Immediate Employment Opportunities
Students who earn the Certified Flight Instructor rating are immediately employable as FAA-approved flight instructors at flight schools throughout the country. To reach the 1000+ hours of flight time needed to gain employment with small companies, students may choose to work as flight instructors during which time they log the same hours as their students while earning pay and not paying airplane rental. Flight instructors may log as many as 500-1200 hours per year. Students who earn the multi-engine rating may find employment and build valuable multi-engine time to accrue hours.
As the celebrities of the aviation industry, pilots are ultimately responsible for all aspects of aircraft operation, from flight planning to supervising handling of the aircraft. They fly and navigate the aircraft while monitoring systems, fuel, and weather, and communicating with air traffic control. The product of years of training and hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of experience, pilots operate aircraft for major or regional airlines, charter companies, large businesses, freight, private individuals or companies, bush flying, crop spraying, and flight instructing. Opportunities for advancement are great, and a pilot’s career may span several areas of specialty.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of aircraft pilots is projected to increase about as fast as average for all occupations through 2012. Job opportunities are expected to continue to be better with regional airlines and low fare carriers, which are growing faster than the better-known major airlines.
Opportunities with air cargo carriers also are expected to be good due to increasing security requirements for shipping freight on passenger airlines and growth in e-business. Earnings of pilots will vary significantly with experience, type, size, and maximum speed of aircraft flown, and whether employment is with airlines or other commercial companies.
Fringe benefits for pilots and their families can be substantial, including life and health insurance, retirement benefits, and free or reduced fare transportation on airlines.