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Changing career towards aviation - how hard is it to get into the US Market.

Dan.T

New member
Hi friends! I've made a decision and I'm looking forward to change careers into aviation, but still looking for some advice as I'm pretty new to all this.
First off, the reason I'm chaging careers is basically because... I've been crazy about all things mechanical related since a kid, and lately I've gravitated towards aviation for some reason - and I feel like right now it's worth a shot,
and at the very least, a PPL would be one hell of a personal achievement. Just being able to fly something seems like a dream - as I bet pretty much all of you allready felt like that someday!

Obviously I'm not satisfied with my current career. Pretty darn different from aviation, apart from having to deal with people - as working with RH and labor laws is a def required must have.
By the way, I do have a Law deegree for that matter.

However, I'm not a US Citizen and I'm most likely taking my aviation training abroad. Luckly, I've been blessed with a knack for language skills and managed to get a pretty good hold on the english, allready feels like second nature,
so far as to say I'm fluent in it - and yes, I do speak to native speakers every single day. I know I have to obviously take some mandatory tests, probably all about ICAO's requirements for it, but I'm not talking about the technicalities,
I'm probably wondering how hard would it be for me to apply and get accepted into jobs in the US as I'm not american born.

I also have other concerns when it comes to having a hard shift towards aviation career, but I'll probably deal with those in other topics.

Appreciate the help folks, and as allways (as all foreigners do), sorry for the bad english =X
 

MsHighAltitude

Administrator
Staff member
Hello Dan and welcome. You need to be either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident (green card holder) to work for a U.S. carrier. However, a lot of foreign students train in the U.S. given the cheaper cost and weather.
 

Dan.T

New member
Thanks for replying!
Sorry I've been away for awhile, the holidays coming in and I've been getting my papers ready for PPL training.
Fun fact, during the medicals I found out I'm colorblind! Never new or noticed it my whole life. Thankfully it's a very minor version of it, as it doesn't impair my ability for civilian aviation, I'm all clear for training!

On the matter at hand, I've been checking out the whole exchange student situation and I've seen some ads on flight training on a student visa, and weirdly the costs are probably a little higher than where I live because of the exchange rates on USD. Flight hours are basically around the same price, given the current exchange rate.

However, most ads claim they get you CFI and some job interviews to fly on the regionals... I wonder if that's a good opportunity or social media clickbait. How do you guys feel on that? Is it an interesting addition to my CV? Or should I just go the regular way and getting into commercial aviation where I live mostly based on cost?

On a side note, I live in a heavy agricultural region (midwestern Brazil) and agriculturalaviation is a good option to build flight hours - as I myself have my roots on farming.

I've also heard the US market has been recovering from the pandemic on a steady (and maybe a slow) pace, and aviationwise it's no different, as it seems most airline companies took onto it to expedite the retirement of career employees.
 

MsHighAltitude

Administrator
Staff member
Or should I just go the regular way and getting into commercial aviation where I live mostly based on cost?
It depends on what your end goal is. If you just want to get your PPL, or you plan to stay and work in Brazil, training in your home country seems to be a sensible choice, especially when costs are about the same. If you want to work in the U.S., the issue goes beyond flight training. A flight school can train you all the way to CFI, but then what would you do afterwards?
 

Dan.T

New member
It depends on what your end goal is. If you just want to get your PPL, or you plan to stay and work in Brazil, training in your home country seems to be a sensible choice, especially when costs are about the same. If you want to work in the U.S., the issue goes beyond flight training. A flight school can train you all the way to CFI, but then what would you do afterwards?
Well, working in Brazil could be quite comfy as in being a little closer to family and all, but if something else appears along the way to work anywhere else, I'd tend to have no problem moving and living abroad.
I'm just wondering if having flight experience/training the US would be an interesting addition to my career as a pilot - as you guys have the largest airports in the world with huge amounts of traffic, with very diverse weather conditions all across the board... I know that obviously that wouldn't be the norm during flight training, but being around and networking with real pilots that deal with that on a daily basis could be an interesting experience, other than just sticking around.

Working as a flight instructor? I feel like that would be a pretty cool experience as I've been interested in teaching ever since I started college. That's def my mid-range goal here, and I've allready been getting my stuff ready to move to a different state (probably a couple months) in order to get my training.
But, if I'm really being honest to myself, end goal is probably a solid career in airline companies. Home based in Brazil would be a nice addition, but I'm not oposed or have any major problems with living abroad and resettling in different locations.
 

Plague

Active member
Fun fact, during the medicals I found out I'm colorblind!
8% of men are colour blind, or more correctly, have a colour vision deficiency. Usually red-green.
But as you've found, it's often only detected by tests.

But, if I'm really being honest to myself, end goal is probably a solid career in airline companies. Home based in Brazil would be a nice addition, but I'm not oposed or have any major problems with living abroad and resettling in different locations.
From what you've said I feel you'd probably be better staying home until you at least have PPL or better, if only because there is no guarantee it will go as planned, and it will be easier to regroup on your home turf.
It may also be easier to get visas, etc, if you already have some flying experience and paperwork.

By then the world may have settled down a bit as well and more options to fly in other countries may appear and appeal to you.
 

MsHighAltitude

Administrator
Staff member
8% of men are colour blind, or more correctly, have a colour vision deficiency. Usually red-green.
8% is pretty high! Almost 1 in 10. Does that mean one is more likely to know a color blind man than a female airman? 🤔

There are other types besides red-green? I wonder what these colors look like to someone whose color vision is deficient.
 

Dan.T

New member
8% of men are colour blind, or more correctly, have a colour vision deficiency. Usually red-green.
But as you've found, it's often only detected by tests.

From what you've said I feel you'd probably be better staying home until you at least have PPL or better, if only because there is no guarantee it will go as planned, and it will be easier to regroup on your home turf.
It may also be easier to get visas, etc, if you already have some flying
Thanks for all the support guys, really appreciate it! Have a good 2022!
 

Plague

Active member
8% is pretty high! Almost 1 in 10. Does that mean one is more likely to know a color blind man than a female airman?
Almost certainly, though maybe not in a crew room.

There are other types besides red-green? I wonder what these colors look like to someone whose color vision is deficient.
The common use of the term colour blind has completely mislead most people. It's not seeing in monochrome or being unable to see a particular colour at all in most cases. (It does happen but it's rare.)
In most cases it's a reduced sensitivity to some colour or difficulty distinguishing between two colours. The latter is what those 'spot the number in the dot pattern' cards are to check.
Even the 8% of men can probably see red and green traffic lights, but if those lights were pinpoints of, say, navigation lights in the distance they could struggle.

I had to research this year's ago because a customer for a control system I was building the HMI for insisted it had to be proof against the 1 in 10 of his operators who would be red colour blind and thus unable to see motor or valve symbols turn red.
The really stupid thing? This was at a steelworks with extensive rail operations. To get to the control room you had to drive across several crossings which were protected by a red light illuminated when a train was approaching - no green or amber, just red or off. I assume 1 in 10 of his operators didn't always make it to work.
 

Sonerai

Active member
Traffic lights are red on the top to stop and green on the bottom to go, so color does not matter to a color blind person
 

Plague

Active member
Thanks for all the support guys, really appreciate it! Have a good 2022!
I hope you get your aviation career 'off the ground' in 2022.
Let us know what happens - good, bad or just ugly.

(BtB, I thought I'd posted this before #9 above, but ... brain fart or something.)
 

321Captain

Active member
For Dan T. You obviously are motivated, and that will serve you well. You also need to plan out your goals. You don’t just go from zero to airline job. It takes time and planning. The good people on this site can guide you through the things that you will need to do each step in your progression. But it does require a huge amount of investment in money and time and study to get to a seat in an airline cockpit. Totally something that you can do, but I think you should have a look into the details before just changing careers.
 
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affinity4aviation

Active member
Thanks for replying!
Sorry I've been away for awhile, the holidays coming in and I've been getting my papers ready for PPL training.
Fun fact, during the medicals I found out I'm colorblind! Never new or noticed it my whole life. Thankfully it's a very minor version of it, as it doesn't impair my ability for civilian aviation, I'm all clear for training!

On the matter at hand, I've been checking out the whole exchange student situation and I've seen some ads on flight training on a student visa, and weirdly the costs are probably a little higher than where I live because of the exchange rates on USD. Flight hours are basically around the same price, given the current exchange rate.

However, most ads claim they get you CFI and some job interviews to fly on the regionals... I wonder if that's a good opportunity or social media clickbait. How do you guys feel on that? Is it an interesting addition to my CV? Or should I just go the regular way and getting into commercial aviation where I live mostly based on cost?

On a side note, I live in a heavy agricultural region (midwestern Brazil) and agricultural aviation is a good option to build flight hours - as I myself have my roots on farming.

I've also heard the US market has been recovering from the pandemic on a steady (and maybe a slow) pace, and aviation wise it's no different, as it seems most airline companies took onto it to expedite the retirement of career employees.
Mark, flight instructor + teaches at FIT, + has his students learn from Kelsey's U-Tube videos. He teaches many foreign students. Some are chosen by their government. He said it's a lot more work+ time than some realize, + that not all the students have the aptitude, dedication + skill set to become a commercial pilot. It's quite competitive. If you eventually want to get your green card to work for a U.S. carrier, school in the U.S. would be a good start + good networking. (My father did this when he moved from Norway to the U.S. for college + was hired by an American co.) A British friend got sponsored by an American co. to get his green card. You generally need to have a skill set that is hard to find, or in high demand, to get sponsored. Your language skills will help you, as many places want bilingual Spanish speakers. You can research your options. FAPA.aero has mentors + resources.
 
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