Jump to content

The state of the industry for new hires?


Recommended Posts

I’m contemplating switching careers and was hoping to get some inside information from those in the industry. I’m currently a professional land surveyor in training (33 years old) a few months away from getting my professional accreditation but find myself not loving what I do (low compensation and more office work as career progresses). The surveying industry has a serious issue lately (last 15 years) with underpaying (avg $35/hr with a degree and 15 years experience vs working with labourers getting $45/hr+).

My question is what is it like for one getting into the commercial rotary wing industry right now? What are typical wages for someone 5-10 years in? Are there a lot of job openings or is it very hit and miss? Rotary wing vs fixed wing? What does the future look like for industry?

I’ve been hesitant to commit 100k for training in the past because I was told the competition for jobs was fierce, I was thinking with the labour shortage going on right now in other industries, this may be a good time to get it as it may be easier to find a job and start building hours?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the 5-10 year range into the industry, I'd say that fixed-wing is the better bet these days.

It's nothing now for it to take 5 years in the helicopter industry to hit your first 1000hrs... with a few exceptions out there. 1-2 years ground crew, then another 3-4 trying to hit a 1000hrs. Even at a 1000hrs, you are of limited use. It's a long slow grind.

On the fixed-wing side, you could be at a Regional within 5 years if you play your cards right. Even the private jet market is booming for 2500-3000hr guys and will be for quite some time.

Financially, you're going to hurt for at least the first 5 years no matter which path you choose to take.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ive seen over the last 2-3 years, guys doing 1 year on the ground, and hitting 1000 after 2-3 years flying. 

decent wages compared to other comapanies and even between provinces. 

i dont know if you have considered the away from home part of the equation as well? especially those first 2-4 years only mentioning it if you have a family or other obligations at home. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, simpleton said:

In the 5-10 year range into the industry, I'd say that fixed-wing is the better bet these days.

It's nothing now for it to take 5 years in the helicopter industry to hit your first 1000hrs... with a few exceptions out there. 1-2 years ground crew, then another 3-4 trying to hit a 1000hrs. Even at a 1000hrs, you are of limited use. It's a long slow grind.

On the fixed-wing side, you could be at a Regional within 5 years if you play your cards right. Even the private jet market is booming for 2500-3000hr guys and will be for quite some time.

Financially, you're going to hurt for at least the first 5 years no matter which path you choose to take.

If I could do my career over again I think I would have gone to the fixed wing side.

The reason I say this is because I have met a few pilots that fly cargo plane for UPS and FedEx and they say the time off is better than the helicopter side.

If they are not lying the money they said they are making is better and they spoke of pension plans. 

So before you commit to helicopters you might want to go onto a fixed wing forum and ask the same questions there.

All the best and good luck.

P.S. come back and let us know if you do change careers.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely go fixed wing. Get your multi engine IFR if you do. You will have a way better chance at landing a job. Heli's are funner to fly but the percentage of landing a flying job (low hour) are very low. And if you think $35 an hour is low definitely stay away from helicopters.

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

People with decades of experience (myself included) have not only left the industry, but the country as well.  Canadas rotary market is very volatile in the best of times, and now is the worst I’ve seen it.  
The future is definitely not a bright one, many large companies have disappeared in the past few years for good reason.  There’s not enough work and too many aerosexuals willing to work for nothing (in some cases pay to fly, I can’t make this up) with mommy and daddy helping all the while.

My advice, If you want to fly get a career that pays well and get your license for recreation later on.  

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, R0T0R said:

There are better ways to make a living, that’s for sure. If you think it’s cool, go for it. Just don’t be surprised when you don’t have a life outside of the hangar. 

I couldn’t agree more. The cool factor fades pretty fast once your only friends are work colleagues and your significant other can’t handle the absent partner anymore.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...