Should I pay for a rating?

There is a job available, you have the hours required, but they have added one sentence that pretty much rules you out. RATED ON TYPE….

Before I go further, I just want to say that this is my opinion, others may differ, so please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Also please vote below to see what the general consensus is!

Let me start off by saying that I have paid for a rating on a plane to get a job, I had however already signed a contract and all I needed to do was get rated on a Cessna 210. This was luckily not a lot of money compared to other ratings pilots get out there these days.

Unfortunately as new pilots we get put in this situation one way or another. The competition we are against grows more and more every year, so how can we set ourselves apart from the rest and maybe stand out from the rest of the CV’s in the huge pile on the Chief Pilots desk? Well for some that is to get and pay for a type rating for the job we are applying for. Doing this is not cheap and definitely does not guarantee you a job, so why do people do it? I can only imagine it is because everyone else is doing it and therefore by not doing it you are pretty much counting yourself out.

My opinion on the whole matter is that unless I had a guaranteed job with a signed contract and the promise of getting that money back after a certain amount of years served in the company I would not do it! I think it has ruined the market for all the young pilots out there that can not afford to go pay for a R100,000.00 rating on a 1900 just to have a slim chance of landing a job. And now that it is almost becoming the norm companies have caught on and now won’t even look at pilots without the respective rating. I mean it makes business sense to hire someone with a rating rather than spending that money getting the pilot rated.

Just a few of the recent jobs I have seen who have this requirement:
I think most Botswana companies require you to come with a rating
Malian Aero Company
Equaflight Service
Wilderness Air (not a requirement, but advantage)
Kishugu Aviation (not a requirement, but advantage)

Now I have nothing against these companies or the pilots who go pay for the ratings, that is their own choice and money to spend, I just think there are better ways to go about this that would keep both parties happy.

For example the Bond. Now this I think is a completely fair way to go about this issue. Let us say for example I apply for a job on a 1900, I don’t have the rating, but at the interview I am told that if I get the job that I will be bonded for 2 years of service and if I do leave before that time is up I will have to pay for the bond, or I pay for the rating upfront and get reimbursed on completion of those 2 years. I think this way the company will get commitment from a pilot and the pilot gets a rating. This is how the company I work for works.

Anyway in the end I think the it is not necessarily the companies faults that this is all happening, I have heard stories of pilots getting a rating paid for by a company just to pack his/her bags a month later and move on to a new job, how people do this I don’t know, but that is some of the reason why we are in the position we are now.

Please leave comments below on your own experience, whether you agree or don’t and what you could recommend for others to help stand out from the crowd.

Lastly, below is a list of some of the current rating costs I have been able to find:

A320
R 310,000.00 (If you don’t have jet time or JOC, MCC courses it is extra)

B737
R 310,000.00 (If you don’t have jet time or JOC, MCC courses it is extra)

B1900
R 90,000.00 (full motion sim)

Would you pay for a rating?

2 Comments on “Should I pay for a rating?”

  1. Hey Mike
    I share your opinion on this, it’s becoming ridiculous in some places!
    Now how long is the bond at Susi Air?

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Pascal, thanks for reading. I know, it has become!
      With Susi we pay the bond upfront and get reimbursed after 2 years as a captain. What is it like for you?

      Cheers!

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