Becoming an Airline Pilot vs. Becoming a Doctor

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iweb
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Hello, this is my first post in TSR community.

I am currently studying for the IB, my HL subjects are Chemistry, Biology and Maths. I'm planning what I should study at uni and I'm considering my future career opportunities, and I've essentially narrowed it down to two options: flying or medicine. I would probably apply for the BA Future Pilots Programme if I wanted to pursue that path.

I believe I am capable of either one, and I've done quite a bit of research on the two but I still CAN'T DECIDE!!



Flying:
Pros: Get paid to do what I love; exciting; at the moment I am marginally more interested in this; shorter training;

Cons: Might not get into BA FPP; what to study at uni?; could it get routine?; solid future for airline flying?; slightly worse pay than medicine;

Doctor:
Pros: More diverse working opportunities, so shouldn't get 'routine'; more respected; more of an opportunity to help people and make a difference; more definite future?

Cons: Longer training; at the moment I'm slightly less interested in it; longer hours than being a pilot?; too much NHS 'box-ticking' and paperwork?

I would really appreciate people's views on this, what do you think the outlook is like for both careers? Anyone had a similar dilemma?

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Drewski
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People will always need doctors. Airlines fluctuate with fuel prices, tourism trends and the computer age.

And airline flying is not exciting flying. If it is, you're doing it wrong!
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Schleigg
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(Original post by iweb)
Hello, this is my first post in TSR community.

I am currently studying for the IB, my HL subjects are Chemistry, Biology and Maths. I'm planning what I should study at uni and I'm considering my future career opportunities, and I've essentially narrowed it down to two options: flying or medicine. I would probably apply for the BA Future Pilots Programme if I wanted to pursue that path.

I believe I am capable of either one, and I've done quite a bit of research on the two but I still CAN'T DECIDE!!



Flying:
Pros: Get paid to do what I love; exciting; at the moment I am marginally more interested in this; shorter training;

Cons: Might not get into BA FPP; what to study at uni?; could it get routine?; solid future for airline flying?; slightly worse pay than medicine;

Doctor:
Pros: More diverse working opportunities, so shouldn't get 'routine'; more respected; more of an opportunity to help people and make a difference; more definite future?

Cons: Longer training; at the moment I'm slightly less interested in it; longer hours than being a pilot?; too much NHS 'box-ticking' and paperwork?

I would really appreciate people's views on this, what do you think the outlook is like for both careers? Anyone had a similar dilemma?

Be a doctor. Earn lots of money and fly as a hobby.

Airline flying is boring, tedious and unexciting. You'll get sick of it after 6 months maximum. Military flying is more exciting but nowhere near as well paid or good in terms of lifestyle.
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iweb
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(Original post by Schleigg)
Airline flying is boring, tedious and unexciting. You'll get sick of it after 6 months maximum.
(Original post by Drewski)
And airline flying is not exciting flying. If it is, you're doing it wrong!
I thought this might be the case, does anyone else think the same? Wouldn't it be quite exciting though, going to all the different destinations?

(Original post by Schleigg)
Military flying is more exciting but nowhere near as well paid or good in terms of lifestyle.
I know, I thought about this and found the same thing. Plus I only just have 6/6 vision at the moment, it may go away soon...


Thanks for your replies!
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Drewski
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(Original post by iweb)
I thought this might be the case, does anyone else think the same? Wouldn't it be quite exciting though, going to all the different destinations?
Airline pilots think the same - I have several friends in the industry (BA, Cathay Pacific, Easyjet, Ryannair, etc) and they all agree it's not exciting. They love it because it's what they want to do, but it isn't an exciting thrill-a-minute affair.

And depending on your job the different destinations aren't all that. If you're on short haul you'll probably only ever see the airports of those places, always making it home to whichever UK airport you're based at.
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Anon217
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(Original post by iweb)
Hello, this is my first post in TSR community.

I am currently studying for the IB, my HL subjects are Chemistry, Biology and Maths. I'm planning what I should study at uni and I'm considering my future career opportunities, and I've essentially narrowed it down to two options: flying or medicine. I would probably apply for the BA Future Pilots Programme if I wanted to pursue that path.

I believe I am capable of either one, and I've done quite a bit of research on the two but I still CAN'T DECIDE!!



Flying:
Pros: Get paid to do what I love; exciting; at the moment I am marginally more interested in this; shorter training;

Cons: Might not get into BA FPP; what to study at uni?; could it get routine?; solid future for airline flying?; slightly worse pay than medicine;

Doctor:
Pros: More diverse working opportunities, so shouldn't get 'routine'; more respected; more of an opportunity to help people and make a difference; more definite future?

Cons: Longer training; at the moment I'm slightly less interested in it; longer hours than being a pilot?; too much NHS 'box-ticking' and paperwork?

I would really appreciate people's views on this, what do you think the outlook is like for both careers? Anyone had a similar dilemma?

Hi. I'm in the same boat (except considering a career as a pilot vs law). From what I've gathered, and as the other posters have said, being a pilot is generally not what's it's sometimes cracked up to be and there is little job security. But if you get past the negatives it can be very regarding and the pay will eventually improve.

As for medicine, I don't know much but if you think it's not going to interest you, you may as well go for the career that will. You mentioned uni...from the research I've done, there isn't really a requirement for a degree in the UK/Europe but it can make you stand out of the competition in the airline business and can also provide you with a back-up career.

I personally have decided to go to uni but still considering becoming a pilot and may start training later if I make a final decision on it. From what you've written though it sounds like you want to go for it, so all I can say is weigh up your pros/cons and make a decision. Good luck with what you decide
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AyeFaye
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It's pretty much impossible to get a job as a pilot. Ridiculously competitive. Better chances being a Doctor.
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yraf
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A career in aviation is ridicously competitive and expensive. Not to say, if it's what you want to do you should go for it. But there are methods. It's naive to think you fly all the time. Most pilots are given schedules and sometimes don't fly for long periods of times. Many are sent on leave for months even years. The biggest problem is fluctuations in the economy. Any risk at oil prices or even the economy can have detrimental effects on your aviation career. The best thing to do is obtain a career in medicine and practice for however long as necessary. The benefit of this is you will now have a solid prestigious degree which will benefit you in the long run. Now it is safe to say many long term pilots have a secure job in the heights of superb airlines such as emirates and qatar. The problem is you start your career in budget airlines such as easyJet or monarch. Any fluctuations in the economy that causes a recession can mean your job is lost in this market. Jobs in the middle east are more secure as their economy is more secure. After your degree in medicine you should save money and then go into a career in aviation. It might seem hard but if you really want to fly this is the best way to do it. You now have a secure degree which will benefit you if you are struck off or lose your piloting job. Another is that you can raise the necessary funds to train as a pilot which range from 100k+. Safe to say that in the long run, becoming a doctor is easier and more secure. It is harder to become a pilot than a doctor with the same determination as there is no shortage of pilots while there is high demand for doctors. What you need to understand is that after your degree in aviation you will be in heavy debt. By getting a job with a 20k salary, you will struggle, thus, secure your funds, secure your job, and you will secure your life. Think long term, neither job is easy, but go for what you want to go for, only think logically about it. Hope this helps.
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pug
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I think if you have to ask the question in the first place then perhaps you don't have the true passion required to get you on a tagged scheme/get you through the training if you went modular part time..

I've been for a couple if cadet schemes recently, and for those who get far on these things and/get offered places, it is the only thing they have ever wanted to do.
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Emma K
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I know this is an extreme case - but is it possible to become both a doctor and a pilot? I'm thinking military here- there's no way one could be a commercial pilot and have time to be a doctor that I've come across. It would be grand to get to utilise many skills and get to cater to all of my interests - any suggestions? I've heard of 'flight surgeons' or 'pilot surgeons' before, but as far as I've heard they do not have to be pilots to be doctors.

Many thanks!!
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Drewski
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(Original post by Emma K)
I know this is an extreme case - but is it possible to become both a doctor and a pilot? I'm thinking military here- there's no way one could be a commercial pilot and have time to be a doctor that I've come across. It would be grand to get to utilise many skills and get to cater to all of my interests - any suggestions? I've heard of 'flight surgeons' or 'pilot surgeons' before, but as far as I've heard they do not have to be pilots to be doctors.

Many thanks!!
I believe I'm right in saying that the flight surgeon role is an American one. While there are roles in the UK military where some similar functions are performed, I think you've got the wrong end of the stick slightly. They aren't qualified pilots and qualified doctors. They're doctors who specialise in aviation related medicine. So that may be performing the aircrew medicals, crewing evacuation flights, potentially even working on board the helicopters that rescue troops in a warzone.

I don't believe there'd be any role in the world which would require you to be dual qualified in that sense.
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Schleigg
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It's interesting how you think that a commercial pilot wouldn't have time to be a doctor, yet a military pilot would? Do military pilots not have as much to do or something? :P
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Rhyss01
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This may not be the right to ask the is question.....but, I was diagnosed with colour deficiency 3 years ago, I'm not exactly sure what type but I may take a visit to my opticians to receive the full details on it. I know this may put me at a disadvantage but I still have a chance at being a commercial pilot? I have no illness' or anything like that as far as I know of so some of the medical I think I'll pass and I also have 20/20 vision. Thanks.

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vandna
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When you are passionate about something, you should never have boundaries nor be bound by someone or something.

Unfortunately being a doctor or a commercial pilot is the same thing if you are working for someone else so it comes down to passion and what wakes you up in the morning.

If you really want to HELP people, medicine is your route. If you want respect and reverence over your passion for flying, then this is not the route for you. Remember being a doctor is not glamorous. Doctors create an image for acknowledgement but lets not forget that they are ultimately public servants. You will be exposed to sick, disturbed, injured, helpless and dead people everyday. You have no choice but to do this every day and help people. It could be rewarding but also emotionally and physically draining. You could open up a private practice where you will possibly be dispensing basic medication for the rest of your life and you will not be mentally stimulated. You will be bound by time and not have much leeway for yourself or your family as you will require a steady stream of funds which will limit your personal time.

If flying wakes you up in the morning and creates the excitement within, then this is your route. You will not be doing this for acknowledgement or respect. Though you are transporting millions of people safely across the globe and being at complete peace within yourself at the same time. You could even study aeronautical engineering and steer the airline industry into the future. The downside is family time as this job is around the clock.

So it comes down to who you are and where you want to be.

Good luck, i know you will make the right decision for YOU.
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MarieJosephine
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What are your SL?? And what qualifications would you need for being a pilot??
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Chris.N
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Hey. I’m a pilot and I want you to know what I’d do if I were in your Shoes. I’d definitely go for the BA Future Pilots programme. It’s because of its reputation. But remember. BA FPP isn’t the only path of becoming a pilot. You can get your pilots license, An EASA approved PPL CPL ATPL MER and IR done for many European country. And there’s many option out there for you. Considering you living in The UK. You can join the Virgin Atlantic Cadet pilot program after you get your licenses and there onwards you can start your career. Make sure you gather up 1500 Jet turbine hours. And the world will be on your palm. You can join any airliner you want. And it will be worth all the money you spent. You’d probably make it in a year. This whole process will take you at least 4 to 5 years. But trust me. It’s worth it.
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