Volume 38
September 15, 2014

A Weekly Aviation Career
Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.

A Weekly Aviation Career Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.
 
Aviation Career Topics
Announcing New Services
Newsletters from Avjobs
E-News from Avjobs
Recent Job Announcements
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Job of the Week
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Suggest Content
Link Partners
Newsletter Archives
About Archived Content
WHS Aircraft Training Center
Encourage a New Generation
Aviation Salaries Wages Pay
Young Adults in Aviation
Young Adults in Aviation Part 2
Working On The Goodyear Blimp
Women in Aviation Conference
What Aviation Employers Expect
Virtual Flying
Virgin America Takes Flight
Video Job Profiles
Using the Avjobs Toolbar
The History Of Flight Attendants
The Gratitude Campaign
Scheduler Dispatcher Conference
Recruiting Minorities to Aviation
Pilot Promotes Aviation Careers
Pilot Completes Trip
Pay Hikes and Bonuses
Northwest Airlines Hiring
No Ordinary Flight Instructor
NBAA Scholarship Update
NBAA Scholarship Opportunities
NBAA Scholarship Deadlines
NBAA Celebrates 60 Years
Jumpseat Ride Flying Charters
Joe Jones Aviations True Spirit
Is an FAA Career for You
IATA Reports On Airline Traffic
Hubble Multimedia Package
Honda Aircraft Company
History Of Flight Attendants
Having Fun for a Living
Gordon Page Warbird Recovery
Funding Prevents Furloughs
Flying The Canyon
Flight Simulation
Flight Attendants Contract
FAA To Hire 15000
FAA Bumps Retirement Age
Delta Promises Stability
Corporate Flight Attendant Jobs
Congress Recognizes Irving
Colorado Astronauts
Climb Aviations Career Ladder
Cirrus Design
Changing Careers
Career Profile Airline Pilot
Career Profile Airline CEO
Boeing Enjoys Sales Spike
Barrington Irving on CNN
Aviations Renaissance Man
Aviation Photography
Aviation Pay Philosophies
Aviation Employee Competencies
Aviation Career Salary Ranges
Aviation Career Overviews
Armed Pilots Refresher Training
Ardent Receives Approval
An Aerobatic Superstar
American Warns Unions
Airline Ramp Agents
Airline Overhead Bins
Airline Merger Update
Airline Flight Attendant Careers
Aircraft Sales
Aircraft Maintenance Technicians
Air Traffic Controller Careers
Aerospace Engineering
A Life in Aviation
A Career in Virtual Aviation
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A Weekly Aviation Career Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.
Airline Pilot

AvjobsWeekly Career Profile: Airline Pilot

When the subject of airline careers is discussed, the first job that usually comes to mind is the airline pilot. This shouldn’t be surprising, as the coveted cap and stripes we often associate with the pilot uniform is symbolic of this exciting aviation career path.

Flying for a Living
Roughly 60 percent of all pilots are employed by commercial airlines. They are often associated with flying large passenger jets hauling hundreds of people aboard. The truth is you’ll also find many carrier pilots flying smaller jets and turboprop aircraft. The emergence of smaller 50-100 seat fuel-efficient regional jets is slowly phasing out the turboprop fleet. However, small feeder airlines will continue to rely on turboprops for some time to come. These slower aircraft are often their best resource for serving rural communities that lack the airport infrastructure required by larger jets.

Commercial pilots find themselves in a different time zone, climate, and culture every day. Those with seniority enjoy traveling to exotic locales and flying top-of-the-line aircraft. Yes, the job of an airplane pilot carries considerable charm and prestige but also much responsibility and some risk. Pilots literally have the lives of their passengers in their hands. The physical and mental demands are rigorous. The ability to remain calm under pressure and having perfect vision, hearing, and coordination are crucial requirements. Even when the automatic pilot is engaged, it is the captain’s responsibility to remain alert for any mechanical, meteorological or passenger-related problems that may occur.

With the prestige comes significantly more responsibility and a better pay scale. In fact, the average pay range for pilots is about $18,000 for new pilots up to $200,000 or so on the top end. The median salary is approximately $70,000. We suggest you visit Avjobs’ Aviation Career Salary Ranges page, which lists typical salaries by job category. 

Paying Your Dues
At least two years of college is suggested for those interested in this profession. FAA-certified military and civilian flying schools provide practical and classroom training and some colleges and universities offer flight degrees and credit for pilot training.

After training, those who aspire to fly in the coveted left seat of a heavy jet must first pay their dues by building the all-too-necessary flight experience. There are several ways to do so, but the most common methods are flight instructing and charter flying. The work is not glamorous with long days, demanding schedules and low pay all part of the routine. Remember, seniority rules in this profession so don’t lose focus and keep building those flight hours!

Applicants for the commercial airplane pilot’s license must have 250 hours of flying time and successfully complete rigorous testing, including a physical examination; a written test given by the FAA; and a practical flight test. Airline captains must also have an airline transport pilot’s license (ATP), which requires a minimum of 1,500 hours of flight time including substantial instrument time. Some pilots start out as flight engineers (for the few aircraft that still require them), a position which usually requires 500 to 1,000 hours of flying time. In addition to an instrument rating by the FAA, flight engineers obtain restricted radio telephone operators’ permits from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Associated Careers
Although labor issues do have their effect on airline pilots, all in all, most would probably say they were satisfied with their jobs. This is probably why any stay remain in them until furloughed (a common practice in the industry) or forced to retire at age 60 (a new rule will increase that age to 65). However, the instability of the airline industry forces some commercial aviators to work another flying job (such as flight instructing or charter work) or perhaps open a side business. When these pilots do stop flying airplanes, they often make career moves including working as executives for airlines, going into private enterprise, opening flying schools, operating charter services, or brokering aircraft. Many retired airline pilots enter the commercial aviation training market as ground and simulator-based flight instructors.

See What It’s All About
There is much more to an airline pilot’s job and you can read all about it here. Avjobs members can also access the Quick Start Job Search database to see who’s currently hiring airline pilots.

In addition, we invite you to experience the day in the life of an airline pilot via streaming video. We invite you to click on the video screen to join an Air New Zealand captain and first officer as they begin their day's journey in the briefing room. Buckle up!

 

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