UPS Airline, Fed-Ex Airline, DHL Airline, Major and Regional Airline:

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by BMWSauber1991, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. BMWSauber1991

    BMWSauber1991 Member

    I've been a loader at UPS for a little while now and have been utilizing the earn and learn program. Recently, I have hit a bump in my academic direction. To sum things up short and sweat, I have been contemplating getting my commercial pilots license after I finish my four year degree in Finance.
    I am very passionate in finance and flying planes but with that being said I know that getting my degree in finance is the better choice.
    I have read a lot of information on becoming a pilot for major airlines and for freight companies such as UPS, Fed-Ex, DHL, etc. Most of the information I have read has talked about how un-glamorous the airlines industry has become, the constant furloughs pilots have to deal with, and how they have had there pay slashed in recent years.
    Like I mentioned earlier my plan is to get my degree and after that get my pilots license on my extra time (weekends). After completing all my licenses and instrument ratings I plan to work full time at my finance related job and be a flight instructor on the weekend in exchange for flight hours in turboprop planes and more advance planes.
    This is going to be a long journey that involves lots of hard work and dedication on my part. I may never land a spot on a freight or regional airline but this is America, we work hard for what we want, we use dedication and diligence to achieve our goals and I will not stop trying until I croak.

    With all that being said if there are any suggestions that can help me with my goals feel free to write a post.
    Are there any UPS pilots on this forum?
    Did you need a pilot referral when you applied at UPS?
    If so, how did you get your pilots referral when applying to UPS?
    Do you enjoy you career as a pilot?
    How many flight hours did you have booked and what kinds of planes did you have experience in before applying?

    Sorry for the long post, thanks for reading, and wish me luck with my goals.
  2. BMWSauber1991

    BMWSauber1991 Member

    Sorry for double posting in the general and the airline sub forum, I am just trying to reach a broad readership. Thanks again.
  3. ChickenLegs

    ChickenLegs Safety Expert

    Nothing but steering wheel holders here. Jenny or Nancy in HR could probably help out.. I forgot their number though
  4. BMWSauber1991

    BMWSauber1991 Member

    I found the union that the UPS Pilots are associated with, I will email them and see there process.
  5. BMWSauber1991

    BMWSauber1991 Member

    Thanks for the help ChickenLegs. These HR employees are located in Atlanta headquarters I assume?
  6. Returntosender

    Returntosender Well-Known Member

    Wish you luck dude.
  7. BMWSauber1991

    BMWSauber1991 Member

    Thank you!
  8. bottomups

    bottomups Bad Moon Risen'

    Went to college and roomed with a childhood friend who joined Navy ROTC. He flew PC3s throughout most of his career in the Navy and retired from the service after 20 years. He has been flying for FedEx for about the last 10 years. He has told me that the majority of pilots hired by FedEx have been ex-military flyers.
  9. BMWSauber1991

    BMWSauber1991 Member

    I have considered going into the Air Force, but with the budget cuts are really taking a toll on how much training and flying they do. Plus, I can only imagine that they will need to cut more money down the road. Plus to be a pilot in the Air Force you need to have a college degree because its an officers position.
  10. Bagels

    Bagels Family Leave Fridays!!!

    I have several friends who became flight instructors en route to obtaining their commercial pilot's license and every single one of them still spent over $50,000. Put simply, the cost is ridiculous.

    UPS, FedEx and other air freight carriers are not in expansion mode -- more consumers are switching to less costlier alternatives (there's an article about this on the front page). FedEx is actually in retraction mode -- it's intending on shrinking its air fleet as it integrates air volume into its ground network. Currently, a "Saver" (UPS 3-Day equivalent) package sent FedEx from Chicago to Indianapolis is flown -- and often ends up in the receiver's hands overnight. Eventually it'll still get there overnight, but via ground.

    When I graduated high school, commercial pilot was predicted to be among the hottest, highest paying jobs over the next ten years; American Airlines even bought TWA primarily for its employee groups. Instead, the job was a total bust, as major airlines dumped over a hundred thousand employees from their payroll after 9/11. Major airlines began subcontracting much of their work to smaller regional airlines -- the ones operating as United Express, Delta Connection, etc. -- something like 5,000 pilots existed in 2000 vs. over 20,000 today. The pay scale tops out (typically in 5 years) in the mid-30's for first officers and just over 40's for captains (typically need at least 10 years with the carrier to earn that position).

    Obviously the major airlines will need to replace their incumbent pilots (most haven't hired in 12 years or more), but the industry's in contraction mode undergoing major consolidation. Delta recently accepted its second pilot class since 9/11 and received such a tremendous response they quickly cut off applications. The reality is that there's simply too many regional carrier pilots and ex-military pilots drooling over the high wages major airline pilots make.

    In other words, you can expect to pay $50,000-$100,000 for your flight training, then spend the next 10 years working as a regional pilot -- flying from Atlanta to Fayetteville to Minneapolis to Fargo to Salt Lake etc. -- earning perhaps $300,000 (in present value, although wages have been stagnant), delaying putting off having a family, etc. and crossing your fingers hoping you'll be a major airline pilot one day. Still seem worth it to you?

    I was an airline brat growing up. My NRSA privlidges (dependent) expired several years ago. WAHHH...
  11. STFXG

    STFXG Well-Known Member

    Buy a cheap plane to get your hours. Easier than going the instructor route. You'll be humping around the regionals for years before you even have a chance at a major. Stick it out and long term if you get in with a major it will be worth it. Good luck!
  12. Bagels

    Bagels Family Leave Fridays!!!

    I liken commercial pilots to teachers: colleges are graduating over 7 teachers for every 1 job opening. Similar concept to pilots. There are over 20,000 regional pilots in the USA, with a median age yielding 30 more years 'till mandatory retirement. Delta's moving back toward mainline flying in lieu of regional flying, but it also means less overall jobs that will go to the 20,000 regional pilots as well as the thousands of ex-military pilots. Airlines like United wish to do the same thing, but not until they receive significant concessions.

    If it's a dream, go for it. But also keep in mind that economic conditions could quickly turn that dream into a nightmare. Flying from Allentown, PA -> Cleveland -> Des Moines -> Washington -> Ottawa -> etc. for over ten years won't be fun if it's with GoJet earning you an average of $20,000-something a year (yes, that's what they pay). And when you're nearing 40 and get lucky enough to get a job with the big boys, you'll spend the first several years of your career by the telephone on reserve.

    If you use the money you intended for flight school toward an MBA program, and invest the rest, your lifetime earnings will be significantly higher.
  13. BMWSauber1991

    BMWSauber1991 Member

    So in my area we have three airports in the metro area, KPDX, KTTD and KHIO. KPDX is the main civilian/military airport that people fly in and out of to other cities. KHIO and KTTD on the other hand are small mostly civilian aviation airports that have teamed up with one of the local community colleges in the area to offer a two year aviation science degree (Not to be confused with aeronautical engineering). About $65,000 for the all the licensing up to commercial pilots license and flight instructor (This doesn't include tuition or books from the school). KHIO offers their own program in which you end up with the same licensing at around $65,000 but with out the cost of tuition. I would probably go with just the program offered at KHIO and not with the community college since I am already getting my four year degree in finance.

    $65,000 is a lot of money, I know this. In fact, $20 dollars is a lot of money to me. I don't know if I am sane or insane but I think $65,000 dollars is pocket change to make a dream of mine a reality.

    Honestly, I can only see the field of aviation grow. Baby boomers retire, more pilot positions open. When the economies of developing countries grow more aviation positions will be offered (Look at China and Middle East). When the United States government cuts spending to the Air Force less pilots are trained, and more planes are grounded. America is too large to build high speed magnetic trains, so people will always turn to flying. Same goes for China, Russia, Brazil, Australia. As America transforms from a manufacturing economy to a service economy, package delivery will only grow more, when people want services they usually want them fast, and when countries grow to global powers they want there products fast which need to be flown overseas.

    All the major airliners offer pilot internships (Type Airline Internship on Google you will get the results), and most use a single website for there pilot applications (The site is called Airline Applications) I have not found out how to apply at UPS, Fed-Ex, or DHL but I think I have a good TINY start on this overall process.

    I am not doubting that the airline industry is a volatile career choice, I am not doubting that it will cost me an arm, leg, and maybe an eye to get the proper licensing, and I am not doubting that I may not even get the position I eventually want. BUT, I am saying that with all these obstacles I will only become a better pilot, I will only get a better chance at my dream career, and maybe one day it will pay off. I will be in it for the long haul, I know.

    On a side note,
    I thought this video was hilarious! haha

    "The best pilot speech - YouTube"
  14. BMWSauber1991

    BMWSauber1991 Member

    That is why I planned to get my degree in finance. I want to work my finance related job and fly on my weekends until I reach enough hours to be competitive when applying for a major airliner. Delta requires a minimum of 1,200 hours of flight time and 1,000 hours has to be in a turboprop. If I am an instructor on the weekends and get around 6 hours of flight time in return each weekend it will only take me 3.5 - 4 years to meet the minimum and by 5 years I will be somewhat of a competitive candidate. Or I can be a pilot for hire on the weekends and fly for a charter company. I can also just work at a regional and rack up the hours for a couple years and get probably twice the minimums they want.

    ​STFXG also is right I could just buy my own plane and fly it all I want but I am sure turboprops run easily $500,000+.
  15. Bagels

    Bagels Family Leave Fridays!!!

    You need to be more realistic. Delta just recently accepted applications for only its second pilot class since 9/11. The response was so huge they cut off applications in just a few hours. These jobs aren't going to people with double the minimum -- these jobs are going to primarily ex-military with 10+ years experience flying for regionals. Given the glut of pilots competing for a limited number of mainline jobs, the situation's not going to improve in the next 10 years. The US airline industry is expected to remain stagement over the next ten years. American Airlines, which is merging with US Airways, and FedEx are actually both intending on shrinking their mainline fleet.

    FWIW, you're not talking to a dummy. I have a PPL. My friend graduated from Embry Riddle (#1 flight / aviation school in the country) with over $100,000 in debt and completely regrets it now. It was also his dream.

  16. BMWSauber1991

    BMWSauber1991 Member

    This was an interesting article that I found:
  17. Bagels

    Bagels Family Leave Fridays!!!

    In the article itself there's plenty of dissenting opinions. Fact remains that there's over 50,000 regional & private pilots earning a median wage in the mid-$30s, and thousands more soon to be ex-military pilots with a median age in the mid-30s (in other words, at least 30 years until mandatory retirement). Contrary to the projections in the article (and it alludes to this), the US airline industry is not expanding, and is in fact contracting in many ways (America Airlines - US Airways merger will give up plenty of capacity, as well the ongoing Southwest-AirTran). The 10-year outlook for the profession is poor.

    I don't mean to discourage you from your dream, although you've already convince yourself otherwise, but you need to be realistic. Between college & flight school, you're going to bury yourself in up to $100,000 in debt, then spend the next ten years flying for regional carriers and pocketing $300,000-$350,000 cumulatively. You're going to struggle to pay your debt, delay have a family, and maybe when you're in your mid-30s you'll get a shot at a job with a major carrier. Of course, by then the pay scales will undoubtedly be lowered, and as always the first several years of your career will be spent on call - in an undesirable place such as NYC, where rent is so high pilots commute to crash pads. There's a reason why people who've obtained such licenses in the past ten years have buyer's remorse. But if it still seems worth it to you, go for it.

    OTOH, if you expect that you'll "graduate," fly a couple years for a regional then get a job with Delta in the Atlanta base... keep dreaming, because that's all you're doing :).