A friend of mine from ATP hit me up for a little advice recently.
Right now he has a nice gig as a Dispatcher instructor at a Flight Simulation company. He works 8-5 Monday thru Friday and has a very nice paycheck.
A few weeks ago he interviewed at an airline and was offered a job. At first he was happy about it, then had second thoughts.
He's married and is planning on buying a house and starting a family. Going to an airline would mean a big cut in pay and quality of life (no more 8-5 Monday thru Friday). The financial hit would mean no house for a while.
When his employer found out they offered him a huge carrot. Stay and they will GIVE him a 737 type rating and allow him to instruct the 737 ground school.
He hit up several former ATP pilots for advice. Most of them were single...no kids...no house. They all said go to the airline.
I was a bit different. I am married...kiddo on the way and have had a house for several years. My advice was wishy washy, "depends on what your long term goals are."
Getting on with an airline would start his seniority, but getting a house would be next to impossible. He stated his pay would be cut by 2/3rds. Also he could kiss his weekends goodbye for a while. Having the 737 type rating could come in handy in the future and at least he knows he can pass an airline interview.
On the other hand, the travel benefits are amazing. My wife and I love sitting on the couch Friday night discussing what to do for the weekend. Being able to say, "How about eating BBQ tomorrow.....in Memphis" or "Hey lets go to Vancouver for the night and visit Niagara Falls" or our favorite, "Flights to Vegas look doable" ,is awesome.
In the end he had already decided to stay put. Makes the most sense. Going from a good paying "8-5 Monday thru Friday" job to a regional is rough. I know....been there, done that have the small bank account to prove it.
He is in a good spot. Having the 737 type rating will be a nice asset. In a few years he can get on with a regional or corporate, build up some hours and be able to apply to just about any airline as the 737 is the most popular airliner in the world.