Category Archives: Blog

Over 120 Students Enrolled in ACT

Coast Flight’s Airline Career Training (ACT) Program has been rapidly growing in size since its inception in August 2014. The ACT program currently has 120 actively training students, and is excited to welcome another 15 who will start in late February. The program offers participants the opportunity to earn an accredited, FAA-approved Associate’s Degree from Indian Hills Community College. Indian Hills has been ranked in the top 10 percent of community colleges in the nation, and offers online courses for ACT students to take classes while flight training in beautiful San Diego, CA.

The degree in Aviation Pilot Training can be completed while students are building their hours for their next flight rating. Once students have completed the required flight ratings, they may work as a Commercial Pilot with one of our airline partners, and continue to finish their studies online from wherever their flights may take them.

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ACT student Danny Perez shared, “This offer allows us the opportunity to gain a degree and flight train at the same time, which makes the process of obtaining a job in the airline industry much quicker. The online classes make it easy for me to keep my daily schedule and study around it. ACT has also made it easy to meet and fly with my peers. Indian Hills Community College is constantly ranked amongst the top community colleges in the nation, which lets me know I am getting a great education while I train.”

When the ACT program was first introduced, Coast was quick to make sure that they not only had a college partner to offer an online degree, but also airline partners who would help students make connections and jumpstart their careers in the airline industry. Coast has two partner airlines who allow students to join pipeline programs to becoming airline pilots. SkyWest Airlines has given all ACT students a conditional offer of employment prior to flight training in the ACT Program. Envoy Air, an American Airlines subsidiary, holds interviews with ACT students upon completion of their Instrument Rating certificate. If an ACT student is selected by Envoy, they will have a guaranteed position as a pilot at American Airlines.

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Will Dryden founded Coast Flight in 2008 and shared, “When I started the company, I always knew that combining professionalism and fun would result in the best pilots. Our job was to encourage each student’s passion for aviation to surface while we molded the best professional aviators! The idea was Over 120 Students Enrolled in ACT always to help people realize their passion for flight and start exploring the sky. We now have partnerships with two of the largest regional airlines in the United States, who represent almost 6,000 pilots, and a top rated school, which I could not be more excited about.”

The ACT Program also offers incentives for veterans, accepting up to 100% coverage for the program costs from the Post-9/11 GI Bill after Private Pilot. If students don’t have military benefits, they can get up to 100% financing and have advisors to help figure out how to make their dreams a reality.

“The ACT Program is a truly unique opportunity for our students.” added Coast’s President, Bryan Simmons, “They can get a job offer before ever starting flight training. Students also have the ability to expedite their training and degree, and get to live in the best city for flight training. Sunny San Diego allows our students to train on a more regular basis, which helps get them their ratings faster. The ultimate goal is to help them reach a career as an airline pilot, and we are happy to see that this goal is being achieved with over 120 students now in the program and well on their way to professional pilot careers.”

Pictured: Coast CFI Kristen Verdi now flying for SkyWest Airlines!

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New Data Reveals Airline Pilots Stand to Earn $7 Million Over Their Careers

New data reveals that a young American pilot starting out in today’s market can potentially earn $7 million over the next 44 years, assuming they make the right career moves along the way. Coast Flight projects that a 21-year-old aviator starting out as a flight instructor, following the school’s Airline Career Training (ACT) program, may be able to earn $7 million by the time they’re 65, assuming they follow the suggested path to a position as Captain for a major airline. Of course, salaries for airline pilots can vary widely based on factors such as experience, schooling, and the airline they are working for. When you look at the facts, though, there’s no denying that career aviators stand to earn a great deal of money in a job they love if they can go the distance. In the following post, we explain more about how pilots are paid, and how to get the most out of this rewarding career.

Encouraging Projections from Delta and SkyWest

Coast Flight’s Airline Career Training program is unique because it provides conditional job placement at SkyWest Airlines for the elite student pilots accepted into its ranks. According to PilotJobs.com, a First Officer at SkyWest Airlines may earn approximately $28,400 their first year, but by their fifth year they could be earning as much as $48,880. And if they are promoted to Captain in their sixth year, they could see this salary increase to as much as $81,520, which will continue increasing exponentially as their career advances. Moving on to a major airline such as Delta is recommended, though. Starting pay for a Delta Airlines 737-800 Pilot is $66,000. Upon promotion to Captain, though, Delta pilots earn a starting pay of $189,000. The top pay for a Delta Airlines Captain is approximately $205,000, but those flying a Boeing 777 can potentially earn $298,500 per year plus bonuses, or as much as $350,000 in one year.

Airline Pilot Career Earnings 2015

Going the Distance Pays Off

These figures may seem confusing, and if you’ve tried to do your own research on aviation salaries, you may be even more confused, as starting and ending pay for airline pilots varies so much. Each company pays its pilots differently, and since pilots are paid hourly the salary depends on how many hours one works in a year. There are wide variances between the pay for regional airline pilots and the pay for major airline pilots as well. According to figures from The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for airline pilots is $114,200, but starting pay for a regional airline First Officer could be as little as $28,000, while ending pay for a major airline Captain could be several hundred thousand per year. What this shows, however, is that going the distance pays off in the field of commercial aviation. Airline pilots have the potential to earn some of the top salaries in today’s job market, but it takes a few years to get there.

A Suggested Path for Career Pilots

Coast Flight’s ACT program is designed to give graduates a clear path to a career as an airline pilot, with job placement at regional SkyWest Airlines following the completion of their training in school and job experience as a flight instructor. After two years in flight instruction, pilots are ready to begin their placement as a First Officer for SkyWest Airlines. Three years later, the same pilot should be qualified to move up to a position of Captain for SkyWest. Ultimately, however, a pilot must take their years of experience at a regional airline to a position at a major airline to make the most out of this career. So, pilots are encouraged to move on to a position of First Officer for Coast’s partners at Delta Airlines by the end of their first decade in the field, which could potentially translate to a position as a Delta Airlines Captain some eight or so years later.

It all depends on the skill, discipline, hard work, and tenacity of the pilot, of course. But assuming that you have what it takes, you could start out making less than $30,000 a year as a flight instructor and end up making well over $200,000 a year by the time you retire from a major airline.