I was 33, my buddy was 35 and we were flying helicopters in the military. He says he's going into the airlines and tries to talk me into going with him. No way, I've got it too good. I love helicopters.
I've been in EMS now for 25 years. I make just over 100k without workover. 45 years of flying helicopters.
My buddy has been with United now for 30 years. Makes 350K flying a 787 around the world, but he's had some really great gigs along the way. They pick him up at the airport, put him in a nice hotel, always flies 1st class, and works about 14 days a month. He does 18 hour flights, two full crews. One for enroute and one for takeoffs and landings. Stays in great places at company expense in places like Singapore, Australia, Bankok, etc. (can't spell any of those).
He says the shortage is just starting to kick in. There even buying training schools to get pilots trained and moved up into United.
I promise you, if I was even 40, I would be making the move. Life is really much better with the airlines. Yea, there are a few years up front you pay your dues, but you're paid handsomely after that.