should I finance my flight training?
or, avoid the loan and pay-as-I-go?
The easy, obvious answer, is… MAYBE!
Honestly, “should I finance my flight training?” may be the wrong question to ask. The better question is, “how fast should I complete my flight training?”
The answer to that question is very simple… FAST!
If you are able to pay-as-you-go (out of pocket) and complete your flight training in 8-10 months, that is definitely the best case scenario as you are able to avoid the flight training loan and interest.
However, most can’t afford to pay $79,000 out of pocket and complete flight training everyday. If you fall into this category, then it is by far more beneficial to finance your flight training and attend school full time rather than going more slowly and paying-as-you go.
That’s a great question, let’s break it down.
Let’s assume you have a twin brother or sister. You decide to finance your flight training and your twin (who starts flight training at the same time you do) decides to train more slowly so he/she can pay-as-they-go.
With the loan, you are able to complete all of your flight training (with Axiom Aviation) in as little as 8-10 months. Whereas, it takes your twin 36 months to complete their flight training. This means, you complete your flight training 2 years quicker than your twin.
While your twin may not have the flight training loan that you have, they end up losing out in the long run. This is because Mandatory Airline Pilot Retirement Age is 65 years old! This means, no matter how healthy or motivated you are, you cannot continue to be an Airline Transport Pilot past your 65th birthday.
Since you completed your flight training 2 years faster, let’s look at how much more money you will make over the course of your career in comparison with your twin.
REGIONAL AIRLINE PAY
Upon completing Axiom Aviation’s Full Program Course, you will interview and be offered a job at SkyWest Airlines (through our Pilot Pathway Partnership Program). Let’s assume you decide to take this Airline Pilot Job. How much does SkyWest Airlines Pay their pilots?
(payscales taken from airlinepilotcentral.com)
SkyWest Airlines - Year One Pay (as of 2020) - $45/hour (or approximately $45,000 annually).
Year Two Pay - $50/hr (or approximately $50,000 annually)
Year Three Pay - $56/hr (or approximately $56,000 annually)
At this point, you will most likely be eligible to upgrade from First Officer to Captain at SkyWest Airlines. This means your payscale will increase to the Captain Payscale. Hence…
Year Four Pay - $86/hr (or approximately $86,000 annually)
Year Five Pay - $88/hr (or approximately $88,000 annually)
At this point in your career (after 2-3 years as a Regional Airline Captain) you will be eligible to apply and be hired by a Major Aircraft Carrier. This means your pay will increase to that of a First Officer at a Major Airline. Let’s assume you decide to take a position as a First Officer at Delta Airlines. We will now move to Delta Airlines Payscale:
Delta Airlines - Year One Pay (as of 2020) - $92/hr (or approximately $92,000 annually)
Year Two Pay - $141/hr (or approximately $141,000 annually)
Year Three Pay - $165/hr (or approximately $165,000 annually)
Year Four Pay - $168/hr (or approximately $168,000 annually)
Year Five Pay - $172/hr (or approximately $172,000 annually)
At this point in your career, you will most likely be eligible to upgrade to a Captain Position. Hence, we will move to the Captain’s Payscale for Delta Airlines.
Year Five Pay - $278/hr (or approximately $278,000 annually)
Year Six Pay - $281/hr (or approximately $281,000 annually)
Let’s assume you remain at $281/hr for the rest of your career (even though the potential for increased pay goes well beyond this number). We will then assume you fly as a captain at Delta Airlines for 15 years as a captain before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65.
This means, over the course of your career, you will have made a total of: $4,151,000.
Your twin, however, would have only made: $3,589,000.
This is $562,000 less than you!
This is because your twin took 2 years longer than you to complete their flight training! Hence, they missed out on the last 2 years payscale prior to turning 65 years old.
So, is a $79,000 loan worth an extra $562,000 in career pay?
We definitely think so!
Remember, it’s all about speed. Not only will you make significantly more money, you will also have more seniority than your twin. This additional 2 years of company seniority will grant you a better quality of life. How can you put a price on that?