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Home > Becoming a Pilot > Who is more professional... a doctor or pilot?
Who is more professional... a doctor or pilot?
Pilot Career - Becoming a Pilot
Thursday, 22 May 2008 08:16

Hi Captain Lim,

Just want to ask... Who is more professional... a doctor or pilot?  My mother keeps on saying doctors are the ones who earn a lot of money. But I do not quite agree with her.


Recently, I found out that pilots in MAS can earn up to RM 36,000.00 a month with qualifications. I am pretty sure a doctor cannot earn as much as that.

So, the one and only Captain Lim, could you please give me the answer to this question?

Well, I am certainly going to be pilot as it is the best job in the whole wide world. LONG LIVE PILOTS!



Hi Satia,

I am afraid your Mum may be right. A doctor (who is a specialist) generally earns more than a pilot. It is also true that a pilot in Malaysia Airlines (when he becomes a captain on the Boeing 747 or 777 with some seniority) can earn around RM 36,000.00 a month.

Whether an airline pilot is one of the best jobs in the world is a very subjective question. Working is just not about money. You have to love what you do. Personally, I love my job as it gives me a lot of satisfaction. On the other hand, I do hear some complaints (lifestyle of being away from the family occasionally, working unusual hours, frequent monthly checks, etc) now and then about this profession as well.

You generally have to be at least a straight A's student to get into the medical college whereas the entry to become an airline pilot is not necessarily as high in comparison. However, having good academic results is not a guarantee of getting into a good airline. Amongst others, you need to have that certain aptitude (together with the right attitude) to get through the selection and interviewing process for that flying job.

I once flew with my First Officer who told me he opted to become a pilot instead of being a doctor even though he was a straight A's student. I asked him why... he told me his father was a doctor and all his siblings are doctors too. So he wanted to be different even though his father had persuaded him to follow his footstep! He is now a captain on the Airbus A330.

I also know of a newly graduated doctor who became a pilot. Somehow he could not take the stress of the job and quitted. Now, I tell you something. Airline pilots, unlike most other professions, are subject to constant monitoring of their performance every six months. Well, this is quite a stress that comes with the job. I believe, this monitoring culture is not a normal practice in the medical profession.

You can read this informal insight on the medical/pilot profession by Dr JB Lim (not related to me) and he has a column (Dr JB Lim's Corner) in my website as well.

So, my conclusion is... both jobs are equally professional. It is all up to you to decide on which route to take. The future is in your hands!

Looking at your passion, I think you would probably be an airline pilot one day Smile !

I wish you all the best !


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thank you :)
found your blog, LOVING every minute of it...brilliant information- thank you for your time spent giving back to this online community!
thanks, kristy
wrecklessgirl , 23 May, 2008
this site gives so much insight into the pilot profession ..

i'm a med student and contemplating a career change ..
contemplating , 01 Feb, 2009
It's all good about being a pilot..except for one thing, being away from the family, and that's something everyone should consider. But like he said..look into you passion i guess.
Thanks smilies/smiley.gif
Phoenix , 07 Feb, 2009
Hi..I'm a graduate Dentist and just finishing from 1 years training after i graduate..
Actually..my dream is to become an airline pilot..but before i didn't have the sufficient money for the flying courses..so,i decided to enter my mother career(as my mother is a dentist !!!)
Now.am 27 years old and i come back to my dream...
I'll do it..yes
i have a bank stament for sufficent funds ..and am going to USA to a flying academy to become an airline pilot..
My advice to you is keep going..Don't listen to any one..if you love flying go for it..go to your dream..and you can do it..
Hope for you the best..
Dr.Anas kassem
Anas Kassem , 26 Mar, 2009
career change
hi Capt. Lim,

first of all, i'd like to thank you for creating such an astounding website! there are but few websites that does it this well. I am a 5th year medical student now, and seriously considering a career change. I have developed an interest in becoming a pilot just recently (say a couple of years now). But i don't know whether its still possible for me to do so. (I'm 23 now and by the time i finish i would already be 24 approaching 25) any advice capt. lim?
syed , 15 Jun, 2009
i am 15 in school i want to become a doctor or a pilot i dont know which one to chose this website gived me lots of information thank you.smilies/cheesy.gif
lil , 25 Jan, 2010
i want to be a pilot
i want to ask that when you want to be a pilot how much do you earn,how long does it take to be a pilot and which school must go to around Gauteng in South Africasmilies/smiley.gif if you know PLEASE HELP ME call me on 0743527549/0726356394 and if you don't get me try 072 219 7273 and say that you want to talk to Blessing about to be a pilot GOD BLESS YOU ALL IN JESUS NAMEsmilies/wink.gif
blessing , 06 Jun, 2012
pilots and doctors are nearly the same.
pilots and doctors are almost the same, neither knows daylight nor night.

Nothing personal, My boyfriend is a pilot, he wakes up early and gets ready and heads to the airport. While I'm a doctor at the main hospital taking care of patients the moment i wake up. Both of us have the same habbit, we get early phone calls from the company telling us job description, we could work up to 24 hours nonstop, we rarely stay at home with families, we take care of peoples lives, even more specific pilots plan their flight as we plan a surgery. Being a doctor or a pilot i'd say it's a choice, if you like it most you could go for it, because you do best if you do enjoy what you do smilies/wink.gif
Sara Bali , 01 Sep, 2012
Both are very specialised professions
Both pilots and doctors are very skilled and have to undergo specialised training to get where they need to be. I would say they have to be 'equal' in terms of professionalism on the job.
But there are obvious differences. From a job point of view in South East Asia, I would hazard to guess that a doctor's job is more secure and he is less likely to be furloughed...A private specialist doctor could earn comfortably more than any captain (Capt Lim is right). A doctor's job is depressing sometimes because we cannot cure everything, but the satisfaction a doctor gets when his patient recovers is hard to find elsewhere.
Still, I have often thought about becoming a pilot. You might say that pilots (or aspiring pilots) are born, not made. It is not realistic for me now to try and join an airline, but I think in the next one or two years I will go try and get my PPL.
Por , 13 Sep, 2012
which is more tough... pilot or doctor
i love to become airline pilot... i think it is one of the glamorous job in the world...
faiz , 01 Nov, 2012
Im a med student, my passion was always aviation i truly just want to be up in the skies, however i find myself also loving the brain, and i wish to be a surgeon; its fairly difficult. Now as for the money if i where to be a well established pilot i wouldnt make half the money of a normal neurosurgeon; its confusing. :/smilies/wink.gif
Uthman Younis , 25 Sep, 2015
Pilot or a Doctor (Because of some one)
I'm a student who always wanted become a pilot.But I am also interested in medical field because I was tend by a person.Where that person demands her self because of her money.Actually I was interested in these two fields because they are well payed. But money isn't the life .As brother advice everyone if you are interested in someone see whether she really cares you. Don't change your future.Do what you love .

Arosha Alankarage , 13 Oct, 2016
msg to phoenix,Not all pilots are being away from their family..it depends on which type of airline you will apply for..Long haul flights are the ones that pilots need to be away from his family for 2 days or even for 1 week.....Im a pilot's wife,my husband is everyday going home from work cos their airlines has a short haul flight..and also it depends on the roster of the airlines but mostly long haul flights are the ones that pilots are not able to go home everynight..
Chris , 03 May, 2017
Your choosing criteria are pathetic...glamour, respect, money...

Especially being a doctor with these principles...
Andy , 05 Aug, 2017

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