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Should I go to a college like Embry-Riddle? Are there other school like Riddle?

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8 Answers

  1. Gary Moore on Jul 24, 2012

    Well – I’m sure that others can jump in with thoughts on the Airline Pilot lifestyle..  But there are many schools like Embry-Riddle…University of North Dakota, Florida Tech (my personal alma mater) and others.  The AOPA has a good section on their website about pilot career development – take at look.

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  2. Blade Jones on Jul 24, 2012

    As a former regional airline pilot let me be the first to say don’t do it.  I lasted 10 months and I made 13 grand.  It cost me over 100 grand to get the job and I quit.  The pay is terrible, the lifestyle uncomfortable, with commuting and living in crash pads and different hotels.  It’s all glitz and glamour and then you get there.  If you really want to enjoy your life and have time with your family and friends get a 2 year degree as an air traffic controller.  You will have a government job making great money and with stellar benefits and retirement.  The best part is you can fly for fun and afford to buy your own airplane with that job.  Good luck on whatever you decide but trust me being a pilot is not where the good life is anymore.

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  3. Wes Beard on Jul 24, 2012

    They are forecasting needing a tremendous amount of pilots over the next decade to feed the regional and national airlines.  Now is a good time to learn to fly and chase your dream.  You may find that you dream changes as you learn more about how aviation works and that is OK.
    My advice.  Go to your local airport and learn to fly there.  It will be cheaper in the long run and the training is just as valuable.  You can transfer those flying hours into college credit later if you go through a community college program.  That is what I did with Embry Riddle.  It saved me over half the cost of getting my licenses.  My other advice is to take your training without pulling out any student loans.  If you can do this, you will be in a better position to accept a lower starting wage and work your way up in the airlines than someone who is strapped to feeding their student loans.
    I wrote a series of blogs on this subject.

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  4. Matthew Waugh on Jul 30, 2012

    They’ve been forecasting a tremendous pilot shortage for years – I’ll believe it when I see it. Right now airlines are reducing the number of small regional aircraft, and are not replacing them 1 for 1 with larger regionals or mainline planes – so less pilots needed. Ask a Comair pilot about the pilot shortage, I’m sure they feel good about it.
    In my opinion, at it’s BEST, an airline job will never be as good as it once was, because airlines are going to maximise the efficiency of their pilots. So the fly a few days a month and run a second business on the side is going to be a lot harder to implement. If the airline wants it’s 100 hours a month out of you then you’re going to be flying and away from home a lot. And anything lower than the BEST is going to be even less fun. I’ve seen mainline domestic pilots schedules, and they are as bad or worse than the schedule I flew as a regional pilot – and our schedules sucked.
    I agree with Wes’s advice – the less debt you can take on the more options you’ll have, BUT, to have the MOST options get qualified in something else. I’ve always recommended Nursing. It pays well, there’s always a chronic shortage, and you can fit shifts around a flying life if you’re lucky enough to have one. But any job that has a reasonable income will give you a backup plan when you get furloughed or just can’t take the lifestyle anymore.
    Good luck!

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  5. Jim B on Aug 13, 2012

    ERAU, UND, Purdue – they are all very good colleges with excellent flight training/aviation programs. But…they are VERY EXPENSIVE! When you include the cost of flying and collecting your licenses, it’s actually more expensive to go to Riddle than Harvard ( +/- $250K). The thing is, most airlines (except FedEx) don’t care where you went. You just have to be able to check the 4 year degree box. A four year degree in elementary education from a small “accredited” university is as good as one in Astrophysics or Orbital Science from MIT. Now, there is something to be said for getting trained by a “141 school” vs. a part 61 path. 141 schools are more expensive but their training is generally regarded as more structured. What you need to do is study and fly where you can afford. Attitude is very important and those who lack the passion usually fail. It isn’t going to be easy, and the rewards come later rather than sooner. Don’t listen to those who have failed – follow your dream. There is a pending pilot shortage. At my carrier we have 25% of the pilots able to retire (over 60 yrs old) with just 30 days notice. The problem is the FAA is changing the minimum hours required to enter the regionals. Gone will be the days of the 300 hour commuter new-hire. I don’t know where kids will get the money to go to school, get their licenses, then accumulate 750 hours of PIC Multi time on their own. I foresee more airlines affiliating themselves with the better aviation schools and possibly offering some sort of flow-through. We will see. Good Luck!

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  6. Ryan Gornto on Sep 03, 2012

    I am currently attending Southeastern Oklahoma State University in pursuit of a proffesional pilot degree. You should check it out! Great instructors, Great value, Just as good or better training than ER!

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  7. Jay Williamson on Sep 16, 2012

    I’m doing my flight training at a 141 / public college in south Georgia. I do get loans to pay for my expenses. I try to lessen the load as much as possible but I’m no doctors son, so I do the best I can. The degree I’m pursuing is a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration – Flight Management. I will have loans in the end, like any college student. I’m at 40k right now and about to start my CFI training. You should try your hardest to find ways around loans!! Yeah, these loans suck but I’ll live in a tent and eat peanut butter and jellies for the next ten years as long as I can put on that uniform and live my dream. That’s the attitude you gotta have if you love it and want it.

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  8. JB on Feb 22, 2013

    I have an 18 year old son that wants to fly at FedEx so bad. I’ve tried offering the Air Force and Naval Academies as options, but I think he’s bent on either ERAU or Kent State. He will have his Private before he finishes High School. I have friends that could get him in the “Guard” (what a gig!), but he’s not interested. So, it’s down to which college and how to accumulate another 750 hours when he finishes school. I have a bad feeling I’ll be buying a Baron and parking it in Daytona…can’t wait.

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