Chris the Robot.

Me ? Long time ago I know but, even as a 14 year old, I laboured on building sites doing overtime and "dirty" jobs, at weekends and whenever I was on holidays.
I then worked in a lorry/plant repair yard and afterwards, I sold truck tyres, just because it gave me a car and expenses ! However it also gave me confidence to believe I could do anything.
22000 hours later, it did !
You want it ? Go for it !
Sleeve Wing is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2020, 18:14
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: LGW Overhead
Posts: 169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
First Post!

I echo all the above.

My chosen career path was not ATPL though, it was military through and through. I didn't want to go to university so I worked in bank data entry, 999 call handling and then I got a job on a GA airfield in Flight Ops. As well as manning the air-ground radio I sold flying lessons, trained as a firefighter (in a converted kebab wagon) and was general dogsbody. Well worth the experience! And I only got that job through word of mouth from a mate on an FAA PPL course at AAA in San Diego (anyone remember them?!) Attitude and adaptability are EVERYTHING.

After all that bouncing around I joined the RAF and had to unlearn the bad habits I picked up from PPL flying...!
Vortex Hoop is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2020, 18:18
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: LGW Overhead
Posts: 169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Chris the Robot View Post
...Hopefully the current shortage will push things back in that direction.
Is this a reference to a pilot shortage? Is there one these days even with loads of people willing to pay to fly?
Vortex Hoop is offline  
Old 4th Feb 2020, 00:11
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 251
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Vortex Hoop View Post
Is this a reference to a pilot shortage? Is there one these days even with loads of people willing to pay to fly?
Nah, that's a reference to the lorry driver shortage that supposedly exists, apparently with the fairly low current unemployment at a national level, the idea of paying a four-figure sum to get a HGV licence hasn't appealed to many. Or so I have heard, I may be wrong.

As I've said a few times on here, the secret to good T&Cs is to a large extent, supply and demand. It's one of the reasons the railway world is well-paid in the UK, the unions (and actually most of the train companies themselves) would never allow a situation to develop where people were allowed to buy their way in. All training is employer-funded and that means there is very rarely a surplus of staff, after all, why, as an employer, pay to train more people than you actually need. No surplus means that the threat of cheaper staff cannot be used to drive down T&Cs, in fact poaching has driven them up. It also helps that the railway market seems to be more stable than aviation, it's not as susceptible to the sort of economic shocks the airline industry has used as a wedge to leverage in things like P2F.

I believe the whole training cost debate is centered around employer and employee expectations. It's now normal for pilots to pay for their own training, so airlines expect not to pay it and trainees expect to pay it. On the railways in the UK, employees paying for their own training has never happened, therefore employers are much less likely to see it as reasonable. Any company that introduced it would probably attract very few good applicants since they'd only apply to places where their training was still paid for.
Chris the Robot is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2020, 09:44
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: EU
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Chris the Robot View Post
Nah, that's a reference to the lorry driver shortage that supposedly exists, apparently with the fairly low current unemployment at a national level, the idea of paying a four-figure sum to get a HGV licence hasn't appealed to many. Or so I have heard, I may be wrong.

As I've said a few times on here, the secret to good T&Cs is to a large extent, supply and demand. It's one of the reasons the railway world is well-paid in the UK, the unions (and actually most of the train companies themselves) would never allow a situation to develop where people were allowed to buy their way in. All training is employer-funded and that means there is very rarely a surplus of staff, after all, why, as an employer, pay to train more people than you actually need. No surplus means that the threat of cheaper staff cannot be used to drive down T&Cs, in fact poaching has driven them up. It also helps that the railway market seems to be more stable than aviation, it's not as susceptible to the sort of economic shocks the airline industry has used as a wedge to leverage in things like P2F.

I believe the whole training cost debate is centered around employer and employee expectations. It's now normal for pilots to pay for their own training, so airlines expect not to pay it and trainees expect to pay it. On the railways in the UK, employees paying for their own training has never happened, therefore employers are much less likely to see it as reasonable. Any company that introduced it would probably attract very few good applicants since they'd only apply to places where their training was still paid for.
HI, I never really considered the train option. What railway company did you trained at and worked for? How difficult is the training and how long does it take? What wages can be expected once I start working and do they increse the wages say a year later or something?

Sorry if I ask a lot of questions but I am at a stage where I don't know what to do with my life now. I finished university in my country about half a year ago (mechanical engineering) but did not look for jobs here as the pay is poor. Was considering going to germany as they need engineers there but my german language is very basic as I studied it back in school many years ago... Have been helping my parents with house repairs for half a year and now I want to go and work... At the moment I'm am still registered in UK (I was living and working there for 2 years as a security officer as I had taken a break from my studies at the time) so I still have a chance to return there.

I kind of want to become a pilot but the training costs and difficulity deter me away... I found EFA whitch recently increased the training cost from 60 k to 90 k and introduced extra language requirement so now I am even more unsure. I heard EFA is a good option but maybe now after the changes there are better options I don't know.
Arnuxs is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2020, 22:40
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 251
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The training costs with flying are unfortunately high, though the Aer Lingus programme is worth going for when it opens, though it's extremely competitive. The alternative options include waiting for any other sponsored training programme to open up, going down the military route (and planning on staying there for a long time) or self-funding. The latter will require a well-paying job for many years, or funding from family etc.

I'm not going to name my currently employer (who I trained with) on here for privacy reasons, I'll go as far as saying it's a commuter railway in the UK. Difficulty-wise, I'd say the training isn't easy, I didn't find it impossibly hard, it's a combination of hard slog during the theory, then achieving safe and predictable consistency whilst out driving under the supervision of an instructor. Getting in is not easy, the odds are similar to airline cadet programmes and 90%-ish of candidates fail the aptitude tests which are industry-wide. All companies will demand that you live within a certain distance of the depot you've applied for at the time of application, others will allow you to relocate.

The salaries for each individual train company can be found on the ASLEF trade union website. Pay during training is typically about 50% of qualified, sometimes higher. It may increase slightly once you've completed the first 10 weeks or so.

There is a UK railway forum (in some ways similar to PPRuNe) which covers the recruitment and training process in immense detail.

A lot of the people who considered aviation as a career seem to have put the dream behind them once they joined the railway in the UK, they tend to fly as PPLs. The reasons vary but the desire to settle down seems to be a common theme. I did, however, hear of one fellow who drove for SBB in Switzerland for a few years before moving onto SWISS as a pilot.
Chris the Robot is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2020, 09:34
  #20 (permalink)  
JRK
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Europe
Posts: 72
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think you're approaching this the wrong way.
Talk to 10 different pilots, you'll get 10 different stories on how they got to where they are. But how does that help you? Are you trying to mimic someone else's career path? I hope not - because that is a guaranteed way to disaster.
Make your own decisions. You are 24 now and the "hold my hand, dad" time is over.
All the best!
JRK is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.