You’re heart really has to be “in it to win it”. If working in aviation is just another job to you, it might not be for you as there are long hours, crappy schedules, dangerous working conditions, low pay, etc. And don’t think I’m trying to steer you away. All I’m saying is it takes someone who either loves aviation, wants to maybe someday be a pilot, or just likes to travel. Because at the end of the day, unless you’re in upper management, the true money will never be there.
I started with Southwest as a Provisioning Agent while I was in college in 1993 making $5/hr or something like that. Within 2 years and once out of college I moved over to the ramp. Within a year I was in Operations. I saw the potential in climbing the ladder so I stuck with it and didn’t pursue my dream of flying. In fact I opened the MHT station back in June? 1998 as an Operations Supervisor. I still remember we had 2 1/2 gates, 8 flights between BWI, MDW, BNA, MCO, and MCI. Back then, pre-9/11, I was allowed to ride up front with the pilots and it rekindled my desire to be a pilot. I gave up my SWA career in 2001 to follow my dream. When I left I was at $17/hr (corrected for today based on inflation, that would be $29/hr)
Little did I know that a few short months later the whole aviation industry would change. I went from a good paying job with SWA to flat broke not being able to find a flying job anywhere. I ended up fueling planes at an FBO at $7/hr just to make ends meet but I still couldn’t and had my truck repossessed, credit ruined, etc.
In aviation, you have to be flexible. To follow my dream I had to move to some pretty obscure places. But those places and the various journeys have led me to where I am now which is a very good place. Yes, it was hard, but I kept my head up as much as possible even in the darkest of times. Sorry, got a bit off track there. ;-)
Good luck in whatever road you pick to drive down. You never know where it will lead.