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Career Info For A New Guy?

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Recently I have been looking into getting my commercial helicopter license and doing some serious research and thinking. As I was looking through the forums I saw lots of talk of in 2009/early 10 how getting into the commercial business at this time isn't the wisest choice for a low time pilot. I was wondering if the market is still looking fairly bleak or thoughts on rebound? I'm only 19 years old and currently in university. From what I have been reading, my thoughts on getting a commercial license have been dampened due to the fact that I have no other skillset at this time to fall back on and cost is obviously a large factor. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



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Stay in school,and finish your degree, this industry is mostly seasonal, and can be a pretty bumpy road.Especially when you are starting out. A fall back career could be really important.

Your young, and have lots of time ahead of you. I can only say what I know, and I don't think its too busy out there yet. But on that note, if you want to fly helicopters you should pursue it.

Be smart about it, don't rush in.

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Hi Blake:

What the Guys say is dead right. Stay in school!! My Dear old Dad told me many many years ago, chase your dreams but get that blue collar ticket first!! Doesn't matter what ticket really, just something to fall back on. I got my A.M.E. ticket eons ago. I went for fixed wing and rotary wing. If one area slowed down I bounced over to the other. Have NEVER been out of work since I was seventeen. I have taken a year off here and there but that's always been my choice. My university buddies have not had it so good. If they get layed off (happens a lot) downsized, etc, nothing to fall back on. The world is full of guys like that.

I have been retired for two years now but could go back to work today if I wanted. Went for coffee in Prince Albert a few days ago. D of M said I could go to work full time, part time whatever I wanted tomorrow. I politely declined. It would interfere with my curling and bridge games.

Get a blue collar ticket Blake, it will serve you well in the future.

Good Luck


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It is great to have a fall back job for sure, My fall back job actually saved me up enough money to go to flying school. However, it seems people can spend a lifetime getting ready, instead of doing. I think you should give it a couple years to think about, and stick with what you are doing and finish. Quiting things you have started is a waste of time. You are young, you have time, a license takes 4 months, a couple years for a job maybe. For me personaly, I can not imagine doing anything else, love to fly.



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I got my commercial licence about 10 years ago. But am currently working as a project manager for a construction company. It pays way more than I would ever get flying, I'm home every night (at least the ones I want to be home for any way) and I have money left over to pay for my flying habbit. There are schools right here in the Calgary area that will allow you to train on your own shedule so that you can afford to do university and get a licence at the same time. Also when you have that licence in hand there are a few select schools (actually only one in Canada) that will allow you to rent a helicopter and stay current for me its the best of both worlds. If I was in your shoes I would do both.

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And just for the record, not "all schools" paint a rosy picture.


AS a matter of fact, we ALWAYS say that finding your first job, and staying on is a 2-3 year struggle, but if YOU want it, then it MIGHT be worth the try.


Now back to your regularily posted programming.

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