Is it worth becoming a pilot?

After flight school, including the process of being underpaid and leveling up with relationship struggles with a partner or kids in the future does being a pilot all add up? Is it worth it? Since most pilots experience A.I.D.S (Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome, not the other virus)? Also what should I major in if I do become a pilot? What’s a good backup carrer I can major in so I can fall back to that if things don’t go well as a pilot

Edit: are there any airlines (other than alligiant) that operate only day meaning I’m only away from morning to the evening and be back home for the night? And do those airlines pay good? (US)


Sounds like a grind, huh? I’m in the process of doing it myself. Flight training is not cheap and opportunities are sparse during this pandemic. It’s going to come back, but only you can determine if this career is worth it. You will at some point be in debt, miss holidays, birthdays, etc. but in my opinion, still have the best job in the world.

As for A.I.D.S. in your context, my advice would be not to go crazy with the crew on layovers. As for the other meaning; well, this same rule applies.


As you are in cali like me I am looking at UCSD, University of California @ San Diego. I noticed you mentioned a backup job or another path. Well UCSD offers lots of aviation programs such as there Enviormental Sciences and Aviation Major, which involves learning how can aircraft be better desgined to fly further use less fuel and possibly use better sources of fuel. They also have similar majors to this but for space, and they partner with spaceX and have some training programs there. Similar meaning they involve how can we deepin our travel into space while not wasting too many resources (money, mechanical parts… ) also being green house friendly and not destroying our planet, and also more efficient fuels so that we can go further, faster, and use less. UCSD also has a partnered program with JPL which is near LA. Aviation Mangament is highly overrated for what it is imo. What @KTJ_Mitchell said is true tho, areonautics are quite coola and could be a good option.

I just say this because as you are in state it would be a smart decision as a potential back up and at a lower price. You can also do flight training on campus. I may go there idk


I really like this plan of yours. I too want to become a pilot in the future, but I also will be getting a degree to fall back in. Being naturally inclined and passionate about business, I am thinking about an Aviation Management or a Business Major. This is a crucial step most pilots miss, so while I cannot answer if being a pilot will be worth it to you, I can say you seem to be heading in the right direction with a backup plan.

Lol, anyways thanks for the reply!


My dad is a software engineer and therefore has a lot of times where he’s free to work from home so would Computer Science be a good major so if a pilot doesn’t work out I could be a programmer?

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Aeronautical Science would be your best bet. Specifically a Bachelors Degree.

idk, Science? I mean if you already did aeronautics this would get you a good start, maybe something with business as well though

I have to major in a Aviation related field to be a pilot?

You can literally do whatever. What you get your degree in doesn’t matter, so long as you have a 4 year degree. If your goal is to fly for the airlines, most majors require this, but do not care what you studied. Some are even outlawing the degree requirement, but if you can get one, it will probably make you more competitive.


Oh okay thanks for the clarification

Not required, but airlines especially here in the US will love it. I mean, they can take a person who got a Bachelors in Aeronautical Science or they can take a person who got a Bachelors in Modern Arts, who do you think they will take?

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This changes as you gain seniority. Most people are paid very little in their first jobs, but as you rank up your pay becomes much better.

I have practically no experience with this (yay), but I’d argue that if you’re with the right person you won’t find it as challenging as expected, although there are certainly going to be some struggles.

Keep in mind that there are plenty of other aviation related jobs that will allow you to live a relatively normal life. Even working as a lawyer, marketing, or really any other corporate job within an airline may fulfill your passion for aviation. It all depends on your priorities!


Ah frick they care about what you major in? I haven’t seen anything yet that airlines care what pilots major in because flight school & experience are important

What’s anotber good alternative that still involves flying and also being able to make a living that’s not the airlines?

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The short answer is, it depends. That’s probably not the answer you want to hear, but life makes unexpected changes especially when a spouse and/or kids are added to the picture.

If you choose to marry someone who doesn’t want you gone at unpredictable hours of the day, or you are needed at home often in order to take care children, you may have to select a different job field or find an airline that will let you fly the hours you want. The unfortunate thing is that, like every other industry, the newcomers don’t get to ask for a perfect schedule. Most career pilots don’t have that luxury either no matter how long they fly for an airline or privately. Much more stable schedules exist elsewhere.

As for what to major in, try to major in a job field that you can and want to fall back to should your piloting career not pan out the way you would like. Don’t forget, there are many certifications such as an A&P that don’t require you to obtain a degree. While obtaining a certification beyond a 4-year degree may seem time consuming, they’re generally far less expensive than going back to school for another degree.


I’ve heard Alligiant had a policy that makes pilots work like a 9-5 job where they go to the airport in the morning and do the last flight back home in the evening, do you know any other airline that does the same? Alligiant has a sketchy saftey history

I’m gonna guess private pilot for recreational places idk

Could also consider flying for the air force as an alternative

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Not off the top of my head. I can take a look around and ask some of my friends in the airline industry. I’m surprised there’s an airline that even allows that.

I feel you Man. I want to be a pilot for Jetblue so bad, but after hearing all the money, time, stress of flight training or when you get to that stage of working for an airline I personally don’t feel like becoming a pilot, but I would love to get my PPL.