Path to become an airline pilot
In general and from my understanding, there are three types of pilot license. PPL (Private Pilot License), CPL (Commercial Pilot License), and ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot License). I have non of that and zero wing time. So this is starting from scratch. I think a CPL is needed to enter into any airline to be in the cockpit? Where a captain requires an ATPL?
Approach: from my understanding, there are four ways to enter into the career.
Military: but this is really hard to get in and I heard you have to be nearly perfect in everything, marks in high school, college, medical condition above standard of airline pilot requirement, very clear family background, etc. Is this true?
Flight School: this method is one of the lower cost path, you can get PPL while working full time and attend evening courses, but will this get you a CPL/ATPL and how long will a take?
College School: Some college offers aviation program along with a degree. Usually takes 4 years *correct me if I am wrong*, this will cost quite a lot ($75,000 CAD approx I was told in Canada) but you come out with CPL along with necessary ratings for airliners and will most likely get hired right away.
Cadet Pilot Program: training offered by an airline, usually two years and you will become a second officer. This is what I am mostly interested in but have some questions. How hard is it to get accepted? Do you have to pay anything for training? Since you are technically employed by the airliner once they accepted you, are you paid during training?
Making a living: I can survive (food/water/shelter idea) with my current IT position, I am not looking to make big money like kids dreaming. I just want a career change, instead of sitting in the office on a computer everyday doing routine things, I want something different everyday. There are lots of myth saying pilot's paid are poor, low, no job security. True? When you fly to another city/country as a pilot with an airline, do they pay for your hotel for the night or are you totally on your own? *this might sound silly but I really don't know*
Any advice will be appreciated.