To maintain your skills and self confidence you have to go to the simulator now and then. I guess once a month should be fine. If you want to have proof and show any company that you actually kept your skills up to date, you have to fly in a certified fixed base simulator, at least €250,- an hour. If you only want to train your procedures you can rent a non certified Fixed Base simulator at around €100,- an hour.
The airline interview is an also something you should take into account. You have to go to there, book the hotel, book the flight and sometimes there is a fee to take part in the selection process. Since most airlines invite you for their selection procedure only a week before it’s taking place it leads to tickets and hotels being very expensive because of the last minute reservations. If you are lucky, the selection takes 1 day. Some airlines have more rounds and in that case you have to go there several times. Like I mentioned earlier, sometimes you are required to pay an entrance fee. This fee varies a lot. For example: CityJet asks €500,- for one interview day and EasyJet 200 pounds for the first round. As you can see, these are amounts of money which you never expected to pay while you were signing the training contract years ago. In Europe you have to invest a lot of time and money before you take place in the right seat of a commercial aircraft.
And there is moreeeee! 😉 We did not talk about another significant expense, the Type Rating. Right now it is considered ‘normal’ to pay for your own type rating. In paradise, about 10 years ago, airlines paid the Type Rating for pilots. These days? €25.000,- for a Boeing 717 Type Rating (Yes, those aircraft still exist!) ,€30.000,- for a Boeing 737-800 and €40.000,-/€50.000,- for an Airbus 320 is now quite common. As you can imagine this is another loan on top of the loan you already have.
Best job in the world!
With this article I hope to inform people about this profession and what it is really like. I did not write this article to be negative or to discourage you, even though it might sound like that. At the time I signed the contract I did not know what kind of expenses I was going to deal with. With this article I hope to give you a little bit of insight. Understand that, this loan will haunt you until you are maybe 20 years older from now, if you are lucky. There are quite some people nowadays that do not know what to do with their lives because they had this amazing dream and found out it was not do-able anymore because of all these costs. The weight of the loan became too much for them, maintaining their skill impossible and in turn losing their license because of it all.
As a pilot, you will earn a lot of money, in the end. However, before we get their we need to spend some serious cash. When most young people start thinking about buying a house, pilots start thinking about their loan and how long it takes to earn all that money back. For most of us it is about passion and willing to work. Not about making money and living the relaxed life. Of course there are always exceptions but I am not talking about these right now haha!
Maybe after reading this article you are like… ‘W**?! Why would anyone want and choose this?’ How strange it might sound, in my opinion all these expenses do not outweigh the benefits. After all these years in training and being unemployed, I always tried to deal with the costs. I never had one day in my life where I questioned myself whether I made a good decision or not. Until this day I am still very happy that I chose this profession and I truly love this industry. Nowadays I sit in the cockpit looking outside and thinking about how glad and grateful I am to have a profession like this. I love everything about flying and I think it is worth the money. In the end you will earn good money and everything is fine again… The first years of a pilot are just not that glamorous as you might have hoped for. As we say in Dutch: The first years you have to bite though the sour apple haha 😉 (bite the bullet)
|Pilot training||€ 150.000,-|
|Interest Loan||€ 600,- /month|
|Simulator sessions||€ 250,- /months|
|Medical||€ 200,- /year|
|Insurance||€ 400,- /year|
|ME/IR||€ 1000,- /year|
|SEP||€ 450,- /year|
|Airline Interview||€ 1000,- /interview|
|Type Rating||€ 30.000,-|
|Total initial costs||€ 180.000,-|
|Total annual costs||€ 12.950,-|