Careercast.com, a career oriented website, released today the list of the most stressful jobs in the united states. Guess who is ranking first ?... us, skippers of the skies. While I definitely agree that this profession is very stressful, I would have to say that I can find numerous other jobs that are, if not more, at least equally challenging on a day to day basis. To be more representative, the survey should have been more oriented toward quality of life. I am saying this because some of the key points that they mentioned, including an average six figures paycheck and 9 hours of work per day is completely wrong and make people wonder what can be so stressful about thoses decent work conditions. The truth is, this job might deserve the number one spot for other reasons. To start, I would have mentioned the fact that pilots are usually reimbursing close to 100000 dollars of tuition fees and that the pay at regionals is between 20000 and 50000 for about the first ten years. If you are even lucky to get there because for the past few years, thousands of us have been furloughed thanks to the oil price and subsequent cost cutting plans and unlike other professions, our experience is not really recognized. When we start at a new carrier, we start back at the bottom of the pay scale. It is also worth mentioning that the 9 hour work day that they give is unrealistic. Pilots are allow, by law, to be on duty up to 16 hours a day. And believe me, we do work that much. While we can usually only fly around 8 hours a day, we still spend the other half of the time, sitting at the gate preparing for the flights or coping with delays being at the mercy, most of the time, of the weather and traffic just like any passengers. And guess what folks... we dont get paid for that lost time. Add to this, the fact that every so often, pilots have to go back to the simulator and prove to the FAA and their companies by doing a checkride, that they are capable of flying and exercising good judgment. While this is necessary to continue having the best trained crewmembers in the cockpit, it is obvious that thoses checkrides are always stressful, regardless of how many you have done in your career. Mainly because as a pilot, your job is on the line everytime. I could also add the fact that half of the pilots have to commute to and from their base and often either sleep in a room with 5 other pilots in a so called crashpad at 300 dollars a month or try to jumpseat before the biginning of the trip and also at the end of it. All of thses factors add to fatigue and create a tremendous amount of stress and make the quality of life a little less attractive than what the article suggests. But just like doctors or firefighters, most of us are pursuing this job because of our passion for the job, hoping that by the time we retire ( without pension by the way ) we can look back and still say that it was a very rewarding career.
This is your new blog post. Click here and start typing, or drag in elements from the top bar.