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Why You Should Consider a Career as a Pilot

Did you ever dream of becoming a pilot as a kid? Why not make that dream a reality? Here are a few considerations for choosing a career as a pilot.

Did you ever dream of becoming a pilot as a kid? Why not make that dream a reality?

If you’re trying to figure out your career options, I can understand how those questions might sound jarring to you. Becoming a pilot might sound as ridiculous as the notion of becoming an astronaut, but it’s actually a viable vocation in need of skilled professionals. Now is a better time than ever to consider going to flight school, setting down the path towards a career in commercial or airline-affiliated piloting. In an economy where jobs are scarce and solid career opportunities even scarcer, the field of aviation is a bright beacon of hope.

Okay, so maybe pilot school is a hard sell for you. I get that, as most people think that you need to go to a typical four year university in order to set off on a long and profitable career in any field. The thought of going to a vocational school doesn’t have the same gravitas to you, just because it’s not the college experience you envisioned when you were younger.

You might feel that way, but you’re wrong. You can rest assured that piloting is a complex, intellectually and physically demanding occupation that requires the best of a person’s abilities. Still not convinced that piloting is right for you? Consider these points.

Quality pilots are in demand

Unlike many professions where companies are trying to shed as many jobs as possible, there are ample employment opportunities within the field of aviation. Pilots in particular are in high demand, especially those who have real talent. A recent article in Bloomberg actually reported that there’s an ongoing shortage in pilots worldwide, with the airline industry predicting that they’ll need over half a million new pilots in the next twenty years in order to meet the demand from travelers and air services. Half a million pilots! It’s not every day that you hear of an industry in such desperate need of new employees.

Most pilots make a healthy living

I’ll admit that pilots require extensive vocational training before they’re ever licensed to fly planes, but the work put into earning a pilot’s credentials are well worth the wait for many reasons. For one thing, pilots tend to make a better-than-average living wage from their skills, no matter what occupation they choose in the aviation industry. It’s certainly a vocation that rewards you for your hard work. Let’s look at some solid numbers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics listed the median income of a commercial pilot at $70,000 per year, and the median income for an airline pilot at $105,580 per year. It’s hard to deny the allure of those numbers, don’t you think? Suddenly flight school doesn’t sound all that bad.

Travel opportunities for a pilot are unparalleled

Perhaps the biggest selling point about becoming a pilot is the endless travel opportunities that come along with the job. No matter what job you choose as a pilot in the aviation industry, you’ll almost guaranteed to travel to more destinations that you’d ever dream of at any other job. Of course the travel perks of being a pilot greatly vary from job to job, but few occupations have as much traveling potential. Imagine the sights that you could bear witness to as an international pilot, or even a pilot that flies around the country! If anything, piloting should attract the globetrotters out there who want to see the world!

If you have piloting ambitions, tell me why you’re drawn to the profession. I want to know!

About the author:

Katheryn Rivas is a freelance education writer and blogger. She loves to dabble in a variety of education topics, although her main interests include online learning and trends. She welcomes your comments at

About Wayne Farley

I am Wayne, a career air traffic controller. Engage me while I share my thoughts, experience, and news from around the aviation world. A post titled “13 Characteristics of an Air Traffic Controller” written in 2010 went viral and established me as the unofficial ambassador of ATC.

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