Airline and commercial pilots operate various aircraft, including commercial airplanes, military helicopters, and private planes.
Pilots must check the aircraft’s condition before every flight, monitor the plane’s weight balance, verify fuel supply, and weather conditions, and submit flight plans to air traffic control.
And this is just the beginning of what pilots must do daily. If you think you have the right stuff to fly, read on about potential career paths for future airline pilots.
Military or Civilian Path
Initially, you need to make one immediate decision regarding potential career paths for future airline pilots: Do you want to receive military training or civilian training? The big advantage of military training is that it is free of cost.
The American taxpayer pays for your training, and you’re able to fly state-of-the-art aircraft. However, this route does require you to serve 10 years of military service, and, of course, face the potential perils therein.
A civilian path to being an airline pilot can be expensive. It requires an undergraduate degree (aviation or another related field), flight school with airline pilot training, and thousands of hours of flight time to work for a commercial airline.
Costs can run between $60,000-$100,000 or more. After this training, and depending on what type of training you receive, you will be ready to start your professional career as an airline pilot.
Civilian Occupations for Pilots
Fly for an airline:
Of course, this is one of the top assignments for a pilot. It requires exhaustive flight training and, typically, a bachelor’s degree—though smaller regional airlines might only require a two-year college degree.
Airline pilots need to have the capacity to handle large aircraft and make decisions in the best interest of everyone on board. And they must be able to do this under adverse conditions. Safely flying a multi-engine plane carrying hundreds of passengers is the ultimate pilot responsibility.
Flying corporate planes:
Corporate flying involves flying private jets, usually owned by corporations. The job has its benefits and drawbacks. Of course, you get to fly all over the world while earning a living.
There is usually lots of ground time for a corporate pilot, which gives you plenty of time to investigate other cultures and locations. The downside can be the lack of regulation, as corporate pilots often have to fly for long hours, in any weather, and at all times of the day and night. Regardless, these can be lucrative, hard-to-get jobs.
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Teaching the next generation of pilots:
Being a flight instructor is not easy. It requires patience and a love for small airplanes. It might be easy to discount a career as a flight instructor due to the low pay and limited advancement opportunities.
But many people can make a decent living out of it. It also comes with flexibility, freeing you from a tight airline schedule of airlines that involves weekends and holidays.
There are many more options open to airline pilots as well. Test pilot, piloting for charities, piloting for the government, and more. All these positions will require individualized training but are open to you if you’re willing to go the extra mile.
We hope this brief guide on potential careers for future airline pilots will help you to choose the career you love.
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