Have you nearly finished senior school but you don’t know what you want to do next? Have you started university but realized that it’s not for you? Or maybe you’re looking for a well-paid job? Perhaps you’ve also asked yourself: what am I going to do after my final school exams? And what if university can’t offer me the professional opportunities that I’m looking for? Am I really looking to start out in the labour market as a paid trainee? OK, if you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, keep reading: today I want to tell you about an opportunity that could transform your life, on both a personal and professional level. Exactly, an opportunity. And while, in 2017, this may sound impossible, the solution is already within your grasp, and for ambitious young people, and those who are prepared to invest in their future, it’s a solution that offers a richly satisfying future career. In this article I would like to help you understand the true cost of a university degree course, and the potential earnings once you have graduated. Subsequently, I will compare this option with an alternative solution, and, I’ll ask you to consider the possibility of investing your time and commitment to becoming an airline pilot. Right, let’s get started. Before embarking on a university course it’s important to bear in mind that, on average, you’ll be investing 7 years of your life, during which you may be able to hold down the occasional part-time job, but without ever earning enough to live on. The average costs of a university course are as follows:
  • €1500 per year on university subscription feed
  • €400 per year on text books and photocopies
  • €300 on petrol
  • €750 on other expenses, such as lunches, snacks, participation in extra-curricular activities
Also, if you’re not living at home, you’ll need to factor in additional costs of around €3000 per year. This all adds up to a total investment of about €40,000, plus 7 years of your life, on average. Once you have completed your studies you can start looking for work as an intern, earning, maybe, €1300/1400 per month over the next two years, rising to something in the region of €2000 over the following 4 years, if you work well and make a good impression. In view of the above, at this point I’d like you to consider an alternative option. The air transport sector has been growing continuously for a number of years, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus, repeatedly underline the need for more airline pilots. And this is borne out by the fact that the low-cost airline, Ryanair, has recently been forced to cancel thousands of flights due to a lack of pilots! How has it come to this? If you’re asking yourself why, let me offer an explanation: these days too many people know too little about the aviation market, the aviation sector communicates little or no information about itself, and consequently, there is a widely-held belief that becoming a pilot is difficult, prohibitively costly and only for the chosen few; but it’s not exactly like that. As we have already seen, on average graduating from university costs €40,000, and takes around 7 years, during which your earnings will be little or nothing; does this seem like an economical solution to you? Becoming an airline pilot requires you to commit 1 year of your, during which, starting from scratch, you’ll obtain your ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) Licence, at this point, you’ll be able to start working straight away as an instructor at an aero club, or in the aviation sector, earning your first real pay packet, which will be considerably larger than what you could expect to earn straight after graduating. During the first two years after obtaining your licence, working for an airline you’ll be able to earn a basic salary of around €2500 a month. Over the following two years, your salary will increase, on average, to €4000 per month, rising to €8000 per month assuming you achieve the rank of captain. There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be an airline pilot, many people belief that the profession is in decline, but nothing could be further from the truth, especially when compared to other professional sectors. Without a doubt, the advent of the low-cost companies has meant that today’s pilot has less privileges than in the past, but this dynamic has affected pretty much every sector of the modern labour market. The above notwithstanding, no one mentions that an airline can expect to earn over €500,000 by the time he or she has completed 30 years of service, whereas a university graduate will be earning little more than €70.000€, 7 times less. So, what does it cost to become an airline pilot?
  • €55000 to obtain an ATP Licence
  • 1 year of studies
  After which, you’ll be ready to earn your first wages as an instructor and start searching for an airline company that is prepared to take you on. It won’t be easy, but there’s nothing strange about that: as everyone knows, becoming a successful lawyer or engineer is certainly no walk in the park. Success requires sacrifice and graft. So, having established that, after 1 year of hard work and an investment of around €15,000 more than the cost of a university education, you’ll be qualified to become an airline pilot, I’d like you to reflect on the (positive) economic effects this will have on your life. The two curves represent the projected cost/income expectations for a university student (blue curve) and a student pilot (orange curve). Note that:
  • It takes the university student 9/10 years to recuperate the initial investment (the blue line represents the break-even point)
  • An airline pilot invests €55,000 and 3 years, recuperating the investment within five years, half the time it takes the university student 
Now let’s take a look at earnings: SITUATION AFTER 4 YEARS  
  • After 4 years, a university student earns an average of €6,000 (through part-time work)
  • After four years a pilot earns an average of €24,000 (through part-time work in the aviation sector)
Thus, after 4 years, a pilot will be earning up to 4 times as much as a student SITUATION AFTER 8 YEARS  
  • After 8 years, a university student earns an average of €20,000
  • After 8 years, a pilot earns an average of €180,000
Thus, after 8 years, a pilot will be earning up to 9 times as much as a student SITUATION AFTER 12 YEARS  
  • After 12 years, a university student earns an average of €75,000
  • After 12 years, a pilot earns an average of €560,000
Thus, after 12 years, a pilot will be earning up to 6 times as much as a student TO REASSUME:
  • The labour market is in crisis, a university education costs, on average, €40,000 and offers limited employment prospects and earning potential, as well as requiring a commitment of 7 years during which a student will earn little or nothing After 3 years a pilot will start to earn money, and the pay prospects are very good indeed
  • The global requirement is for around 600,000 airline pilots, and the companies are having trouble finding them
  • It’s not as easy to become a pilot as it once was, and it requires both sacrifice and hard work, but the rewards are more than worth it
So? Think about it; but at the same time, why not request a free quotation using the Pilotkingdom platform? To reiterate, the service is free, and without obligation, so take this opportunity to find out more. SIGN-UP HERE. All it takes is a few clicks, and you’ll receive a series of free quotations for airline pilot training courses, at which point you can book a free trial flight via the Pilotkingdom platform, and if you decide that it’s not for you? Well, at the very least you will have had the chance to evaluate an interesting future career path, and you’ll never forget the time you flew side by side with a real pilot.