A little background: I am a senior software engineer with over 14 years of experience. I will turn 30 soon. I live in the UK but I'm neither a British citizen nor from EU member country. BSc in software engineering (abroad) and MSc in Advanced Computer Science (UK).

If I decide to pursue a career as a pilot, would I be eligible?

I'm not just asking this randomly, I genuinely want to know and seriously thinking of it. Aviation's been my dream for so long now I can't even remember the beginning of it. Not studying to become a pilot has been my biggest regret so far, and feels like this is one of those last moments I can do something about it. Not counting the satisfaction I can't get from my industry anymore - been doing this for some time now!

I hope this type of question is not against the rules of this community, but I don't know where else I can this. Also, if you were in my position, would you risk everything and do it?

  • $\begingroup$ Related: How old is too old to become a pilot? and Do airlines prefer younger pilots after a cpl? $\endgroup$
    – ymb1
    Apr 21 '20 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ My question is not exactly related to the age, but mostly about qualifications. $\endgroup$ Apr 21 '20 at 19:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You should post this on PPrune Forums pprune.org/trending.php, probably the biggest insider gossip and information/discussion site. You will get broader and more useful advice compared to here since it's an active community of professional flight crew and techs. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Apr 21 '20 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ I am not sure it is the right moment to switch into a pilot career. Due to the Corona crisis there is a reduction in air traffic of 90% in Europe, passenger numbers are down by 97%. Remote working and video conferencing is being adopted at large scale and is here to stay. I don't think the aviation sector will fully recover from this crisis, since many business trips in the future will be replaced by online meetings. At the same time, unmanned / unpiloted aviation is developing rapidly. Why not consider a career as a software engineer in aviation? $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Apr 21 '20 at 20:50
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    $\begingroup$ If you get into training now, by the time you graduate there will be a shortage of pilots. $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Apr 21 '20 at 21:15

Your previous education does not matter that much, it's way more about your suitability for the extremely demanding job of professional pilot.

You can enter a range of differing training paths that lead, should you successfully complete the hard training, to an atp licence.

The ones that offer some kind of promise of getting hired, have rigorous selection processes.

Any training towards professional pilot license is ridiculously expensive, you'll have to consider that. It'll be years before it pays back financially.

Only you can be the judge of whether or not to pursue this, but a word of advice, if I may: it's a job, just like any else. It's really about how well you fit the job and vice versa. If you must become a pilot, you will.


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