I just wrote about some ways to make sure that both pay and Quality of Life are fantastic once you get to a major airline. Here’s a teaser:
Dear TPN, I just made $4,400 flying to New York and back for a slice of pizza. How was your day at work?
No, I’m not exaggerating or kidding you. While this is far from an everyday occurrence, each of us has the power to increase the likelihood of getting good deals by choosing what companies we apply for and then what categories we bid for once landing a job.
(In airline speak, “category” is the seat you occupy on the aircraft you fly, and the base from which your trips start and finish. This time last year, my category was Atlanta B717 FO. My current category is NYC A220 FO. This time next year, my category will be NYC A220 Captain. https://community.thepilotnetwork.org/posts/emet-why-did-you-take-a-junior-captain-seat)
The three different categories I’ve flown since starting at Delta each represented a unique combination of Quality of Life (QOL) factors. (Most of) my intent here is not to brag, but use these situations, along with some general industry insight, to present you with a comparison. I hope this will help you shop for jobs and categories in the future…or at least give you something new to debate around the flight school water cooler or while you pretend to work on TPS reports and science projects in your military cubicles.